The Vogue Living Collection for Schumacher

Fabric House, F. Schumacher’s latest collection is a collaboration between the lauded fabric manufacturer, and Vogue Living, who took inspiration from the magazine’s archives to create an English Country-inspired collection. It is cozy and traditional, with many beautiful floral prints, as one would imagine, but it also feels fresh and modern, thanks to the scale of the patterns and the brilliant colorways. Vogue’s iconic International Editor-at-Large Hamish Bowles headed up the design of the collection on the magazine’s side and mused “In collaborating with Dara Caponigro and her team on this exciting project we looked both to evocative prints and textiles in Schumacher’s remarkable historic archive, and to the work of some of the great Jazz Age Vogue illustrators, elements of which we have worked into innovative new designs, treatments and color stories. In doing so, we created a collection that pays homage to some of the great tastemakers whose instincts for fashion, style, and interiors has shaped the look of Vogue through the decades.” This collaboration is a match made in design heaven– bringing together one of the most forward-thinking fabric houses and the foremost authority in fashion. I look forward to working some of these pretty patterns into upcoming projects! To see the full collection, click here.

{Photography by Melanie Acevedo, Courtesy of Schumacher}

The Style Files: Wendy Labrum

Chicago-based interior designer Wendy Labrum considers herself a true Francophile, so naturally, both her clients’s homes and her own home are infused with her signature, Parisian-influenced style. Wendy’s aesthetic is a wonderful juxtaposition of masculine and feminine, traditional and modern, all executed through soft, classic color palettes . Each space Wendy designs is undeniably glamorous, yet a sense of comfort and practicality is ever-present. After living abroad in Europe for two years, learning as much as she could about art, architecture, and fashion, Wendy returned home to establish her eponymous design firm in 2007. In the years since, Wendy has completed numerous projects in Chicago as well as across the country. Her projects have also appeared in Luxe, Interiors, and Rue magazines, as well as online on My Domaine and ELLE DECOR. I feel that Wendy and I are kindred spirits of sorts because we share a very similar design aesthetic and gravitate to many of the same things, so it was a treat to finally meet her in person at Legends of La Cienega in Los Angeles back in May. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Wendy as much as I have!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Wendy Labrum: I always say I’m part Parisian/part Prep – French design is in everything I do, but I can’t escape the preppy influences of my upbringing. I always strive to create a curated mix of periods, styles and textures – every yin needs a yang.

PC: Has living in Chicago influenced your style in any way?

WL: Chicago is a town with a great sense of understated style, in fashion, in art, and in architecture. Things that are overly flashy feel inauthentic here. It also possesses a certain practicality – call it Midwestern sensibility – that is inherent in all of my designs as well as my everyday life.

PC: What does your home say about you?

WL: My home is a collection of my favorite things and colors. When we bought the house we did a substantial renovation that brought the home to life – it felt like a banal blank box beforehand. By adding architectural interest and detail, it created a backdrop for my collection of antique and contemporary pieces. My home also says that I have three young children.  

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

WL: My first love was fashion and its still a big part of what drives my design. I also find inspiration in books, art, shelter magazines, Instagram—everything! I rely heavily on travel to give me fresh perspective—it’s hard to reframe your mind when you’re walking the same path everyday.

{A Pretty Moment Wendy Shared on her Instagram account @wendylabruminteriors}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

WL: Elsie de Wolf, Albert Hadley and Jacques Grange

{Albert Hadley’s influence is evident in the chic room Wendy designed for this year’s Lake Forest Showhouse.}

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

WL: Selflessness. It’s so easy in our busy lives to get wrapped up in your own stuff and forget about the world around you. My parents are the most generous people I know—they never really talked overtly about it, but they taught us the principle through their actions.

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

WL: I have too many and most come in edible form. I’m a foodie at heart even though I can barely boil water. A doughnut (or three) possesses magical powers to make any day better.

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

WL: At the risk of sounding gooey, I have to say my clients. They inspire me, challenge me, and are an integral part of my personal evolution.

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

WL: Having the time to spend with the ones you love. It doesn’t matter where you are if you’re laughing with loved ones.

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

WL: We’re working on several exciting projects in Chicago—both new construction and historic renovation. Out of town we’re working on a gorgeous San Francisco pad for longtime clients, a south Florida house and a mountain retreat in process that is a passion project for me.


Go To Outfit: Jeans and a Balmain blazer

Style Mantra: Wear what you love

Scent: Tocca Giulietta

Piece of Jewelry: I’m a jewelry minimalist for day. My staples are my engagement and wedding rings, an Elsa Peretti diamond necklace, Cartier man’s watch and Cartier bracelets—all gifts from my husband.

Color I Never Tire of: Lavender—it can be sweet or edgy.

Flower: Peonies, classic for a reason.

Indispensable Design Element: Antiques—they add interest and flavor.

Era for Design: 1940’s France

Dream Project: A giant pre-war Paris apartment with all the original plaster mouldings OR one of the great old American estates from the first part of the 20th century.

Fabric/ Textile: Mohair and silk – preferably in the same room

Hostess Gift: A pie from Bang-Bang Pie Shop in Chicago’s Logan Square

Meal: A heaping plate of fresh pasta pomodoro

Drink: Diet Coke (After several unsuccessful attempts to kick it, I’ve now embraced it!)

Way to Unwind: An hour-long run every morning. It pairs well with my doughnut routine.


3 Things I Love About My City: We have some of the best museums, restaurants and weather in the country. Okay okay, I’m kidding about the weather.

Weekend Destination: We head to Park City as often as possible. I’m never happier than when I’m in the mountains. We also try to sprinkle a bit of Miami in whenever we can for napping in the sun.

Hotel: The Ritz in Paris

Museum: Musee D’Orsay

City: Paris!

Artist: Cy Twombly and Elliot Puckette

Actor/Actress: Jessica Chastain – she’s badass

Risk Worth Taking: Having a child

Greatest Extravagance: Frequent travel with my children—we splurge for convenience

Go-To Color Palette: Ivory and Grey—punctuated by rust, lavender or rose

Rule to Break: Don’t paint a small space a dark color—I think small spaces look best when painted glossy dark colors!

Movie Set Design: Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby

I can never have too many… Fancy shoes!


Classic Glamour on Gramercy Park

CecCe Barfield Thompson is an up and coming young designer based in New York. She’s made waves in the New York design scene since leaving her post as Senior Designer at Bunny Williams, Inc. to start her eponymous design firm in 2015. Since then, she has been named to House Beautiful‘s Next Wave list of designers and her beautiful home on lower Manhattan’s storied Gramercy Park is currently featured on One Kings Lane. CeCe’s southern charm and refinement is reflected in her sophisticated, yet welcoming apartment which has no shortage of style, yet it is comfortable and practical for Cece, her husband, and their two young daughters. 

{Photography by Lesley Unruh for One Kings Lane}

Friday Favorites 08.04.17

This week feels like it went by in the blink of an eye! I made a lot of progress on the manuscript for my book. We visited some old clients that are starting new projects and worked on several current projects as well. Today, we are photographing another client’s house for my book. We are getting really close to the end and only have a few more shoots to go, which is really exciting. This week, I also received some amazing news about a product collaboration, so stay tuned for more details! In the meantime, here is what has been on my radar lately!

Design: I grew up idolizing the 90s supermodels– Christy Burlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and Claudia Schiffer. Schiffer’s English tudor manse is featured in the new issue of Architectural Digest and it serves as a great example of how a young, modern family can make a centuries-old house feel current and vibrant. It isn’t a dilemma we face very often here in the States, but it is interesting to see how a 14 bedroom house built in 1574 works for a family today. Take the full tour on AD

Style: I love the look of rich, saddle leather whether it is on a chair or on a beautiful bag. Lately, a few saddle leather handbags have caught my eye. I’d be happy with this Stella McCartney hobo, this cutie by Simon Miller, or this ultra-chic Loewe bag

Read: Over the past week, I have been featured in a couple of really nice articles. First, Architectural Digest profiled me in their “A Day in the Life” column. To see what a typical day in my shoes is like, click here. Next, the Wall Street Journal asked me which flowers I loather and which ones I am currently loving. To see my answers along with those of thirteen other design professionals, click here.

Watch: Over the weekend, I watched Diana, Our Mother on HBO. The documentary was produced by HRH Princes William and Harry in tribute to their late mother, the inimitable Princess of Wales. Though she was stripped of the title after her divorce, she will always be the People’s Princess. I idolized Diana growing up and now, I think about how tragic it was that she met such an untimely death at just 36, the same age I will be in a few months. I wept the entire time I watched the documentary, but I would highly recommend it. As much as I adore the new generation of royals– William, Kate, Harry, and of course, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, none of them are as magnetic or alluring as Diana was. She was truly one of a kind. Watch the preview here.

Beauty: One of the products I swear by and use religiously is Tata Harper’s Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil. I have used Vitner’s Daughter in the past and I like this so much more. It has a really great consistency and doesn’t feel heavy on my skin, plus it smells divine. It gives me an instant glow and I have noticed an overall difference in my overall skin tone since I began using it a few months ago. It is suitable for all skin types and is packed with “essential vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and antioxidants in a formula that is organic and free of artificial ingredients. My favorite is the smaller size, because unlike most face oils, it has a rollerball applicator instead of a dropper, which I feel creates too much waste. Every morning and evening, I roll a little on each cheek and across my forehead, then rub it into my skin, breathe in the excess oil on my hands and then rub it into my cuticles. I’m obsessed!

Shop: The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ends in just two days! Prices will go back up on August 7th, so don’t miss out. You can shop all of my top picks here, which include this pretty Ted Baker top, a classic Lauren Ralph Lauren coat available in camel, black, and grey, as well as a chic pair of suede booties by Stuart Weitzman, which also come in black.

A Palate Cleanser

Happy almost Friday! I hope that you’ll enjoy this post from the archives today. We have been really busy with various projects lately and I have spent a lot of time writing my book over the past several days, so to be completely honest, I am feeling a little spent at the moment. Rather than cobble together something not very compelling for today’s post, I thought it better to give myself a little creative space in order to generate some fresh, new ideas. As such, I wanted to revisit a favorite space that always inspires me when I need to hit the reset button. 

Miguel Garcia de Valcarcel 1

I usually love color and pattern. I also love layers and especially enjoy creating collected spaces with personality and meaning for my clients. Usually, this is achieved through a mix of carefully-curated furniture and accessories, a blend of textures with great contrast, and striking art. Every now and then, though, we can all use a little palate cleanser. 

When I came across this beautiful apartment in Madrid, designed by Miguel García de Valcárcel who also calls the chic flat home, I stopped in my tracks. The entire apartment is done in crisp white and light neutrals to emphasize the natural light that floods through each room. There is a fantastic mix of antiques, modern elements, and found objects, but it is all done with restraint. Miguel is clearly an excellent editor. Each room is chic, warm, and elegantly composed.

Miguel Garcia de Valcarcel 2

Miguel Garcia de Valcarcel 4

Miguel Garcia de Valcarcel 3

Miguel Garcia de Valcarcel 5

Miguel Garcia de Valcarcel 6

Miguel Garcia de Valcarcel 7

Paloma Signature

{Photography via Nuevo Estilo}