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Famed Interior Designer Kelly Wearstler Shares Her Secrets In A New MasterClass Course

With most of us spending a lot more time at home these days, we’ve never had more motivation to redecorate or take on home improvement projects. While many people seek inspiration on Instagram or Pinterst, there’s nothing like learning from a true expert in their field like interior designer Kelly Wearstler, who just launched a course with MasterClass.

Founded in 2015, MasterClass offers a variety of courses in different subjects from over 80 experts, celebrities and thought leaders including Anna Wintour, Serena Wiliams, RuPaul, Judd Apatow, and Gordon Ramsey among many others. 

I recently interviewed Wearstler who revealed not only what she teaches in her course, but also what happens behind the scenes. Anyone who finds design intimidating or overwhelming will appreciate the designer’s warm personality and surprisingly practical approach.

What was it like working with MasterClass?

It was a super collaborative effort producing this class from the research and preparation to the journey through all the processes of design. Teaching this class has given me such a rich opportunity to reflect on my career and share my knowledge and experiences with others, especially those outside of the design industry. I hope it inspires individual creativity.

What do you specifically teach in your MasterClass?

My hope is to take the mystery out of interior design and share the fundamentals of creating spaces that allow for beauty and functionality to coexist. For me, design is storytelling and every space has a unique and inspired narrative to tell. I share with students the tools and advice to find their own voice and creativity and express this with color, textures, lighting, furnishings, art, and architecture, as well as how to make the most out of small or awkward spaces and how to make a room sing with color.

I want people to be inspired and take risks, not be afraid to follow their passions. Good design is such an important part of living a considered and intentional life.

How did you choose the curriculum? 

I talked closely with my studio and the MasterClass team and we distilled down my process to what the key takeaways should be for people who would want to really learn about interior design. It was very authentic. 

I wanted to create a curriculum that empowers MasterClass members to take design risks and approach the creative process with curiosity and passion. There’s even so much more to share, I think we need to do a graduate MasterClass course next.

What are the most common decorating challenges?

I think finding the place to actually start can be the most intimidating and feel overwhelming. Where the journey begins is inspiration. I always say to start with what most inspires you, what your passion point is, and allow that to be the spark that moves the design forward. It could be a piece of art, a prominent color in your closet, an era of design, even a vintage bracelet or a lamp. 

Another challenge particularly these days is getting drawn in by inspiration from just one source. For example, Pinterest is such an incredible platform for design. However, it can become confining creatively as there is so much of the same style on there. I believe you need to find inspiration from a variety of sources to allow your own voice, your own signature style to shine through. 

Generally speaking, what are the easiest and hardest rooms for people to design?

The easiest rooms to design would be either an entry vestibule or other small space that offers a limited parameter to work within, so therefore less choices and more thoughtful placements of art and furnishings. Dining rooms would also be an easier room to design as it has a very specific task with specific furnishing needs.

The more challenging spaces to design are those with a lot of programming to consider, such as a kitchen or a wardrobe closet. They are beautiful spaces, but also incredibly functional.

While not everyone can be a designer, do you think everyone can learn to decorate their own spaces?

Absolutely! There are so many avenues to finding inspiration, with the number of design magazines, websites, Instagram feeds, galleries…and places to shop for good design, vintage and contemporary, are getting more and more accessible. Interior design is so visible that it is like getting dressed; with all the fashion out there no one should have a bad outfit on!


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