James Swan

I mail out free resources & goodies. Sign up to receive then in your inbox.

Episode 268: Sally Wilson & John Kelsey

Listen to this episode

The husband and wife team of Sally Wilson & John Kelsey, ASID, began working together 30 years ago at a large architectural office.

They formed Wilson Kelsey Design and formalized their office in 1996.


Wilson Kelsey Design, Inc. is known for their thoughtful approach to design, and their warm, approachable work style. Their ability to connect with each client, to uncover that client’s uniqueness, and to express it in their interiors, is their specialty. No two projects are alike, as no clients are alike. Avoiding trendiness, they create interiors that endure, regardless of style. Their projects are located from southern New Hampshire to Cape Cod, with Palm Beach, Fl in the near future.


Sally Wilson, ASID and John Kelsey, the two principals of Wilson Kelsey Design, were recognized with ten awards in 2010 for design excellence. Married for 30 years, this husband and wife team works seamlessly together to create beautiful and lasting interiors for homes and offices. They are often complimented by their clients for their attention to detail, dedication, creativity, and ability to communicate abstract concepts. They work collaboratively with architects on new buildings, often handle interior renovations themselves, design custom furniture and cabinetry, and provide the full compliment of interior decoration services.


Individual Resumes:

Sally Wilson, ASID, NCIDQ


Sally Wilson, one of New England’s most well respected and well known interior designers, is adept at working in any style, as her interior design portfolio reflects, but her work is always grounded in the fundamentals of classical design.


She is a long time board member of the New England chapter of the New York City based Institute of Classical Art and Architecture and has studied historic preservation at the Masters level at the Preservation Institute: Nantucket as well as studied the decorative arts at the prestigious Winterthur Museum in Delaware. She holds a Bachelor of Interior Design degree, with high honors, from the University of Florida, and a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Northwestern University.


During her early and extensive career in commercial interior design, her firm completed design work for Boston’s public TV station, WGBH-TV, as well as Simplex Corporation, The Atlantic Monthly, and the Winchester Public Library.


Over the past 30 years, as co-owner and principal of Wilson Kelsey Design, she has also become widely renowned throughout New England for her expertise in working with families who buy older homes, often with historic architectural details they would like preserved or matched, which need to be updated and made comfortable and livable for the demands of today’s modern lifestyle.


Sally is also an expert in the curation of antiques, and her firm’s clientele includes many couples and families who have inherited antiques, who are either downsizing or rightsizing, and need assistance in determining what to keep and what to put up for auction, sale or consignment.


Her firm’s interior design, antique curation, architectural restoration and preservation work has encompassed historic homes from the 1600’s,1700’s,1800’s on up to the 1920s.


Sally finds inspiration for her work in the art of Italy, France and the rest of Europe, and in classical architecture. An avid reader and museum-goer, she is also a classical pianist with a penchant for Chopin. She has taught residential interior design at Endicott College and at the Boston Center for Adult Education. She has also been a featured speaker at historical societies, community clubs, Build Boston and Antique Fairs.

WKD’s interior design work has been on the covers of New England Home magazine, Northshore Magazine, Design New England magazine, Vintage magazine, and also published in The Boston Globe, Interiors Magazine, Contract Interiors, Library Journal, Kitchens and Baths, and many others.


John Kelsey, NCIDQ, CAPS


John Kelsey is renowned throughout New England for his extensive commercial and residential design and construction project management skills in his work as an architectural interior designer. John graduated from Cornell University, and furthered his studies at the Boston Architectural College.  John’s superior spatial visualization and planning skills, combined with his artistic hand rendering skills have led to a deep appreciation – among WKD’s clients and the Boston area architects with whom WKD collaborates – for his expertise in these areas.


Because older homes often have underlying construction issues that need to be addressed first, John’s budgeting, scheduling, construction contracts and documentation, project management, sub-contractor negotiating and problem solving expertise are all extremely important to many of WKD’s clients. They appreciate and value the peace of mind John’s experience affords them.


For his work on historic homes, John received the first preservation award given by Historic Salem for work outside of Salem’s Historic District and his interiors work has been featured in many prestigious publications. He is also a frequent contributor to New England Home magazine’s blog on topics relating to interiors, architectural detailing and older home renovation.

Explore John and Sally’s Website here

Discover John and Sally’s book recommendation, The Great American House, by clicking here

Facebook Comments