Winnie Cleavenger, ASID
Winnie Cleavenger, ASID, Winteriors
The Home Trust (THT): What first compelled you to enter your business field?
Winnie Cleavenger, ASID (WC): The passion for beautiful and luxurious goods tempted me into the world of interior Design. It is rewarding to enrich clients’ lives and environments.
THT: What inspires you and who has most influenced you?
WC: Inspiration often comes from ‘Mother Nature’ and all of the organic products. I was influenced by my loving grandparents who traveled the world and opened up my eyes. They lived a beautiful and elegant lifestyle.
THT: What is the best advice you ever received?
WC: NEVER, EVER give up! Best advice ever!
THT: Please tell us about your family. Are you the same person at home as you’re known by your colleagues and industry?
WC: I am married to a very special man who is an amazing father, friend and golf addict. We have four gorgeous grandchildren whom we love to spoil in Scottsdale and Cleveland. I hope that my extended family of clients and friends find me as caring, compassionate, creative a great listener.
THT: Is there a common thread that runs through all great design? How about your design aesthetic?
WC: My designs are unique and never repeated! I adore a mixture of new and old furnishings with a huge attention to detail. Every project is finished as a perfectly edited creation.
THT: In what ways has your company or industry changed over the years?
WC: The entire world has changed substantially due to the internet.
THT: What book(s) are you currently reading and/or Do you have a favorite book or author?
WC: Currently reading Suzanne Kasler’s ‘Timeless Style.’ I find that am always looking for inspiration for glamour and beauty and style.
THT: What music do you listen to and/or do you have a favorite artist? This can evolve to celebrity you may highly respect.
WC: I love a mixture of Bocelli, Willie Nelson, Aretha, Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Boz Scaggs. My all-time favorite artist is Helen Frankenthaler; she painted large and glorious compositions. Currently in love with Jordan Spieth, a kind and gentle soul who has a huge heart and enormous talent. I have been a member of Arnie’s Army forever!
THT: Where do you enjoy traveling?
WC: My favorite city is Charleston in South Carolina. It has a great love for history, and offers so many wonderful venues for the arts.
THT: You love the arts. Do you have a favorite museum?
WC: The museums in Chicago are the best and remind me of my great childhood.
THT: It may be obvious, but when you’re not working, where are most likely to be found?
WC: When I’m not working I’m probably on the links or spending time with friends, food and family. We love to entertain.
THT: What is your favorite object that reflects extraordinary design (or love, etc) and why?
WC: I have several fabulous objects which may be my signature: a beautiful strand of Mikimoto pearls; all organized, lined-up and ready to be appreciated. Also love the ‘surprise’ reveal when the client first sees their space – PRICELESS!
THT: What makes a room?
WC: Creativity and passion make every project sing.
THT: What makes a great organization?
WC: A great team makes a great organization. I’ve been fortunate in that regard.
THT: Why The Home Trust?
WC: They search for the finest in design and shelter and then they tout them. What is not to love about ‘The Home Trust?’
THT: Any final thoughts?
WC: A client is never a real client until you’ve won their trust in their home. That is my mission.
THT: Winnie, thank you. No doubt you have many dozens of ‘Missions accomplished.’ Thank you for your time today.
Winnie is a long-time Daytonian and a graduate of Fairview High School and Miami University. She is an avid golfer and a former tennis professional and French teacher. Winnie is passionate about her design practice, great food and wine, friends, and family – especially her four beautiful grandchildren!