Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Finding Kelly

Kelly Wearstler’s Viceroy Santa Monica

Ive heard that when something comes in groups of 3 that it’s important and you should pay attention to that.  Keeping that in mind, I decided to figure out why “Kelly”s are some important in my life.  First there is my brother Kelly (who actually hates his name -sorry Mom). Former “little” brother turned football player turned manly firefighter, this is the guy you definitely want in a serious crisis – think getting lost in the woods for 3 days. When are you moving to Texas, already, little brother?  We would make a great business team.  Check out the lakehouse he built from scratch!  I’m looking for an installation guy….

Kelly #2 is my mentor.  Kelly is an interior designer who received her degree from the Art Institute of Dallas – soon to be my alma mater as well. I get to meet with her once a month (or whenever I just need an answer).  A mutual acquaintance introduced us and the rest, they say, is history. She’s my rolodex of interior design.  From drapery workrooms to stinky professors, Kelly #2 gives me the skinny on it all – making it so much easier to get ahead in the design world.

Finally, there is Kelly #3 - Kelly Wearstler. THE designer.  THE big kahuna. THE woman of the hour --- you get the picture. If you’re into interior design, you know exactly who I’m talking about.  She’s an author, hotel designer, interior designer and on top of being drop dead gorgeous.  Just ask my husband.  Below are some of her books on design:
HueModern Glamour: The Art of Unexpected StyleDomicilium Decoratus

Last week was our spring break trip to Los Angeles.  Besides dragging the kids to John Wayne Airport to see where mommy and daddy first met, everyone had their own personal requests regarding the trip:  boys to LegoLand, Matt to Ojai and me to the Viceroy hotel. The Viceroy hotel in Santa Monica is one of Kelly Wearstler’s hotel designs. Kelly Wearstler is one of my favorite designers. Thus the need for the pilgrimage!

Being Sunday, I figured the hotel would probably be low key which I why I picked this day to go.  Oh, how wrong I was!  It was actually the day of the Santa Monica Marathon and the marathon had just ended- leaving a celebratory mess. So much for just checking out the place incognito.  But having come this far and not being one to be easily deterred by my lack of clothing preparation, I dove in head first to see my hero’s creation.

Check out the green chairs at the check-in desk! Amazing work with the layers of mirrors.

This is the concierge desk – complete with a nubby shag rug underfoot and an oversized wooden chair!  Doesn’t it look just like you are sitting in your parent’s  home office asking for a raise in allowance?   I had anticipated asking for a room tour, but there was not enough time.

This poetic scene literally took my breath away.  I caught myself wishing for good friends and sipping leisurely on a yummy cocktail.  The immaculately manicured design exudes a certain peaceful calm.  Did I mention the beautiful people?

Tucked into one of the areas, was this perfectly lovely sitting area – complete with a wall full of exquisitely arranged plates. This was one of the few areas still open at the Viceroy that day.

Inside at the bar area, the jade jumbo vases are truly admirable in contrast to the black and white décor.  Wonder if the scanners at the airport will pick up these in my suitcases?? Of course, I’m crazy for the chandelier as I have a similar one in my own home.

My shots of the restaurant were abruptly interrupted by frantic texts from the rest of the family that I had almost forgotten about!  Apparently, the fam is  being re-routed in front of the Viceroy in the rental car while I am taking my interior design pilgrimage. 

A quick swing by the library brings a breath of fresh air – sunshine yellow!  The yellow was an unexpected surprise. 

Thinking that I would get lucky, I hopped on the elevator with the hopes of getting a peek into one of the guest rooms.  All I get is a bad shot of a beautiful door (Drew, I need your expertise with photography my friend).  To get a much more professional view of the rooms, check out the Viceroy website.  I have three words for you : wallpaper, empire suite.  Check it out on virtual tours.

Text number 2 from the family and they have worn out their welcome in 15 minute parking. Heading towards the elevators, I catch a glimpse of a classic Kelly Wearstler accessory – a whimsical life size porcelain dog. She incorporates these light hearted items in all of her designs. 

So, it’s off to LegoLand and onto reality. Looking back over these last few months, I realize how blessed I am to have my three “Kelly”s in my life. Each “Kelly” plays a different role in developing me into a designer in my own right.

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