Designer Living: Kelly Wearstler's fashion forward style

The American interior designer is preparing to open her first boutique and launch her debut clothing collection.

A handout photo showing a living room by Kelly Wearstler (Courtesy: Kelly Wearstler)
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Where do you live and how long have you lived there?

I live in Beverly Hills, California with my husband and two sons. We've lived there for five years.

What made you choose the property?

We had been familiar with the property for quite a few years, so when it came on to the market we jumped at the opportunity to buy it. I adore the setting - it's such a stunning area. It was built in 1926 by the architect James Dolena, so our house has an old soul and loads of character. I love that.

What does your home say about you?

My home is always a direct reflection of everything around me that influences and inspires me.

What is the key to creating a happy home?

Being surrounded by my family. For me, a home is a collection of all of the things I enjoy as well as a beautiful, comfortable space to entertain, relax and spend time with my husband and sons.

Which items could no home of yours be without?

My collection of family photos is so precious. Interiors-wise, good lighting is essential to me.

Where do you like to shop for pieces for your home?

I shop all over the world: at auctions, antique stores and galleries. I like to seek out the unexpected.

Do you incorporate elements of your work into your home, or do you like to keep your domestic environment separate?

My home is my laboratory. I'm constantly discovering new pieces, reupholstering or rearranging furniture, trying out new wallcoverings and hanging new art. It's a constantly evolving experimental space.

What are you working on right now?

At the moment, I'm working on the opening of my flagship boutique in Los Angeles. I'm also designing my Autumn 2012 fashion and accessories collections, as well as writing another design book and working on several private residential interior design projects in the US and abroad.

What inspired you to choose the career you did?

I always knew I was meant to be a designer. I've been exploring and experimenting with design in all mediums since I was a little girl. It's the only career I could have pursued.

Why have you branched out in to fashion this year?

I've been thinking about doing a fashion collection for about five years. So much of my influence in interior design comes from fashion and everything relating to fashion - from jewellery, which can be reminiscent of sculpture, to the colours and silhouettes that I find in clothing. This feels like a natural evolution.

Who are your favourite designers?

I have always loved Sheila Hicks for her exceptional textile designs and the sculptor Yaacov Agam for his vibrant creations. Willem de Kooning is one of my favourite artists - his paintings are insane. I also love fashion designers such as Sonia Rykiel for her bold use of colour and Isabel Marant for her Spring/Summer 2011 fashion collection, Etoile.

How would you describe your interior style?

My aesthetic tastes change and evolve all the time, and so does my signature style. It's hard to pin down because it's always changing. My new fashion collection is very feminine but with an edge, and it's the same with my interiors. I like it when something's a little bit off.

Where do you find inspiration?

I'm always aware of my surroundings. I spend time each day searching for beautiful and unusual things that capture my attention and excite me. I photograph them and collect them on my blog. I'm also a huge fan of design and art books - I always seek out the best bookshops when I'm visiting a new city.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

Paris. It's such a wonderful city.

How do you like to relax?

I don't know what I would do if I couldn't escape to the coast. I grew up by the sea and can't stay away from the beach in Malibu, where we share a holiday home with some friends. Surfing with my boys and my husband is my favourite way to spend the weekend.

What is the best way to simply and instantly update a room?

If you want to bring some drama to your home, quickly and easily, use paint. You can do it yourself in an afternoon. Don't just update walls - painting the ceiling in a fresh new colour always adds depth to a scheme.

Find Wearstler's blog at