World-renowned designer, entrepreneur, and fashion icon, Kelly Wearstler tells GRAY the best advice she’s ever received.
American designer Kelly Wearstler. Image courtesy Joyce Park.
For interior and product designer Kelly Wearstler, the key to successfully pushing the boundaries of design is to recognize and honor the history, architecture, and location of a space. Known for her intuitive exploration of contrasting forms — modern and vintage, natural and fabricated, bold and simple — Wearstler has become one of the world’s most influential designers (and fashion icons) of her time.
After receiving her degree in interior and graphic design from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Wearstler made her way to the West Coast to launch her eponymous firm, Kelly Wearstler, where she began designing spaces and products for hospitality, residential, commercial, and retail. Now a world-renowned interior and product design studio, her brand also offers client services such as graphic design, creative direction, and product development, to name a few.
Kelly Wearstler’s first ever table and kitchenware collection in partnership with Serax.
With her expansive body of work on the rise—including the release of her first dinnerware collection in partnership with the Belgian design brand, Serax—GRAY caught up with Wearstler for our 3 Questions for... series:
1. For you, what is the most exciting thing happening in the design world now?
The intersection of technology and design is fascinating. My studio has been designing in the digital realm for years, and now we’re leveraging AI. We don’t have restrictions when designing virtually, so these exercises often inspire what we produce physically. It has opened up a world of endless possibilities.
Residential interior design project in Malibu, California, design by Kelly Wearstler. Image by The Ingalls.
2. What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
My mom once said, “You are the only one — take care of yourself.” I follow that to this day and try to instill the same sentiment in my children.
3. Can you share a detail from a recent project that solved a problem in a unique way?
Downtown L.A. Proper presented a handful of challenges, given the history of the building — it was formerly a YWCA. I wanted to honor the integrity of this historical structure, while also modernizing it. The restoration process was demanding but we had the opportunity to be inventive with some of the rooms and their original features, like the flooring in the Basketball Suite or the pool in the Pool Suite.
Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel designed by Kelly Wearstler. Image by The Ingalls.
For more information on Kelly Wearstler, visit their website.