10 Small Design Choices for Major Kelly Wearstler-Like Impact

Even minimalists can learn a thing or two from the queen of statement marble and jewel-tone upholstery

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Picture this: You grow up in the south. You’re raised by a thrift-shopping mama and a science-minded (engineer) daddy. Sometimes you come home from school and rooms are painted different colors. You are a born creative and all paths lead to art school. You eventually move to L.A. and work on sets. You pay off student loans with money posing for Playboy and use the rest to start your interior design business. Before you know it, your take on whimsical mid-century modern takes flight. As they say, the rest is history. You became an icon in the boutique hotel world, creating your own brand, and riding each wave like the urban surfer you are. Behold, the long-reigning champ of whimsy and weird: Ms. Kelly Wearstler. Here are some inspired—yet doable—looks that pay homage to wild world of Wearstler.

Tray Bien

Let’s say you’re a traditional sort. You stick to beiges and creams like white on rice. And that is classic, calming, and beautiful (see: the aesthetic of any Nancy Meyers movie). Why not bring in some color in a small, kaleidoscopic way? This gorgeous polychromatic bar tray sends a fun, instant message. Think of it like the rainbow-mouth filter on Snapchat.

Shop this product via Wayfair.


You don’t have to be a trendspotter to notice the triangles, half-moons, and circles infiltrating textiles, wallpapers and beyond. Geometry is cool! Kelly Wearstler says so. Throw this bold rug on a hardwood floor, and let the shapes do the talking.

Shop the product via IKEA.

Lips Like Jagger

Kitschy plus quality is the name of Wearstler’s tchotchke game. Boost your spirits with a sweet pucker in a kitchen windowsill or living room bookshelf. This pretty Kosta Boda number is a reminder to have fun and stay crazy in love. Even if it’s just with your bookshelf.

Shop the product via Neiman Marcus.

That White Gold

This is some Elvira Hancock “Scarface” glamour. The tobacco-brown, 70’s pool hall vibe has us thinking jumpsuits and gold chains. It’s sultry and vintage-inspired and would pair well next to a modern side table and vase of white peonies. Wearstler is a master of mixing genres—follow her lead.

Block Rockin’ Blinds 

This blend of ivory and coral gives a Wearstler twist to any room. They have a design-minded Pantone vibe while still being texturally lush. Colorblocking isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so it’s the perfect time to invest in this easy, fresh trend.

Next Level 

This table gives us major tabula rasa for any table that came before. The lines! The sleek shapes! The touch of gold and blend of black and metallic—it’s like a fine chocolate wrapped in pretty gold foil. Move over, Daisy Buchanan.

Pink Goes Punk

Let’s be real on this one: Pink is the perfect photo op backdrop, any minute of the day. You know you’re gonna put this on Instagram, and all your fashion and design-discerning friends will lose their minds. But it also says a lot about you. Not taking life too seriously, being free and cool like Wearstler wants you to. Why not?

Sexy Hexy

Every good design girl needs a wine rack that speaks for itself. Behold! The Hex Rack. Simple, geometrical, and slight but stylish. Perfect for the counter, a cool high-top table or above the fridge. It’s all in the details.

Good Fat

Avocados have been having a moment since … always. Like the fruit, this chair is insanely delicious, earthy, and lovely. It hits all the right notes. Put it in a room that needs some texture and adventure. This is the kind of chair that doesn’t stay home on a Saturday night.

Kelly and Contrast

Every good hero needs a villain. Wearstler commonly uses touches of clear acrylic, mirrored finishes and gold to create balance. Throw in a villain in the form of a unapologetic black dining chair. Get four or six of them, and turn a sweet light-colored table into a dance between dark and light.