When someone says “chic," Kelly Wearstler immediately fits the bill. The L.A.-based interior designer, whose client list spans megastars like Gwen Stefani and Cameron Diaz to mega-luxury brands like the Viceroy hotel chain, has an enviable eye for classic yet modern décor and a sartorial sense that just screams California cool. But underneath all that excellent taste is a doting mom of two, to sons Oliver and Elliot (above), with real estate developer husband Brad Korzen.
While she admits kids weren’t necessarily on her to-do list (“Growing up I didn't want kids, I just wanted a career,” she says) she now couldn’t imagine life without them. “They inspire me and fill me with so much love every day,” she says. “My husband really wanted kids and I was like, ‘OK, we'll have one,’ and now I wish I could have six. It's the best thing in the entire world.” Below, the 48-year-old—who recently launched a bedding line at Bloomingdale's that will soon include a kids' option—shares her decorating advice for your little one’s room, the trick to combatting clutter, and the surprising show she’ll stay up late to watch.
What’s your best piece of advice for decorating children’s rooms?
Do what you feel good with, because you spend so much time there. Find maybe three iconic, cool things that feel fun. Maybe it's a mobile, or an amazing carpet, or doing things to the furniture that feel less childlike, because it's easy to go overboard [with the cutesy stuff]. If you want a sophisticated kid’s room, I personally think stripes are amazing. They're classic and they're super chic and are so easy to design a room around.
What are your favorite places to shop for kids’ décor?
There's a new place that I love that just launched called Kinder Modern. They have all sorts of amazing things that are super chic. A lot of it is based off classic modern designs, but there are also contemporary designs there, too.
I read that you believe the biggest design faux pas is clutter, but when you have kids…
I think that no matter what you do, organization is truly the key to success. Even though your child may not be able to talk yet, they see what you do and will learn from it. Get a few of those clear drawers that come in different sizes from the Container Store, and then put all the toys that are blue or a certain shape in one drawer, and so on. It not only looks cute, but it’s organized, and you know exactly where everything is. And when the baby gets to be a toddler, they know where to find everything—and where to put things away!
How did your style change once you became a mom?
I started taking a lot more risks, because I just don't have time to think. I do my workout in the morning, and then I have about 15-20 minutes max for me to get dressed and ready to take them to school—and that's getting them to school barely on time! I don't lay my stuff out at night because I don't know how I'm going to feel the next day. It's like speed fashion: You just grab a great shirt, some great shoes, and sometimes unexpected, cool things happen.
You’re pretty healthy, so what’s the one thing you and the kids regularly indulge in?
I make them these parfaits with homemade whipped cream where I cut different kinds of berries and place them so they make stripes in a clear cup, and they love it. It looks festive and fun, but it's healthy.
What’s the first thing you do after the kids go to bed?
I pretty much go to bed [laughs]! They go to bed at like, 9-9:30, and I'll lay in bed and look at e-mails, because when I get home I really try to put the phone down. When I'm at work, I'm incredibly focused, but when I get home, they are the priority. I focus on them.
But you’ll stay up late to watch…?
Yes! Because I have two boys I have to be up with sports. I never thought that would be me, but I love it. Even when I travel, I turn SportsCenter on.
Any sport in particular you enjoy?
I love ice hockey. My boys play, but really, all sports are amazing. I just love all the stories of these incredible athletes and how they got to where they are. It’s so inspiring.