Kate Lester is a Southern California-based designer who attended USC’s prestigious Marshall School of Business, and went on to study design and architecture at Otis College in Los Angeles before launching Kate Lester Interiors in 2010. Thriving at the intersection of livable luxury, humor, and realism, Kate believes that the homes she designs should always be carefully crafted, thoughtfully curated, and a direct reflection of the people who inhabit them. With a diversely talented design team in her studio, and two retail stores in Southern California, Kate is thrilled to be spreading her unique design vision with the masses.
Kate Lester’s Favorites
Place to Find Inspiration
I am always inspired in Mexico, from the pigments & textures of the textiles to the patterned tiles and the palette of the natural landscape, ocean and sea life. It’s endless inspiration for me on how to take risks and to better mix and use color in meaningful ways.
Really weird art. My favorite piece is a charcoal sketch of two sumo wrestlers in a vintage wood frame I bought from an antique store in Palm Springs. It reminds me every day that one of the most important parts of my job is to take risks and encourage my clients to think outside of the box and trust the process.
I cannot lie, I am a sucker for a long table with friends at a killer Mexican restaurant. Tacos, tequila and good conversation are all this girl needs. Add in some mariachis and the night is perfection!
My Rowe Design by Kate Lester
The inspiration for Kate’s design initially came from the intersection of art, color and pattern in a space, three elements the designer feels are absolutely essential. “On a sticky note I wrote the words ‘Art + Soul,’ and the direction for our space was born,” says Kate, adding, “I wanted the space to feel curated, collected and full of layers.” A palette of deep green, blues and accents of saturated reds and golds is interspersed with patterned neutrals to create a living space full of intriguing design moments. “I think over the past few years there has been a shift away from risk-taking and rule breaking in the design world,” explains the designer, who often feels that “so much of what we see feels safe, sometimes even boring.” In her My Rowe Design, textured textiles have a bold conversation with high contrast artwork and eye-catching wallpaper, resulting in a space that’s as lively as it is sophisticated. “I wanted to do something different, shake it up and have some fun,” says Kate.
“Layering colors, textures, patterns, mixing metals, and blending the old with the new is what great design is all about.”
“My favorite piece has to be the patterned Chelsea Sofa we selected. The clean lines and tailored details are so perfectly designed to handle a fun fabric…it’s such a versatile piece!”
Imagining who might inhabit this space, Kate thinks of “someone fabulous, obviously!” For her, the inspiration was less about who might live there and more about the feelings the space might evoke. A warm, comfortably chic environment was the ultimate goal. The warm wood grain of the Theory End Table and Cocktail Table join a large collection of artisan-style ceramics in adding an organic feel to the space. One of Kate’s favorite pieces is the Chelsea Sofa, upholstered in a strikingly geometric patterned fabric. “The clean lines and tailored details are so perfectly designed to handle a fun fabric…it’s such a versatile piece,” she says. While bold and exciting, Kate’s My Rowe Design is also a welcome breath of fresh air. “In a world where content and media are constantly thrown at us,” says Kate, “to get a second or two from someone where [people] just stop and ponder a space…that’s design gold.”
“I love how easy it is to customize all of the Rowe upholstery so you can really make a statement and make it your own – without having to start from scratch!”