November 2

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Kelly Wearstler shares her secrets to achieving her iconic style and where she finds unique vintage pieces

Kelly Wearstler reveals how she achieves her signature style – and where she sources vintage pieces

If you’re a fan of interior design, you’ve likely come across the name Kelly Wearstler. Known for her bold, eclectic style and unique approach to design, Wearstler has become a household name in the industry. In a recent interview, she shared some insights into how she creates her signature look.

One of the things that sets Wearstler apart is her ability to mix and match different styles and eras. She believes that even the most modern spaces can benefit from a touch of vintage. “I love to incorporate vintage pieces into my projects,” she said. “They add character and history to a space and can make even the most contemporary design feel more layered and lived-in.”

So where does Wearstler source her vintage finds? According to the designer, she finds inspiration in unexpected places. “I love exploring antique markets, thrift stores, and flea markets,” she revealed. “You never know what treasures you’ll find. I always keep my eyes open for unique pieces like vintage furniture, lighting, carpets, and accessories.”

When asked about her process for sourcing and selecting vintage pieces, Wearstler emphasized the importance of balance. “It’s all about finding the right mix,” she said. “I like to mix high and low, old and new, and different styles and materials. It’s what gives a space its personality and makes it feel curated.”

In addition to sourcing vintage pieces, Wearstler is also known for her stunning gardens. She shared that she often incorporates natural elements into her designs to create a sense of harmony. “I love to use plants, flowers, and greenery to bring life to a space,” she said. “It adds a freshness and vitality that can’t be replicated.”

With her eye for design and her knack for sourcing unique vintage pieces, it’s no wonder that Kelly Wearstler has become a sought-after figure in the industry. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your own home or simply admire her work, there’s no denying that Wearstler’s signature style is truly one-of-a-kind.

1 Don’t stick to one-era design

1 Don't stick to one-era design

When it comes to creating a signature style, Kelly Wearstler advises against sticking to a single era of design. Instead, she encourages mixing and matching different styles from various time periods to create a unique and eclectic look.

One way to achieve this is by incorporating vintage pieces into your projects. Wearstler suggests sourcing vintage furniture, accessories and artwork from various locations to add character and charm to your space. From flea markets to estate sales, there are endless opportunities to find unique and one-of-a-kind items that can elevate the design of any room.

Even photographs can be used to create a sense of time and history in your space. Wearstler recommends incorporating old family photos, vintage postcards, or even black and white pictures of famous landmarks to add a personal touch and create a conversation piece.

In addition to sourcing vintage pieces, Wearstler also believes in the importance of balance. Mixing different textures, colors, and patterns can create a visually interesting and dynamic space. For example, she suggests pairing a modern sofa with a vintage rug or combining contemporary artwork with antique furniture. This balance between old and new creates a harmonious and layered look.

When it comes to sourcing vintage pieces, Wearstler has a few go-to places. She recommends visiting local flea markets, antique shops, and estate sales for unique finds. She also suggests exploring online platforms and auction houses that specialize in vintage and antique items.

While Wearstler acknowledges that sourcing vintage pieces can be time-consuming and requires patience, she believes that the effort is worth it. Vintage pieces add a sense of history and character to a space, making it feel more curated and personalized.

So, the next time you’re working on a design project, take a page from Wearstler’s book and don’t be afraid to mix and match different eras. Embrace the beauty of vintage pieces and let them bring a unique charm to your space.

2 Find a balance between vintage and contemporary

2 Find a balance between vintage and contemporary

When it comes to creating her signature style, Kelly Wearstler emphasizes the importance of finding a balance between vintage and contemporary elements. This balance is what gives her projects a unique and timeless appeal.

Wearstler believes that incorporating vintage pieces into your designs adds character and history. These pieces tell a story and bring a sense of authenticity to a space. Whether it’s a vintage sofa, a retro light fixture, or an antique rug, these items can become the focal point of a room and set the tone for the entire design.

But finding vintage pieces that fit your vision can be a challenge. Wearstler suggests starting with what you already have. Look through photos of your previous projects or even your own home and see if there are any vintage pieces that you can repurpose or incorporate into your new design.

If you’re starting from scratch, Wearstler recommends visiting vintage stores, flea markets, and even online marketplaces to source unique and one-of-a-kind items. She also advises not to be afraid to mix and match different periods and styles. The key is to create a cohesive and harmonious design that feels curated and intentional.

When it comes to sourcing vintage rugs, Wearstler suggests looking for places that specialize in carpets. These places often have a wide selection of vintage rugs in different styles, colors, and sizes. She also points out that vintage rugs can be a great investment as they tend to hold their value and can add warmth and texture to a space.

Ultimately, Wearstler believes that finding a balance between vintage and contemporary pieces is what makes a design truly unique and memorable. It’s about honoring the past while embracing the present, and creating spaces that are both timeless and ever-evolving.

3 Don’t be afraid of the fade

When it comes to incorporating vintage pieces into your design projects, don’t be afraid of items that show signs of wear and tear. Kelly Wearstler believes that the faded and worn look adds character and charm to a space.

Whether it’s antique carpets or vintage furniture, these pieces often come with a story and a history. Instead of shying away from imperfections, embrace them as part of the overall aesthetic.

Wearstler suggests that sourcing vintage items can be an adventure in itself. You never know what you might find or where you might find it. Take the time to explore flea markets, thrift stores, and even online platforms to discover unique and one-of-a-kind pieces.

When incorporating vintage pieces into your design, balance is key. Mix them with modern elements to create a harmonious look. Combining different textures, colors, and styles can breathe new life into a space and make it more interesting.

Don’t limit yourself to just furniture and decor when sourcing vintage items. Wearstler mentions that even sourcing vintage photos and artwork can add a personal touch to your design. These items can evoke nostalgia and create a sense of history in the space.

Overall, embracing the fade and incorporating vintage pieces into your design can make a statement and add depth to your space. Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles and experiment with different combinations. After all, it’s your personal touch that makes a design unique.

4 Check online vintage buys carefully

4 Check online vintage buys carefully

When sourcing vintage pieces online, it’s important to carefully check the quality and condition of the items. While online shopping offers convenience, it also requires a bit of caution to ensure you’re getting what you’re looking for.

Kelly Wearstler advises taking a close look at the photos provided by the seller. Pay attention to the details and ask for additional photos if necessary. This will give you a better idea of the item’s condition and any potential flaws.

It’s also important to read the description carefully. Look for any information about the item’s age, material, and any noticeable wear or damage. This can help you determine if the vintage piece is worth investing in.

Another tip from Wearstler is to consider the seller’s reputation. Check for reviews or ratings, and see if they have a return policy in case the item doesn’t meet your expectations.

In addition to online marketplaces, Wearstler suggests checking out websites and social media accounts dedicated to vintage finds. These platforms often have a curated selection of unique and high-quality pieces.

When it comes to vintage carpets, Wearstler recommends looking for those with interesting patterns and colors that can add a touch of character to your design projects. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different carpet styles to create a visually appealing and balanced look.

Ultimately, the key to successfully sourcing vintage pieces online is to do your research and take your time. By paying attention to the details and considering Wearstler’s tips, you can find unique vintage items that will enhance your design projects and make your space truly one-of-a-kind.

5 Where I shop for vintage

5 Where I shop for vintage

When it comes to sourcing vintage pieces for my design projects, I like to take my time and explore different options. Here are five places where I love to shop for vintage:

  1. Flea markets: One of my favorite places to find unique and one-of-a-kind pieces is at flea markets. I love the thrill of hunting for treasures and the excitement of discovering something unexpected. Flea markets are a great place to find vintage furniture, accessories, and even clothing.

  2. Auctions: Auctions are another great source for vintage finds. Whether it’s a local auction or an online event, you can often find a wide variety of vintage items, from artwork to furniture. Just make sure you set a budget and stick to it, as it can be easy to get carried away with bidding.

  3. Thrift stores: Thrift stores are a more affordable option for finding vintage pieces. While it may require a bit more time and effort to sift through the inventory, you can often discover hidden gems at thrift stores. Plus, you’ll be giving new life to items that may have been discarded by others.

  4. Estate sales: Estate sales can be a treasure trove for vintage items. When someone passes away or has to downsize, their belongings are often sold at estate sales. These sales can offer a wide range of vintage furniture, home decor, and even clothing. Just be prepared to haggle and negotiate prices.

  5. Online vintage shops: If you prefer the convenience of online shopping, there are plenty of online vintage shops available. Websites like Etsy, Chairish, and 1stdibs offer a curated selection of vintage items from various sellers. Just be sure to read the descriptions and look at the photos carefully to ensure the quality and condition of the pieces.

When sourcing vintage pieces, it’s important to strike a balance between what you’re looking for and what fits within your design aesthetic. Don’t be afraid to mix vintage with modern pieces to create a unique and eclectic look. Happy shopping!


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