Lifestyle Blog

This week we got the honor of being a guest contributor on one of our favorite blogs West Coast Capri

Often times our clients and friends tell us how much they love our completed projects, and then ask quietly... "But how can I get that look for LESS?" The honest truth is that you can't really get our exact look for less, because many of our pieces are custom made or one of a kind finds... BUT, don't fret, because this week on West Coast Capri we showed their readers how get a Kate Lester Interiors Designed coastal bedroom for about a quarter of the price of the real space! Check out the link below to see how we did it, and where you can get the pieces to create a gorgeous "Coastal Chic" bedroom of your very own!

Click on the photo below, or read our Guest Post HERE!

New Bathroom we just completed in Redondo Beach.

We arrived in London for a day of R&R before heading to Paris for Maison & Objet. As we exited the Underground in South Kensington, I was immediately greeted by a Lamburghini dealership and a sushi restaurant. We’d traveled 38,000 miles and ended up in Beverly Hills. All kidding aside I love this part of London!

After checking in to our hotel we decided to wander around for a place to eat that caught our eye. We passed a few traditional English pubs, (which we would of course drop into later) and settled on a darling spot called Bumpkin.  Judging from the amount of simple syrups and fresh fruits along the bar it occurred to me that we had found the younger, hipper cousin of the British Pub, and that I would be drinking far more appealing creations than warm beer this evening. The traditional wood paneling, trim and doors remained in place but had been painted a gorgeous soft grey-ish greenish-blue paint. The tired damask wallpaper and painted tin ceilings were all gone, and instead had been replaced with a fresh modern floral print and chalkboard paint. The wall separating the kitchen had been removed and vibrant green subway tile had been added to draw your eye to the adorable chef and his creations. The wood floors had been stripped and carpet removed to reveal a rougher, distressed look that was cozy and unique. All of the character of English design was still there, but with a brighter, more cheerful feel to it.

As we ordered our organic, farm to table fare and sipped our hand-muddled libations we admired the decor and the ambiance. It’s always inspiring when old is made new again. There is something to be said for keeping the history and past lives of a space while still making it your own. So often we are encouraged to remove, rip out and replace; to just “gut it” because it’s easier to start with a blank canvas. Bumpkin was a great reminder to me that just because something is old or dated, it doesn’t mean new life can’t be breathed into it with a little creativity, imagination, and a few coats of Farrow and Ball.

Jan
22

Daring Decor

This past weekend my Mom & I watched a string of old movies during our girls night. On our agenda was one of my VERY MOST favorites, Auntie Mame! Not only is the main character of this film a free-spirit who's lifestyle seems unique to most, she has her finger on the pulse of daring decor... and it shows!

I just love the idea of decorating for the sake of decorating. So often we get caught up with functionality, and we forget it's ok to install something just because we believe it to be beautiful or interesting. Here, her bedroom is feminine and non-apologetically frilly. That's who her character is and they embraced it! 

Another nod to the unique comes when you come upon Auntie Mame's entry chandelier that doubles as a fish tank. Shouldn't everyone have one of these?!

Auntmame3.jpg

And yes, apparently Auntie Mame had a "Blue Period" as did Picasso. The Art Deco influences are apparent. In particular, the low tailored sofa, the symmetry of the design, the pops of contrasting colors, and that settee that doubles as a planter!

Auntmame4.jpg

No blog post would be complete without a tidbit about the fabulous Orient-Inspired decor you see in the beginning of the film. No detail is left out from the gorgeous Japanese lantern chandelier, to the ornate carvings in the golden room divider.

Aside from being a comedic gem, this movie always reminds me to live life to the fullest and to take chances when you can, be it with your life, wardrobe, or decor!

In honor (or shall I say "honour") of last week's Downton Abby season premiere, I want today's blog post to be all about the classics!

Maybe I am longing for a simpler time, when ladies "dressed" for dinner and well-to-do families hosted hunting parties and picnics with champagne. Either way, plaids, wools, and vintage leather are all on my radar for fashion and design this winter, so I had to share! Do you have any hunting style in your closet or home? If not, here are a few easy ways to incorporate it...

1.Ralph Lauren Sofa 2.Equestrian Hat 3.Twill Chair 4.Vintage Riding Jacket 5.Houndstooth Pillow 6.Tods Riding Boots

So it's time to paint and you are stumped. Before you begin the selection process think about your space and what kind of atmosphere you would like to create.

Blue can be calming and can lower your pulse rate while increasing productivity. This is a wonderful color for home offices, bedrooms. and Laundry Rooms.

Red and Orange promote excitement and enthusiasm. I love these colors in kids playrooms!

Purple is thought to promote artistic creativity. This is a wonderful color for Guest Rooms and Libraries.

Yellow is cheerful, which is why may people decide to use it in the Kitchen. Also fun for Laundry Rooms.

Light Browns and Greys deliver a feeling of serenity. I love to use any kind of Grey in a Master Suite or Master Bath. It creates a very calming and spa-like feel.

Darker Browns provide a stoic earthy atmosphere. Great for Cozy Family Rooms or a Study.

White is crisp and clean feeling, and an obvious popular choice for bathrooms and Kitchens.

If you can't decide, the safest choice might be a Green hue, which is a very popular color for any room. Green is easy on the eyes and is said to be restful and rejuvenating.

For many pet owners like me dogs, cats and other furry or feathered friends are a part of the family. They have free run of the place and make themselves at home even in the places where they really shouldn't. So here are some tips for keeping your pet-filled home full of four-legged love, and as clean (and chic!) as possible.

{1. Woof Woof Poster; 2. Jonathan Adler Dog Bowl Mat; 3. Luxe Dog Bed; 4.Dog Treats;
5. Louis Vuitton Dog Collar}

  • Use pet-friendly fabrics  like microsuede on the upholstery. Save not-so-pet friendly fabrics like silks and velvets for areas the pets won't be near (such as drapery). And be honest with yourself. If you're going to invite the dog into bed to cuddle with you  (we are all guilty of it!) make sure you have the appropriate washable or dryclean-able bedding.
  • Skip the wall-to-wall carpet. If you like the look and feel of carpet try an area rug that can be removed and periodically sent for cleaning or go for something extremely pet friendly, like cow hide or FLOR tiles. Our dog avoids the cow hide under our dining table like the plague!
  • Keep toys and treats in attractive containers. Woven baskets are great for pet toys. Treats are great in nice glass or metal kitchen canisters. Don't be afraid to think outside the box. We use mason jars for our treats!
  • Create a special area for your pet to eat and drink. Set aside a corner of the kitchen, mudroom, or whatever area works in your home and have a placemat set up with food and water bowls. Make it attractive so that it works with your décor and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.

So... I am a Cande-A-Holic. I will admit it, even though it's difficult. See that ridiculous $100 Candle at Barney's that will only last through one dinner party at most? I have 3. It's bad. I know. But, otherwise I am pretty much perfect, so let me have this one vice. OK? :)

My latest obsession are the candles from Belle Fleur NY. A client of mine had them in his office last week, and with one sniff I was addicted. I have a case on order right now. (Try to act surprised if this is your gift next year.) At $58 each, and a burn time of 50 Hours, I think they are actually quite well priced. My favorite scent is the Mayan Tuberose, which has hints of Vanilla, Sandalwood, and a bit of Rose and Gardenia. Love.

Coordinating Room Sprays are also available (and in my shopping cart as we speak.) I love this because then your can give your sofa or throw pillows a spritz too!
Do yourself a favor, toss the bad Vanilla Bean CVS Glade Candle, and gift yourself one of these. You'll thank me later.

Having guests this holiday season? One of the most essential parts of being an exceptional host/hostess is keeping a well stocked bar. I prefer to keep a bar cart so my designated "bartender" (husband) can mingle with guests while making libations. Plus it keeps the party in the Living Room and out of the Kitchen.

Another Holiday Party must is a signature cocktail. I like to use something with Gin or Vodka and a bit of Champagne to keep things festive. The French 75 is an oldie but goodie, and will be a hit with all of your guests. Make it your own by giving it a unique name for the evening like the "Christmas Fizz". Cheers!

{1.Cocktail Tray | 2.Cocktail Shaker | 3.Glass Decanters | 4.Vintage Bar Cart | 5.Cocktail Picks | 6.Collins Glass}

It always happens. You think you have every person checked off your holiday list, and then...bam! You realized you have completely forgotten to buy something for your brothers new hipster girlfriend.

Don't fret. I decided to make it easy on you buy compiling a few must-haves that are perfect for any last minute recipients (hipster or not) and are easy to order, ship, wrap, and have sitting under the tree like they've been there all along...  :)

{1.Pendant Light | 2.Dial Smartphone Case | 3.Carpenter Tools Pens | 4.Whiskey Stones | 5.Peace Poster | 6. Sea Salt Soap | 7.Comfy Slippers | 8.Agate Coasters}

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