Kate Lester Interiors

Describe the featured project.

This is a gorgeous and completely custom Kate Lester Interiors-designed home in Hermosa Beach. This will always be a favorite project. It was a spec build that was purchased early on by the most amazing family relocating from the East Coast. As the house was being built, they said, “Kate, we walked the house, and we love your vision so far. Let’s just keep going!” They are the kind of clients every designer dreams of. Their main requests were that the home feel warm, comfortable and interesting—that was so refreshing. When you enter this home, it immediately feels so personal and welcoming.

Tell us about a daring choice you made that paid off.

We made some daring choices all over this house. I think each interior we design should be unique. A lot of times clients say, “I love what you did at this house or that house,” and that’s great. We want to do something different every time. The personality of the clients must always shine through in the design, and we nailed it here. These clients are bold, unassuming and unique, and each room in their home reflects that in an interesting way.

What’s your favorite way to shake things up in your work?

We always like to add “one weird thing.” It may be a light fixture, an object, a bold pattern mix or a uniquely scaled piece of art. I want there to be something in the space that pushes the boundaries just a little and gets people talking. I would rather we design a space that people say something about (good or bad) than it be so generic that they fail to comment on it at all. Life is too short to be boring.

How do you continue to outdo your own great ideas year after year?

I think it’s all about not getting complacent. Being by the coast, it’s so easy to pop a shell in a bookcase and fall back on a mainstream coastal template of a style. As a design firm, we can do better than that! My goal is to create spaces that exude coastal vibes without being overly literal. We constantly ask ourselves how we can elevate a coastal aesthetic and what that looks like to our clients and their lifestyles. It’s all about leveling up.

What’s new with Kate Lester Interiors this year? 

2022 was a whirlwind year! We launched our own line of reproduction vintage rugs with Jaipur Living, and this year our work was featured in Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal, House & Home, Real Simple, Rue magazine and more! Our retail brand expanded, and we now have two Kate Lester HOME stores—one in Manhattan Beach and one in Hermosa Beach! Being from the South Bay, it makes me so happy to infuse our elevated and curated aesthetic into the community I’ve always called home!

Project photographed by Douglas Friedman; Headshot by Robert Peterson