A Tribute to Jeremiah Goodman

{Betsy Bloomingdale’s Los Angeles Living Room, 2000}

I was sad to learn that Jeremiah Goodman, the legendary interiors illustrator passed away at the age of 94 a few days ago. I was fortunate to see the Jeremiah Goodman Retrospective at the Dessin Fournir Gallery in Los Angeles when I was there for Legends of La Cienega back in May. Mr. Goodman’s beautiful watercolors seemed to radiate light and evoke a mood like few illustrations can. The New York Times called him “the Rembrandt of 20th-Century Rooms”. Mr. Goodman spent decades painting the houses of the wealthy and famous set. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Goodman began his career designing Hollywood sets, but was turned off by the industry while working for a notoriously difficult boss. Eventually, he took freelance illustration jobs with House & Garden as well as Lord & Taylor and would go on to be regarded as one of the greatest interiors illustrators of our time. I have no doubt Mr. Goodman’s work will continue to inspire for years to come. For more of his beautiful illustrations, you can purchase his book, Jeremiah: A Romantic Vision.

{Bill Blass’ Sutton Place Bedroom, 2004}

{The Toluca Lake, CA Estate of Bob and Delores Hope, 1950}

{Diana Vreeland’s Famous, Billy Baldwin-Designed Park Avenue Sitting Room, 2000}

{Delphine and Reed Krakow’s Home, 2006}

{The Living Room of John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross in Mendham, New Jersey, 2005}

{The Bedroom of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor in Moulin de la Tulerie, France, 2005}

{Vicente Wolf’s Living Room in Montauk, 2005}

{Images via Architectural Digest}

Art with Heart

{An Alexis Walter Painting in the Bedroom I Designed for the 2016 Southern Style Now Showhouse in New Orleans}

One of the most remarkable things to come out of Hurricane Harvey is the way that people from across the country have come together to support Texans in need. Our brothers and sisters from Louisiana, who unfortunately know a thing or two about devastating floods, have shown up for us in an amazing way. Between the Cajun Navy who came in with their fishing boats to rescue Houstonians from their flooded homes to the countless volunteers and people who have sent support however they could, be it in the shape of supplies or monetary donations.

{A Pair of Alexis Walter Paintings in the Bedroom I Designed for the 2016 Southern Style Now Showhouse in New Orleans}

One of our favorite artists here at La Dolce Vita and at Paloma Contreras Design is the talented, Alexis Walter. The New Orleans-based artist specializes in beautiful abstract, mixed media paintings in various pastel palettes with extraordinary depth and texture. Her paintings work beautifully in any environment, be it traditional, modern, or somewhere in between. It came as no surprise to me when Alexis who also happens to have one of the biggest, kindest hearts of anyone I know, announced that until August 6th, 15% of profits from the sale of her paintings will be donated to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. If you are currently in the market for a beautiful piece of original art, why not choose something that will also help a wonderful and worthy cause? Below, you’ll find a few of my favorites, but be sure to visit her website to see the full assortment before they all sell out.

{Creme Brûlée | 20 x 24 | $1,300.00}

{Wingman | 20 x 20 | $850.00}

{Downy | 16 x 20 | $685.00}

{Blue Scadoo | 30 x 30 | $2,450.00}

{Lemon Meringue | 30 x 30 | $2,450.00}

{Yakety Yak | 16 x 20 | $685.00}

{Showhouse Photography by Brittany Ambridge}

Before and After: A Favorite Client Project

I have been feeling really fortunate this week because four former clients recently hired us again to design new projects for them. It is an amazing compliment to have a client entrust you with their home, not only once, but twice. One of these client’s homes is a favorite project that was featured in Luxe earlier this year. Upon taking on a new project with this client who we love, I reflected on the past several years that we have spent working together and thought it might be fun to show you a before and after since seeing the original version and the finished product can really showcase the transformative magic that happens during the design process. 

My client really has great taste. She and her husband custom built their home a couple of years before I was brought on to the project and she made some really great design selections on her own. When it came to furnishing the house, she got stuck on some decisions and needed someone to guide her and bring what she had envisioned to life, which is where I stepped in. In the interim, they lived with a lot of furniture from their old house, which didn’t quite work in the new space. Our relationship has always been very collaborative because she has a great eye, is willing to take risks, and really trusts me and the process. The end result is a testament to a great client/designer relationship. 

{Entry Before: My client had a great antique chest and gilt mirror, which we ended up keeping, along with the cowhide.}

{Entry After: We kept the chest and the mirror, added new lighting and a pair of antique Bergere chairs, and framed art that my client had collected over the years.}

{Dining Room Before: My client had a great foundation to work with including neutral grasscloth covered walls, a diamond sisal rug, silk taffeta curtains, and a custom dining table with metal top and Lucite base. The individual pieces were great, but she wanted to elevate the feeling in this room and the rest of the house to reflect a more tailored, slightly more glamorous and modern look.}

{Dining Room Before: This shot offers a different view of the space, including a pretty buffet and mirror.}

{Dining Room After: We transformed the space by pairing the modern, Lucite base dining table with Louis XVI-style side chairs with custom skirted host chairs with Samuel & Sons trim. Only having skirted chairs on the ends allows the cool base of the table to be seen. It was getting lost before. My client loved Kelly Wearstler’s Channels fabric, so we sought a creative way to use it, opting for custom draperies which mimic the black and white abstract painting by Karina Gentinetta.}

{Dining Room After: We brought in new lighting including a beautiful rock crystal chandelier and lamps, which transform the buffet and mirror.}

{Living Room Before: The room is rather large with tall ceilings and big, steel windows. The pieces my client had were all very nice, but the room called for larger scale items and it also presented a great opportunity for bringing in the new style she craved.}

{Living Room Before: Looking Towards the Fireplace}

{Living Room After: The living room is one of my favorite spaces in the house as it demonstrates my love of symmetry. The high-contrast palette works beautifully in the home’s open floorplan. My client’s husband was so sweet and willing to go along with all of his wife’s choices, so when he had a single request– to add a TV in the living room, we couldn’t help but comply. Thankfully, there are plenty of other beautiful things to occupy the eye in the space from the antique Octagonal mirrors found in New Orleans, to the extra-long Verellen sofas topped with Scalamandré tigre velvet pillows and Celerie Kemble for Henredon coffee table. A modern Jonathan Browning chandelier acts as the jewelry of the room. Meanwhile, custom curtains with a wide, embroidered Mary McDonald trim and custom Lucite and brass hardware frame the windows and soften the room while a custom wool rug anchors the space.}

{Kitchen Before: I couldn’t find a better picture of the photo of the kitchen from early on, but as you can see, the kitchen already looked great.}

{Kitchen After: The kitchen features a marble waterfall island and slab backsplash along with soft gray cabinetry with antique mirrored accents. We added a pair of modern AERIN pendants over the island and upholstered the barstools in white vinyl for effortless ease since the family has young children. Again, custom window treatments help to soften and frame the space.}

{Den Before: This is one of the rooms the family spends the most time in, hanging out and watching TV. When we began the project, it consisted of a large, custom sectional and needed layers.}

{Den After: We didn’t use a lot of color in this house because my client prefers a soothing, neutral environment. However, in the den, we drew inspiration from my client’s artwork to incorporate a touch of color in shades of blue and teal.}

{Den After: We had a custom Parsons waterfall console made. At six feet long, it is better suited to the space than the smaller console that was once there before and was a temporary solution. We added a touch of color through custom upholstered ottomans in Schumacher Gainsborough Velvet. We also took the painting that was originally in the dining room and moved it in here since the colors and scale worked perfectly.}

{Den After: We also added a custom sisal rug from Stark, new lamps, and an Eames Lounger and Ottoman.}

{Master Bedroom Before: The master bedroom was one of the first rooms we tackled on this project. My client hadn’t gotten around to focusing any energy on her own room up until then, so it was filled with pieces from her old house that were no longer reflective of the style she wanted.}

{Master Bedroom Before: A new media console and an area for reading were top priority items.}

{Master Bedroom After: The high-contrast, black, white, and gray color palette continues into the bedroom where I designed a streamlined, custom bed upholstered in Schumacher’s Gainsborough Velvet. The David Hicks for Stark Octagon carpet gives a nod to my client’s love of geometric patterns and plays nicely with her existing abstract art. I felt the space needed some grounding, so I mixed in a couple of more traditional pieces– a pair of neoclassical bedside chests and Juliette Table Lamps by Suzanne Kalser.}

{Master Bedroom After: Opposite the bed, we added a custom, tufted Thin Frame Arm Chair from Lawson Fenning.}

{Master Bathroom Before: As you can see, there were some lovely elements to work with in the original iteration of the master bathroom. I was tasked with creating a little drama in the space and making it feel more like the rest of the new version of the house.}

{Master Bathroom After: The master bathroom is now home to one of the big wow moments in the home– the wall tiled in hexagonal black and white marble tile. The modern feel of the tile and cabinetry come together with the lovely chandelier and antique vanity mirrors to create a glamorous space.}

{Boy’s Room Before: The little boy’s room looked like what you would expect to find in an eight year old boy’s room– minimal furniture, bunk beds, and a big wall decal of his favorite football player, J.J. Watt.}

{Boy’s Room Before: Since this bedroom is on the smaller side, one of our goals was to maximize the use of the space.}

{Boy’s Room After: The children’s rooms in this house are also fabulous. The little boy’s room is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue and features pattern on pattern by way of David Hicks La Fiorentina in brown and white. We had some custom millwork made and the bed is now flanked by shelving and built-in nightstands on either side for added storage.}

{Boy’s Room After: Details in the Desk Area}

{We thought of every detail in this home, right down to wallpapering the ceiling and adding a fun chandelier in the teenage daughter’s closet.}

If you would like help transforming your home, please contact Paloma Contreras Design for more information.

{After Photos by Max Burkhalter}

A Custom Credenza with The New Traditionalists

A few months ago, I partnered with The New Traditionalists, a fantastic furniture brand based in New York. They do all of their manufacturing in New England and believe in beautifully made, highly customizable pieces. The master bedroom in our new house is larger than our old one, but we are sharing a closet in this house and were in need of a bit more storage. As I searched for a dresser or credenza that would suit our needs, I struggled to find the right piece. As such, it was serendipitous that I had recently been in New York and popped into The New Traditionalists showroom at the New York Design Center and was reminded of their chic collection of casegoods and their ability to customize just about anything. 

I had always liked their Credenza No. 17 for its updated Louis XVI style legs. This particular piece blends traditional and modern style elements so well. Luckily, the dimensions were ideal for the spot in our bedroom in need of a new piece. 

The next step was to work with Maria in their Client Services department who was super helpful in sending me a variety of finish samples that worked with the overall look I wanted. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure if I wanted a white or gray painted finish or a dark wood stain. I ended up going with their Black Stain on Walnut finish and selected Moore & Giles’ Papillon leather in Wisteria for the drawer insets. The leather adds a great hint of contrast and texture to the piece. The final decision was the hardware, which was difficult because they have so many fun styles. I opted for a classic, antique brass ring pull.

My master bedroom is nearly complete. I can’t show you the whole space yet because it is under embargo for my book, but you can see how well the neutral finishes of the new credenza work with some of the fabrics in the space, including the Les Touches fabric on my gilt bench and the Olivine Silk Velvet bolster pillows that sit on it. 

The No. 17 Credenza features plenty of storage by way of four large drawers and five smaller ones.

A Close-Up of the Finishes

The Drawers feature Painted Interiors and Soft-Close Glides 

The Final Product. We are so happy with how it turned out!

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}