Kelly Wearstler – interior design diva: we ask the questions

Kelly Wearstler is the interior designer behind a considerable number of Mr & Mrs Smith’s favourite luxury boutique hotels across the pond (including the Viceroy Santa Monica and Viceroy Palm Springs hotels in California, and Tides Riviera Maya in Mexico, to name just a few). As a result, she sailed effortlessly into second slot in our Top 10: Boutique Hotel Designers feature (stylishly sandwiched between Anouska Hempel and Ilse Crawford), so we donned our best heels to catch up with the most glamorous interior designer on the block…

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Interior designer Kelly Wearstler. Photo courtesy of Mark Edward HarrisWhen did you first realise you wanted to be an interior designer?

I grew up in a home that was constantly evolving, so I was always surrounded by beautiful and unusual objects, textures and colours. My mother is a closet interior designer, so my home environment was always in a state of flux; I’d come home from school and the living room would be an entirely different colour…

How vital is the decor of a hotel to you when you’re picking a place to stay for yourself?

The decor is always a consideration when I choose a particular hotel; one of my favourites is the Hotel Santa Caterina on the Amalfi Coast, Italy, where I recently stayed on a family vacation. It was such a treat, and we’re hoping to take annual vacations there.

We ask the questions: Q&A with Yoo chairman John Hitchcox

After Tamara’s lunch with property guru, Starck-partner and Caprice-dater John Hitchcox a few weeks back, the busiest man in property development agreed to have a chat with us about what his company, Yoo, is up to, what it’s like working with Philippe, and where he hangs out in New York – when he’s not building 650-acre Cotswolds quarry conversions, that is…Jia hotel, Hong Kong

Tamara Hi John. It’s great to chat to someone so involved with contemporary design and development. You’ve got some very high-profile projects under your belt – among others, there’s the Jia hotels in Shanghai and Hong Kong, the Gramercy in New York, and now Yoo’s new Cotswolds village development, the Lakes – which have you enjoyed working on the most?

John All of them. I don’t have a particular favourite, I love all my projects because they are all different, diverse, creative and challenging in their own way. We have 30 projects on the including high rises such as a 72-storey building in Moscow that is about to get underway (I find vertical living intriguing), and then there’s the Lakes. All the projects are about building communities and it’s fascinating to discover how people live and how they recognise the value of their home.