Alexandra Kaehler Connecting With Clients

Photo by Aimée Mazzenga @alexkaehlerdesign

Heart - Home and - Great Design

“The essence of interior design will always be about people and how they live. It is about the realities of what makes for an attractive, civilized, meaningful environment, not about fashion or what's in or out. ” –American Interior Designer and Decorator Albert Hadley.

Home is where you find comfort after a long, stressful day at work. It’s where your children are welcomed after their first few days here on earth. It’s where you celebrate friends and neighbors. It’s where you enjoy the holidays with your family.

So, when creating a real sense of “home” for a client, it’s important to figure out exactly what that is. For Alex Kaehler, Owner and Principal Designer at Alexandra Kaehler Designs, it’s all about getting quite personal with her clients.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Kaehler recently, and we can’t wait to share what not only sparked her interest in this industry but what her firm does to help create a real sense of home for their clients and how life has influenced her style.
Scroll down for our interview with Alexandra Kaehler!


By Tara Woodin

We are thrilled to announce the latest enhancement to our website, a brand-new section called "Design Viewpoint." This newly designed area provides a comprehensive resource hub for design professionals, offering diverse content to educate, inspire, and entertain.

We want to empower interior designers to succeed. Together with industry experts and thought leaders, DSA has curated online resources to help members expand their knowledge, elevate their practices, and grow their businesses.

Under the Design Viewpoint umbrella, you will find three distinct categories: Read, Watch, and Listen. Each category offers a unique experience, catering to various learning styles, offering interviews with designers and industry leaders, videos, and podcasts. 

So, we invite you to explore the Design Viewpoint. Embark on a journey of discovery, immerse yourself in the world of design, and unlock your creative potential.

Stay tuned for regular updates as we expand our content library and bring you even more exciting resources. We look forward to being your trusted companion on your design adventure!

Visit to start exploring today!

Creating a Real Sense of Home

By Lindsay Field Penticuff

Alex Kaehler believes her interest and love of design was sparked by growing up with loved ones who truly appreciated homes and interior design.

“They didn’t necessarily practice it themselves, but there was this deeply rooted appreciation,” says Kaehler, Owner and Principal Designer at Alexandra Kaehler Designs in Winnetka, Illinois—just north of Chicago.

“However, I felt from a very young age that I came from this very business-oriented family, and in my mind, the expectation was that you graduate from college and get a job in a more traditional and less creative field. It wasn’t something anyone ever said to me; I just felt it.”

She graduated from college and began a career in advertising, thinking it would be a good balance between business and expressing her creativity.  It wasn’t the case, though, so Kaehler started blogging in 2008.  “It wasn’t necessarily meant to be focussed on design,” she says. “It was about anything that was interesting to me. I did that for a period of time, and I really liked it. It was a creative outlet for me.”

A childhood friend recommended she go ahead and take the leap into interior design.

“It was like I just needed someone to say it to me, and it just clicked, so I pivoted,” Kaehler says. “I applied to design school here in Chicago, and left my job in advertising and pursued an associate degree at Herrington College of Design, which no longer exists, and I just kept blogging while I was doing that.”

Photo by Aimée Mazzenga @alexkaehlerdesign

Someone reached out to Kaehler to see if they could help “jooj” up a couple of spaces in their home.

“I took pictures of the project and put them on my blog, and one thing led to the other, and I ended up having a few people who were interested in working together. I decided that if I had this opportunity, I was going to jump at it, so here I am!” she continues.

Kaehler started her design firm in 2011, initially only putting just one foot in, she says.

“I was very hesitant about whether I could make a living doing it. And, I was also acutely aware that I lacked a lot of the in-field experience I would need,” Kaehler says. “I wasn’t sure it would work, but I had a few clients who just really gave me a chance and were patient with the fact that I was learning as I went, and that just made all the difference.”

Photo by Sabrina Hames @alexkaehlerdesign

As far as who her mentors and role models are in this industry, Kaehler credits the community of interior designers who support her day in and day out.

“Those people have become some of my closest friends, and they are the people who you can have as a sounding board, who you can ask their advice on a fabric you’re stuck on or a business situation you don’t know how to handle,” she says. “I’m so grateful to have those friends in my life. We have a Slack network of designers who are in similar stages of their career to mine, and we can go on there and ask questions. It’s been an amazing resource for me.”

And when it comes to her firm’s process, Kaehler uses her close connection to “home” to help guide her intake process.

“The beginning of our process is a really intense getting-to-know-you session,” she says. “We don’t just talk about furniture, textiles and functional pieces that the client may want. We talk about how they want to live.”

For example, a client may want to entertain, but Kaehler finds out whether entertaining to them means having two families over to watch football in the fall or if it’s inviting eight couples over for dinner.

“It’s all about figuring out how we can best design a house for how they want to live,” she says. “I think such a special part of our job is creating a space where a client can kind of exist in this fantasy life they want to create for themselves and make it real.”

This is evident in what Kaehler describes as her two dream projects—working with her sisters. Two years ago, she collaborated with one of her younger sisters on her home, and she’s currently working with the other sister to renovate a 130-year-old townhome in Brooklyn.

“They are pushing me beyond my design expectations,” she says. “It’s been a great learning experience for me, and it’s just been so much fun.”

Photo by Aimée Mazzenga @alexkaehlerdesigns

Last but not least, Kaehler shares some lessons she’s learned over her tenured career in this industry for aspiring interior designers to keep in mind:

In-field experience is invaluable.

Remember that there are business and administrative components to the job. It’s not necessarily “sexy,” but the payoff is huge.

Keep reminding yourself that you are in a customer service job and, ultimately, your client being happy is the most important 


Photo by Aimée Mazzenga @alexkaehlerdesigns