Los Angeles designer Kelly Wearstler is known for putting a vibrant, eye-popping spin on everything from hotel lobbies to home goods. Inject some of her eclectic style into your celebration with these ideas for sprucing up a space.

By Jaime Buerger
October 03, 2014
Interior designer Kelly Wearstler
© Mark Edward Harris 2013

Let Your Venue Inform Your Décor-Whether You Complement or Contrast it

While it's important to be mindful of the surroundings, you don't have to go full-on mod just because you're getting married at a contemporary art gallery. When you mix the unexpected, it can be cool-think rustic with refined, or pairing something vintage with something new.

Pick Your Statement Piece

If there's something at your venue that lends itself to being a focal point, play it up! When I designed my home in Malibu, for example, I wanted the main color in the space to come from the ocean-a beautiful view is really the heart of the house. I chose neutrals and rich natural materials, like marble and wood, which don't detract from it.

Kelly Wearstler’s "vibe tray," a collection of objects that helps her to see what works together.
G CRAWFORD

Look for Inspiration in Unlikely Places

Like a lot of visual people, I could spend hours on Pinterest. But I also create physical mood boards or vibe trays-collections of objects that inspire me. They're an incredible resource for trying ideas, seeing what works together, and cultivating the look and feel of an event.

I also collect antique books-I have more than 2,000 in my library. Paging through old books on style and parties always leads me to concepts.

Add an Unexpected Color

People always talk about how I use vivid colors in my designs, but I'm also a devotee of black and white. It's such a versatile pairing, especially when you bring in another shade. Mixing black and white with periwinkle is an excellent choice for a bold, chic party, whereas combining it with a sandy color makes for a classic, elegant affair.

Or Stick With One Shade

It might sound boring at first, but using a single color in different gradations is a really sleek way to bring dimension to spaces. Pantone's 2014 color of the year, for example, was radiant orchid, an intense purple shade, and I think pairing it with a lighter plum would be the way to go. If you want to punch up a monochromatic palette, throw in some metallic accents: Gold, silver, and bronze work with any color scheme and add a little glamour-never a bad thing!

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