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Jun 27, 2007
A Renaissance Chick in the truest sense, Kahi Lee, host of HGTV’s Design on a Dime is equally at home wearing a T-shirt and jeans on a television set, with a fist full of nails and measuring tape or clad in a Prada skirt, leading design meetings in a board room. This season, Lee is arguably the youngest host on HGTV, as well as the busiest with her debut on Design on a Dime as well as a continuing co-hosting role on HGTV’s FreeStyle.
Hailing from UCLA with a BA in Art History and English Literature as well as extensive coursework in their coveted Interior Design Certificate Program Kahi lends her experience and knowledge to not only HGTV but also her high end interior design company, Kahi Lee Lifestyle. Her current project is Solair, a $160 million high rise condominium project being, built by private builders in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles. She recently completed work as a consultant on the ‘The Mercury,’ an ultra-sleek high rise condo, where she gave the new hot spot it’s “look.” For Japanese rock star Kyosuke Himuro and his wife, who bought Shaquille O-Neil’s Beverly Hills mansion, Lee transformed the palatial space into a bold and sophisticated residence where nature meets modern design. As a designer, Lee’s style is reflective of her California lifestyle and upbringing. Drawing on LA’s vast and varied cultural wealth as well as a love of old Hollywood glamour, Kahi is able to effortlessly blend the eclectic and eccentric with timeless elegance. She loves the relaxed attitude of coastal living, the practical forms of California mid-century design, the rustic charm of Los Angeles’ Spanish heritage and the bold and often amusing eccentricities of tinsel town. Lee is a master at seamless juxtaposition.
Kahi’s spunk and lighthearted irreverence have made her a standout television host and lifestyle guru. In just a few short years, she has become one of the most recognizable names in lifestyle television programming. Her contagious enthusiasm and irrepressible passion for all things stylish along with her spirited and witty on-camera presence have landed her on numerous national television shows including Merge (Lifetime), Renovate My Family (Fox), Ultimate Gamer (Spike TV), My Celebrity Home (Style Network) as well as her most recent shows, Design on a Dime and FreeStyle (HGTV).
Art and design have been Lee’s passion since she was just a wee Lee. In fact, design is literally in her blood. Lee’s mother is a well-known interior designer in Asia and the US and her sister is a New York-based event designer and coordinator.
After graduating from UCLA, Kahi landed a coveted position in the Contemporary Art department at Christie’s Auction House. Further indulging her love of all things art, she also served as a member of the advisory board for MUSE, the young member’s support group for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and has penned articles on art and art exhibition for a number of publications.
In addition to her design ventures, Lee has a background in fashion and entertainment journalism and has written for The Book LA, SOMA and Star Magazine, among others. A fearless journalist, she has interviewed countless celebrities, reviewed fashion trends and has covered a host of award shows, keeping a watch on the frontlines of fashion and entertainment.
Born in Washington D.C., and raised in Palos Verdes, California, Lee currently resides in Venice, California with her husband Grammy-nominated music supervisor, producer and all around tastemaker, Jason Bentley. Although this guru’s plate is very full, in her spare time, Kahi can be found cultivating her shoe collection, dancing the night away or in pursuit of the perfect mac n’ cheese.