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Interior Designer Spotlight
Q&A with Leslie Dohr, ASID
Six questions with the interior designer at Deep River Partners


Sept. 2017

Describe your aesthetic in one sentence.

My personal design style could be described as traditional with French influences — and a little bit of an edge.


Tell us about one of your favorite projects — and why you enjoyed it.

One of my favorite projects was for the Sigma Kappa sorority at Marquette University. We were hired to do space planning, finish selection,  lighting specification and furnishings selections for their new chapter house. The day we installed the furniture, window treatments and rugs was very memorable. The women who lived there were thrilled, appreciative and excited for their new home. It was immensely satisfying.


Aside from furniture and décor, who or what influences or inspires you?

I am inspired by what I read and see in design blogs and am influenced by other designers in my peer group. My position allows me to see the latest in interior furnishings and trends — whether it is in plumbing, lighting or fabrics. I also have had the opportunity to live in both London and Washington, D.C. — and visit some interesting places in between. Those life experiences combined with those of my clients help me design special, curated interiors.


Finish this sentence: Every room needs _____ .

Some history and thoughtful styling. History refers to something from a lifetime, whether it is a cherished antique or family heirloom. One of our recent living room projects included a grandmother’s chair, which we reupholstered in a beautiful new fabric. It was a nice way to honor the past in a modern way. Styling refers to the arrangement of furniture, soft goods and accessories in a balanced way. This carries over to every surface like bookshelves, a mantel or bedding. I might style a coffee table with a stack of books or tray balanced by vases. I like to think of it as sculpting space.


What is something that would surprise people to learn about you?

Interior design is my first love but second career. I spent a number of years in marketing before returning to UW-Madison to pursue a degree in interior design.


What are your favorite Milwaukee-area spots?

I live in Shorewood, and Atwater Beach is a treasure. Seeing the sun come up over the lake is breathtaking. Other favorite recreation spots are Lapham Peak, the Oak Leaf Trail and my garden. My favorite restaurant in Milwaukee is Lake Park Bistro, because of its French-inspired interiors, beautiful view and exceptionally great food and service.


This story ran in the Sept. 2017 issue of: