After 3 Decades, Kelly Wearstler Remains a Celebrity in Interior Design

But when it came to defining her style, she resisted labeling it. Instead, she said, “I’m constantly moving forward and pushing myself — I don’t want to repeat myself.”

“As a designer, I’m a free spirit,” she said. “It’s like a moving target.”

Amy Astley, the editor of Architectural Digest, said that it was hard to capture Ms. Wearstler’s aesthetic in a short pithy phrase. “But I do think she’s a master of jolie-laide,” or finding beauty in the unconventional or strange, she said.

The dominant style in American interiors right now, according to Ms. Astley, is “a clean oatmeal look,” which is not quite minimalist but formulaically spare. Living rooms are light and bright with a big statement sofa or coffee table.

Ms. Wearstler uses “weighty, hefty, juicy, meaty kinds of shapes — like in her chairs or in her sofas — and there’s a real masculinity to her work,” Ms. Astley said. “The colors are the opposite of girlie.”

Lately, Ms. Astley said, Ms. Wearstler’s most influential interiors have been designed for places like hotels and with a low-slung 1970s vibe. “It’s slouchy, it’s sexy, it’s relaxed, and it’s cool,” she said.

David Alhadeff, the founder of the Future Perfect gallery, where Ms. Wearstler has acquired contemporary pieces from artists including Eric Roinestad and Chris Wolston, said Ms. Wearstler has a confident eye.

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