As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years now that I’ve been writing this column, and although I’ve enjoyed sharing my inspirations and design tips with you, I’ve come to feel that this is the perfect time to close my laptop and say goodbye.

So this is my last column. I thought I would wrap things up with some photos from my own home redesign. Last time, I suggested finding a theme to make your decor more personal. While this house is on the beach, I didn’t want a typical island-style beachy theme, so for the dining space I came up with a visual story: A school of fish seems to swim through copper fishing basket light fixtures I designed and into the abstract painting that I commissioned.


Notice how the pendants are of varying sizes and shapes and hung at different heights for a more dramatic effect? And, how the fish swim up and across in a perfectly imperfect pattern?

The staircase — initially a challenge I wasn’t sure how to handle — turned into a positive with its eclectic, zebra-patterned carpet. Not everybody’s style, but definitely mine!

And finally, as I’ve shared in past columns, it’s nice when one space in a home flows into the next. The greens of the dining room carry out into the patio rug and the beautiful natural green of the lawn beyond.


Also drawing the eye out is the patio furniture. Regular readers will note that the lines do not perfectly match, but the patterns and colors work together with enough contrast to make things interesting. It’s not the squarish lines of the furniture pieces that make you look at them, but the interesting textures.

I hope these photos help to inspire you to find your own story in your home — after all, your home should make you happy, so your taste is what matters most of all.

Finally, although the five years I’ve spent writing this column have been wonderful, I’m in a new phase of my life. My daughter Nicki is now a senior in high school, and I feel I need to spend as much time with her as I can, especially as she is expanding her philanthropic organization, Kidz For A Cause, which brings kids together to raise money to help kids in need … because giving back never goes out of style.


So thank you to the staff at Hawaii Renovation. It’s truly been a pleasure. And more importantly, thank you to you, my readers. I have so enjoyed meeting you at the supermarket or at the mall, wherever you’ve come up to say, “Hello,” and tell me how my tips have helped you. Every one of you has put a big smile on my face. Thank you for reading and best of luck on finding your personal style and creating a space that you love!

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. For more info and inspiring photos of design projects, visit