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Expect The Unexpected

Surprise, and the sense of delight that comes with it, are two of Kelly Wearstler’s masterstrokes. Her design for this SoHo pied-à-terre evokes both reactions in spades.

Playful, daring and often tastefully over-the-top, the interior designs of Kelly Wearstler have helped define contemporary West Coast style. Her approach happens to be perfectly suited to New York as well, as proven by this three-story penthouse residence that rises high above the cobbled streets of SoHo.

Destined to be the clients’ pied-à-terre, the project began with a complete renovation of the 1,800- square-foot interior space. “We opened the walls and created a circular staircase with the intention of

For the main staircase in this SoHo townhouse, Kelly Wearstler specified silk wallcovering hand painted in a trompe-l’oeil manner to resemble draping fabric.

making it the heart of all three floors, unifying the series of spaces,” Wearstler explains. Custom, hand-painted, trompe-l’oeil silk wallcovering was designed specifically for the flow of the staircase, which spirals from the entry upward to the top penthouse floor.

Art and furnishings are thoughtfully merged in every room. The artist Peter Shire created a custom console table and enamel brass cabinet. There is hand-selected furniture by Gio Ponti, Paul Evans and Jacques Jarrige. Pieces by young, emerging artists are displayed throughout, and a vintage 1970s wood painted figural sculpture commands attention at the second story entry.

Signature Kelly Wearstler touches, such as the chevronpatterned stone slabs that cover the walls and floor of the master bathroom, add drama and the

The kitchen was designed with sliding panels reminiscent of a Japanese home.
The kitchen opens onto a sundrenched dining room.
In the master bathroom, on the other hand, the mood is anything but low-key.
The master bedroom is a study in low-key refinement. Bold chevron-patterned stone covers the walls and floor, and a single piece of moveable furniture—a shaggy ottoman resting on gilded, human-like feet—provides a whimsical focal point.
A riveted metal door displays the distinctive materiality that is so important to Kelly Wearstler
Walls are adorned with pieces by multiple artists, both known and emerging

delight of the unexpected. Wearstler credits her clients for allowing these qualities: “Not only were they open to ideas; they encouraged us to push our ideas further, to surprise them.”

The result of the collaboration is a richly ornamented jewel box that, for Wearstler, is like a microcosm of the city itself. “New York is the ultimate metropolis, alive with energy, passion and ideas,” she says. “Its character changes and evolves; it remains a place where traditions are kept, yet pushed to the limits. This apartment is in many ways a good example of that. So many classic elements (the grand stair, the urban terrace) are represented here, yet reinvented and refreshed.”

The fixtures in a blue powder room ooze 1980’s Italian style. A highly patterned terrace looks out to the rooftops of SoHo.
On the top penthouse floor, a living room doubles as a library. Much of the furniture was selected for its sculptural quality, and shapely art pottery abounds.

 

MATERIAL GIRL

Striking a balance between distinctive materiality, spirited silhouettes and artisanal textures, the Kelly Wearstler furniture collection reflects the designer’s signature aesthetic and is now available at Safavieh.

The globe-hopping Kelly Wearstler shares with us some of her favorite things:

RECENTLY READ BOOK: “The Blessing of a B Minus” by Wendy Mogel

PERSONAL SCENT: Régime des Fleurs’ “Nymphaea Caerulea”

FOREIGN CITY TO VISIT: Paris is the chicest city.

ISLAND: We visited East Java on a recent trip to Indonesia and found it absolutely breathtaking.

U.S. HOTEL: Crosby Street Hotel in New York City

FOREIGN HOTEL: Nihiwatu on Sumba Island, Indonesia

FLOWER: Cherry blossoms, wild forsythia, peonies

HOLIDAY: Halloween FILM: “The Lion” SONG: Anything by Post Malone or Trippie Redd

BREED OF DOG: I love all animals! My family has adopted three dogs, and I always encourage people to rescue and adopt, not shop.

The room setting highlights Kelly Wearstler’s Miromar dining table, with its Black Pearl granite top balanced on an ebonized hardwood base with brass trim.
Laurel lounge chair with solid brass legs
Larchmont chair
Gallant nightstand in stainless steel and scalloped brass
Melange dining chair
Larchmont settee in Medium Pewter

The entire collection is available at Safavieh’s Kelly Wearstler gallery in Glen Cove, New York.