Molly Lee Interior Design

Describe the project.  

This is our home that we have lived in for five years. We have done pretty extensive work throughout. I was able to experiment, have fun and let my true self come through in my design. It’s laid-back yet polished and fits our family perfectly. I love using my own space as a platform to explore and push the envelope. No rules here—that’s where the magic happens!

Tell us about your design firm.

Listening is key. I like to have a discussion about what elements attracted clients to their house in the first place, and then I make sure those are highlighted and utilized. Often it’s as simple as showing clients different ways to lay out a room that they may have never previously considered. Your home has to be livable, but I also believe in having nice things. Those two ideas can coexist. 

I love pattern and color, but I’m not going to throw a ton of patterns and layer multiple textures in a minimalistic house—although maybe I encourage them to do window treatments in an interesting color, or some tasteful wallpaper in a bathroom. Minimal doesn’t have to mean boring. 

What is a favorite space to design?

This is the perfect climate to think of your outdoor space as an extension of your inside living area. Coordinate your outdoor furniture with what is happening inside, choose performance fabric and liven up the space. Add rugs, fire pits/fireplaces, pizza ovens, good lighting and plants. It should feel just as cozy as the interior of your home, whether it’s your balcony overlooking the ocean or your expansive yard with a pool. Size doesn’t matter.

What do people tend to neglect in their homes?

Lighting. Sounds weird, but think about when you approach a house and the lighting is perfect—the trees in the yard are up-lit, the art is highlighted properly, the stairs are backlit, there are outdoor sconces. They all play a huge part in completing the package of your home. It can be pricey, so remember that when creating a budget. Great lighting is not something that jumps out at you; it’s more of a feeling. It’s worth the cost to have a beautiful lighting design and fantastic fixtures.

Aside from designing homes, what brings you joy?

My 8-year-old son, Charlie, my husband, Eric, and having friends and family that live around the corner. I love animals and have two dogs, Rick and Stan, and a horse, Hugo. Being around animals grounds me; it is my favorite thing to quiet my mind. Life is a balancing act, so I try to remember that as I’m juggling baseball equipment, fabric samples and a dog or two. I’m very grateful for the life I have cultivated and hope that reflects in the way I live each day.

Photographed by Shane O’Donnell (headshot) & Lauren Taylor (project)