Award-winning designer Kelly Wearstler creates elevated, experiential environments through her distinctive multi-faceted design approach and signature sense of style. Her eponymous global lifestyle brand encompasses nearly every category of home product design and a recently launched collaborative art gallery platform. Kelly speaks with us from her Los Angeles-based studio about her new tile & stone collections in partnership with Ann Sacks, her favored mediums for expression and the latest evolutions in her expansive world of design.
My interior project work and the many incredible artists, talented artisans, art forms, eras in history, textures, patterns and vast amounts of materials my studio is fortunate to engage with inform our product designs and vice versa. The cross-pollination is super inspiring. I’m very open to what evolves organically and letting curiosity and new perspectives, innovations, broaden our horizons and push our progress. It is a perfect storm of creativity.
There’s a unique purity of material and form with plaster. Its natural richness brings a sophisticated nuance in simple patterns and palettes. I love its inherent artisanal spirit and celebration of the hand. Plaster designs possess a singular textural interest and playful engagement with light. It is one of my favorite mediums for creating subtle yet statement-forward tableaus in a space.
Translating my plaster designs to stoneware allowed us to create this incredible tension between the linear and geometric silhouettes with an organic matte quality.
Scout is certainly a more playful interpretation of graphic linework via ornamental and curvaceous shapes in a variance of scale and a diverse palette of custom finishes. It is super refined but also whimsical at the same time. I have been so enamored by today’s modern ceramicists expanding the art form with a provocative infusion of personality in incredibly imaginative designs. This collection is an ode to the craft of multi-dimensional storytelling and true originality.
With its freehand-crafted, artisanal materiality and sculptural forms, the Scout designs lend themselves to extraordinary statement walls and intimate surfaces such as a backsplash or wet area. Absolutely the synergies between the patterns and colors and the layers of movement generate an impactful, full-sensory experience in an endless array of design possibilities.
I have a deep affinity for seeing unexpected compositions of ceramic tiles in more unconventional places, such as an incredible wall mural in a living space or bedroom. Whenever you create with a singular vision there is a bespoke beauty that resonates.
The visual texture and timeless beauty of marble draws me to natural stone time and time again. It is a soulful material deeply layered with art, nature, history and craft. The new Linqs and Tuxedo patterns follow the evolution of my studio projects as we continually reimagine historical references in conjunction with contemporary influences and explore unexpected applications of stone in residential and commercial projects.
I find the bold elliptical and striped geometric forms in the natural, nuanced patterning and gorgeous colorways of the new Liaison designs such an incredible opportunity for a wide variance of expression. I am all about design as a discovery, experimenting with a mix of materials and seeing where the energy most radiates.
The intrinsic magic of design is that it is ever-evolving within the context of time and place. My style is ephemeral, constantly in flux yet consistently centered on multi-sensory, dimensional storytelling fused within a specific environment. I like to push boundaries and am super curious, always at the ready to learn and move forward, to not do the same thing twice. At my studio, we are especially intrigued by advancements in technology and craft, and the highly creative intersection of these seemingly dichotomous worlds. We’re delving more and more into the sphere of virtual design and in turn taking real world craftsmanship to the next level. It is an incredibly inviting and imaginative time to be in design.
One of the absolute joys of my work is artful collaboration in creating extraordinary living environments. Ann Sacks has been a true partner in consistently translating my vision and deep affinity for tile and stone designs into a beautiful reality through exceptional quality of materials and unparalleled craftsmanship. The expanse of materials – encaustic, stone mosaic, marble, travertine, limestone, onyx, ceramic – and growing curation of designs in response to my studio projects and favorite motifs brings highly-customized, elevated experiences into actuality for every designer, every style of space.
I believe that the most interesting projects are those that involve risk: experimenting with different color shades, patterns, textures and eras of design. It is the new interpretation, the individual lens on a juxtaposition of silhouettes, materials and palette that I find most appealing. And always an infusion of the beauty of the hand. Objects created from organic materiality with the human touch bring indelible soul into an interior.
The possibilities are endless! As virtual design becomes more and more accessible, I am all about exploring new avenues of creativity beyond the physical world and imagining futuristic environments, while at the same time fully embracing the real-world discovery of emerging creative talents and artisanal artforms. Design is truly a meeting place for all my passions. What’s next is what is most inspiring.
Ann Sacks’ Chief Designer DeeDee Gundberg has the inside scoop on statement-making collections that exude European elan and splendor. Magnifico!