Inspiration: Kelly Wearstler

When I first entered design school, I decided it was time to start following some design Instagram accounts. I ended up coming across Kelly Wearstler’s account. Interior design has always been a strong interest of mine, and I loved getting the opportunity to redesign my room and bathroom. Looking at them in comparison to Kelly’s work, my minimal room seems almost opposite of her loud, funky designs. However, I was taken with her work (as both and interior designer and furniture designer). Previously, I thought all “good” interior design can’t have too much pattern or too many statement pieces, but that is almost all of her work features many patterns and unique furniture pieces.


My initial reaction to how many visual elements there are in these rooms is that a combination of all these pieces would never work. When decorating my room, I included one pattern, a color palette of 3 colors, and minimal statement pieces. While I love quirky furniture and bold patterns, the logical side of my brain tells me that incorporating all my interests into one space would be overwhelming. If you look closely at Kelly’s designs, however, the pattern, colors, and forms work together to create a story within a home. The rooms within each of her projects relate to each other while still featuring unique rooms. She uses a mixture of bold and detailed elements, but the forms are often simple and the color schemes are clear.

While I personally love her work, as I tried to pin down why I like it, I asked several of my peers what they thought of it. Most of them found it overwhelming, which confused me. We have similar backgrounds in learning the fundamentals of design and have been fine tuning our eyes to recognize good design for several semesters. How come I strongly like her work while so many designers feel the opposite?

Kelly has an impressive resume, including making Architectural Digest’s preeminent Top 100 Architecture & Interior Design list, French AD’s World’s Top Interior Designers, Wallpaper Magazine’s Top 20 Designers, and TIME Style & Design’s elite “Design 100” group of global creatives and Vogue’s Best Dressed list. She has been featured in Vogue, Elle Décor, Architectural Digest, InStyle, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Condé Nast Traveler, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily, The New York Times, and many other magazines. Why don’t all designers like her work? What makes designers “good”?

In conclusion, I think “good” design is often controversial. People may not like Kelly’s funky style, but her style is distinctive and unexpected. In my opinion, Kelly certainly has a place in the market and design community.

Here are some of her furniture designs I also love:


What are your thoughts on her style? What do/don’t you like about it?

Kelly Wearstler Website:

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