lee kleinhelter style

Hope you enjoyed Lee Kleinhelter’s design interview.  Now let’s peek a little more into her personal style.  First of all, Lee has the whole Grace Kelly thing going on…beautiful complexion, symmetrical features, understated make-up, and a relaxed, yet definitive style.  When you’re with her you want to sit up a little straighter, spruce up your hair, and glance to make sure you have on your lipstick…not because Lee is snobby or stuffy, but because she has a natural air of femininity and style about her.  It’s infectious.  For instance, I sat next to this during our visit…just go ahead and slay me with the bag and shoes.


Lee is poised, well spoken and embraces elegant style.  Which I find refreshing in today’s ultra casual culture.

She raises the bar.

Let’s discuss with our stylish guest exactly how she keeps that bar so high.  Joining us again, Lee Kleinhelter.


SS:  My signature style is…

LK:  Hopefully the same as my design sense of style.  I don’t put a lot of thought into it.  I don’t follow fads.  I keep things for years when they work.  I splurge on a few things and that’s what I’m wearing…ask Allie H. at the store, she’s probably really bored with looking over and seeing the same pair of white jeans and Chloe platforms ; )

SS:  When pressed for time, my go-to outfit is…

LK:  All white or all black.  Keep it simple.   (never been great at outfits, I’m a separates kind of shopper).

SS:  I always feel glam when I…

LK:  Am wearing taller shoes!

SS:  Every girl should have at least one…

LK:  Awesome bag, jeans that fit well, boots.  What else do you need?  I believe more isn’t better in that category.  I would rather have one great bag, shoes, or whatever instead of having a bunch of semi-nice pieces.  I’m constantly editing our closets.  Right now I die over the Celine bag.

SS:  Okay, you had me on the boots.  Favorite brand?

LK:  I have older Prada ones that I still love.  The zipper is broken so I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman because soon I’ll need to use a safety pen ; )  I’ll splurge on something and then wear it into the ground because I’m so excited about them.

SS:  Tell us more about your fashion splurges and staples…

LK:  I don’t splurge on jewelry or lots of outfits, I love the shoes, bag coats & watches. Those are my staples. I’ve been carrying the Goyard for a few years and love rotating old bags in the mix. Don’t think every season or year you have to have the newest thing. For me it’s not having the trend of fad especially if its an investment piece or a splurge I need to be able to wear it season after season.

SS:  You stayed true to your style during pregnancy.  Any tips on looking chic while expecting?

LK:  Dressing during pregnancy, just like most women, I was all about comfort while still feeling stylish.  Your body changes so quickly that I don’t think it’s worth purchasing a lot of maternity clothes you can never wear again.   I used the belly band in the beginning, which meant I could still wear some of my jeans, etc.  Then my go-to was leggings and simple tops.  I don’t wear flow-y clothes, so it just felt right having more form-fitting pieces.


SS:  Speaking of chic, your baby shower was perfectly styled and shot for Southern Accents Magazine.  Tell us about it…

LK:  Tara with Soirée helped w/ the shower, I stumbled upon her for my wedding in Charleston in ’05.  Fun tidbit:  she did Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively’s this past weekend. Crazy!  The dress I wore to my shower was by Milly.  Pretty on the hanger, but it felt more like a drapery valance.  It wasn’t really me, but I needed something, we had just moved.



SS:  I have to share a few of these style shots from the shower because they’re wonderful…I spy custom made tableskirts with white piping.  Pure happiness! 




shower photos by Liz Banfield

SS:  My favorite accessory is…

LK:  Husband’s watch.  I gave him, now borrowing ; )

SS:  My favorite hair product is…

LK:  Clear rubber bands from Sephora.  I always have my hair up.  In my next life I’m having thick hair ; )

SS:  I never leave home without…

LK:  Key fob.  Otherwise I can’t get back in my unit.

SS:  People would be surprised to know that I…

LK:  Am OCD about cleaning and organizing.  I relax by Windex-ing…it’s a disease.  The show Hoarders makes me have nightmares.  If there’s something I can label, it’s done.  OR maybe cars?  Had a Dad  who’s obsessed with older cars.  Always drove stick shift, done driver’s schools, and love our MINI for the weekends.  Prefer black and washed weekly.

SS:  Always in my purse…

LK:  Lipgloss, mints, and wipes.  After having kids, you feel like you always need them.  My current lip gloss is Neutrogena Moisture Lip Shine Lip Soother (actually had to look in my purse) which I like because it has SPF and stays on.  Whatever the brand, it’s always a light and sheer gloss.  I’ve tried all kinds of products, but it’s not where I care about splurging.  The bag that I put it in, however, I do ; )

SS:  Current book on my nightstand…

LK:  Just mags: Vanity Fair, InStyle, Elle Decor, Vogue…

SS:  Night owl or morning bird?

LK:  Morning.  And MUST have eight hours of sleep.  Which means I’m thrilled to be in bed by 10pm.

SS:  Coffee or tea?

LK:  Tall double soy latte, no foam.  I’m that person at Starbucks everyday spending $4.  I only like the white cups, not the holiday ones.

.      .      .      .

What a great chat.  I laughed out loud (and strangely identified) when reading about her Windex rituals.  And was also reminded that simple IS chic when it comes to fashion.  I love Lee’s outfit suggestion of using one color…what a great rule when you’re pressed for time but need to make a statement.

On a final note, I finally tracked down Lee’s fabulous home I remember from Cottage Living, which is still incredible six years later.


Creamy fabulousness and those chairs, those chairs…


Notice Lee’s use of one color for impact, clearly one of her style signatures.  Love it! 


The rest of the pics from her Cottage Living 2006 article are over here.

Thank you for sharing so much with us, Lee!  Hope you come back.

I’m headed out a little early for a roadtrip adventure with my girls and our horses.  See you next week.

Cheers to the weekend!


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  1. MiMi says:

    Loved the article, especially “only the white Starbucks cup”…I didn’t think there was anyone else like that:)

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I too enjoyed the article. As a High Performance Driver’s School Instructor, she had me at “stick shift”. I’m also a Starbucks white cup girl. I also want to know where she got those black espadrilles from the last post!

  3. Elise says:

    As a blonde, I love learning the style secrets of others with similar coloring. Lee is incredibly chic. What a great interview!

  4. Lonna says:

    I have read about Lee for years and this is my favorite interview so far. I love her practicality mixed with style.

  5. Jill says:

    Seleta, thank you for post and interview of Lee. I love her store and this makes it all that more personal!

  6. Megan says:

    I’m inspired. Thank you!!!

  7. Anna says:

    Loved getting to know more about a talented young designer, she’s ahead of her time. Seeing her pics reminds me of how much I miss Cottage Living. I’m with also with her and love taller shoes…especially Pradas.

  8. Meredith says:

    Thank you for introducing us to Lee!

  9. Clara says:

    Love this post. I can sooooo relate to wearing favorite boots until they fall apart. :) :)

  10. pam says:

    fantastic posts seleta! i remember lee’s house from that cottage living issue…. gorgeous! one of my all time faves in cl. thanks seleta… thanks lee!

  11. Jess says:

    Gorgeous! Amazing! Fabulous! What else can I say… Oh, yes, I miss Cottage Living Mag! Thanks for throwing in her abode which is obviously just as Awesome as the owner!

  12. Allison A. says:

    Great interview Seleta! I enjoyed it. Lee is a classy, elegant and chic woman! I love her simple and chic style.

  13. Marianne says:

    Loving both of your interviews with Lee. I got the chance to meet her in New York at the show house and she was such a delight in person. She is the real deal! Now I just need to make a trip to Atlanta to finally visit her shop in person.

  14. Lori H says:

    Thanks for sharing a great interview. What a chic and down-to-earth lady. Much like you :)

  15. Sarah says:

    Love your post ~ Many thanks for linking to my blog!

  16. Elaine says:

    What a fun feature, super chic! Wouldn’t you love a shopping trip with her?

  17. Julie says:

    Seleta, thanks so much! I love LOVE her style and dare I say (without offending anyone, clearly Lee is fabulous!) that I prefer her older, cottage homes? Lee, can’t wait to see what you do next!

  18. Nikole Morrow Pettus says:

    Okay! now I want you to interview all my friends. What a well written interview. Love you!

  19. Layla says:

    I love your blog and your interview with this style maven. Keep it coming. I read you daily!

  20. bevy says:

    You did a great interview, Seleta. I really enjoyed learning about Lee. She makes some good points, specifically decluttering our lives and spending where it matters.

  21. Katherine says:

    Thank you Seleta for showcasing Lee – a very interesting interior designer.

  22. Leigh B. says:

    Great interview! I’ve been a Lee Kleinhelter fan since the Cottage Living days!
    She was featured there twice. If I get a chance, I’ll look for the second article. Brilliant!

    Leigh B.

  23. Katharina says:

    Great post! I like her motto about not spending too much on the ordinary clothes. It’s so true! It’s quality that matters, not quantity.

  24. Trish says:

    Seleta, I enjoyed the post. Certainly, quality over quantity, being understated, and keeping life simpler is richer in the long run. Lee is a great example and I loved learning about her.

  25. I enjoyed your interview a lot! She is so chic! I really love the grey jacket she is wearing in the second photo. Both posts were great.
    Seleta, I have been following you these last two years but I have not commented yet (a bit shy? maybe my poor English??). I’m a fan of you, I love your blog, all your posts are interesting, your wonderful children… the horses… your love for barns… clothes and fashion… and of course deco.
    Besos (kisses) and a big hug from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Silvina.

  26. lori c says:

    I’m new to your blog and am thoroughly enjoying it. Thank you for introducing me to LK. I love her approach to fashion and life. Less is more. “I would rather have one great bag, shoes, or whatever instead of having a bunch of semi-nice pieces. ” I love this.

  27. Lizziefitz says:

    This might just be one of my favorite posts yet! I have always admired Lee. I still oh & ahh over her daughter’s room w/ Hable Construction. Great words of wisdom;) thanks for sharing:)))

  28. elizabeth says:

    I love this, Seleta! I think I have a girl crush on her now. She is awesome. Thanks for sharing!!!

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    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my family. A former TV personality turned designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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