A Behind the Scenes Look at Kate Lester Interiors

When we get to take a behind-the-scenes look at a business, we know it’s going to be a good day! Today is no exception. We had the pleasure to interview the incredibly talented Kate with Kate Lester Interiors, and learn a little bit more about her business, and what inspired her to start an interior design company!

Can you tell us a bit about what you think makes Kate Lester Interiors different from other designer firms?

I mean, I guess it’s me. Since I have a background in business and finance, it was really important to me that our business be structured, well, like a REAL business. We review financials, we have budgets, we talk openly about realistic costs and where the clients “see value.” Hiring an interior designer is not just about making your house pretty, it’s investing in your home, your future, and your family, so we take that very seriously and make sure that our clients know we are always being good stewards of their money. I think the other thing that sets us apart is that we have a pretty streamlined and tailored process. We don’t shop with our clients, we don’t do just one room, or a half-room, we work a certain way and we don’t deviate from that. It doesn’t work for everyone, but after years of doing it wrong, this process works for us and creates really beautiful results and clients that are truly pleased with their investment after the big reveal. I stay true to our model, our pricing structure, and our process, and it works.

What is your secret to being a successful business owner while staying creative?

You can’t just do one or the other. To be really honest, I am much more of a “natural” at being a businessperson. I have had to work much harder at honing my creativity and finding my “voice” when it comes to design. I don’t think it’s possible to be perfect at both, so recognize your weaknesses and surround yourself with people who help balance them. Being the smartest or most talented person in the room every day is boring. I also think allowing yourself time to design and create is really important. I try hard each day to make sure I am delegating tasks that don’t have to absolutely be done by me. This was hard for me at first, since I am stubborn and a perfectionist, but in the end, it strengthens your team, creates trust, and allows me more time to work “on” the business instead of “in” it.


Where do you draw inspiration from?

Everywhere! Recently I made my husband pause The Politician, so I could take a picture of a stair railing detail. I also get inspiration from old fashioned books! I think so much of Pinterest and social media is regenerated content- I am always trying to look for something that feels fresh and unique.

What has been your favorite project to date, and why?

Can I say ALL of them? To be really honest, each project that we finish is my favorite, until we start a new one. I think this is because every time we take on a new project we are pushing boundaries, thinking outside the box, and taking our clients outside of their comfort zone. This translates so differently each time, and after we complete a home everything comes together and I just sort of lose myself in the excitement and joy of seeing the finished product.

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Kate Lester Interiors.

If you could give the world one blanket piece of design advice what would it be?

You do you. Frame your kids’ pencil drawing and hang it over your bed. Paint your powder room black. I think far too often people are so busy trying to turn their Mediterranean track house into a modern farmhouse (because that is what they are bombarded with online) they forget who THEY are. Make sure that your home reflects the people who live there- and if you love it, then own it… and everything else will fall into place.

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Kate Lester Interiors.

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