BOOK REVIEW: Kelly Wearstler’s Rhapsody.

Yesterday morning I got a package in the mail. Hmm, who sent this, I wondered? It was Kelly Wearstler’s new book, Rhapsody! For a minute I thought SHE sent it to me, until WHOOPS I remembered that I preordered it a few months ago. Oh the hubris! I actually for a second hoped/thought it would be signed! Hahaha. What an idiot. Her PR people are probably laughing at me in her office right now.

Anyway, here I am reviewing it for you. First, Kelly is a genius. She is doing amazing things. Mostly, continuing on this 80s meets 70s acid trip revival she has been on. Hollywood regency is a distant memory. And she’s made me really glad it is. Going on a journey with KW, in any of her spaces or books is like an exciting adventure down Alice’s rabbit hole. And love it or hate it, get it or don’t get it, the book and her work is interesting on every page. Even when it scares me a little bit. Which it does a few times in Rhapsody. The book is about contrasts and balance, the raw vs the refined, graphic lines vs sensuality, minimalist organic modernist vs   the gaudy luxury of the 80s, its about simplicity vs explosive complexity, sleekness vs layered texture.

For me, her work is the best when she imposes some restraint on herself. I feel like she knows how to make every moment powerful, every room impactful and every detail impeccable. I, personally, enjoy the photos that celebrate restraint, the sculpture of her work. To me, there is nothing more chic than a single object on a table. Clusters abound in Rhapsody, but this unadorned photo above is just magical to me. Even if the room didnt have the chevron floors, I still absolutely cannot get over the shape and weight of the table, the curves of the sofa, the simple column side table, the amazing lamp, and the art with the single dot. This is a maximalist minimalist heaven, to me. THIS is what I would do in my own house, how I would want to live. This is the kind of make-under I want.

I like the rooms that are both quiet and loud, the rooms that are organic, sexy, wild and restful. Here are some of my favorites:

Some thoughts:

1. She’s doing amazing things with stones, marbles and floors.

2. She still loves the hand painted scribble/Keith Haring-y walls.

3. She has her favorite pieces of furniture, and she uses them multiple times throughout the book.

4. Black and white graphic forms: stripes, chevron, checks, you name it, are all heavily in use, grounding sinuous furniture.

5. The book is largely monochromatic. Not entirely, but its grounded in neutrals, where her previous work was much more colorful.

6. My least favorite rooms and images are the very brown ones, of which there are a bunch.

7. I loved the behind the scenes photo pulls, many of which are photos from her blog.

8. Gone are the days when Kelly is posing in a ball gown in her kitchen, on the back cover she is taking photos and shopping for pieces. This book is edgier, and more punk.

The photos I chose as a teaser really just represent what I like. There is a lot to see. You can buy Rhapsody HERE.


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  1. Lawny says:

    Great review, bang on.

  2. thanks for the photos! I’m still waiting on my book to arrive