AHL Insider:

Kelly Wearstler

Designer

  • What do you do?

    I am a designer – I design luxury residential and commercial interiors, hotels and luxury lifestyle products including furniture, decorative home accessories, fine china, bar accessories, jewelry, pillows & throws, rugs, wall coverings, and more.

  • What inspires your work?

    I am inspired by so many things…travel, museums, food, art, my children. I’m such a curious person - I take my camera and sketchbook with me everywhere. I’m constantly documenting inspiration on the go. It is all about how one perceives something.

  • Can you talk about the approach you take to hotel projects and how this differs from other projects you work on?

    I approach each project like a blank canvas. My clients are the inspiration and the information I pass through my filter. I look at the project in a true lifestyle fashion – how they live in the space, things they interact with, how they use the space. All of our projects are totally turnkey – the bedding, flatware, glassware is all considered. I love collaborating with other consultants – a landscape designer, an architect or a lighting designer – because you learn so much from them and continue to hone your craft. Being a great listener is first and foremost.

  • Describe a dream project?

    The most rewarding projects are always the ones that the client is the most involved in. My clients are all such informed, thoughtful and creative people. So, definitely one where the client is very involved in the process.

  • Who do you admire most in the field of design/hospitality?

    Dorothy Draper, Andrée Putman, Phil Starck – all pioneers with their distinctive style.

  • What advice would you give young designers?

    Love color, take risks, be curious, educate your eye!

  • Do you have a favorite hotel in the world?

    I am often asked which of my hotels is my favorite and it is just impossible to choose. Each project is so distinctive, so unique. My favorite hotel in the world is Le Bristol in Paris. It’s close to all of my favorite shopping spots, has a distinctly French design and the most luxuriously large bathrooms.

  • Biggest change you’ve seen in the industry?

    Things are less designed and more authentic. They have soul and spirit. It’s less about what’s fancy, shiny and glossy. People are more interested in the story behind things and are more educated because of the Internet. People’s eyes are getting more educated…it’s so easy for someone to shop more and look around and be inspired.

  • Favorite mini bar item or hotel amenity?

    I love real room keys with thoughtful detail. There’s something sexy and real about them. Water in glass bottles is a great amenity because I do not drink out of plastic.

  • If you could throw a dream party for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and what would the party look like?

    My great-great-great-great-grandparents and my children’s children’s children.