We are big fans of the flamboyant, eclectic style of Kelly Wearstler – from her sculptural furniture designs to her expressive, liveable interiors and her colorful collaborations.
In an exclusive interview with Homes & Gardens, she reveals how she achieves that Kelly Wearstler look, mixing vintage and contemporary pieces for a balanced scheme.
1. Don't stick to one-era design
'I am a firm believer in that in every era there is incredible design and I pull from lots of different periods – I love mixing deco, Bauhaus, mid-century; sticking to one era can be a bit one note,' says Kelly.
'If you buy all your furniture new it’s going to start to look dated quickly, but if you take the time to curate and shop in a variety of places, you end up with a much more timeless room.'
2. Find a balance between vintage and contemporary
'I start sourcing furniture early on in projects, and taking time to find the right pieces makes all the difference. I’m always looking for a balance between vintage and contemporary. If I buy a new sofa maybe I’ll look for a vintage coffee table, so they offset one another.'
3. Don't be afraid of the fade
'There’s nothing I wouldn’t buy vintage – I’ve even installed 1960s carpets before. Vintage carpets can be so beautiful, the fading of the colors and the patina of the rug.'
4. Check online vintage buys carefully
'I always look at quality when buying vintage and how something’s put together. When sourcing online, you have to make sure you know what you’re getting. Ask for a condition report and photos of everywhere even the underside of a table.
'Checking if there are any labels is important, too – if it’s a classic piece, make sure the label or insignia is attached or intact. And don’t be afraid to bargain and cost reference what you’re buying.
'When buying chairs online, I ask the vendor to have somebody sit in the chair and take photos at all angles. Or if I’m buying a credenza, I ask them to put a lamp on it, and a chair next to it, because it helps with understanding the scale.'
5. Where I shop for vintage
'I visit lots of flea markets and vintage stores. I always go to Round Top (opens in new tab) in Austin for a big shop! I also love 1stDibs (opens in new tab), Brimfield Market (opens in new tab), JF Chen (opens in new tab), The Future Perfect (opens in new tab), Holster Burrows (opens in new tab)and Pamono (opens in new tab).
'The auction houses I go to are Cambi (opens in new tab)and Piasa (opens in new tab). I love finding pieces by Pierre Paulin (opens in new tab), Augusto Bozzi (opens in new tab), Gae Aulenti (opens in new tab), Tito Angoli (opens in new tab) and Franco Albini (opens in new tab).
- You can see more of Kelly's work and projects at Kelly Wearstler (opens in new tab).
Thea Babington-Stitt is a Content Editor at Future. She has been an interiors journalist for nearly 10 years and has held positions at LivingEtc, Country Homes & Interiors and Homes & Gardens. Currently, she is writing for Ideal Home and Style At Home's websites and magazines.
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