Design & Style, Home & Lifestyle

Field Trip: Working With Space

Kelly Wearstler

Lesson time 05:02 min

Go behind the scenes with Kelly as she walks you through the yet-to-open Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel. She shows you how she works with existing architectural features when starting a new design.

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Topics include: Field Trip: Working With Space


[MUSIC PLAYING] - So we're here at the downtown LA hotel and we are in a construction site. I should be wearing a hard hat, but I'm not. And I should be in flat shoes, but I'm not. Anyway, that's another story. So we're here at the hotel. When we were designing this space, we had some historic details that we had to consider. Underneath the protection of this cardboard, there is a historic millwork wall that we are restoring. There is also a pink marble that we're restoring. And that's why we decided with the mural artist that we were going to look into pink, because these colors are going to work really well together and have a conversation. When I talk about a story and giving an old soul a new spirit, this is exactly what we've done. We've taken this incredible entrance. We worked with the mural artist to come up with this outstanding, large scale, dramatic, colorful mural. And if you come through, you can see what we're doing here is we're creating a story. And the story starts from the exterior. We were inspired by the stilted arches. We are inspired by all these crazy reliefs that cover the front entrance vestibule. And we're inspired by the Spanish mission architecture style of the interior. We're inspired by Los Angeles. And we're inspired by Mexico and Spain. And this mural says it all. And it gives you a sense of place in what you're going to experience throughout this hotel. When we started this project, we walked through the entire hotel and we documented all these really funky details, historic details, and just anything cool that moved us emotionally. This is one of the most fabulous cased openings in the hotel. And we looked at this as a big source of inspiration for potential portals in the hallway. This is where I'm saying we're designing into the story, we're doing research, we're looking at any historic details that we can actually include in our story, because we want to embrace the past. But we also want to give this building a new spirit. And even looking outside the window, this gorgeous building, the Herald Examiner building, has this beautiful tile detail. And that was really exciting for me, because when I'm in the guestroom and I'm looking outside of the window, there is going to be a dialogue going on. What am I looking at? What is on the interior space? And what we're going to do is we're going to play with color. Like, we want this opening, we want to celebrate it. And we're going to do it with color. And we're going to look at the walls and add a texture, which was already tested here, this really great comb plaster. It has a nice sand texture. And it has weight to really stand up to this cased opening. And if you see here, when being inspired by some of these details, we actually like to recreate them and use them in some of the other guest rooms, or some of the other common areas of the hotel. This is actually a sample that we did, which is a corner condition. And if you see, there's re...

About the Instructor

Eclectic and experiential, Kelly Wearstler’s style helped redefine modern American design and influenced the rise of designer hotels. Now the award-winning designer takes you behind the scenes to demystify interior design. Make any space feel larger, and choose colors, materials, and textures with confidence. Curate collections of art and objects, cultivate your own distinct style, and create spaces that tell a story.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Kelly Wearstler

Award-winning designer Kelly Wearstler teaches you interior design techniques to make any space more beautiful, creative, and inspiring.

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