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Real Estate / Houses

Inside the Nest

Paloma Contreras

BY // 10.29.14
photography Jack Thompson
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Just ask her 375,000 followers and they will tell you- Paloma’s got an eye for style. When it comes to home decor she’s a whiz- and has made a name for herself online via the art of calculated curation. Preaching to the masses via her blog, La Dolce Vita is standard practice for Paloma, but this month we put her in the hotseat to learn who she is still learning from and and what’s in her personal space.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE WHEN IT COMES TO DECORATING.

Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 5.00.07 PMMy design sensibility is a modern take on traditional style – gravitating towards classic silhouettes and timeless pieces paired with a touch of glamour and an infusion of color.

GO-TO PAINT COLOR?

I love the rich mocha color used in a few places throughout my home. It is “Aging Barrel” by Behr. A few other go-to colors that I often use for clients are “Revere Pewter” and “Hale Navy” by Benjamin Moore and “Hague Blue” and “Downpipe” by Farrow and Ball for strong impact in a small space or on cabinets or built-ins

ARE YOU A NEUTRAL PALETTE OR COLOR PERSON?

It depends on the project, the day, and my mood. I love color, but I believe a neutral palette can be just as impactful. I typically start with a neutral palette and build on it with some accents of color or work with a rich, saturated color and take a tone-on-tone approach and layer in pattern and texture for interest.

WHO’S NEST DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?

There are so many beautiful homes that have inspired me over the years and they run the gamut. I am obsessed with Luis Bustamante’s and Lorenzo Castillo’s homes in Madrid, though they could not be more different. I love Mary McDonald’s house in the Hollywood Hills, which we saw on Million Dollar Decorators. I love that it is rooted in tradition, but that she executed it with a modern twist, combining things like Gracie Chinoiserie panels with over-scaled graphic patterns. My dear friend and mentor, Mark D. Sikes has an absolutely beautiful home, not too far from Mary’s, that is stunningly beautiful and reflects his and his partner Michael’s tastes and lifestyle so perfectly.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVE ROOM IN THE HOUSE DESIGN-WISE?

My living room is a pretty great reflection of my style, mixing traditional pieces like the English roll-arm sofa with more modern items like the leather and chrome Marcel Breuer chair. The room has great abstract art thanks to the big Paule Marrot piece above the sofa, rich saturated color, pattern, and stacks of beautiful books.

MOST COMFORTABLE ROOM IN THE HOUSE?

We spend the most time hanging out in our family room in the evenings, but every room is rather comfortable, actually. When designing a room, I make it a point not to sacrifice function for form. If a room is beautiful, but you don’t feel at ease in it and it isn’t conducive to people actually using it comfortably, then it is a failure. I have been in homes that are beautiful, but the furniture arrangements don’t make sense, there isn’t a place to set your drink, or there are entire rooms that are only for show and can’t actually be used. What is the point of that?

WHERE DO YOU SPEND THE MOST TIME?

Lately, it’s been in the air. I travel a lot for work, but when I’m home, I am mostly a homebody on the weekends. During the week, you’ll find me in my car heading to meetings with clients or sourcing from showrooms and favorite shops like AREA, Mecox, Kuhl-Linscomb, and Found.

paloma-contraras

TELL US SOMETHING YOU SPLURGED ON (IN THE HOUSE) AND SOMETHING YOU SAVED ON:

The house features a mix of things—new items from to-the-trade-only sources, custom upholstery like the sofas which were made for us, vintage and antique pieces like the Marcel Breuer chairs, armchairs in the family room, and the big faux bamboo piece in the foyer. Lighting is such an important aspect of design, so we have beautiful lighting throughout the house, mostly from Circa Lighting. We have paired all of that with some inexpensive accessories, canvases that I painted myself, and my bedding, which I found online and had monogrammed locally at the Monogram Market. The look is ultra-luxe, but was less expensive than one would imagine.

FAVE TRAVEL DESTINATION?

I love everything about Spain and have visited several times. I’m itching to go back again! Stateside, we love California and end up there often whether for work or fun. Los Angeles feels like my home away from home and I end up there every few months. We’ve been to Napa twice this year!

WHAT’S ON YOUR COFFEE TABLE?

My book collection spans my entire house at this point! My collection is constantly growing. Some recent releases that I can’t put down are Tory Burch’s In Color and Markham Roberts’s Decorating the Way I See It. Both are filled with inspiring images of beautiful interiors, but Tory’s is the most creative book I have seen in a while. I love her approach and the way in which she embraces color in every way.

WHAT IS OUR FAVORITE THANK YOU GESTURE?

A handwritten thank you note is always appropriate and appreciated. I also like to send flowers or Sprinkles cupcakes with a thank you message.

WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL STATIONARY?

I love stationery and have several types. My current favorite is called Coakley Cay by Iomoi and features a David Hicks La Fiorentina-inspired pattern and my monogram in a style reminiscent of Goyard’s signature monograms.

WHO ARE YOUR BED LINENS MADE BY?

I found the duvet and shams online and had the custom monogram done at Monogram Market here in Houston.

NEXT PURCHASE FOR YOUR HOME?

I’m pretty happy with the way things look right now, but I will probably change up the pillows on the sofa in the family room soon.

FAVORITE CANDLE SCENT?

LAFCO’S Penthouse Champagne candle is my signature. I burn it constantly at home and like to give it as a hostess gift.

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