Eureka! Thank you Vogue, I think I get it now....
What's up with Kelly Wearstler? The opinions are all over the blogosphere, and no one seems to understand her "bravura modern" guesthouse featured in the latest Domino magazine (check out Paola's post here to see a great rant!). I've been trying to understand it, and I think Kelly is always ahead of the trends, but some of it is really fugly. Kelly modernized Hollywood Regency style and was at the forefront of it's recent resurgence as a trend (here's my attempt to explain Hollywood Regency style I wrote awhile back at Hatch) . Now she's moved on. The English major in me is trying to find to make a bit of a visual essay to see what I can learn from the Dominomag.com house tour and her recent work:
In the above photo, I think La Wearstler is pushing her mix and match abilities to the maximum in terms of color, pattern, and texture. If you are going to experiment, why not go completely over the top in your own home? I'm thinking in this project she used her guesthouse as a laboratory.
Personally, I just don't like the furniture in the photo above (the dressing table is hideous; you can't see it well in this shot. Interestingly, Dominomag.com left out the picture that showed it the most on the web tour). I do kind of dig that crazy dressing table chair though. The screen is gorgeous, and at The Tides in Miami, she recently used screens to add architectural dimension and reflection to perfection:
The kitchen - bravura modern provencial?
In her guest house, she used furniture and light fixtures are full of curves and shine...
At The Tides, the furniture definitely departs somewhat from classic Hollywood Regency lines and has the curves going on as well. It seems to be a transition zone between Hollywood Regency and Art Deco, which is fitting considering the hotel's history. The gilt and glam of Regency style have carried over into new shapes in the furniture and fixtures. She toned the overall look down by using neutral palettes:
Finally, the details. Wearstler's line for Bergdorf's starts with and then springs off from a glam Regency look:
In her guesthouse, these types of objects are a crazy mix, with oversized objects one would not think of as tablescape material. I actually really dig these mixes:
Finally, the last piece of the puzzle. This whole post came to me last night when I saw this picture of The Coral Bar at The Tides in Vogue. It seemed to be the perfect result of all this experimentation. Chic Miami bar with Art Deco history meets Wearstler. I had trouble finding many pictures of this online, but here's one from southbeachluxuryhotels.com:
Side Note: It was interesting to see Kelly with her hair down and uncrimped wearing jeans in the Domino spread. Even her pale lavender shirt complements the room's color palette. It's like she lets the room take the spotlight, while on Top Design she expresses herself through the way she styles her look. By the way, if history has taught us anything, "bravura" will soon become a hot eBay keyword for sure!
top photo from Vogue via kwid.com
guesthouse photos by Melanie Acevedo from dominomag.com
photos of The Tides from kwid.com