Kelly Wearstler: Biography, Works, Awards

Modern architecture emerged at the end of the 19th century due to new technologies, materials, and engineering that created more functional, light, and minimalist buildings than the previous styles. Modern architects rejected architecture’s historical and ornamental aspects and embraced the principle of form following function. Some influential movements and styles of modern architecture include Expressionism, Bauhaus, International Style, Brutalism, and Postmodernism. Kelly Wearstler is an American designer who founded her design firm in the mid-1990s. She is known for her eclectic and bold approach to interior design, especially for hotels and residences. She mixes contemporary and vintage elements, organic and geometric forms, and various textures and colors to create unique and expressive spaces. She has designed for clients such as Gwen Stefani, Cameron Diaz, and the Viceroy hotel chain. She has also published five books and launched her lifestyle brand. Kelly Wearstler’s contribution to modern architecture is that she has redefined the concept of luxury and glamour in hospitality and residential design. She has created environments that are aesthetically pleasing but also experiential and immersive. Her distinctive personal style and product collections have also influenced the design industry. She has been recognized with numerous awards and publications, such as the AD 100 Hall of Fame, Time Magazine the Design 100, and Elle Decor A-List Designers.

Who is Kelly Wearstler?

Kelly Wearstler is an American interior designer and architect. She was born on November 21, 1967, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States. Wearstler is known for her distinctive and eclectic design style, characterized by bold colors, patterns, and luxurious materials. Kelly Wearstler received her interior and graphic design education at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Massachusetts. After completing her studies, she began her career as a graphic designer before transitioning to interior design. Wearstler gained recognition for her work through high-profile projects, including designing hotels, restaurants, and private residences. Kelly Wearstler is still active, and she continues to be an influential figure in the design industry. She is based in Los Angeles, California, and has her own design studio. Wearstler has received numerous awards and accolades for her contributions to the field of interior design and remains a sought-after designer for clients worldwide.

What type of design is Kelly Wearstler representing?

Kelly Wearstler represents an eclectic design style characterized by lively colors, bold patterns, and luxurious materials. Her approach embraces a maximalist aesthetic, combining different design elements and eras to create unique and visually stimulating spaces. Wearstler’s designs often feature unexpected combinations, such as pairing vintage furniture with contemporary art or blending various textures and finishes. In Kelly Wearstler’s design style, attention to detail is paramount. She pays meticulous attention to the selection of materials, incorporating rich fabrics, metals, and natural elements into her designs. The use of texture and layering creates a sense of depth and visual interest in her spaces. Wearstler’s designs also exhibit a sense of playfulness and drama, with statement pieces and sculptural elements that serve as focal points within the overall design composition. 

What is Kelly Wearstler’s great accomplishment?

Kelly Wearstler’s great accomplishment is the Viceroy Hotels. The Viceroy Santa Monica, located in California, is a prime example of Wearstler’s distinctive style. The hotel’s interior features a lively color palette, luxury materials, and unexpected design elements. Wearstler’s design creates a luxurious and playful atmosphere, from the lobby to the guest rooms. The Viceroy Santa Monica has garnered significant attention and acclaim, showcasing Wearstler’s ability to create memorable and captivating spaces that leave a lasting impression on guests.

What are Kelly Wearstler’s most important works?

Kelly Wearstler’s most important works are the Viceroy Hotels, Avalon Beverly Hills Hotel, BG Restaurant, Four Seasons Anguilla, and Proper Hotels.

1. Viceroy Hotels

The Viceroy Hotels are luxury hotels known for their distinctive design and upscale amenities. The building is in Santa Monica, California, United States. It was constructed in 1967 and has since undergone renovations and redesigns, including the work by Kelly Wearstler. The Viceroy Santa Monica is a hotel building that offers accommodations and services for guests. It features a modern and stylish design, reflecting Wearstler’s eclectic and sophisticated approach to interior design. The building incorporates a variety of materials to create a visually captivating environment. These materials include rich fabrics, metals, natural elements, and high-quality finishes, all combining to create a luxurious and unique atmosphere.

2. Avalon Beverly Hills Hotel

The Avalon Beverly Hills Hotel is a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. The building was originally constructed in 1949 and has undergone significant renovations and redesigns. It is a landmark in the prestigious Beverly Hills neighborhood, known for its upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The Avalon Beverly Hills Hotel is a hotel building that offers accommodations and services to guests. It is designed to provide a contemporary and glamorous retreat for visitors. The building’s design type can be described as modern and sophisticated, with a touch of retro-inspired elements. Kelly Wearstler’s hotel redesign transformed the space into a stylish and visually captivating environment that reflects her eclectic design style. The materials used in the Avalon Beverly Hills Hotel include a combination of high-quality finishes, luxurious fabrics, and premium furnishings. The interior spaces may feature rich textiles, marble, polished metals, and custom-designed furniture. These materials create an atmosphere of elegance and refinement throughout the hotel, ensuring guests a comfortable and luxurious experience.

3. BG Restaurant

The BG Restaurant is a dining establishment in the iconic Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York City. Bergdorf Goodman has been a fixture on Fifth Avenue since 1899. The BG Restaurant occupies a space within the department store, offering visitors a luxurious dining experience amid the bustling city atmosphere. The BG Restaurant is a restaurant building that caters to customers seeking an elegant and sophisticated dining experience. It is designed to complement the surrounding luxury retail environment of Bergdorf Goodman. The building’s design type can be described as refined and stylish, creating a harmonious ambiance that aligns with the upscale character of the department store. Kelly Wearstler’s design for the restaurant incorporates elements of glamour and sophistication, combining modern aesthetics with classic touches. The materials used in the BG Restaurant’s interior design create an atmosphere of elegance and luxury. These materials may include high-quality finishes such as marble, polished metals, and fine wood. The furnishings and decor may feature rich textiles, plush seating, and custom-designed pieces. These carefully curated materials and elements contribute to the restaurant’s overall upscale and refined ambiance, providing guests with a memorable dining experience within the Bergdorf Goodman department store.

4. Four Seasons Anguilla

The Four Seasons Anguilla is a resort building located on the island of Anguilla in the Caribbean. It was built in 2009 and is in a prime beachfront location, offering breathtaking views of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The building encompasses a sprawling resort complex, providing guests with luxurious accommodations and world-class amenities. The Four Seasons Anguilla is a resort building that caters to visitors seeking a high-end beachfront vacation experience. It is designed to offer a seamless blend of indoor and outdoor spaces, fully immersing guests in the tropical paradise of Anguilla. The building’s design type can be described as contemporary and elegant, focusing on capturing the essence of Caribbean and Mediterranean influences. The materials used are natural elements such as wood and stone, which are incorporated to create a harmonious connection with the surrounding environment. The interior spaces feature high-quality finishes, plush furnishings, and premium amenities to ensure a luxurious experience for guests. 

5. Proper Hotels

Proper Hotels by Kelly Wearstler is a collection of boutique hotels known for their unique design and upscale offerings. They offer a more intimate and personalized experience compared to larger chain hotels. The design type of Proper Hotels can be described as eclectic and contemporary, with a blend of modern aesthetics and unique design elements. Kelly Wearstler’s design approach infuses each hotel with a distinctive style that combines bold patterns, rich textures, and carefully curated furnishings. Various materials are used in the construction and design of Proper Hotels. These materials may include a combination of natural elements like wood and stone and luxurious finishes such as marble and polished metals. The interior spaces often feature custom-designed furniture, high-quality textiles, and art pieces carefully selected to enhance the overall ambiance. 

How did Kelly Wearstler contribute to interior design?

Kelly Wearstler contributed to interior design in 3 major ways. Firstly, Kelly Wearstler is known for her fearless and eclectic design style. She is unafraid to mix patterns, colors, and textures to create visually striking and dynamic spaces. She has brought a fresh and innovative perspective to interior design by breaking traditional design rules and embracing unconventional combinations. Secondly, Wearstler’s attention to detail is exceptional. She understands the power of small elements in transforming a space. She brings a sense of artistry to her designs through unique lighting fixtures, sculptural furniture pieces, or carefully curated accessories. Lastly, Kelly Wearstler’s use of materials is also a defining aspect of her contribution to interior design. She incorporates various materials, from natural elements like wood and stone to luxurious finishes like marble and metals. She understands how different textures and materials evoke specific moods and enhance the overall design concept.

Did Kelly Wearstler change the interior design industry?

Yes, Kelly Wearstler changed the interior design industry. Firstly, Wearstler’s fearless and unconventional design style has challenged traditional norms and inspired a new wave of creativity. Her ability to mix different patterns, colors, and textures in unexpected ways has encouraged other designers to embrace bolder choices and push boundaries in their work. Secondly, Wearstler’s meticulous attention to detail has set a new standard in the industry. She understands the power of small elements in transforming a space and has shown that even the smallest design choices can make a significant impact. Lastly, Wearstler’s use of materials has also contributed to the evolution of interior design. Her ability to blend various materials, from natural elements to luxurious finishes, has showcased the importance of texture and materiality in creating immersive and engaging spaces. 

Was Kelly Wearstler ever controversial in any way?

Yes, Kelly Wearstler has been controversial in the interior design industry. Firstly, Wearstler’s design style, characterized by its fearless and eclectic nature, has polarized opinions. Some admire her ability to push boundaries and create visually captivating spaces, while others criticize her for being excessive or overly eclectic. Her designs’ unconventional mix of patterns, colors, and textures has been praised for its uniqueness and criticized for its potential to overwhelm or lack cohesion. Secondly, Wearstler’s strong personality and self-promotion have also been controversial. Some appreciate her confidence and assertiveness, but others perceive her self-promotion as excessive or attention-seeking. Her outspokenness and self-assuredness have occasionally drawn criticism, contributing to debates surrounding her influence and impact on the industry. Lastly, Wearstler’s use of materials and design choices have sparked controversy. Some praise her innovative use of materials and textures, while others argue that her designs prioritize aesthetics over functionality. Critics have raised concerns about the practicality and longevity of certain design elements, fueling discussions about the balance between artistic expression and practical considerations in interior design.

Who are the most iconic interior designers in modern history besides Kelly Wearstler?

The most iconic interior designers in modern history besides Kelly Wearstler are Philippe Starck, Patricia Urquiola, Tom Dixon, and Zaha Hadid. Firstly, Philippe Starck is recognized as one of modern history’s most iconic interior designers. Known for his avant-garde and innovative approach, Starck’s designs often blend functionality with artistic expression. His work spans various sectors, including hospitality, residential, and product design. Starck’s designs are characterized by clean lines, minimalist aesthetics, and a touch of whimsy, making him a true trailblazer in the field. Secondly, Patricia Urquiola has gained popularity for her exceptional talent and versatility. Her designs seamlessly blend traditional craftsmanship with contemporary sensibilities. Urquiola’s work encompasses many projects, from residential and commercial spaces to furniture and product design. Her designs often feature organic shapes, rich textures, and lively colors, creating spaces that exude warmth and creativity. Thirdly, Tom Dixon is a prominent British designer known for his distinctive and influential designs. Dixon’s work spans interior design, lighting, furniture, and accessories. His designs often showcase a fusion of industrial and modern aesthetics, characterized by sleek lines, metallic finishes, and a focus on functionality. Dixon’s creations have a strong presence, making a bold statement in any space. Lastly, Zaha Hadid, an acclaimed architect, contributed significantly to interior design with her visionary approach. Hadid’s designs are characterized by fluid forms, dynamic curves, and a sense of movement. She pushed the boundaries of what was considered possible in architecture, creating iconic spaces that blend art and functionality. Hadid’s unique vision continues to inspire architects and designers worldwide.

What did Kelly Wearstler mostly design?

Kelly Wearstler mostly designs interior spaces, including residential and commercial projects. Firstly, Wearstler’s expertise in designing luxury hotels is well-known. She has collaborated with popular hotel brands to create unique and immersive guest experiences. Her ability to infuse a distinct sense of style and sophistication into hospitality spaces has made her a sought-after designer in the hotel industry. Her designs often blend modern aesthetics with eclectic elements, creating visually captivating and memorable environments. Secondly, Wearstler has also worked on high-end residential projects, designing luxurious and personalized living spaces. Her residential designs showcase her fearless approach to design, incorporating a mix of textures, colors, and materials to create unique and expressive interiors. She strives to create spaces that reflect the personalities and lifestyles of her clients, resulting in highly individualized and striking homes. Lastly, Wearstler’s design prowess extends to restaurants and retail spaces. She has collaborated with famous chefs and luxury retailers to create visually captivating and immersive environments. Her designs for restaurants often combine elements of art, architecture, and design to craft memorable dining experiences. In retail spaces, she brings her unique perspective to create visually compelling interiors that enhance the brand identity and engage customers.

Where did Kelly Wearstler study?

Kelly Wearstler studied at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Wearstler pursued an interior architecture and design degree at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The college is known for its strong art and design programs, providing students with a comprehensive education in various creative disciplines. Wearstler’s studies at the institution equipped her with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for her career in interior design. Wearstler had the opportunity to learn from experienced faculty and engage with a diverse community of artists and designers. This educational experience likely played a crucial role in shaping her design philosophy and approach. The college’s emphasis on creativity, critical thinking, and technical skills provided a solid foundation for Wearstler’s future work as an interior designer.

Did Kelly Wearstler have any famous teachers or students?

Yes, Kelly Wearstler has famous teachers and students. Some of her famous teachers include Milton Glaser and Cambridge Seven Associates. Milton Glaser is a legendary graphic designer who created the iconic I ❤ NY logo and co-founded New York Magazine. Kelly Wearstler interned at his design firm in New York while studying at the Massachusetts College of Art. Cambridge Seven Associates is an architecture and design firm that has worked on projects such as the New England Aquarium and the U.S. Pavilion at Expo 67. Kelly Wearstler also interned at their office in Boston during her college years. Some of her famous students include Martyn Lawrence Bullard and Nathan Turner. Martyn Lawrence Bullard is a British interior designer who has decorated the homes of celebrities such as Cher, Ellen DeGeneres, and Elton John. He was one of the contestants on the first season of Top Design, where Kelly Wearstler was his mentor and judge. Nathan Turner is an American interior designer and author specializing in California style and has appeared on the TV show Million Dollar Decorators. He also worked as an assistant to Kelly Wearstler before launching his career.

How can students learn from Kelly Wearstler’s work?

Students can learn from Kelly Wearstler’s work in 3 main ways. Firstly, by studying Wearstler’s portfolio and design approach, students can learn about her distinctive style and the use of bold and eclectic design elements. They can analyze how she combines different textures, colors, and materials to create visually striking and harmonious spaces. Observing her attention to detail and the thoughtful placement of furniture and accessories can provide valuable lessons in composition and spatial arrangement. Secondly, students can learn from Wearstler’s approach to incorporating art and craft into her designs. She often integrates unique and custom-made pieces, showcasing the importance of craftsmanship and creating a sense of individuality in interiors. Students can understand the value of incorporating bespoke elements and the power of artistic expression within interior spaces by exploring her collaborations with artisans and artists. Lastly, students can learn from Wearstler’s entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen. She has successfully built her brand and diversified her portfolio beyond interior design, including product lines and collaborations. Students can study her career trajectory, observing how she has leveraged her unique design perspective to create a distinctive brand identity and establish herself as a prominent figure in the industry. They can learn about the importance of branding, marketing, and networking in building a successful design career.

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