You may recognize Kelly Wearstler as the glamorous TV judge from Bravo’s Top Design series. Maybe you stayed in a boutique hotel or ate in a chic restaurant boasting her dazzling interiors. Or maybe you’re just a fan of her color-drenched spaces and seductive styling. Whatever your relationship to Kelly Wearstler and her work, she has become the ultimate design crush and one of the decade’s leading taste makers. My big sister introduced me to her designs years ago, and I’ve been a fan ever since. If only this interview included a peek into her closet! Please warmly welcome the much-celebrated Kelly Wearstler!
1. Design*Sponge: What is in your toolbox? What are the tools you can’t live without?
- Gingher pinking shear
- Gold and white decorative tile sample
- Porter’s original paints handmade color card
- Prym thimbles, sizes 10 & 3
- Great Neck 16 oz. claw hammer
- Prismacolor fine/broad-tipped pen in dark purple
- Tombo ABT fine/brush-tipped pens: #623, #653, # 636, #703, #757, #723
- Supracolor II soft colored pencils: Pink 081, Purple 090, Periwinkle Blue 131
- Carpet samples: S1 VL919, R3 VL940, S2 VL930, HB 303
- Gold shoes
2. Design*Sponge: Fill in the blank, “When I am in my studio, I feel fearless!”
CLICK HERE for the rest of Kelly’s interview after the jump!
3. Design*Sponge: What are on the top shelves of your inspiration library right now?
- Sotheby’s “GAROUSTE & BONETTI FOR CHRISTIAN LACROIX’S SALONS DE HAUTE COUTURE” Auction Catalogue
- Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents by Nicholas Ganz
4. Design*Sponge: How do you keep yourself organized?
Kelly Wearstler: My iPhone and Blackberry keep me organized.
5. Design*Sponge: What is the best advice you have ever received, and what is the one piece of advice you would offer to a young, aspiring interior designer?
Kelly Wearstler: The best piece of advice I have received is to be yourself, follow your dreams.
My advice to aspiring interior designers would be to travel. You have to see and study other cultures. If you have an opportunity in school to study abroad or to do any type of traveling, take every moment you can. And if you can’t or don’t have the means to travel out of your country, then take a road trip and explore another town you’ve never seen. Being an interior designer is all about discovery and adventure.
6. Design*Sponge: How do you combat creative blocks? What tools do you use to keep your creativity flowing?
Kelly Wearstler: Spending time with my kids. Seeing the world through their eyes is a constant way to give your mind creative freedom.
7. Design*Sponge: In addition to being an interior designer, TV design show judge and author, to name a few, what would you like to conquer next?
Kelly Wearstler: There are a lot of evolutions and new adventures on the horizon. The interior design projects I am working on always inspire and are the core of what I do. However, those projects can be very individual and personal. I look forward to connecting to more people and bringing my work and vision to a greater audience. The next evolution is to continue to find ways to reach out to more people who share my passion for design, beauty and art.
8. Design*Sponge: Where do you like to shop for inspiration?
Kelly Wearstler: I love shopping for inspiration in all places — it could be at a puzzle shop with my kids or a vintage clothing store in Miami.
9. Design*Sponge: If you could peek inside the studio/toolbox of any designer/artist/craftsman, who would it be?
Kelly Wearstler: Though she just passed on, I would love to peek inside the world of Louise Bourgeois.
10. Design*Sponge: If you could make a master mix-tape of music that is inspiring to you at the moment, what would it be? It can be your favorite classical songs, blues, hip hop, NPR or whatever is on heavy rotation. Anything and everything!
- Green Day — Brain Stew
- The Killers — Shadowplay
- Phoenix — Lisztomania