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Modern Glamour: The Art of Unexpected Style Hardcover – March 16, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bold, complex, decadent, dizzying, rich, colorful: Wearstler’s residential and hotel designs are not for the faint of heart. The founder of the Los Angeles "architectural interior design" firm KWID worked as a Hollywood set designer before she decided to focus on real-life living spaces, and her vibrant, multi-layered interiors still look like backdrops for drama. In this design cum promotional book, Wearstler explains her aesthetic philosophy and lays out suggestions for those readers who would like to emulate her "unusual and kaleidoscopic" style, which graces such famous California hotels as the Viceroy, Estella and Maison 140. Certainly, the book’s large, full-bleed color photographs do justice to the variety of her creations. One two-page spread showcases a bathroom tiled in maroon, pink and white stripes and lit with a dainty glass and gold chandelier. Another shows a cool, all-white bedroom decorated with a silver bamboo chair and a black wood bedframe. Wearstler encourages readers to stop thinking about rooms in terms of furniture and accessories and to start imagining them as combinations of color, texture, shape and form. This, she writes, is the secret to creating a "graphic style … that lends itself to crispness and richness that make you say ‘Wow.’" While there’s no firm, step-by-step advice in the volume—a chapter on "Process" does little more than describe her office’s client meetings—the photographs and the author’s attitude will surely inspire amateurs who are looking for a design style that goes beyond Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and Ikea.
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About the Author

Kelly Wearstler is the author of Modern Glamour and the founder of the Los Angeles architectural interior design firm kwid (Kelly Wearstler Interior Design). Her designs for the trendsetting Viceroy resorts from California to the Caribbean; such taste-making hotels as Maison 140 and Avalon; unique office, retail, and leisure spaces, including BG restaurant and lounge in Manhattan's Bergdorf Goodman; and upscale residences such as the Trousdale Estate have been profiled in House and Garden, House Beautiful, Interior Design, Elle Décor, Vogue, and W. Wearstler is also designer of her own kwid line of furnishings and accessories. She lives in Beverly Hills with her husband, hotelier Brad Korzen, and their sons.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Regan Books; 1st edition (March 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060394420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060394424
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Usonian33 on September 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you bought all the "Trading Spaces" books, or worship at the altar of Christopher Lowell and Nate Berkus, then this is probably NOT the book for you. This is not a helpful hints, step-by-step book, or a book of designer secrets. It's the edgy boutique hotel of decorating books, not the Hilton.

It's a book of inspiration. Wearstler's interiors show the rewards of having patience and searching for the absolute perfect color, perfect item, perfect chair. She shows how to twist tradition with a blend of unusual pieces, unexpected finishes, and wild patterns and colors.

Every time I pick this up I find a quirky detail in one of the rooms. Whether it's a ceramic dog positioned to be peeking over the back of a sofa, or a large black tassel hanging from a brass door handle, or a lacquered wall. All stuff I'd usually cringe at, but here done with the author's wit, and it works.

You may not wish to have any of that in your home, but I bet you'll start finding the courage to display more than just a Crate and Barrel vase on the coffee table.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By camellia on August 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As a designer myself, this book was a great read. No, it is not an instructional book on how to decorate, but more of a personal portfolio of this designer's very stylish work. Ms. Wearstler is a very talented designer in that she has developed a very strong style that is recognizable among today's design work. As for the pictures of Ms. Wearstler herself, I very much enjoyed them, because her style of clothing absolutely reflected the glamour of the interiors she designs. I would say not to get this book if you know nothing about design, but read this book if you appreciate visual design that is unique and very bold. Congratulations Kelly Wearstler on showing us what personal style is all about!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Valorie Hart on September 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Is Kelly Wearstler Jonathan Adler in drag? Or vice versa? Both are wildly talented people, who just happen to use the same things in their work, same colors, etc. Jonathan is an artist, who adoringly references and copycats retro pottery, and makes it unqiuely his own. Kelly is a cool chick, good dresser, has tons of style and can make a pretty room out of old glam junk and ideas. I love them both, and their books are worth having. I wish Kelly had more personal rooms. Too many hotel rooms which are very stagey. In the book she says she didn't like doing set design, yet that's what she does - designs sets for cool people like her to inhabit. Hollywood Regency is the word bandied about to describe both Jonathan & Kelly, he sometimes getting the East coast moniker of Palm Beach Style too (and she the West coast of Palm Springs). I say if you shop on eBay you will see all this great junk (just search Hollywood Regency) that I call eBay Regency. Both books give you a few ideas of how to put it together. Jonathan is more playful, Kelly more serious, but both make wonderful, zany, colorful, retro inspired modern human rooms. I think they bring back the words INTERIOR DECORATOR, so refreshing after everyone and his mother is a DESIGNER (used to be everyone's mother was a station wagon driving decorator with a business on the side). I wonder if these two have ever met, and if so do they like one another, or are they really the same person?

By the way get his book too, if you don't already have it JONATHAN ADLER PRESCRIPTION FOR ANTI DEPRESSIVE LIVING - they have it here at Amazon.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By candice disner on May 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Let me begin by saying that I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! How refreshing to open a book that draws you into the details of the designer's mind and creative talent. This book is all about luscious, full-color saturated, delicious photos that pull you into the setting of their spaces- there are sections in the book of full-bleed pages of photos, some in close focus of particular details. It's amazing to see the contrast and combination of some of the things the designer combines within her designs- things that on their own seem odd and out of place, but juxtaposed together work to create a whole new visual treat. From the photographs and graphic layout of the book itself, to the content of the projects displayed, this book just oozes creative talent.
I'm not exactly sure why having the designer's picture in the book seems to offend some of the above readers, but for me, I liked having a "face to the form." It's cool to see how the designer's own personal sensibility affects the type of work that she creates. What other interior design book out there combines fantastic architectural spaces and fashion with such aplomb! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves interior design and/or fashion- you will not regret the purchase, I can assure you!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Yes, this book does feature many pictures of Kelly Wearstler in her interiors, but who cares? Her personal style obviously ties into the interiors she does, and what's wrong with that? Fashion and design are inextricably intertwined, in my opinion. This is NOT a how-to book, so if you are looking for that, this isn't for you. It does show many Hollywood Regency-type interiors, and while all are not my style, I can appreciate them as examples of different interiors. If you need everything spelled out for you, don't buy this. If you just want to see what is happening with design, and can be inspired by pictures to think of your own ideas, you'd probably appreciate this.
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