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Experiencing Inspiration...

Our Visit to the Proper Hotel in San Francisco

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As you might have seen on our Insta stories last week, the EHD team took a trip up to San Francisco to go to the Pinterest headquarters for a special content creators conference (which was awesome and I’m SO excited to get it all amped up). We stayed at the Proper hotel which was absolutely stunning. They reached out a while ago for Brian and me to have a getaway, but when we needed a place to stay for this conference, we realized this was better and worked out so well. Sara brought her camera and we were able to capture my room and the lobby/restaurant to show you the design insanity that is this hotel.

Proper was designed by Kelly Wearstler and like all her work, it’s CRAZY in such an inspiring way.

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It’s Art Deco meets ’80s with modern amenities and takes an incredible amount of design risks. There are some things that had I seen individually, I would have deemed “ugly.” But together, it was amazing—design magic. It was such a great reminder that when you think outside the trend box and do something exciting, you can create a space that goes beyond anything you see online—good design can dictate and change moods and thus really can control our happiness. Of course, a hotel is an easier venue to execute this kind of risk-taking because it is meant to be a temporary space; no one will live here long term and there really isn’t just “one” client.

I can’t tell you how much this shot of inspiration was needed for our team. The complex cocktail of spirits that came together at the hand of Kelly Wearstler was like a palate cleanser. As designers in a digital world, we are SO stuck behind a computer. We need inspiration but finding it takes time and effort. When found, that inspiration changes your perspective, shifts your norms, breaks your own rules and makes you want to create awe-inspiring spaces.

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Soaking in the dining room, visually. was definitely inspiring (the food was awesome, too). The floor, the walls, the light fixtures (which we all stared at for a solid 10 minutes trying to describe), the COLOR, it’s all such a good reminder of how you can customize a space in a way that makes you want to look at every. single. detail.

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The team at Proper gave us a discount for our stay, but this post was something that we wanted to do to show you the inspiration that we felt while there. We couldn’t stop talking about it and we’ve been referencing it since.

Before I destroyed my room with clothes and passed out on my bed, Sara shot it (and another guest room) and I’m so glad she did so that I can see the risks that were taken and analyze how we felt about them even after we left.

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So many patterns. Yes, they were all different scales but there were SO MANY PATTERNS.

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We counted nine (NINE!) black-and-white patterns of different scales. That’s crazy. I would have never done this. I would have definitely said it was too much and even called it “overly-designed.” But when you are in the space, it’s incredible. You can tell that Kelly had fun in hopes that when you stay there you also have fun.

Would I do this in a residential home? Not typically. But here, it worked like magic.

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Bold large-scale floral wallpaper + smaller scale wallpaper + medium shade fabric + even smaller sofa fabric + bed textiles: It shouldn’t work, BUT IT’S WONDERFUL.

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I’ve been staring at these photos, realizing that all those rules you think should apply, just don’t when done REALLY well. Breaking the mold creates excitement. And the EHD team was EXCITED.

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If you are visiting SF, I can’t recommend Proper enough. That city doesn’t have a ton of boutique hotels so I was excited that this was an option. If you are into design, it’s worth a visit, even just for a drink at the bar.

So what do you think? Could you do this in your own home? Or is this kind of design nuttiness best left for a hotel, designed by Kelly Wearstler?

***Photography by Sara Tramp for EHD

  1. Fun!
    Please tell me what jeans beautiful girl on the far left is wearing??? Want! And would love the black blouse too!
    Hope to hear.

    1. Hi Jess here! My jeans are from Madewell and i LOVE them. Here is the link: https://rstyle.me/n/c5qgaksdhw

      The blouse is from & Other Stories but I can’t find it online. If you go in the store it has a black velvety shooting star print. Normally that’s not my style but it’s super subtle and fun:)

      1. Hi there.. while we are sharing fashion advice, please share the source of the blue dress your beautiful team member is wearing.. looking for nursing compatible fashionable clothing is soooo difficult!! Thanks much

      2. Thank you so, so much!

  2. STUNNING HOTEL!!! My sister, Michelle, is just starting out as an interior designer, but I can totally see her in this entire design! Michelle absolutely loves mixing patterns and texturess! Check out her stuff : https://birchdesigntheory.com/

  3. OMG I LOVE THIS! So many patterns, but all in a monochromatic color palette – it really works

  4. describing the ‘shade’ portion of those incredible light fixtures -old fashioned bloomers ; )

    loooooving Kelly Wearstler’s mad, creative -fearless!- design genius on display here!!!

    on another subject entirely: isn’t a waterfall edge on a kitchen countertop like a herringbone floor or bridge faucets or brass anything..? when done well, aren’t they all Timeless?
    i think one in the Mountain Fixer Upper might bring a lovely balance to the space.
    it would definitely be keeping in the ‘hide everything’ direction of the design already in play. looking at the beautiful veining in a piece of marble/soapstone/other natural material is surely more quieting than seeing all the legs of the bar stools, right? though i don’t mind a kitchen looking like a kitchen -appliances visible etc- so i don’t think a waterfall edge is ‘necessary because chair legs need to be hidden!’ or anything. as you discussed in the previous blog post, a waterfall edge would become just another design choice made in the creation of your dream kitchen. : )

  5. So I have to say it: it’s amazing, but I have to draw the line on the restaurant pendant lights. Sconces are great, but the frilliness of the pendants bothers me a little bit. Bedroom A++

  6. Kelly Wearstler is a friggin’ genius. There’s basically zero chance I could do any of this in my own home, but only because there’s no way it would look this good. Also, I love this type of daring design at a hotel, but at home, I prefer things that are a little calmer. I think it was so inspiring for you guys because it was a jolt of something new, but if you looked at it every day…probably not the same result. Regardless, gorgeous, and so jealous of your stay.

    1. Agreed. So awesome to visit. Its almost like I can’t handle that much inspiration on a daily basis 🙂

  7. Oh my god that is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in quite some time! What a great treat for y’all

  8. SO COOL! I want to go to there 🙂

  9. The dining pendants remind me of the frilly, long tablecloths that covered our bedside tables in the ’80s. Not really going for it, but leave it to Kelly Wearstler to make it work.
    The bedroom is a bit too visually noisy for me – I appreciate the guts in combining so many patterns and it really does work – crazily enough. I just couldn’t feel really relaxed with that much pattern around me in a bedroom.
    The striped velvet sofas outside the dining room are wonderful.
    Thanks for sharing! Hotel design is my absolute favorite and my dream job – to design hotels. How much fun would that be?!

    1. its funny because when you are in the hotel room you don’t feel like its nuts. you are just super surprised that they went there. because its all black and white and not BLACK and WHITE (more charcoal and cream or light gray) it is really calming. Well, maybe not ‘REALLy’ calming but pretty calming. BY THE WAY AND IN CASE I DIDN’T TELL WE WEREN’T EVEN ASKED TO DO THIS POST WE JUST LOVED IT THAT MUCH- THAT BED WAS THE BEST BED WE HAVE EVER SLEPT IN. they have some sort of pillow top that is AMAZING. Just an extra endorsement because all of us were that impressed.

  10. ” There are some things that had I seen individually, I would have deemed “ugly.” But together, it was amazing—design magic”. This is how I often think of Kelly Wearstler’s design. Sometimes I hate it; sometimes I love it.

    But this I love!

    1. Meant to add that I love all the art she chose. To me, it’s so sad to see a place without any art. You find lots of things fairly cheaply; it doesn’t all have to be costly.

      I’m liking the bloomer pendant shades — reminds me of Edwardian English rooms.

      1. I liked them a lot. they were exciting to look at and i have a real love for edwardian anything so that makes sense 🙂

  11. How fortuitous! I just booked this a few weeks ago for a fam trip in July. Will be a perfect kick off to our Pacific Coast Hwy tour down to LA. REALLLY looking forward to it. Thanks for affirming my booking!

    1. yay!! congrats. its awesome xx

  12. What an exquisite hotel! I love every single element. Must go there for a special occasion.

  13. Love Kelly Wearstler. There’s no one else like her.

  14. OMG I would love to know where that duvet(?), blanket (?) is from! Any idea?

  15. Yes pattern! I currently have at least 12 patterns in my bedroom. Most of them black and white.

  16. This is something I’ve been wondering about for awhile and don’t mean to offend with my question so hopefully, it doesn’t come across this way (always harder to interpret intention over the internet :-)). Design is so subjective and often if you pick apart every little detail there are things you may not like, however, when looking at the overall picture/ vision it is stunning and worth the risks taken (like this). You are such a talented designer and I was wondering if you find it difficult to maintain your vision and aesthetic with so much feedback – especially with the mountain house model of engagement. Does the feedback inspire your creativity or limit it?

  17. GREAT JOB … the room is sooooooooooooooo inviting !!!!!

  18. Wonderful transformation and I love it! Thanks for sharing this amazing post.

  19. Just love the innovative way this is styled .Would love to stay there one day too.

  20. Interestingly, I was just in San Francisco, and the energy there was inspiring. Somehow, this later led to me wearing a large-scale floral print scarf, a thin-striped black and white shirt, and very large scale Native-American-inspired graphic print leggings. I guess Kelly’s vibes were reaching out to me via the air waves. Great shots!

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