Give the gift of a new look this holiday season. Use inspirational signs and a contemporary color scheme to create an interior design that really sings

Are you racking your brain for a oneof-a-kind gift for that someone special? If you have the time, energy and money to pull it off, I’ve always believed that a makeover is one of the greatest gifts. Any makeover is fun and appreciated whether it’s a new look, wardrobe or my favorite makeover — a brand new space!


The end of the year is a great time to give someone you love (or even yourself) a fresh new space, as we’ve done with reStyle Hawaii. Those of you who have been following our story know that we decided not to renew our lease for Cathy’s Marketplace in Moiliili. Our warehouse showroom in Kakaako, reStyle Hawaii, was getting more traffic, and we all know how Kakaako is booming. What better time to reinvent reStyle?

I decided our space needed a makeover and elected to go with a completely fresh approach. Before, we were about consignment for all styles of furniture. That’s not the case any more. reStyle Hawaii with Cathy Lee is about finding new ways to re-imagine, recreate and of course restyle your home or office with brand new, eclectic and modern, island furnishings and accessories.

So how to relaunch in the same space?

Well, I needed a new look. I’ve always said that the cheapest, easiest and most effective way to achieve this is with paint, and that’s exactly what we did. Out went our old color scheme of pale green, teal and chocolate brown and in came our new trio: white, charcoal and apple green. All Benjamin Moore colors: Ice Cube Silver, Flint and Malachy Green.


At the same time, I wanted the space to speak to people, and I mean literally. A recurring element in many of my interior designs is the use of words to inspire and decorate. Pacific Sign and Graphics had been the company that I’ve turned to for my custom branded designs. I decided to play off our name, reStyle, by highlighting its message in large die cut letters across a charcoal band. It pops out with a whole slew of words that will resonate with shoppers: re-imagine, re-create, redesign, rebrand. This becomes a focal point, a source of inspiration and a bold piece of art, all in one.

Finally, I wanted our new look to reflect our surroundings in Kakaako. I loved how the warehouse space perfectly mirrored the industrial character of the neighborhood. Why not make it a cool warehouse? Knowing that this is a temporary location, as our block will eventually be redeveloped, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I wanted a hip vibe, so I kept the ceilings exposed, chose colors that were more urban and current and brought nature in with plants and natural textiles.

That’s how we restyled reStyle Hawaii with Cathy Lee, which has just reopened with a fun new look, new things and a new concept. So take these tips and remember, if you can’t find that perfect gift, why not give the gift of a restyled space?


Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Her redesigns of residential and business spaces have been featured in local and national publications and on HGTV. reStyle Hawaii, her new-concept furniture and home accents store, is open daily at 420 Keawe St. in Kakaako. For more info and inspiring photos of design projects visit