Real Estate / Home + Design

An Audacious Debut

Designer’s First Furniture Collection Brings Unmistakable Buzz

BY // 09.03.15

Designer Kelly Wearstler is having another midas moment, this time with an audacious new collection of furniture.

Clockwise from left: Griffi th bar cabinet; Hillcrest sofa; Melange side table; Huntley cabinet; Larchmont chair; Alta coffee table; Laurel stool; Sonara swivel chair.
The Wearstler touch: Griffith bar cabinet; Hillcrest sofa; Melange side table; Huntley cabinet; Larchmont chair; Alta coffee table; Laurel stool; Sonara swivel chair.

The look is unmistakable. Bold shapes, sumptuous textures and patinas, and a mind-blowing array of luxurious materials come together in Kelly Wearstler’s first comprehensive furniture line, the Kelly Wearstler Furniture Collection. It hits showrooms across the country next month, including Longoria Collection and Ladco Washington Park Design Center (to the trade).

Longoria Collection is devoting almost 1,500 square feet to Wearstler’s furnishings, including multiple chairs, side tables, a bed and sofa, and accessories. Mother-daughter owners of Longoria, Sylvia Dorsey and Elizabeth Fertitta, worked directly with Wearstler to choose pieces and colors when the collection debuted at High Point this past spring.

“We were standing there with her, going through samples and colors, and she pulled it all together for us, as if she were designing the space and we were her clients,” says Fertitta. “It was all so exciting because she thinks outside the box of what most people would conventionally do.”

Dichotomy table in cast bronze and glass with upholstered Elliott chairs in solid bronze
Solid whimsy: Dichotomy table in cast bronze and glass with upholstered Elliott chairs in solid bronze.

To manufacture her collection, Wearstler has partnered with North Carolina-based E.J. Victor, a top-notch artisanal company that produces furniture for Ralph Lauren and Aerin Lauder, among others. Sculptural, shapely and substantial, the collection showcases heirloom woods such as ebonized walnut; cast bronze, steel and other mixed metals; hand-cut pyrite and quartz crystal; and rich materials such as mohair, parchment, lambskin and mica.

Her mastery for combining unexpected elements can be seen in the Huntly cabinet, with its alternating glass and parchment panels wrapped in a broad, blackened steel frame. The Dillon walnut-and-bronze cabinet captures the designer’s penchant for texture, with pierced walnut doors that reveal a glamorous, mirrored interior. The lacquered Crescent cabinet’s large brass-plated pulls with cast-glass centers are so organic in their origins that it’s easy to mistake them for polished stones. The made-to-order Bauble stool dazzles with gemstones chosen from around the world by Wearstler, including pyrite, amethyst, rose quartz, raw aquamarine, barite and pink cerussite.

This impressive first showing of furniture comes on the heels of Wearstler’s lighting manufactured by Houston-based Visual Comfort, which debuted in May, and follows a slew of award-winning and influential designs for luxury hotels, restaurants and private residents.

[This article originally appeared in the September 2015 Houston edition of PaperCity Magazine.]

Complex texture: Lacquered Crescent cabinet with walnut interior and burnished brass pulls.

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