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See How Designer Kate Lester Transformed a Basement into a Gorgeous Guest Retreat

Makeover of the Week - Kate Lester Guest Bedroom Makeover

Design: Kate Lester Interiors, Photo: Gray Malin

If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time. 

To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.

“The basement bedroom in this 100-year-old lake house was initially only large enough to hold two beds, so we removed a cinder block wall and pushed out another to create more space to accommodate a third bed, closet, and a desk nook,” interior designer Kate Lester says. 

Meet the Expert

Interior designer Kate Lester is the owner of Kate Lester Interiors, a Los Angeles based design firm which specializes in a California-chic coastal aesthetic that’s livable, curated, and collected. 


Makeover of the Week - Kate Lester Guest Bedroom Before Photo

Photo Courtesy of Kate Lester

“This basement bedroom is currently used as a guest room when friends and family come to visit," Lester notes. "It’s adjacent to another bedroom with two twin beds, so the owners can now sleep five people on this level.”


makeover of the week - kate lester guest bedroom

Design: Kate Lester Interiors, Photo: Gray Malin

“I wanted the room to feel lake house-ish, but not too literal, so we went with a whimsical wallpaper that kept the room from becoming overly serious or too nautical,” Lester says. “Architecturally, there was a single beam on the far right of the room that had to remain due to structural issues, so we worked that into our design concept for the ceiling. We ended up adding a second beam for symmetry, and then painted both white to create a feeling of more height.” 

What Changed:

  • Color Theme: Navy, beige, and white make up the room’s base color palette. 
  • Beds: The twin woven headboards balance out the navy and white elements, and delineate each individual sleeping space. 
  • Bedding: Crisp white sheets and duvets are layered with vintage puckered washed cotton blue comforters.
  • Wallpaper: The herringbone/chevron patterned wallpaper becomes the focal point of the room, while white framed prints depicting 1960s beach resort lifestyle add pops of colors to the wall. 
  • Pillows: A white sham coordinates with the duvet cover, a kidney pillow with pops of coral green and blue complement the photography, and a smaller kidney pillow with a mini print depicts a reverse pattern in the wallpaper. 
  • End tables: The nightstands, originally a deep green hue, were painted in a white lacquer for an instant refresh, while providing the perfect catch-all for books, candles, and carafes of water.
  • Table lamps: The homeowner, a photographer, designed the lamps for a collection he once created with a lighting manufacturer. 
  • Floor/rugs: To differentiate each bed as its own individual space, the bleached oak floors were covered in three cotton flatweave rugs containing a diamond/geometric pattern. 
  • Ceiling lights: Three semi-flush mount vintage inspired pendant lights are positioned between each beam in the ceiling. 
  • Window treatment: The lined, woven wood cordless shades have a push and pull mechanism that make them visually more appealing. 
  • Benches: The rush seated benches, with their navy wood legs, provide a spot for guests to drop their stuff.  
  • Desk chair: The black lacquer desk chair matches the upstairs dining room chairs and is put to use at meals when needed. 

Shop the Look:

Makeover of the Week - Kate Lester Guest Bedroom Nook

Design: Kate Lester Interiors, Photo: Gray Malin


Beach Club Duvet Cover
Serena & Lily Beach Club Duvet Cover $258.00
feather wallpaper
Serena & Lily Feather Wallpaper $98.00
welcome to the coral casino print
Gray Malin Welcome to the Coral Casino Print $299.00