Kelly Wearstler shares tips from her interior design MasterClass

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Kelly Wearstler in her interior design studio. Photo by Ramona Rosales for MasterClass

Working at home? Is your home working for you? Kelly Wearstler might have some answers.

Kelly Wearstler has been a doyenne of interior design since arriving in Los Angeles in the 1990s. She’s now teaching an online MasterClass. Her tips for improving one's space might be timely for people sheltering in place.

DnA talks to Wearstler about the class and her approach to design. She shares insights on how to make yourself happier through a change of paint color; why personal and spatial presentation matter; whether the bidet might make a comeback; and how to style a Zoom meeting.

“I've been on Zoom meetings where there is a dead plant in the corner,” Wearstler tells DnA. “I’ve been on another one where there's dirty dishes in the background. Presentation is everything. And your home tells the story about you.”

Kelly Wearstler's latest project is the Proper Hospitality line. Shown, a moment in the downtown Los Angeles Proper, due to open in the fall. Photo by The Ingalls, for Kelly Wearstler Interior Design.

Wearstler, who has personal glamor to match her aesthetic, describes herself as a shy person. But her work is far from it. Her designs are fearless in their use of pattern, color, idiosyncratic style, and mix of historical and contemporary references. 

The South Carolina-born designer is now working on the Proper Hospitality line of hotels. They’re located in San Francisco, Austin, Portland, and Santa Monica.  A new one is opening this fall in downtown Los Angeles.

She recently published her fifth book, “ Evocative Style ,” and has expanded into education with the “ Kelly Wearstler Teaches Interior Design: MasterClass.  

Wearstler’s MasterClass is part of an online, subscription-based series where ‘masters’ in their field — such as chef Alice Waters or director Spike Lee — share tips of their trades.

Kelly Wearstler at the Santa Monica Proper Hotel. Photo by Ramona Rosales for MasterClass

Her class is aimed at anyone with an interest in interior design. The goal is to remove the mystique and help people find their personal style. 

Among tips she shares: how to make spaces feel larger, patterns feel smaller, darker spaces lighter; and how to create unity in homes with open floor plans. 

Wearstler’s class arrives as many of us are sheltering in place, and may be finding our interiors are not working for us. She talks with DnA about the class, her upcoming projects, and how to work and live more efficiently and comfortably while staying at home.  




Frances Anderton