Project Reveal: A Glamorous Before and After


I was incredibly fortunate that right after I started my firm, Paloma Contreras Design a little over a year ago, I met a client who hired me to take on her very large design project. She liked my style and hired me before she actually purchased her home. We have had a wonderful client/designer relationship with her trusting me enough to step out of her own comfort zone a few times because I knew the end result would be worth it. She ended up purchasing a large home just over 6,000 square feet in size. It is a solid house and while everything was in good shape, it just felt very dated and was neither her style nor mine. She came to me after being divorced for a short time, knowing that she wanted this home to represent a fresh start for her and her two children. She wanted the palette to be serene and she also wanted the house to be unabashedly feminine and glamorous. I blogged about my inspiration for the project here last summer. It was so rewarding to work on this project, not only because I love my client, but because it was a major overhaul. We essentially kept what she originally liked about the house and changed everything else. It’s kind of crazy to see the before and after photos side by side! Because this is a rather large house and so many rooms were involved in the project, I will split up the reveal into two or three posts so that it is more digestible, but I am so excited to share these images with you!

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{Before: An Aerial View of the Family Room, Breakfast Room, and Kitchen}


{After: The Same View of the Same Room with New Paint, Flooring, Lighting, Furniture, Countertops, and Fixtures}

dodd before breakfast room

{Before: The Breakfast Room– You’ll notice this room and the entire area had less than attractive ceramic tile floors and pickled wood cabinetry, moulding, and trim literally everywhere. If you’re not familiar with pickled wood, it is essentially peach in color. Yep, peach.}


{After: We painted all of the walls a soft gray hue and added steel-colored silk dupioni curtains which really helped to frame and soften the tall windows looking over an enormous backyard. We added a rug, and child friendly furniture including a custom, tufted banquette in a great indoor/outdoor fabric and I had the Louis XVI style dining chairs upholstered in faux shagreen vinyl of all things. It looks fantastic and she can just wipe the seats off anytime the kids make a mess.}


{After: The Vestry Chandelier by AERIN is truly the showpiece and jewelry of the room. This particular client completely understood the importance of beautiful, quality lighting, so you’ll see that we used some gorgeous pieces throughout the house. We splurged on the chandelier, but balanced it out by using a table from Ballard Designs since this is such a high-traffic room. }


{After: Looking Towards the Family Room from the Breakfast Room}

dodd before kitchen

{Before: While my client didn’t want to gut the kitchen since the house is only ten years old and the high-end appliances were in like-new condition, we knew this room would be in for a drastic overhaul changing it as much as possible while avoiding the use of a sledgehammer! Notice all of the pickled wood cabinetry which matches the ceramic tile almost exactly. The lighting, dated black and tan granite countertops, and backsplash would also have to go.}

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{Before: As you can see the kitchen, breakfast room, and family room are part of one very large, very open space. My goal was to create a cohesive, glamorous environment that was still conducive to a young family and that softened the vastness and harsher elements of the space.}

dodd before kitchen2

{Before: I’m not sure if you can see them all that well, but the backsplash had bronze rabbit inlays. Through the archway, you can see a peek of the old dining room, which I will share with you in another post.}


{After: Beautiful Honed Carrara Marble Countertops and a Fresh Coat of White Paint}


{After: We continued the ebony stained wood floors in the kitchen, added an undermount sink, Rohl Bridge Faucet (I wish you could see the one before– oh my!), and new polished nickel cabinet hardware. The island was painted in a nice, dark gray hue.}


{After: The new faucet, sink, and countertops look so much better! Isn’t this a pretty view for doing the dishes?}


{After: As I mentioned before, my client was very easy-going and only had a few requests. She had just discovered the AERIN collection of lighting right before we met and she wanted to incorporate several of the chandeliers because she felt they epitomized glamour. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have put these Sanger pendants over a kitchen island, but my client said they made her smile every time she looked at them and she would be spending a lot of time in this part of the house. Luckily, she doesn’t cook very often, so she doesn’t have to worry about having the crystals cleaned as often as an avid cook would!}


{After: Another View of the Pretty Pendants and Marble Countertops and Backsplash}

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first part of this “Before and After” project reveal. Next time, I will share photos of the formal living room, dining room, and the powder bathrooms, all of which received a pretty dramatic makeover as well. While my own style is a little more masculine and modern that what we did in this house, the goal with each project is to create an environment that the client truly loves and feels at home in. Each of the projects I’m currently working on is completely different in look and feel from the next, but they all have a little bit of my own style in them and are rooted in the “modern meets traditional” style that I love. I feel so blessed to get to do what I love each day and to work with such amazing clients.  It is so rewarding to create beautiful environments for people and to bring them joy in this small way. Thank you for letting me share this with you!


{“After” Photos by Max Burkhalter}

You’re a Good Man, Goodman.

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{Image via Barbara Waltman Design}

When it comes to kitchen lighting, the possibilities are endless. I don’t have an island in my kitchen, so I made due by hanging an Extra Large Hicks Pendant by Thomas O’Brien over my breakfast table and I love it. Naturally, I often think about what I would do in my dream home and I always come back to the Goodman Hanging Lamp by Thomas O’Brien (available through Circa Lighting) and it seems that plenty of interior designers have done the same. The Goodman has become a favorite in the design world and has appeared in countless publications over the years including House Beautiful, Cottage Living, and Lonny. Could it be the perfect kitchen pendant? Its clean lines make for a bold piece that lends itself perfectly to all styles from traditional to modern and everything in between as seen in these beautiful kitchen images. The Goodman is available in three sizes and several finishes with the option of a metal or natural paper shade. I personally love this piece because it can read classic or modern and is a refreshing change from anything that is too traditional or industrial (yawn!). My favorite finish combination—Hand-Rubbed Antique Brass with Antique White Shade, (shown in the first few images) adds a touch of modern glamour thanks to the warm glow of the brass-lined shade. Pinned Image

{Design by Barbara Waltman |Image via the Visual Comfort Blog}

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{Coastal Living Showhouse |  Image via The Painted House}

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{Image via Rawlins Calderone Design}

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{Image via Woodlands Lifestyles and Homes}

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{Image via Christina Murphy Interiors}

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{Image via Melanie Turner Interiors}


{A Pair of Goodmans in Hand-Rubbed Antique Brass | Kitchen by Alecia Stevens}

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{Goodmans in Hand-Rubbed Antique Brass |Image via Christina Murphy Interiors}

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{Kitchen by Lake Country Builders, Image via Houzz}


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{A Trio of Goodmans in Bronze |Image via Pinterest |Original Source Unknown}


{Goodmans in Antique Nickel |Image via Benco Construction}

Could you see yourself using the Goodman Hanging Light in your kitchen? If so, would you opt for a metal or paper shade? Which of these delicious kitchens is your favorite?

Fabulous Room Friday 01.29.10

kitchen mick de giulio

I am head over heels in love with this AMAZING kitchen by Mick DeGiulio! I absolutely adore the chic color palette. The contrast of the grey island and camel stools looks fantastic against the black and white used in the rest of the room. I also like the fact that they mixed gold and silver hardware. Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t love those metal racks on a daily basis and would opt for a more practical storage solution, but they work with the look of the room.

The kitchen seems like it would the chosen place of a gourmand like Ina Garten or Meryl Streep’s character in It’s Complicated. It looks like the kitchen of a person who actually cooks! Perhaps it’s the addition of the pot rack and scale. Form and function coexist beautifully here. Behind the island, there is a fabulous LaCornue range and you’ll notice that the cabinetry fits the style of the gorgeous French range.

Image Credit: Traditional Home

Fabulous Room Friday 12.18.09

Director, Nancy Meyer’s movie sets always cause a stir with interior design lovers. First, there was Something’s Gotta Give, then came The Holiday, and now we have It’s Complicated. The protagonist, played by Meryl Streep lives in a gorgeous home in Santa Barbara that is the embodiment of chic, laidback, California elegance.
The set was designed by Jon Hutman who captures the California look so perfectly. The kitchen in Meryl’s character’s home is sure to inspire many blog posts and many kitchen remodels. Her character owns a bakery and this really feels like the kitchen of someone who actually cooks! It just looks like the kind of kitchen in which fresh, delicious, seasonal food is made. The open shelving, hanging pots, pendant lighting, and floating marble island make the room feel so charming. I can’t wait to see this hilarious movie and more of the gorgeous set, especially this kitchen!
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complicated cathy

Have a great weekend!

Image Credits: The Washington Post and Cinema Style

Fabulous Room Friday 12.11.09


This week’s fabulous room took my breath away the first time I saw it. This gorgeous kitchen / dining room combination was designed by Heather Garrett, who also happens to live in the gorgeous loft space. The soft, glowing light coupled with the white and grey palette makes it feel serene and warm. I love the eclectic mix of accessories she chose for the space from the industrial stools, to the capiz chandeliers, right down to the antlers above the stove. I think it’s the perfect winter space, but I’d take it any time of the year!


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Technically, the living room isn’t part of the kitchen/dining area, but it is too gorgeous to be left out. Seriously, looking at the pictures of this home makes me giddy!