A Conversation On Color with Kelly Wearstler


“Color is the spirit of a room, its heart and soul.  It defines shape and justifies everything.”  

In my world, color is essential. And with the arrival of springtime, there’s no faster shortcut to change up the energy of your space than with a confident stroke of vibrant color.  While furniture is more of an investment of time and expense, playing with paint colorways is a low-key, easy adventure for an immediate interior refresh.

Although I am very deliberate with color compositions when planning interior spaces, experimenting with mixing paints often leads to unexpected magic. I’m less interested in the color-trend of the moment and more inspired in the moment. Any color you see is a combination of hue, brightness and saturation. Because I’m fascinated with the whole rainbow, I focus less on hue and more on noticing how saturation levels dial up intensity and drama.


Before putting brush to wall, my advice is threefold. First, take an honest look around you: What’s outside the window? Is there a towering brown oak, or a bronze chimney painted blue-green by the years? How does natural or artificial light fill the room? And just because a room is cavernous doesn’t mean it’s begging for an airy, stark white; dark, moody tones can work beautifully to make them feel at once sexy and exclusive.


Next, look up. Don’t ignore the ceiling! A strong tone with a hint of brilliant sheen is an artful opportunity to add contrast and depth to an otherwise boxy or ordinary room.  Mouldings also offer the chance to experiment with color.


Third, monochromatic isn’t monotonous. These environments are subtle, intimate, and highly detailed. At first glance a bedroom may appear entirely colored in creamy white, but upon closer look, you’ll notice no fewer than four shades of the clean, open tint: walls painted in Cotton Ball; linen bed upholstery in Plaster of Paris; Ecru window coverings; and bedding in a subtly shimmering Ocean Pearl. Then, like a stroke of eyeliner across a beautiful nude eye, a few sharply contrasting elements—like dark Mica jambs—add gorgeous drama that anchors the space.


Be curious, fearless and never shy away from being bold. Not only are these colors arresting, but they also can prove the most calming and harmonious.




About the Author

Kelly Wearstler’s global luxury lifestyle brand is renowned for its distinctive designs and sophisticated soulful vibe pioneered by the celebrated interior designer. The brand’s breadth of influence spans from residential and commercial interior design to collections of furniture, lighting, rugs, fabrics, wall coverings, tiles, luxury bedding, home décor, jewelry and objets d’art. With a signature style that juxtaposes raw with refined, melds color, sophistication and spirited spontaneity, and seamlessly blends diverse periods of furniture under one roof, Wearstler has revolutionized the look, feel and meaning of modern American design. Visit @kellywearstler on Instagram for more of Kelly’s vibe. www.kellywearstler.com