Designing Windows: Paloma Contreras Design at Memorial Antiques & Interiors

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Memorial Antiques & Interiors, one of my favorite design destinations here in Houston as well as a sponsor on LDV, recently asked me to participate in their “Designing Windows” series. Since the beginning of the year, local designers have been invited to design the windows at MAI’s Building 1 and Building 2 for a month at a time. I was honored to be asked and was quite excited to design the windows at Building 2 because I love designing vignettes or “moments” within larger spaces and felt that this was an opportunity to make a big visual impact in a small space. I’m always up for a challenge and I knew that designing the windows for August would be quite a fun one!

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 I knew going in that I wanted to incorporate certain elements that I often use in my design work– white lacquer, gilt, beautiful lighting, a touch of Greek Key, great mirrors and art, and of course, a mix of modern and traditional pieces. Then, I decided that I wanted to show two versions of a similar concept– a vignette that could work just as well in a living room, dining room, or entryway and that featured several of the same elements, but done in two styles. For the left window, I decided to develop a modern, fresh vignette. I had the walls painted in one of my go-to colors– Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy and paired a beautiful white buffet with a Louis XVI-style chair in a fun graphic pattern, modern lamps, a bold abstract painting in shades of pink and orange, along with pops of blue and white from antique Chinese pottery.

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 {Left Window}

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 {Left Window}

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 {Left Window}

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 For the right window, I opted for a lot of the same elements– a beautiful console, classic Louis XVI-style chairs, a gilt mirror, and sumptuous Scalamandre silk tiger velvet pillows with the intention of creating a more formal vignette. I love that the color palette is tight and pulled together. The composition in this window is pretty similar to the composition in the other one and you’ll notice a few of the same elements repeated, but my goal was to show how versatile these classic pieces can be and the fact that when you stick with the classics, you can make them work in a traditional or modern setting with bold pops of color or with a minimal, mostly neutral color palette.

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 {Right Window}

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 {Right Window}

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 {Right Window}

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 {Right Window}

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 {Right Window}

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 {My window designs will be on display at Memorial Antiques and Interiors Building 2 through the end of August. If you live in Houston, I would love for you to check them out. I posted a sneak peek of each window on Instagram while I was installing them on Friday and the more modern window on the left received more likes. Which of the two windows do you like best?}

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14 thoughts on “Designing Windows: Paloma Contreras Design at Memorial Antiques & Interiors

  1. Wow Paloma, Congratulations!! I love the art in the left window; however am drawn to so many of the details in the right, the console, Scalamandre le Tigre pillows etc! Gorgeous both!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Featuring Artist John Matthew Moore
    The Arts by Karena

  2. I love the Louis XVI-style chairs in the right window and the busts in both windows. I must check out Memorial Antiques and Interiors website and find out if they’ll ship to Canada!!!

  3. Simply brilliant;
    your pair of windows are inspired. I love them both. The modern painting is quite eye-catching, but I must say I think I’d live with the classic window and never tire of it. The tiger pillows are wonderful with the navy walls! You are a genius!

  4. I prefer the second much more i.e. I feel the lamps obscure the artwork in the first which gives it a heavy look. Love the second table with the more understated lamp bases. Kudos to you for your blog and setting up your design store. Look at it everyday.

  5. You designed beautiful windows for MAI! My method of relaxation is to browse MAI starting with the windows. I was excited to actually see the process! I had just arrived when you started your magic but didn’t realize you were the designer. I think I will gather up my blue and white porcelain now. You have inspired me!

  6. It’s hard to say. At first I thought the more traditional window was my favorite, but at second glance I’m really drawn to the more modern! Both are fabulous! I’m in College Station so I will be going to see them this month! Good job!

  7. Yeah! I didn’t know you had designed these windows until I happened to stop by MAI today while in Houston doing some shopping with my sister. We loved them both!
    Then when I was “surfing” tonight, I found his blog entry. We love the blue walls with the cream/gold console and chairs. Dying for that paint color, can you let us know what it is?
    Both windows had us so inspired we spent the next 4 hours in MAI and then went back to sister’s to measure!
    Thanks Paloma!
    Heather

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