Kelly Wearstler, Organic Modernism Marries Old Hollywood Glamour

by Cindy Bogart

She’s created a California palette of subtly sunshine-streaked paint colors for Farrow & Ball, designed lamps with the Italian furniture company Kartell, partnered with The Rug Company and Pickard China, and designed an eponymous line of fabrics, wallcoverings, and trims for Lee Jofa.  The 52-year-old, Myrtle Beach-born, mother of two seamlessly pits pattern against pattern and sees shape in its most modern, simplistic form–most prominently, in October 2015 when she debuted the “Kelly Wearstler Furniture Collection.”

 

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Mas Deco magazine said it well: “Por Que Amamos a Kelly Wearstler.”  They’re not alone. Why does the world love Kelly Wearstler?  Because the L.A.-based interior designer who was inducted into the prestigious Architectural Digest Hall of Fame in 2020 (and is widely considered the best in the business) is not afraid of taking risks to realize her vision.

“The elements of a space should possess a cohesive dialogue,” she said in an interview in AD magazine.  “The only rule is that the result should make you feel something—a sense of adventure, a sense of relaxation.”  Texture, shape, and form, and a focal point that leads the eye to the very heart of a room. Like the floor-to-ceiling mosaic of Portuguese tiles, she created in multiple patterns for The Peacock, a restaurant at Proper Hotel’s new Austin, Texas outpost, one in the hotel chain launched in 2015 by her husband, Brad Korzen, founder of the Kor Group property empire.

Kelly Wearstler Interiors – the Doheny Residence. Image courtesy of Kelly Wearslter Interiors

“For me, design is storytelling.  I want to tell a story that is adventurous and full of soul. I approach every project with the same exploration and passion,” she expressed in a recent interview in ELLE Decoration magazine.

Sometimes it takes an old story to inspire a new one, as she did with her own Beverly Hills mansion, which once belonged to silver screen legends William Powell and Carole Lombard, which she and her husband bought from Dana Broccoli, widow of Cubby Broccoli, the late producer of the James Bond franchise and, along with a Malibu beach house, have transformed into their family home.

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