- Credit: Mark Edward Harris
Introducing Kelly Wearstler
“Love colour, take risks, stay curious,” replies Kelly Wearstler on being asked to define her design philosophy, but which could easily describe a good philosophy for life in general. No wonder, then, that the celebrated interior designer has become a global lifestyle brand, working with A-list clients including Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller, designing both residential and commercial interiors around the world, as well as creating an eponymous collection of furniture, lighting and more.
Unveiling her collection at Harrods – a UK exclusive as part of The London Edit – we caught up with the designer to talk aesthetics, starting afresh and quick tips for a spring makeover.
On her early influences…
“I have always been drawn to design. My mother was a designer and she took me to antique shows and auctions as a girl, educating my eye from a young age. Art class flew by the quickest in school and I was never without my sketch book. Interior design combines so many of my passions – architecture, art history, sculpture, pattern, texture, light and movement. It’s truly my dream job.”
On her signature aesthetic…
“My aesthetic is about mixology; always something old and something new, raw and refined, masculine and feminine. The tension of opposites, the juxtaposition of seemingly dichotomous things interests me very much. That combination is sexy and unexpected.”
On translating her approach to interiors into her new collection…
“There were certain points of reference and inspiration along the way. I have a broad network of artisans and relationships with vendors from so many years of creating bespoke pieces for clients, but we started fresh. Some of these designs have been in the back of my mind for years, others were new. There is so much cross-pollination at my studio. Inspiration is everywhere.”
“The vibe for the furniture collection is modern, refined yet casual. Artisanal details and raw materials of the finest quality lend a luxurious, handsome aesthetic that feels organic and calm. Overall, the voice is modern transitional. It has a quiet sense of grace. Key pieces include the Griffith Bar Cabinet, the Laurel Chair and the Trousdale Dining Table.”
“I am so passionate about lighting. Lighting is so integral to the mood and aesthetic of a space. It is everything. The lighting collection plays upon my love of geometric form, mixed metal patinas, rich texture and thoughtful materiality. The pieces are transitional and contemporary with a voice that feels chic, modern and sophisticated. Designed to mix and match, I would use many different pieces – from the Cleo Floor Lamp to Melange Table Lamp - within one space.”
On her collaboration with The Rug Company…
“The craftsmanship and quality of The Rug Company’s rugs are so incredible. My rug designs are a mixology of classic and modern, inspired by some of my favourite motifs, from patterns found in nature to architectural and graphic art. All of my rug designs are hand painted, in the classic tradition, and then brought to life by weavers.”
Her top tips for accessorising a room…
“Hierarchy and scale are so important. Too many starlets in one room create needless drama. There should be a balance of size, colour, pattern, texture. The goal should be to curate a cohesive dialogue while still allowing statement pieces to shine. Quieter details bring balance and nuance, and be sure to include your own items that have special meaning, personal history; this helps to truly personalise a space.”
On her big interior design no-nos?
“Being too safe and afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If you want to expand, you have to be fearless. Educate your eye; know your history; be confident. Design is an adventure in exploration. It’s about finding your voice.”
Her quick tips for a spring makeover?
“Add colour! Experiment with a pop of new or unexpected colour on walls or with an accessory. Infuse new energy and life into a room with art and lighting. A piece of large scale art is an immediate inspiration and adds soul. Light fixtures bring a change of mood with unique architectural or natural, organic forms.”
The Kelly Wearstler showroom launches in-store on Friday 4th March in Furniture, Third Floor.
Discover: The London Edit