If you’re going to live life, you’ve got to “bite it in the ass,” a character in the 1996 indie drama Big Night tells Stanley Tucci’s character.
Designer (as well as wife, mom, and former model) Kelly Wearstler does exactly that with her geometric, sleek, modern, nature-fueled, bold, and fresh design sensibility. The coastal-born Carolina girl from Myrtle Beach shook the sand from her fabulous Choos nearly two decades ago for Los Angeles. But the fingerprint of nature’s sensual generosity of her first home spills freely into her designs—from the hues that harken the sea mist in light-green linen against the stark-black steel lines of a bench that is part of her fall collection, to burnished brass, walnut, and any other element you can imagine. She already has imagined it and then reimagined it, and she incorporates it into her work without it being too trendy.
Her collection for 2017 with its gilded glamour, edge, and, yes, comfort, will make you want to redecorate, likely. And if it feels familiar, it’s because, no doubt, its bloodline comes from where we
all do: the natural world.
“Growing up near the beach helped inform my love of natural materials, textures, and colors,” Wearstler offers. “There is always an element of nature in my designs. Marble, luxe woods, and patina metals . . . natural materials have so much soul. Mother nature is the best designer.”
Piece Out // Kelly Wearstler’s designs outfit the chicest hotels, celebrity homes, 5and department stores. She has partnered with Morgantown, N.C., furniture dealer E.J. Victor to launch her latest line of pieces inspired by nature (and her native S.C. coastal home).
What Wearstler’s hand on it does, however, is turn the henhouse egg into a Fabergè. It’s no small wonder her sleek take on interiors is what spurred her into the industry in the rst place, as she was hired as interior designer for renowned boutiques and luxury hotels. The celebrities and major accounts like Bergdorf Goodman came calling quickly after.
Her recent collaboration with more local—meaning a drive away to North Carolina and not a ight to California—furniture maker E.J. Victor means Wearstler’s aesthetic is within reach regionally.
The collection for the family-owned, Morganton, North Carolina–based company, which partnered with Wearstler last year, consists of more than 75 designs (60 initial designs, plus 15 newer pieces launched at October market). “The materiality includes heirloom woods in sophisticated textures from combed, ribbed, and ebonized walnut to lightly brushed oak, hand-applied, mixed-metal patinas in burnished bronze and gunmetal, white Calcutta marble, artisanal-quality hand-cast glass, antiqued mirror, and a curated collection of fabrics,” Wearstler says.
It takes a certain something to be able to create, as Architectural Digest wrote, “sheets to jewelry,” and Wearstler has done it globally and continually. She’s written four coffee-table books, all the while being a wife and mother to two boys. So, in effect: the modern woman you would love to hate (supermodel looks, legs for days, and a style that not even your chicest friend can rival) if she weren’t so good at what she does.
Wearstler knows clearly the point of good taste is not to imitate or even to improve upon, but to make your own—and let that, and not the label, do the talking.