Like a sprite from some otherworldly time and place, Carol VanderKloot has landed in our midst and she is spreading her particular brand of magic on everything she touches. If you haven’t met Ms. VanderKloot, you soon will – since there is barely a soul in the home design industry whom she doesn’t know or count as a friend.
A connector extraordinaire, Carol has deep roots in the architectural + design world and an insider’s instinct for what editors are looking for.
Funny and kind, Carol’s natural ease with people belies a keen intelligence and an ability to suss out the connections that benefit both parties. How does she come by these instincts? Born in the suburbs of Detroit, related to car designers and with an architect stepfather and the nearby confines of Saarinen-designed Cranbrook, the school of Ray & Charles Eames, an art and design aesthetic was instilled at an early age. Even with such design pedigrees, she escaped the Midwest for New York where she has spent the last 14 years and now considers her home. Along with her partner-in-crime canine Molly, Carol soaks up everything New York has to offer. Being in the city does afford Ms. VanderKloot the ability to literally be where the action is, and woe to anyone who implies that the action take place anywhere BUT New York. Before landing there, she spent time studying abroad in England and Spain. As a consultant, she lived in Portugal and helped launch the Serralves Contemporary Art Museum designed by Pritzker-prize winning-architect Alvaro Siza.
Like all people, if you scratch the surface you will find a multi-faceted persona – aside from her ‘a-ha’ design moment in 1989 seeing the Pierre Koenig exhibition (a full-size, walk-through model of Case Study House 22 at the Los Angeles MOCA’s Temporary Contemporary), Carol isn’t all about one thing. This is a woman who eschews fancy chocolate for Twizzlers, Swedish Fish, any gummy candy! And like many of us at DRS and Associates, a coffee addict who has been known to drive a mile for a fountain Diet Coke.
A story-teller and story-lover at heart, Carol can wax poetic about the bad films of the ’70s and ’80s, pop culture, Ryan Adams, Tom Jones, punk rock…the list is varied and unusual. Luckily for us, she saves her best story-telling for our clients; with whom she establishes a deep and loyal connection which she translates into top-notch placements, pitches and development ideas.
You can already see evidence of her skills — THG’s So faucet (designed by Olivier Gossart) was just recently in The New York Times, and Corbett Lighting’s Inertia was featured in Elle Decor, thanks to Carol. Her work with Hudson Valley Lighting and Native Trails has put these brands front and center as well. We count ourselves lucky that she is spreading her magic here.