As an interior designer, Kristi Nelson is a captivating blend of paradoxes. She’s a crunchy Californian who loves lacquer; a trained studio artist who’s favorite residential project decidedly has no art on the walls. She designs a hip weed dispensary as well as she does a chic Parisian-inspired flat. On her furniture collection for Chelsea House, the brand describes her sensibilities as, “Laid-back and luxe, soft and edgy, sophisticated yet playful.” She is, somehow, all of these beautiful things in one. Click play on the video below to watch DNN editor in Chief, Courtney Porter, in conversation with Kristi Nelson or read on for some of the discussion’s top takeaways:
Top Takaways from our conversation with Kristi Nelson
Kristi Nelson brings a glamorous, fashion-forward appeal to Chelsea House
Lately, Kristi draws her inspiration from the world of jewelry design. The art of taking elements from the earth, carefully shaping them to play with light, then giving them a polished finish to radiate a clean and glamorous allure— the very essence of Kristi Nelson’s distinctive style, seen throughout her collection at Chelsea House. Her collection seamlessly merges sleek contemporary lines with the innate beauty of natural materials, while upholding the classicism that the brand is known for.
Her favorite piece from her collection is the San Cristobal lamp (pictured above), a nod to the Galapagos island of the same name. Crafted from organic, cast brass, this piece boasts an intriguing upside-down loop shape and supports a crystal ball that dances stylistically between clean sophistication and organic ‘imperfection.’
Kristi Nelson’s advice to young interior designers
Kristi Nelson has a knack for helping young designers discover what they’re passionate about. She is a wealth of wisdom for those embarking on their design journeys: Consider beginning your career at a smaller firm—it might not come with all the perks of a larger firm, but the learning curve is steep and swift. Most importantly, this path sidesteps the potential of being pigeonholed. Opting for a smaller setting opens doors to a multitude of chances to explore what you love and cultivate specialized expertise.
More from Kristi Nelson for Chelsea House
There are times when you don’t need to gild the lily…
When do you know the work is finished? When do you step away? That was a problem Kristi always struggled with as a visual artist and one many creatives will find relatable.
Something finally clicked during her recently completed project: a chic, feminine flat in Los Angeles that was, “all about the furniture.” When reflecting on what would become her favorite residential project, she recalled trying to put her client’s art collection on the walls. It was beautiful but it “never felt right.” That’s when she realized, that was because it was unnecessary. “There are sometimes when undone is done.”