In Living Color

I have followed Matthew Carter, a talented interior designer from Lexington, Kentucky on Instagram for a few years now. His style is classic, tailored, and fresh. I love when he posts new work because I always love his chic, updated version of traditional style. I picked up the new, May issue of House Beautiful while traveling to Bermuda this weekend and immediately loved the colorful cover, which is part of Matthew’s home which is featured in the issue. Matthew’s house features a thoughtful mix of antiques and modern pieces, timeless silhouettes, and an interesting mix of modern art. It is undoubtedly timeless, yet feels completely fresh. 

{Photography by Maura McEvoy for House Beautiful}

On Island Time

Greetings from beautiful Bermuda! I arrived yesterday afternoon and will be here until Sunday on a work trip with a group of bloggers, influencers, and editors. Last night, we had a magical dinner at a beautiful estate called Old Walls that dates back to the 1600s. Today, we have lots of activities planned around the island. It’s absolutely gorgeous here and I can’t wait to get out and explore more of this slice of paradise. Be sure to follow along on Instagram @palomacontreradesign, where I will be posting a lot! Have a wonderful weekend!

Chatting about California Love with Nathan Turner

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 the cult favorite Bravo TV show, Million Dollar Decorators, or from his great Instagram, @nturnerdesign that chronicles his frequent travels and his darling dogs, Nacho and Wally. Nathan 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. However, design is far from his only talent. Nathan is also a warm and gracious host and a consummate cook. One of the first things he did when he opened his shop in West Hollywood years ago was install a kitchen so that he could host dinners in the shop for his friends. His passion for design and entertaining has once again intersected, this time in Nathan’s latest book, I Love California: Live, Eat, and Entertain the West Coast Way, a love letter to his native California. Today, we’re discussing Nathan’s love for his home state, the impetus for his book, and his top tips for entertaining.

Paloma Contreras: What makes California so special?

Nathan Turner: I think it’s the California spirit that makes it special…. Which started with the pioneer spirit. Adventurous people having the courage to follow their dreams and see what’s new. That idea runs rampant in California, from the entertainment industry, to Silicon Valley and of course our design community. 

PC: How do you define California style?

NT: California style has been marketed to the rest of the world for decades, through films, fashion and most recently food…theres a laid back, simple relaxed feel that just seems fun!

PC: Your new book, I Love California is divided into sections such as Northern California, Central California, and Southern California highlighting cities such as San Francisco and Calistoga in the North, Los Angeles and Rancho Santa Fe in the South, and Hope Valley and Big Sur in the Center. How did you go about selecting these individual destinations? What do they mean to you?

NT: When I knew that my home state would be the focus I started to think of all the places that were special to me, whether it was my hometown, or places I visited as a child, to where I live now. I also wanted to share the diversity of California, there are so many hidden gems in the mountains, at the beach, Central Valley…honestly there’s something for everyone!

PC: California is home to so many wonderful ingredients from the most amazing produce to top notch wine and olive oil. What are some of your favorite California ingredients?

NT: We make amazing olive oils, wines obviously, being a new resident of Ojai I’m blown away by all the incredible citrus and avocados grown there, and one of my favorite vegetables is the humble artichoke, the best ones come from the central coast in Castroville, which is also a chapter in the book.

PC: You are an avid entertainer and a delightful host. What do you find to be the most important element for effortless entertaining?

NT: Letting go of the idea that something has to be perfect before you can entertain. Just do it! I constantly hear “I want to have you over but my house isn’t finished” which I honestly reply that “I don’t care!”…people are just happy to be invited and spend time together. I really hope this book inspiresmpeople to have their friends over, cook a little something up, set a pretty table, but most of all have fun!

A big thank you to Nathan for sharing more about his beautiful new book today! You can order your copy here.

{Photography by Victoria Pearson, Courtesy of Abrams and Nathan Turner}


The Best of High Point Market: Spring 2018

{Suzanne Kasler‘s Paris Apartment Collection Marks her 10th Anniversary with Hickory Chair}

Twice a year, I make the pilgrimage to High Point, North Carolina for the design industry’s biggest market event. It is a great way for me to discover new finds as well as visit favorite vendors and see their latest offerings. Between meetings, networking, spending time with friends, I spend my days seeking out pieces for current clients and finding fabulous new things for future projects. The market is truly massive encompassing many large buildings in downtown High Point and is very well-attended by people from all over the world.

I came away from this market feeling energized and inspired. I found some beautiful new pieces and having had a wonderful time, but was exhausted by the end of it! This season, color– whether pink, green, or peacock blue, seemed to reign supreme and I am happy to report that classic design is alive and well. It seemed to be more about the mix between traditional and modern rather than the contrived, strictly modern looks that so many people got wrapped up in the past few years.

{Pretty in Pink: A Custom Pink deGournay Wallpaper in Suzanne Kasler’s Showroom}

{Suzanne Kasler}

{Courtney and Randy Tilinski of Bungalow Classic in Atlanta continue to create one of the prettiest furniture collections for Highland House. Their showroom is always beautiful and inspiring.}

{Bungalow Classic’s Positano-Inspired Showroom}

{Mark D. Sikes‘ collection for Henredon is a modern take on classic designs. This time around, Mark decided to “go green” and dressed his beautiful space in a variety of verdant fabrics in varying shades of green. The result was fresh and inspired.}

{Mark D. Sikes}

{The Visual Comfort showroom is always a must for me. This time around, these modern sconces by Aerin caught my eye. Aren’t they chic?]

{The New Orleans-based lighting designer, Julie Neill debuted a new collection for Visual Comfort which includes some favorites from her regular collection, including the Diego Chandelier shown here as well as several new designs exclusive to the Visual Comfort collaboration.}

{I happened upon this chic grouping of natural fiber and iron furniture at Gabby Home.}

{The Antiques & Design Center in Houston is among my favorite stops in High Point. After showroom after showroom of new things and decorated sets, it is refreshing to go the antiques center and find unique, old things. It’s a wonderful palate cleanser and there are wonderful things to be found, some of which are coming home with me.}

{How fabulous are these antique French corner chairs I spotted? I love that they were stripped and bleached.}

{Preppy brand, Oomph Home introduced a lovely new line of pretty vanities. I can’t wait to use this little scalloped number in a client’s powder bathroom!}

{One of my favorite finds at Market was this stunning series of Swedish botanicals from Ornis Gallery.}

{These vibrant Anglo-Indian botanicals are by the same artist as the botanicals in Lee Radziwill’s bedroom– fabulous!}

{One of my favorite rug vendors, Kings House had some wonderful rugs that we are planning to use for a client’s home as well as this vibrant stunner.}

The Style Files: Jane Pendry

I was first introduced to Jane Pendry, the designer of the impossibly chic Dovima Paris collection around this time last year by our mutual friend, Ann Mashburn, a woman of equal aplomb. Jane is charming, elegant, intelligent, and incredibly stylish. She has channeled these characteristics into a beautiful clothing collection inspired by her life in Paris and her career in fashion working for the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, and Ralph Lauren. Her appreciation for classic, enduring style and impeccable craftsmanship having spent years working in French couture houses are found in the beautiful tailoring of the Dovima Paris collection. Everything is made to exacting standards, just north of Paris. Jane understands that style is completely personal and as such, part of her business model includes “by-invitation-only” trunk shows throughout the U.S., Paris, and London in order to be closer to the customer, though Dovima is also sold by a handful of chic boutiques the world over, as well as on I’ll never forget how attentive she was at a trunk show at Ann Mashburn, here in Houston, convincing me to go for a beautiful emerald silk blouse rather than playing it safe and going with the ivory version as I had planned. As Ann said to me– “When Jane speaks, you listen. She’ll never steer you wrong.” Jane is currently on the road showing her Spring/Summer 2018 collection and has just introduced a beautiful collaboration with deGournay. Enjoy!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Jane Pendry: Simple, sensual, colorful, bling-averse with a love of refined detail and a touch of the unexpected.

PC: How has living in Paris influenced your aesthetic?

JP: Understanding that chic is wearing something that really flatters you rather than wearing something that looks good on someone else.

PC: What does your home say about you?

JP: That I am curious, have eclectic taste, love color, and that I have a family.

{Jane is often on the road, showing her beautiful collection at trunk shows in the U.S. and Europe, but Paris is home. Be sure to follow her on Instagram to follow along on her fabulous travels.}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

JP: Mainly my girlfriends, but there are always those images of Lee Radziwilll, Slim Keith, Millicent Rodgers et al.

{The Divine Amanda Ross @arossgirl in A Chic Dovima Dress}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

JP: Generosity of spirit, straightforwardness and kindness.

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

JP: There is no such thing…pleasure is a joy.

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

JP: The designers that I have been so lucky to work for– Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Ralph Lauren.

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

JP: On summer vacation with family and dear friends in the Mediterranean. Laughter; long conversations; a really good book; a swim before breakfast; unfussy, delicious food; messing about on boats; shades of blue and bright white; long lunches; having a nap; dancing on the beach. 

{Jane and Her Boys on Holiday}

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

JP: Dovima Paris is launching limited-edition hand-painted opera coats this season that are a combined effort with de Gournay. They really are gorgeous, but that’s mainly down to the incredible people who do the hand-painting at De Gournay- its utterly mind-blowing to watch and the result is so refined and extraordinary. They have the most amazing savoir-faire. We totally re-vamped the designs in luscious colors, cherry -picked elements from the wall panels and made them fit round the body. The result is the Deco Monkey and Portman Chinoiserie Fiorella coats, in lovely, heavy duchess satin, that can either be worn over an evening gown or belted as an ultra-luxurious take on pajama dressing.  The idea was spurred on by my favorite store, Capitol in Charlotte N.C., asking me to create something for their 20th birthday this spring.

Ultimate Luxury: to keep your clothes and to enjoy wearing them for many years 

Style Mantra: Get fully dressed and then take something off

Scent: L’Ombre dans L’Eau by Dyptique – I have worn it since I was 18 and it’s my signature

Piece of Jewelry: anything by Marie-Hélène de Taillac

Color I Never Tire Of: beautiful mixes of colors so as that one shade highlights and transforms another

Flower: Peonies

Indispensable Design Element: a touch of the unexpected

Era for Design: I love mixing different eras

Dream Project: a Beach Collection and something for the home rather than clothing

Hostess Gift: a copy of a book I have really enjoyed reading

Meal: Japanese food

Drink: Tequila and Soda with a twist…someone told me it’s called a Skinny Bitch

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: talking with my husband as we make dinner

3 Things I Love About My City: Only 3? I love everything about Paris

Weekend Destination: Naples…so much to see, the food is delicious and the sun shines most of the year

Hotel: I prefer to stay with friends if I can

City: New Orleans

Museum: The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth – the building by Louis Khan is transformative and the museum is full of such treasure

Artist: John Singer Sargent (but I have lots of other favorites too)

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers

Actor/Actress: Cate Blanchett

Risk Worth Taking: Embrace the unknown

Greatest Extravagance: Curiosity

Go-To Color Palette: color, color and then a little more color

Rule to Break: If you follow all the rules you miss all the fun.

Movie Set Design: The Leopard – In the Mood for Love – My Uncle – anything by Wes Anderson

I can never have too many… Books

{Photography Courtesy of Jane Pendry}