Kelly Wearstler reveals 3 style lessons from the Downtown L.A. Proper hotel

The SoCal icon shares the secrets behind the hottest hangout in LA’s South Park District

Kelly Wearstler's style lessons
(Image credit: The Ingalls)

Introducing Downtown L.A. Proper, the latest collaboration by internationally acclaimed designer Kelly Wearstler and hotel powerhouse Proper Hospitality. 

For this project, Kelly reclaimed a landmark building in the city's South Park District – where she combined a vintage Spanish style with modern decorating ideas. The result will inspire your next renovation and fuel your wanderlust. 

In a discussion with Livingetc, Kelly shared five style lessons that define Downtown L.A. Proper – so you can mirror its SoCal ambiance throughout your interiors. Here are Kelly’s interior design ideas, in her own words. 

1. Accentuate original architectural features 

Kelly Wearstler's style lessons

(Image credit: The Ingalls)

As a longtime resident of the city, it was so exciting to be able to transform such an iconic and historic building in Downtown LA. The design of the hotel was greatly inspired by the community – early California, Spanish missions, and the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner building across the street. 

Kelly Wearstler's style lessons

(Image credit: The Ingalls)

The building is also a Historic-Cultural Monument, so we maintained some of the original integrity and fabric, like the window casing and brickwork, while elevating it with contemporary jewel tones, patterns, and plasterwork.

2. Borrow from your local cultures 

Kelly Wearstler's style lessons

(Image credit: The Ingalls)

My point of reference for the Proper Hotels is always the location, so Downtown L.A. really called for bold and eclectic choices. Each architectural structure is a direct link to its location and so I’m always drawing on what I can from the nearby cultures and histories. 

Especially when you’re traveling, being immersed in an environment that is unique to the local community is so fulfilling. Los Angeles has such a vibrant creative scene and it was such a joy to partner with some of my favorite designers to create pieces that are unique to the property. 

3. Blend vintage features with modern statement pieces  

Kelly Wearstler's style lessons

(Image credit: The Ingalls)

While the interiors definitely have an LA attitude, they are also very worldly and global, which is not unlike the city. We worked to capture the eclectic experience and richness of culture in Downtown L.A. Whenever I design a space there is a mix of vintage and contemporary pieces – that is a consistent theme throughout all of my work. 

In this project that is manifested through vintage furnishings such as hand-carved chairs from Mexico, and vintage Turkish, Moroccan, and handcrafted rugs. There are also a number of custom installations by local creatives including Abel Macias, Morgan Peck, and Ben Medansky, which ground the interiors in a sense of place.

Kelly Wearstler's style lessons

(Image credit: The Ingalls)

You can find the Downtown L.A. Proper at 1100 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015, United States. For more information, you can also visit www.properhotel.com.  

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly loves writing about contemporary styles and trends for Livingetc.