Five Minutes With: Clary Bosbyshell

{Clary Bosbyshell in a Pretty Saloni Dress}

Clary Bosbyshell is a talented, young interior designer from Atlanta where she practices at her mother’s design firm, Margaux Interiors Limited. Clary and I first met over social media and got to know each other a bit better when we both designed rooms at the Southern Style Now Showhouse in Atlanta back in 2016. Clary not only has fantastic taste when it comes to interiors, she also has a very keen eye in terms of fashion. I’ve never seen her not looking fabulous. We recently caught up and discussed all things related to fashion and personal style. Enjoy “Five Minutes With” Clary and I!

Paloma Contreras: What are your fashion must-haves for the modern-day working woman?

Clary Bosbyshell: My fashion must haves are great basics to mix in with more trendy pieces. Every woman should own a great pair of skinny medium denim jeans, black skinny pants, a wrap dress, black pumps, a white button down, trench coat, and a pretty handbag. Those items alone can take you from Paris to New York or from the office to a drink with friends. I usually like to “splurge” on these basic items, I find I wear them the most so spending a little more on a high-quality item means it will last for years to come. My go to store for great basics is Ann Mashburn. For the trendier items, Zara & H&M have fun pieces that you can wear for a season and don’t feel to terrible about letting go afterwards.

{Clary in a Casual but Polished Daytime Look featuring Rebecca de Ravenel Hoop La La Earrings and a Simon Miller Bucket Bag}

PC: When it comes to your personal style, which rule do you like to break most often?

CB: Being from the south, there is the ancient rule of no white after Labor day….This is a rule I love to break! I love mixing in white jeans in the winter with boots and big cashmere sweaters.

{A Chic Top-Handled Bag and Cheeky Lingua Franca Sweater Make for a Fun Casual Look}

PC: What is your go-to outfit?

CB: My go to outfit is a wrap dress, or a skinny pair of jeans and great white button down with Chanel flats.

{A Silk Wrap Dress by Diane von Furstenberg and Strappy Alexandre Birman Sandals can go from Day to Night Effortlessly}

PC: If you had to choose a single color palette in which to decorate your home and build your wardrobe, which color would you choose and why?

CB: It would be blue and white! I find that people like to live in the colors that they wear. Being a “blonde” I like whites, creams, blues, and pops of red. I find brunettes tend to like more saturated jewel tones. You want to look good in your own home, right? My personal home reflects this, mostly neutrals with pops of blue and whites.

{Clary at Home in Chic MDS Stripes from Head to Toe | Photography by Kim Busby}

PC: If you could trade closets with anyone, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

CB: I’m always looking to Olivia Palermo for fashion inspiration, she is great at mixing basic and trendy items in very unexpected ways. And I have always admired Carolyn Bessette- Kennedy’s timeless look. When I was thinking about my wedding I would ask myself “ what would Carolyn do?”.

{Clary in a Beautiful Oscar de la Renta Gown at her Wedding to Graham Welsh at Sea Island Last Year | Photo via @clarybosbyshell on Instagram}

{All Photography by Heidi Gledhauser Courtesy of Clary Bosbyshell Unless Otherwise Noted}

A Parisian Piede a Terre

{The Living Room in this Chic Parisian Apartment is the Perfect Blank Slate}

After my recent trips to Paris, I have completely fallen in love with the City of Lights. While I won’t be attending Deco Off and Maison et Objet later this month, I am already thinking about my next trip there to gather inspiration and find beautiful antiques and art for my clients. When you work in a creative field, it is important to take time away from the daily grind and visit places from which you draw inspiration and allow you to refuel creatively. Otherwise, it is so easy to get bogged down in the details of the day to day. It may sound a little ridiculous, but I think I have reached a point in my life when I am going to make it a goal to visit Paris at least once a year. There are several places stateside that are important for my travels including New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco and I usually wind up there multiple times a year. Paris will obviously take a bit more planning, but I have found it to be the place, along with London, from which I find the most inspiration and where I have had the most luck finding the things I am seeking.

{I love the high contrast effect of the crisp white walls and ebonized floors as seen here in the living room. I also love the Giacommeti-style plaster chandelier in this room.}

As such, on a recent weekend, I decided that it would be fun to look at real estate listings in Paris in case I should ever have a pied-à-terre there. I found a beautiful duplex apartment in the 7th arrondissement on the Left Bank, which I love, and quickly let my husband know I’d found the perfect spot for us. With his eyes rolled, he asked for the price tag then chuckled when I told him it was $12.9 million. A girl can dream, right? Regardless, I couldn’t help but imagine how I would design this beautiful apartment if I were in charge of the decoration.

{Beautiful Parisian Moldings}

{The kitchen has a beautiful La Cornue range, pretty taupe cabinetry and marble countertops. The only major change I would make here would be to the pendants over the island and I would possibly change the shelves to something that feels a bit lighter in the space.}

{The Master Bedroom}

{How stunning is the master bathroom? Notice the marble clad doors– insane!}

{A Guest Bedroom}

{The Private Entrance Hall}

{A Sculptural Staircase}

{The Duplex has a Private Tree-Lined Alley and Gardens}

If this beautiful apartment belonged to me, or more feasibly to a client, I would want to balance the classic bones of the spaces with a mix of modern and traditional pieces. The crisp color palette of the space itself is so pure and beautiful, that I would want to keep the interiors from feeling fussy, so I would keep any pattern to a very bare minimum and instead focus on an interesting mix of silhouettes and beautiful textures. Specifically, in the living room, I would envision a huge abstract painting, perhaps a Cy Twombly to anchor the space. I would add smoky, antiqued mirror above the fireplace to draw the eye up and open up the space further. I would keep the beautiful plaster chandelier in the manner of Giacometti that is already in the room and add a mix of interesting furniture silhouettes from different periods. A long, skirted sofa in chocolate velvet would add luxurious texture and rich color to the space, while a pair of skirted chairs with bullion fringe would add a feminine touch.


A pair of Mies van der Rohe lounge chairs in chrome and rattan would add a sculptural and textural touch to the space, while a pair of antique French benches upholstered sumptuous peacock blue velvet would add a hint of color and a wink to the origins of the building. Metallic accents, by way of a 1970s brass coffee table by Karl Springer and a little brass drum table add a bit of glamour, while a chunky abaca rug underfoot adds more texture, grounds the room, and keeps the space from feeling too formal. I could move right in!

{To View the Full Real Estate Listing, Visit Christie’s International Real Estate}

The Style Files: Peter Pennoyer

Peter Pennoyer is one of the most talented American architects working today. He is the principal partner of his eponymous, New York-based architecture firm which has sixty members and handles commissions the world over. Peter “has made the study of history a generating force in his work and believes that by mastering the interpretation of architectural history, he and his colleagues design projects that are both modern and classical.” Peter’s firm is currently designing projects spanning from Hong Kong to Florida and include residential, institutional, and commercial buildings. Peter serves as adjunct professor in the Architecture and Urban Studies program at New York University and works as an advocated for historic preservation. Peter has co-authored five books, including, Harrie T. Lindberg and The American Country House which was just released in November and focuses on the hugely influential, yet often overlooked architect whose steeply sloping roofs, modest materials, and eclectic traditionalism have had a massive impact on the American country house as we know it today. Peter lives in Bronxville, New York with his wife, interior designer, Katie Ridder and their three children. I recently had the opportunity to interview Peter and have truly enjoyed learning more about this incredibly talented architect, including the fact that he has a very sharp sense of humor. Enjoy!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Peter Pennoyer: Trailing current trends by one decade (at least) saves me from the perils of being fashionable.

PC: How has living in New York influenced your aesthetic?

PP: New York has always given me inspiration. I admire the great landmarks like Ralph Walker’s One Wall Street but what really speaks to me are the buildings that join to make great streetscapes like Striver’s Row. Most of all, New Yorkers give me energy – from my NYU students to my artist friends.

PC: What does your home say about you?

PP: My home shows that I like to take familiar, classical architecture and transform it into something unexpected, but comfortable.

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

PP: We have almost 10,000 books in our library but my deepest inspiration comes from traveling and experiencing buildings first hand. My first trip this year was to Naples (Italy) a font of inspiration.

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

PP: Scott Disick … but seriously, Whitney Warren, the architect of Grand Central Terminal and my friend, Madison Cox, the esteemed garden designer.

{Grand Central Terminal | Photography via Condé Nast Traveler}

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

PP: Honesty and a tendency to a romantic commitment to an architect’s vision – a fundamental trust in the creative process.       

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

PP: Breaded pig’s foot at Pied de Cochon in Paris or just about anywhere hog is served.

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

PP: My former teacher, ex-employer and life-long friend Bob Stern has inspired me to look at the world with an analytical eye while taking joy in the beauty around us.

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

PP: Our new book Harrie T. Lindeberg and the American Country House is just out. This unsung architect designed some of most elegant and comfortable country houses of the first decades of the 20th century. We are designing an exhibit on the Architecture of Rosario Candela at the Museum of the City of New York and we are finishing a house inspired by Czech Cubism. We recently launched a Peter Pennoyer Architects-designed custom architectural hardware collection executed by Lowe Hardware in Maine. 

Go-To Outfit: I have worn a necktie every weekday since first grade and I’m not about to drop that.

Style Mantra: Simplicity is complicated to achieve.

Scent: Vetiver

Piece of Jewelry: My red leather lapel button embossed with a gold “18” identifies me as member number 18 of the People’s Committee for the Preservation of Fine Bindings.

Color I Never Tire Of: Red

Flower: Peonies

Indispensable Design Element: Arches

Era for Design: Regency

Dream Project: a house for Prince Charles

Fabric/Textile: Tiger stripe hand loomed silk from Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua in Venice

Hostess Gift: A copy of whatever I’m reading. Currently: Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner

Meal: Stuffed Quail or veal kidneys

Drink: Pomerol

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Read

3 Things I Love About My City: The view from my office of jazz-age skyscrapers. The New York Public Library. Townhouse side streets on the Upper East Side.

Weekend Destination: Millbrook, New York

Hotel: Ett Hem in Stockholm

City: Rome

Museum: The Morgan Library & Museum

Artist: Winslow Homer

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Almost anything by Cole Porter

Actor/Actress: Téa Leone

Prized Possession: My baby blue Vespa

Greatest Extravagance: Dry-aged when chuck steak would do

Go-To Color Palette: Brown with sharp green

Rule to Break: Walk, don’t run

Movie Set Design: The drawing rooms in Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship (2016)

I can never have too many…Books

{Photography by Eric Piasecki, Courtesy of Peter Pennoyer, Unless Otherwise Noted}


Wise Words: Anne Sweeney

I hope you had a great weekend! Did you watch the Golden Globes? What did you think? Just the other day, while scrolling through Instagram, I came across a new account that I really like called @beproductive. I’d say the timing was perfect with a new year upon us. I found this quote from Anne Sweeney on their account and it really resonated with me. Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in what is going on with everyone around you, so I feel that this is an important philosophy to keep in mind as we forge our way through 2018. Happy Monday– let’s make it a great week!


{Image via @beproductive on Instagram}



Friday Favorites 01.05.18

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve been staying warm. It has been so cold in Houston this past week, but I know it is nothing in comparison to what our friends on the East Coast are currently experiencing. The weather is supposed to warm up significantly here this weekend and I am so ready for the warmer weather! It has been really nice being back in the office this week after taking a short break during the holidays. We are working on some exciting projects at Paloma Contreras Design and I have been working on writing the final components of my book like the dedication, acknowledgements, and all of the captions. Writing a book is truly a labor of love, but I have enjoyed the entire process so much. I’ve also made it a priority to make this a week of reflection and introspection and spent time outlining my goals for the new year as well as working on getting into a positive mindset to set the tone for the rest of the year. Have you set your goals for 2018? I would love to hear what the are! In the meantime, here is what is currently on my radar.

Design: asked a group of designers for their interior design predictions for 2018 and I was included amongst a wonderful group of my peers including Nick Olsen, Timothy Corrigan, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Suzanne and Lauren McGrath, Miles Redd, and Peter Dunham. My prediction? “I predict that classic, traditional design elements will be back in a big way in 2018! They’ve certainly never gone away entirely, but over the past few years, everyone has gone mad for modern. Given the uncertainty of our current political and social climate, it makes sense that people would gravitate to classic, sure-fire favorites to make their homes a true respite from the rest of the world. Get ready for antiques, traditional brown furniture, and printed fabrics such as floral chintzes to make their mark in the new year.” To read all 16 interior design predictions, click here.

Style: With the cold weather, all I have wanted lately is to bundle up in cozy sweaters. In fact, I’ve spent a lot of time in the warmth of my house, opting to stay in rather than go out in the evenings. I tend to favor neutrals in my wardrobe, but even more so during the winter when it’s all black, gray, and camel, all the time! I am currently loving this cozy sweater, this alpaca cape, this comfy coat, and this classic cashmere turtleneck.

Travel: One of the things I think a lot about in the New Year is my travel schedule for the year. My work frequently takes me to places like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, High Point, and Atlanta, but I want to give some thought to where we might travel for personal reasons this year. I am sort of loyal to a fault, so when I love a place, I tend to keep going back there rather than exploring new places. There’s nothing wrong with that, although we might change that up this year! Harper’s Bazaar just published their list of the 18 Best Places to Travel in 2018 and it features several destinations that I have yet to visit, but that have been on my list for a long time such as Mexico City, Mallorca, Charleston, and Big Sur, California. 

Events: Mark your calendars, Atlanta friends! The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market is taking place at AmericasMart January 9th – 16th. I’ll  be heading to Atlanta next Friday and will be speaking on a panel, Design Coast to Coast, along with fellow designers and bloggers, Amber Lewis and Erin Gates on Saturday, January 13th at 10:00 am in Building 1, Floor 14, Vignette Gallery, 14-D-9. It should be fun to hear our different perspectives on design as we collectively represent the West Coast, the East Coast, and the South. I hope you’ll come by and say hello!

Health: One of my goals for 2018 is to make healthier choices, whether that means eating healthier, exercising more often, or drinking less. I indulged way too much over the holidays, so I need to make some changes. I didn’t want to tie arbitrary numbers to that goal such as “go to the gym 4 times per week” or “lose 10 pounds” since my life can get pretty hectic with my work and travel schedule sometimes. I don’t want to set myself up for failure! One of the things I definitely want to do is drink less. I love drinking wine with dinner in the evenings, but I could probably stand to do it less often. This interesting article from My Domaine outlines “What Happens to Your Body When You Cut Out Alcohol“.

Shop: Few things are as chic as creamy, winter whites, especially in ones wardrobe. I am currently obsessed with this chunky sweater, these chic jeans in the perfect warm shade of white, and these ultra-cool zodiac mules, shown in my Scorpio sign, but available in all signs.