Deborah Kalkstein fell in love with design during childhood visits to construction sites with her uncle, an acclaimed modern architect in her native Peru. Today as a designer and the owner of Contemporaria, a furnishings and accessories showroom in DC’s Cady’s Alley, Kalkstein brings a modern aesthetic to her work. “I see design in every shape and form, and recognize the value or the lack of it,” she says. “It’s a lifestyle, a passion…I think it’s something I was born with.”
Kalkstein feels that a home should respect and represent its owner above all—but avoids designing in every style. “I can’t go beyond my aesthetic comfort zone, but I can incorporate other harmonious and beautiful styles,” she explains. “I encourage my clients to see art as part of the interior architecture—it all has to come together.”
Contemporaria offers complete design services; its in-house team includes Kalkstein, architect Sophia Hass and interior designer Hayley Hartner. The showroom represents Minotti, Molteni, Vitra, Cappellini, MDF and Paola Lenti, among many other furniture lines.
Kalkstein’s design work has been featured in Home & Design, Metropolitan Home, Washingtonian, DC Modern Luxury and more. Contemporaria was named 2018 Best of Washington, DC, by Washingtonian and DC Modern Luxury.