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19 Images

Kelly Wearstler’s new ‘Rhapsody’

Kelly Wearstler, pictured in a sweater from her ready-to-wear collection, followed her success in interior design with a foray into fashion. Her new book explores how the worlds of fashion and décor merge in different ways. The table in Wearstler’s Los Angeles studio includes sculpture from her home collection and a box of metal spikes used to decorate furniture. (Alanna Lichtwardt)
“Contrast and contradiction are what create drama and excitement,” Wearstler said. In a Manhattan dining room, she uses round dining chairs and circular perforations in brass tables as counterpoints to angular forms -- stars, stripes and the patterned floor. The use of three square tables instead of one long one allows for an interesting configuration. The brass light fixtures are from Downtown in Los Angeles. (Annie Schlechter )
“I like the juxtaposition of the raw and the refined,” said Wearstler, who decorated this 1970s beach house with wood paneling and a fireplace clad in handmade ceramic tile by the artist Stan Bitters(Grey Crawford)
“A graphic pattern can ignite a small room,” Wearstler writes. She proves her point in this bathroom, creating a vibrant space with only three shades of marble on the floor and walls. (Grey Crawford)
The sitting room off a master bedroom in Seattle was inspired by the earthy landscape view. “Neutral is color too,” said Wearstler, who chose pale colors to emphasize the greenery outside the window. “Beige, tan, sand don’t have to be boring. It’s what you do with it.” Here, the designer mixed Italian leather wing chairs with a French sofa and a midcentury table with tiles by ceramist Roger Capron. (Grey Crawford)
At the foot of this bed, a bit of Wearstler whimsy: hoofed stools that the designer bought in London. “They look like Cousin Itt from the Addams Family,” she said. The wallpapered sitting area in the background has chairs covered in tie-dyed suede. (Grey Crawford)
This bold room has a black ceiling that sets off the vintage lighting fixture. Wearstler paired chairs with gilt rope details with sleek loungers covered in ruched leather. On the wall: a custom De Gournay wallpaper. “The design comes from a kimono I saw in Kyoto,” Wearstler said. “It had these little vases, and we blew them up and stacked them like totems.” (Grey Crawford)
“My inspiration tray is a library of all the elements in a given room,” Wearstler writes in “Rhapsody.” She prefers the fluidity of loose objects in a box rather than stuck to an inspiration board. Pictured here: hardware, stone, fabrics and paint choices for a sitting room, including a black wooden pyramid that was made to cover the walls. See the finished room in the next photo. (Grey Crawford)
“When your eye travels around a space, it should be captivated by every view, whether by a dominating architectural feature or a movable tablescape,” Wearstler writes in “Rhapsody.” In this room, the studded walls -- a detail often found on motorcycle jackets and high-end jewelry – have been painted with a metallic finish, creating a textured backdrop for abstract art. The tiger print sofa is upholstered in complementary shades of red. (Grey Crawford)
“Be open to unusual color combinations and to strong confident hues,” Wearstler writes in her book. “Never allow rules about color usage to restrict your self-expression.” Here, golden walls create a warm setting for icy shades of blue, green and lilac. The leather lounge chairs and metal coffee tables recall the 1970s fashion for sleek furniture with glass surfaces. (Grey Crawford)
From gold to violet: In this dining room with mirrored French doors, Wearstler used a strong oak table, an ebonized limed oak sideboard, and leather chairs with black trim. “Purple can go the wrong way, if you’re not careful to add in things that are masculine,” she said. “Black makes it less fussy, more sleek and sexy.” (Grey Crawford)
For the bathroom of a client’s daughter, the designer composed a graphic design with an Art Deco influence using pink onyx, white Carrara and black Nero Marquina marble. The cabinet is lacquered goatskin, an application found in the work of Italian midcentury designer Aldo Tura. (Grey Crawford)
The cabinet that appears on the front cover of “Rhapsody” is made from more pigmented goatskin. The nautilus shell-inspired brass door handles were designed by Wearstler, another example of her penchant for unusual and luxurious materials. (Grey Crawford)
Freshly arrived from the upholstery workroom, a sofa designed by Siglo Moderno of Los Angeles is covered in a rich velvet that Wearstler created for her fabric line manufactured by Lee Jofa. “I was inspired by the way copper looks when it gets patinated,” she said of the print. See how she used the sofa in the next photo. (Kelly Wearstler)
Set against a wall that looks patinated with age, the sofa is paired with other natural patterns: the enhanced grain of ebonized limed oak floors and the veined marble of an Italian coffee table. (Grey Crawford)
Not everyone can live with such a bold wall treatment, Wearstler says of the hand-painted paper from Porter Teleo. She keeps the rest of the room relatively dialed down with a palette of black and white and polished brass. “I like the confident geometry of the checkerboard pattern, which you often see in Memphis design. It’s graphic, yet it’s organized and reads as a neutral texture that you can put any color against,” Wearstler said. (Grey Crawford)
An octagonal design in the floor, echoed in the shape of the mirror above the sink, gives this classical master bathroom a contemporary look. Onyx, a material often used in 1970s tabletops, clads the walls. The hand-shaped vanity chair, far right, is by Mexican designer Pedro Friedeberg(Grey Crawford)
Shopping at Downtown in Los Angeles, Wearstler holds a hand-forged copper rhinoceros box by the artist Onik Agaronyan. Want more? Read our full Q&A with Wearstler(Alanna Lichtwardt)
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