Our New House: The Living Room

Paloma Contreras Living Room 2

{Tate in our Living Room}

Our new house is really coming together. We moved in at the beginning of August and have been working on various remodeling and decorating projects since then. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now because we only have a couple of projects left. Everything is nearly completed with the exception of our master bathroom and our garden, both of which will be pretty big projects. Back in the fall, I mentioned that I would be changing our living room up quite a bit from what i did at our old house. I still love our coffee table and the convex mirror over the fireplace, so I kept those, “shopped” my own stuff and found new places for some favorite things, and brought in some new pieces. I knew right away that the living room needed a pair of identical sofas flanking the space to really give definition to the room. More and more lately, Verellen has become one of our favorite upholstery resources at Paloma Contreras Design, so I knew I wanted one of their sofa silhouettes for my own house since our clients are always so happy with the level of comfort, craftsmanship, and longevity they get from Verellen seating.

I decided on the Hannah sofa which is a clean-lined, skirted sofa that works perfectly with my aesthetic. It is feminine and feels traditional, yet the perfectly-proportioned track arm and long bench seat lend a sense of fresh, modern style. We have fabulous windows in this room, so I wanted it to feel light and airy. As such, I decided to keep the upholstery light and fulfill my craving for white, skirted sofas. Knowing that I am a complete stickler for stains and imperfections, I decided I should do what I recommend to all of my clients and had the sofas upholstered in a great Perennials fabric which not only looks and feels beautiful, but it is basically bulletproof. My favorite for light colored upholstery is Perennials Rough N Rowdy in Sea Salt. It has great texture and a little variation in the threads to make it more forgiving than a pure, stark white. I am so thrilled with the room as a whole and love the look, comfort, and ease of our new sofas. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Paloma Contreras Living Before

{Before: While waiting for our new sofas to be made, we used a pair of saddle leather chairs from our old house in our new living room. I’ll be selling a lot of things from my old house soon, so stay tuned! These chairs will be in the sale.}


{Before: Our Old Sofa and Throw Pillows in Our New Living Room}

Paloma Contreras Living Room 1

{After: The pair of Verellen sofas flanking the room make much more sense for the space and maximize seating. I also wanted to do something interesting to mask our giant TV a bit, so I hung some cool art around it.}

Paloma Contreras Living Room 3

{After: Our new house is dressed mostly in neutrals with a few pops of color, such as these pink Ikat pillows in a Schumacher fabric.}

Paloma Contreras Living Room 4

{After: The Hannah Sofa has such a pretty, tailored silhouette.}

Paloma Contreras Living Room 5

{After: A Close-Up of our Fabrics– Brunschwig & Fils Fabric in Black, Schumacher’s Bukhara Ikat in Magenta, Perennials Rough & Rowdy in Sea Salt, and Salamander’s Tigre Velvet}

I’ll do a full reveal of the entire house at some point, but for the time being, you can check out more glimpses into our new house here.

Paloma Signature

{This post is generously sponsored by Verellen. All opinions are genuinely my own.}

Lust List: February 2017

J Brand

The weather in Houston has been absolutely beautiful this week– sunny and warm. Everything has started to bloom early. It seems our plants are confused and think spring is really here. Our wisteria and jasmine are so lush and verdant right now and our azaleas are already beginning to bloom. Like my plants, I am also ready for spring thanks to the lovely, temperate temperatures and sunny days we have been experiencing. I mentioned last month that I have been wanting to purge my closet and I still have the urge to do so. Most of my clothes and shoes are pretty classic, but there are plenty of things in there that I haven’t worn in ages and it seems like at any given time, I only wear about 25% of what I own. Does this happen to you, too? This month, I have my eye on plenty of things that I’d like to see make their way into my closet!


Paloma Signature

{Image via J.Brand Jeans on Instagram}

On My Radar: Wallshoppe x Nathan Turner

Nathan Turner Wallshoppe

{Nathan Turner with his Signature Malibu Wallpaper for Wallshoppe}

My friend, Nathan Turner is one of the kindest, most down to earth people in the design business. Most of you probably know Nathan from seeing his work published in countless magazines, from Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators, or from his fun Snack Chat series on The Designer Network.He is super talented and has an incredible knack for mixing textures, colors, and other vibrant details to create warm, comfortable environments and is as lovely and engaging as the rooms he designs, so it is no surprise that he has been tapped to be Creative Director for Wallshoppe, a great line of sustainable, non-toxic, and hip wallpapers made in LA. While in New York a couple of weeks ago, I was happy to see Nathan and preview the collection Nathan designed for Wallshoppe in person at New York Now. The wallpaper prints are fun, bold, and graphic. I can think of so many places to use these cheeky prints from obvious places like powder rooms and children’s rooms to more unexpected locales such as a laundry room or on the back of built-ins. I love all of the patterns, but am partial to Malibu, Pacifico Palm, and Splattered. Which one is your favorite?

Nathan Turner Malibu

{Detail of “Malibu”}

Nathan Turner Pacifico Palm

{Pacifico Palm in Ivory}

Nathan Turner Goldfish

{Goldfish in Blue}

Nathan Turner Kiss My

{Kiss My A** in Red}

Nathan Turner Splattered Pink

{Splattered in Pink}

Paloma Signature

{Lead Photo via my Instagram | All Other Photography Courtesy of Wallshoppe}

The Style Files: Gen Sohr of Pencil and Paper

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I first heard about Gen and Ben Sohr of Pencil & Paper Creative Development Co. in Nashville when they were featured in Matchbook Magazine in January of 2015. I remember being struck by the husband and wife duo’s playful design aesthetic which blends vintage and modern elements with a fun dose of color and pattern. After a while, I found out that Ben had started his career in retail several years ago and it turned out that we had a good friend in common in Mark Sikes. It is certainly a small world! With backgrounds in visual merchandising and architecture, it was only natural that when the couple moved back to Ben’s native Nashville, they would renovate a house, in their case, a 1930s charmer in serious need of some TLC. Since completing their renovation, the couple’s burgeoning firm has taken on countless design projects including full-scale renovations, working on the team that brought Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James Nashville store to life, and helping to launch brands and lend their creative wisdom on multiple ventures. I recently got to know Gen a little better through the newest installment of The Style Files. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know the fairer half of this talented duo as much as I have!


Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?
Gen Sohr: Traditional meets modern, collected and fresh.

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PC: Has living in Nashville influenced your aesthetic in any way?

GS: Definitely….you can’t help but be enamored by Nashville’s traditional southern style, charm and hospitality.

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PC: What does your home say about you?

GS: I think a home should be personal….I hope that when people see our house they think its a reflection of us, of our family….the places that we have traveled and the pieces we have collected.

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PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?
GS: I think inspiration is EVERYWHERE…..sometimes it’s in a beautifully filmed movie, a vintage fabric, art, travel, and even Instagram.

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PC: Who are your personal style icons?

GS: Diana Vreeland, Jackie Kennedy, and Jenna Lyons


PC: Is there anything you find particularly challenging about working with your spouse?

GS: Two strong-willed “decision makers”….. is not always easy.

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PC: What part of it delights you?

GS: Traveling and being inspired….”together”.

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PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

GS: I often start the day with a McDonalds coke….shh don’t tell.

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PC: Who/what has been your greatest professional influence?

GS: I started my retail career with Gap Brands…and at the age of 21 I relocated to San Francisco to be part of a small team that rolled out the Old Navy Brand. This amazing team of people and my first boss (Jody Patraka) have been huge influence….I actually met my husband Benjamin there.

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PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

GS: Being surrounded by the people that you love in a home that brings you joy.

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PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

GS: We are excited to be designing FrameBridge’s new offices in Washington, D.C. We are also collaborating with Serena and Lily on an amazing summer party at our home. We will be speaking at ADAC in March (A Candid Conversation on Conquering the Digital Design Space) and are designing our first Window at Legends 2017. We will be featured in Ronda Carmen’s upcoming Rizzoli book: “Entertaining at Home”. We recently launched a collection with ceramicist Jill Rosenwald and have some other exciting collaborations in the works. We also recently completed a re-imagining of the historic George Dickel Distillery and created a new retail concept for the brand ….up next: Stitzel Weller Bourbon.

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Go-To Outfit: neutral cashmere sweater or blue and white stripe T, wide leg/crop jean, leopard shoe or Stan Smiths
Style Mantra: Buy what you LOVE
Scent: anything with Jasmine, Honey Suckle or Gardenia
Piece of Jewelry: vintage gold rolex my husband gave me
Color I Never Tire Of: White. Is that a color? I also love blue or our signature orangey red.
Flower: peony and gardenia
Indispensable Design Element: rattan
Dream Project: hotel
Fabric/Textile: Schumacher, Quadrille, vintage
Hostess Gift: Prosecco with our signature gift tag
Meal: In and Out Burger
Drink: Prosecco with a splash of St. Germaine or ice cold Kalik Bahamian Beer preferably on a boat somewhere in the Bahamas
Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Family dinner and some late night vintage dress hunting on Etsy
3 Things I Love About My City: southern hospitality, the best “meat and three’s, local road trips
Weekend Destination: Miami…..my hometown
Hotel: Chateau Marmot in Hollywood
City: Amsterdam
Museum: SF MOMA
Artist: so many….. Alexander Calder, Josef Albers, Henri Matisse
Prized Possession: the art that we have collected over the years
Risk Worth Taking: leaving Corporate America
Go-To Color Palette: blue and white with touches of orangey red and always a few natural elements
I can never have too many…vintage dresses

Paloma Signature

{Photography by Leslee Mitchell, Courtesy of Pencil & Paper Creative Development Co.}

Spanish Sophistication

Piso-Velazquez95749Many of my favorite designers happen to be Spanish. While each designer has his or her own perspective, in general, it seems that designers in Spain have a real knack for sophisticated eclecticism, bringing together pieces from different periods and varying places of provenance. In my opinion, one of the most inspiring and influential Spanish designers is Isabel Lopez Quesada. Her range spans urban spaces such as this chic apartment in the Salamanca neighborhood in Madrid to classically beautiful houses in the Spanish countryside. This particular flat features a great mix of furnishings– gilded antiques paired with mid-century pieces and a few carefully selected patterns. The resulting spaces are chic, urbane, and interesting. Which room is your favorite?






Paloma Signature

{Photography by Montse Garriga for Isabel Lopez Quesada}