Design & Style, Home & Lifestyle

Sources of Inspiration

Kelly Wearstler

Lesson time 08:28 min

Design ideas are everywhere. To show you how to look for your own inspiration, Kelly shares how a bracelet became the basis for a sconce and a vintage dress informed the design of the Villon restaurant at the San Francisco Proper Hotel.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Find What You Love · Fashion as Inspiration · Travel as Inspiration


[MUSIC PLAYING] - I love collecting many different things. And when I was in college in Boston, there was this little gemstone store. And I always loved going in there because there were so many stones and minerals and gems from many different places around the world. And so I started collecting them. When I designed a restaurant in Bergdorf Goodman and after we designed the restaurant, they asked if I would have a store, or create a store, in the amazing Bergdorf Goodman home floor, which was, you know, so iconic. And I was thinking, like, I don't have anything. I'm not a product designer. Then I started thinking, actually, I design a lot of things for a lot of my project. So I went to my stone collection for inspiration. These are some of the stones that some of these have been in my archive for some time. If you look at, like, the-- this is just a really raw specimen, as opposed to something that has been cut and shaped and honed. So some of them have-- they're polished. Some of them are raw. Some of them have a little bit of both, like this gorgeous stone. So when designing Into the Stone, I wanted to create something that was functional, and so looking at a box, and what can I do to make a box super cool and beautiful. And you can see this one has a lot of prong settings. All the stones work to tell a story, so you have some that are raw mineral specimens, some that are just carved out of a rock. They're set in many different ways. And then this is another one that is a bronze with a silver patina. And this one has turquoise and lapis and a crystal, and then inside, a beautiful drawing that tells a story of this box and all the stones. These are all one of a kind, limited edition. And that's what I love, is being experimental and, like, challenging myself and doing new and exciting things with materials that I love. And then from there, I was working on a residential project. And the client needed cabinets that served a particular function. And so I decided that we would design this pair of beautiful cabinets. I think there was about 400 stones that I actually handpicked myself. Then I wanted to experiment with flowers because I love flowers and they make people happy. And so I started sculpting different shapes of all these beautiful flowers, and then using the centerpiece with some of the raw minerals that I had found. And we actually used on these limited edition Head Trip sculptures that we do. Like, some of them had spikes, like liberty spikes, very punk. And then some of them were a little more feminine. So these are some of these beautiful flowers that were hand sculpted. And, like, I'm thinking now that I want to take these and design a cabinet, where all of these are encrusted all over, which I think would be insane. So, you know, when I started out collecting stones, like, I had very little money. I was in college. I was working and just surviving. And there are things that anyone can do. Just start ...

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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