Introducing… kate lester HOME styling services!

Got a bookcase that needs some serious help? We got you.

What about a Living Room with bare walls and no accents? We got you.

Bedroom almost there but not quite? We got you.

Introducing, kate lester HOME Styling Services. One space, one fee, endless possibilities. Our home styling services are the perfect solution to those spaces that just need some final touches to bring everything together.

Interested? I thought you might be! Read on for all of the deets:

I developed HOME Styling Services because so many people have been coming into the store and asking for styling help. (And YES, if I could clone myself, I would love to personally come to each one of your homes and make them fab!) People see our perfectly styled bookcases and spaces on Pinterest and Instagram and are eager to have us help them re-create that look in their own home. We get it. Who doesn’t want designer-inspired spaces? The problem is that our boutique firm is already jam-packed with projects and these styling jobs are not quite the right fit for our design team to tackle. However, knowing me… I still wanted to help!

Fast forward three months, lots of late night brainstorming,  and we’re launching kate lester HOME Styling Services. Now we have a dedicated team of KL style experts at the ready to tackle those single-space projects and styling dilemmas.

The Basics: HOME Styling Services are $225 per space. This includes the intital appointment as well as the styling day installation. There is a minimum purchase requirement of $500 per room, and you must reside in the greater Los Angeles Area. (Not sure? Give us a call.)

Get it Booked: If your are interested, please contact the store at 310.372.0550 to schedule your home styling appointment. Styling appointments are limited, so reach out and get yours booked today!

We look forward to meeting you, and bringing even more kate lester HOME Style to the masses! xoxo k.

Manhattan Beach Project Reveal

Ok, so I am a little behind on this one. We actually completed this project about two months ago, but things have been so crazy that I am only now getting around to putting the reveal up on the blog. First and foremost, can I just say… OHMYGAWD I love this house.

The people who live here are the sweetest family. They are a little Cape Cod traditional and a little California Chic, so we worked our KLI magic, and what was born was the lovechild of these two styes and now I want to move in and just sleep in this entry because I am so obsessed.

If you would have seen the house before, you would have died. Yellow walls, rust colored carpets. Very 90’s-00’s hip, but totally ready for a re-do. We bleached the dark floors, opened up the dining and living room, and painted the walls and ceilings Simply White (by Benjamin Moore) throughout.

To add a bit of contrast and east coast sophistication we painted all of the trim and doors this perfect gray-ish taupe color (Cliffside Gray by Benjamin Moore). Our clients were totally game for this and I love it. In the Dining Room we went rogue and papered the walls blue, then added these totally random green velvet chairs. They are not what you would expect for this space, which is exactly what we were going for here.

Oh, and how about that small original watercolor framed in a massive mat? You can tell we were feeling very hip the day we designed this space.

Can we just have a quick talk about rooms that are my MOSTFAVORITEEVERINMYLIFE? Because this office is up there on the list. The grasscloth, the beadboard paneling, the vintage rug, YASSS! I love that it’s warm and textural but simple and sophisticated as well. This room used to be red and white with carpet BTW.

In the Family Room & Kitchen we focused on clean lines and classic materials. Mixing in vintage and found objects was key in these spaces to keep if from feeling too trendy, beachy, or decorated.

Oversized pendants are never a bad choice in the kitchen, in case you were wondering. I wonder if I will ever tire of using bridge faucets? Probably not.

This chandelier below is made from reclaimed driftwood. Layered texture without too much distraction was key here to give the room depth. Also, please note that one set of patio doors has woven shades, and one has drapes. We did this on purpose because one set is used more frequently. It’s a good reminder to all of our readers that everything doesn’t always have to match and that some design rules are made to be broken!


No one actually does laundry in this Laundry Room. It’s just too chic. Just kidding, they have to wash their clothes, so I am assuming they use it every once and a while.

This is a teenage girl’s bathroom. Raise your hand if she is cooler than you. (Raising hand.)

Teen boy- also cooler than you because he has this awesome window over his vanity and that floor is to die for.


This killer vignette below is not in a hallway or entry. It’s INSIDE the Master Bath. I love the juxtaposition of the contemporary art layered over the more traditional wall paneling. Plus, who doesn’t want fantastic oversized contemporary art in their bathroom? Please put art in unexpected spaces, it instantly makes the room feel more alive.


I knew these were fabulous clients when getting rid of this window over the master vanity was not even a discussion. I have always wanted to put a window over a vanity but no one will let me. (Apparently having mirrors in a bathroom is “more important”.) Well, now everyone can see that it’s totally perfect and fabulous and unique and makes this room unbelievably cool.

I told you you would fall madly in love with this house and try to move in. Was I right? Moral of the story here is that a little white paint goes a LONG way, windows over bathroom vanities are totally on point, and green velvet is ALWAYS a good idea. Thanks for following along, now go hang some chic art in unexpected spaces and make me proud.

Cheap & cheerful IKEA must-haves

So this week I got to be part of article from Apartment Therapy where real live interior designers shared their go-to pieces from… wait for it… IKEA.

Now before I go any further, let’s get something straight. I am a regular human being, therefore I have the same exact love/hate/love relationship with IKEA that you do. I walk in, and I am all “ew, ew, ew, college dorm, ew…” , and then,  just like that, I fall in love with something and can’t believe that somewhere in Sweden someone figured out a way to manufacture and produce it for such an unbelievable price.  (hello, Stockholm 2017 Rattan Cabinet I am talking to you.)

So for those of you who know me, you may be a little skeptical since you know what a stickler I am for craftsmanship, shopping small, & furniture pieces with impeccable details and quality. That being said, sometimes you gotta do a little high-low, and that doesn’t get easier than a quick trip to Ikea. Don’t believe me? Take a look at a few of our past projects where a piece from Ikea was not only cheap & cheerful, it was the star of the show.

This chair is everything! The Storsele chair is one of my all-time favorites. It’s the perfect textural accent with its loopy, woven back, and the noir finish keeps it from feeling to rustic. I love to pair it with a wool throw or sheepskin (also from Ikea) to add softness.

The large Hektar pendant light is one of Ikea’s best introductions in the last five years. The matte finish gives it a rustic, almost vintage feel, and the glossy white interior keeps it functional. The scale is slightly oversized, which makes it the perfect inexpensive addition to a kitchen or bar. Lots of style at an unbeatable price!
This one is double trouble, because I think these two pair perfectly together in an entry or playroom. In these kind of tight spaces the Hemnes shoe cabinet doubles as an actual cabinet. I swap out the hardware for something decorative and fabulous (these are the Streamline knobs from Anthro) and then secure it to the wall to give it a more customized, built-in feel. To add dimension and a designer touch I like to pair it with the Mosslanda picture ledges since the whites are a perfect match. Such a chic, inexpensive solution then allows you to splurge a little more on art, rugs, and accessories!
The Gjora bed may very well be my most favorite new Ikea introduction. The clean-lined dowel posts and slight nod to a mid-century aesthetic make it super versatile but also still on trend. I love that it comes in a natural finish because that makes it customizable! I had this one stained a medium brown with a slight grey wash and it looks like a million dollars!
See, I told you. You thought you had made your last trip to the big blue box your senior year in college, didn’t you? Well guess what? Accessibly priced (chic) furniture will always be on trend, and every once and a while Ikea gives us a reason to pop on over, eat some Swedish meatballs and add a little cheap and cheerful to our lives. Ikea I can’t quit you.

Kate’s House Remodel

A little over two years ago we were driving around our neighborhood and I stumbled upon the most absolutely terrible old home for sale. (So obvi I made us stop.) Let me reiterate that this was not one of those charming vintage finds you see in the movies. This was a full-on pink carpet, rock roof, yellow walls 1950’s fixer-upper. The moment I walked in I told the listing agent we would take it. (While my husband stood there looking at me like I was nuts.) She was thrilled, considering we were the only people who had crossed the threshold and didn’t turn around immediately and walk out. (What can I say, I love a challenge!) Forty-eight hours later we were in escrow, and ready to embark on our first live-in investment remodel as a married couple… with a six month old baby. (Insert hindsight being 20/20 here.)

Galley kitchen before photo

When we got the keys the kitchen looked like this. No biggie, just spray it white and pop in an area rug, I said. This was supposed to be an investment/flip after all… right?! Well, NOTSOMUCH. Once we got down and dirty, we realized the cabinets were full of mold and other terrible rotted things from 1950 so out they went. Not to mention the fact that I was less than thrilled to have my washer and dryer next to my oven, so those had to go too. (Goodbye budget!!) We centered the sink under the window, (because um, hi OCD) and then we upgraded all of the plumbing, lighting and appliances. Inexpensive white 4×4 ceramic tile was my saving grace, and I made it interesting with a contrast grout. The charcoal quartz countertops hide a myriad of sins, and help break up all of the white. A roman shade with PeterDunham’s Fig Leaf fabric and a vintage turkish rug were my splurges, but I think they really add character and contrast.

White kitchen black countertops wood floors and vintage rug remodel after image designed by Kate Lester Interiors

While all this was happening, we started to tackle the odd-shaped family room. Insert audible gasp at horrific color palette and wood paneling here. And yes, that is brown carpet.

Living Room before picture Kate Lester Interiors

Want to know what was under the wood paneling? Floral wallpaper, plaster, and more wallpaper. So there was lots of drywall and paint and new doors and windows and all kinds of money flying out said windows. I did do a little happy dance when we pulled up the carpet and found amazing wood flooring that was original to the house, so you know I had that stripped and refinished and it came out so fab! The ultra-narrow built in cabinet and picture ledges are from Ikea and the rug is vintage turkish via our home store kate lester HOME. It also helped that as this was all going on our daughter got older, learned how to walk/talk and got super cute and photogenic. So she makes pretty much any room adorable.

Family room with fireplace white brick fireplace and built in cabinet and floating shelves vintage Turkish rug fig leaf tree and kids play table designed by Kate Lester Interiors

The other day someone asked me if I had a company motto. I guess we don’t really have one at KLI, but I did have a motto for this remodel, and it was  “more white paint”! Simply White by Benjamin Moore is my absolute favorite because it’s the perfect blend of white/yellow/gray and reflects natural light so perfectly. We used about three thousand gallons on this house.

Guest, secondary or kids bedroom before remodel picture Kate Lester Interiors

It turns out that the bedrooms were less gross, but I mean, I guess it’s all relative isn’t it?! My daughter’s room (above) is literally the size of a Jimmy Choo box, so I was pretty sure she would be sleeping in one of the drawers of the dresser if I didn’t get it together pretty quickly. We ripped off the bad plastic wainscot, replaced the windows, and painted the whole room white (see remodel motto above). Under the carpet was more glorious original floor so we refinished that and voila! A much brighter, fresher livable space! Now we are all so happy, we never wear shoes, and no one is sleeping in a dresser drawer.

White and pink girls bedroom with toddler bed remodel "after photo" designed by Kate Lester Interiors

The “master” (let’s use this term very loosely) was the most vibrant shade of pastel yellow, it was a tough one deciding if we should keep it (i kid). My goal for this room was to create a palette that would help make it feel like a very tiny sanctuary where we could escape while the rest of the house was in shambles. So I painted it navy blue.

Bedroom before Kate Lester Interiors remodel

For those of you afraid to paint a small room a darker color, don’t be! Embrace it! It’s all about the contrast and accents. The last thing people ever say when they walk in this room is that it feels dark or small. Blending textures and lighter, natural tones keeps the color (Hale Navy from Benjamin Moore) from becoming too heavy, and the vintage textiles and rugs keep it from feeling too serious or masculine.

Bedroom with Navy blue walls vintage nightstand and rug and patterned bedding designed by Kate Lester Interiors

Apparently we had so much fun doing this we are getting ready to do it ALL over again! I mean look at us, don’t we look thrilled?! Just last week we found ourselves head over heels with another absolutely terrible fixer-upper a few blocks from the beach. We’re in escrow so it’s time to sell this sweet little labor of love. Hopefully we’ll make a nice big profit and I can spend it all on more white paint for the next adventure! Stay tuned!  xo k.

Family room with fireplace white brick fireplace and art with vintage Turkish rug and fig leaf tree designed by Kate Lester Interiors

All (good) photos via Lauren Pressey Photography.

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Throwback Reveal: Silver Street

Anyone else been nine months pregnant and finishing up a new construction design project? It’s SO fun. That’s where I was about three years ago when we finished this bad boy. I can’t even begin to tell you how freaked out everyone would get when I was walking on planks or adjusting light fixtures THAT pregnant. I think the contractor just didn’t want me giving birth at his job site, and frankly I don’t blame him. (But how GREAT of a story would that have been?!)  Read on to see how I survived, gave birth at a regular hospital, and how some of my favorite spaces really came together in this gorgeous home.

Blue kitchen wood countertop metal barstools white subway tile designed by Kate Lester Interiors

Did I mention this house has a bright blue kitchen? Oh, yea, that is full-on blue. It’s actually a custom color we developed with the cabinet manufacturer during the design+build process. How much do you have to trust your designer to let her sell you on a blue kitchen? Quite a bit, which is why I would like to take this moment to say we have the best clients… ever. Simple white subway tile reflects the natural light perfectly, and allows the paint color be the standout here.  Kitchen with wood countertop farmhouse sink and faucet designed by Kate Lester Interiors

To bring in some warmth and softness we outfitted the island with a butcher block top and apron front sink. These small details pop when set against the deep blue, and create a unique space that is just as functional as it is beautiful.

Blue kitchen wood countertop metal barstools white subway tile designed by Kate Lester Interiors

I would absolutely eat pastries here every morning if this was my home. I also feel like I don’t see enough butcher block top islands. Maybe I need to make that a thing. It’s really chic.Pattern wallpaper powder room pedestal sink library light designed by Kate Lester Interiors

So when we first got these plans in hand, this was a closet. Yes, a closet. Now it is the most fab teeny tiny powder room with funky patterned wallpaper and a vintage-inspired library light.

Black and white bathroom black cabinet vintage pattern tile designed by Kate Lester Interiors

Because upstairs had enough blue to go around, downstairs we shifted gears and brought in a pop of the unexpected with this classic black and white palette. Would you be surprised if I said this is still one of our most re-pinned and re-grammed images? This is further proof to me that black and white are always a good idea, especially when paired together, in a guest bathroom.

There are like a million more images of this home, so be sure to check out our portfolio page to see the rest. Can’t wait to hear if this home inspired you to go big in your kitchen as well!

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Throwback Reveal: Avenue A

This house is truly an oldie but a goodie. Would you believe me if I told you we completed it almost FIVE years ago? How fresh and fab is it still, AMIRITE?! This is why I pretty much come to blows with anyone who says white is boring. White is NEVER boring. It is the Jennifer Anniston of interior design color schemes. It’s classic, cool, and in a league of it’s own. Read on to see how we helped transform a little dilapidated beach cottage into this coastal, casual and cool modern farmhouse.

White paint farmhouse kitchen and gray island and wood hood over range.

Our team was so killer for this project. When you get to work with people who respect and appreciate good design, it is a gift. Denton Developments and Richard Haynes Real Estate are those people. They even kept their annoyance with me and their eye rolling at my weird ideas to a minimum. Basically they are saints.

White farmhouse Kitchen white countertops wood floors subway tile backsplash and wood barstools designed by Kate Lester Interiors

This house was mint green and had walls everywhere when I first walked it. We opened up the floor plan, added more square footage on the first floor and a completely brand new second story. By the time we were finished, it was goodbye sad, dark house, and hello fresh new farmhouse. We used simple subway tile with a contrast grout to add interest in the kitchen and the leftover reclaimed wood from the floor to panel the hood, because it was just too gorgeous to go to waste. It’s probably my most favorite feature of this kitchen, but then, so are the all-white cabinets and simple paneled island, so I pretty much love it all.

White farmhouse Kitchen with banquette breakfast nook and white countertops wood floors subway tile backsplash and wood barstools designed by Kate Lester Interiors

The breakfast nook was such an integral part of the overall design concept. Our clients wanted a place where eating, cooking, homework and family time could all happen at once, without any walls. It feels so open and airy, and it totally works. Plus I found more reclaimed wood and we paneled the back of the hutch to tie in the hood. It adds a texture you don’t often see in a kitchen area, and is pretty unique.

White bathroom with bathtub marble countertop and white cabinets designed by Kate Lester Interiors

This bathroom is like the perfect white and stone sanctuary. Can we talk about that tub? It’s calling my name as we speak. Polished nickel accents keep it from feeling too casual, and the oversized art adds a bit of the unexpected. A word of advice, don’t be afraid to put art in the bathroom. Hang it, lean it, just get it in there!

Be sure to check out our portfolio page to see the rest of the images of this completed project. All photos by the uber-talented Amy Bartlam.

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Kate Lester Interiors