Kelly Wearstler, the interior designer, reveals her SoCal Beach House vibe.

Kelly Wearstler is the founder and principal designer of Kelly Wearstler, a company founded in 1995, and an American designer who creates multi-faceted, immersive residential, hospitality, retail, and commercial environments and extensive collections of lifestyle products.

Her bold, maximalist, and full-of-surprise aesthetic has earned her a reputation among the leading experts in the industry.

We talk to her here about her inspirations and influences, particularly in creating the SoCal beach-house look she is well-known for.

“Taking inspiration from the environment has always been a part of my creative processes, whether through landscape, culture, or history. My surroundings and my interests inspire me.

‘I enjoy hiking in the desert or picking wildflowers, leaves, and branches, which I incorporate into my interior design projects in different ways. California is my home and a source of constant inspiration.

My style is American, a West-Coast aesthetic that’s inherently Californian. California living is a lifestyle surrounded by nature and embodies easy elegance and effortless luxury, which I incorporate into every project.

I also look for vintage items and designs in flea markets or antique shops when I travel. The more inspiration you have, the better your work will be.

Malibu Home is where our family spends the most time together on weekends. It’s a special place. The house is located right on the beach and makes it an ideal place to escape and connect with nature, especially at high tide when the waves crash under the house.

The Ficus Tree is the most prominent feature of the property. The 18-foot tree had to be hoisted into the house. Over the years, it has grown towards the sun. Above it, a skylight can be opened to allow natural light into the room.

The wave-patterned walls of the primary bathroom are another striking feature. They evoke the undulating motion of the waves. These two features invite the outdoors in and create a connection to the surrounding space.

The color palette and materials used in my interior design project for Broad Beach (Malibu) are similar to those of the Malibu property. This allows me to transition from the interior space to the exterior environment seamlessly.

I chose rustic, rich colors to warm the room and a sandy hue as a backdrop. The large windows allow maximum natural light to enter the property and highlight the connection with nature outside.

When designing a vacation home for summer, I bring the outdoors in and create a seamless flow between rooms. Installing floor-to-ceiling windows is a great option to achieve this. Natural light will fully penetrate the interior and allow for a seamless connection to the environment.

I like to use sun-bleached colors to warm the room and mimic the shapes on the beach. I am also drawn to natural elements and want to use wood or marble to bring a sense of luxury into my home.

When redesigning the four-level South California coastline escape at Seal Beach, I wanted to create an interior/outside dialogue. The design is infused with marine references, which ground the home to its surroundings.

The deep wood paneling in the room is reminiscent of the interiors of classic sailing yachts, while vintage 1960s Italian Mohair chairs are reminiscent of birds on the beach. The palette reinforces this connection to the sea with warm, natural tones such as shell pink, yellow, and rust.

For those looking to create a Beach House aesthetic, you should incorporate the shapes, textures, and objects in this environment and build on the area’s natural beauty.

This could be expressed in curvaceous shapes resembling waves through the grain in marble or round furniture. This could also be translated using a warm earthy palette of beige, rustic browns, or terracotta. Using raw materials like wood and stone can help create a link between nature and the home.

Katherine L. Branton

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