Friday Favorites 03.24.17

PCD Friday Favorites 03 24

What a week! It has been very busy around here lately with client work and a few special projects that we are currently working on, including a tabletop design for the Lenox Hill Spring Gala in New York next month. The theme is “All that Glitters” which I am interpreting in a non-traditional way. I’ll share more details and sneak peeks soon! In the meantime, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend. We don’t have any big plans– those types of weekends are always the best! In the meantime, here is what I have on my radar this week.

Design: Markham Roberts has a beautiful project featured in the April issue of House Beautiful. My favorite room in the spread is the beautiful blue and white master bedroom. Blue and white is such a timeless, chic combination. We are doing a couple of blue and white rooms in a client’s home right now which I can’t wait to show you because they will be beautiful. Markham’s execution includes fabrics by Lake August and the results are truly exquisite.

Style: I have yet to tire of the feminine turn fashion has taken. Voluminous sleeves, ruffles, and other pretty details are still very much welcome in my book. As I’ve mentioned before, I generally eschew trends in design, but am happy to partake in fashion. If you’re loving this look as much as I am, check out these pieces: Avery Striped One Shoulder Ruffle Blouse | Jill Jill Stuart Off the Shoulder Gown | J.Crew Flutter Sleeve Dress in Eyelet | J.Crew Striped Bell-Sleeve Top

Watch: I’ve admitted before that I am shamefully addicted to many of the reality shows on Bravo. What can I say? They provide a fun escape from the daily stress of life! One of my favorites, Southern Charm, set in beautiful Charleston is coming back for its fourth season on April 3rd. If you haven’t watched it before, set your DVR and be sure to watch seasons 1-3 on demand.

Drink: I usually drink wine, but when I have a cocktail, I prefer refreshing, citrus-driven concoctions that often feature mint. Half Baked Harvest’s Minty Grapefruit Caipirinha sounds like just what the doctor ordered at the end of an exhausting week!

Read: This week, I was interviewed for a couple of fun features. The first, Bedtime Confessions with Traditional Home, was so much fun because the questions were very different than those in a typical design interview. You may learn more than you ever wanted to know about me and my bedtime routine! Yesterday, Viyet featured a lovely Q &A with me about my background, my approach to design, and my sources of inspiration.

Shop: Woven textures and neutral colors look fabulous all year long, but are especially appropriate in the spring and summer months. Several new pieces have already caught my eye including these chic items: Jon Josef Natural Gatsby Loafers | Rebecca de Ravenel Lolli Basket in Natural | Tuckernuck Light Taupe Triple Lantern Earrings

Have a wonderful weekend!

Paloma Signature

Far East Fantasy


The new issue of Architectural Digest just hit newsstands and if you’ve already read it, then you likely noticed the new cover, logo, and format courtesy of the new editor-in-chief, Amy Astley. The look is really fresh and I’m liking it! Speaking of fresh, the Indian home of the former fashion designer behind the Tocca line, Marie-Anne Oudejans at the Narain Niwas Palace is featured in the issue and it is a true exotic fantasy. Marie-Anne also designed the glorious Bar Palladio which was previously featured in AD and has essentially gone viral on Instagram and Pinterest because of its chic interiors. I blogged about Bar Palladio back in August of 2015 (read the post here).

Like the stunning Bar Palladio, Marie-Anne’s home features the same mix of sophistication and whimsy. Pagoda-style daybeds, ceilings tented in stripes, and beautiful, Indian-style floral patterns make an appearance in both spaces to great effect. Red is not a color that I often use in interiors, but it looks so vibrant and fresh paired with a dusty, robin’s egg blue in the home’s bedroom and living areas, while a full-on red application is bold, yet classic in other areas of the home, including the kitchen and dressing room. I have never been to India, but Marie-Anne’s stylish interiors make me want to plan a trip soon!







Paloma Signature

{Photography by François Halard for Architectural Digest}

Spring in the Air

Elizabeth Bauer Watt DR

{I love the juxtaposition of the beautiful, hand-painted deGournay wallpaper and the relaxed, whitewashed furniture in the dining room. The plaster chandelier unifies these elements and punctuates the space.}

We have had spring-like temperatures and clear skies in Houston over the past several days and this beautiful project by Elizabeth Bauer Watt, featured in the March issue of House Beautiful evokes thoughts of the impending season. With its lovely palette of pale blues and greens, it seems to usher in the beauty of spring. One thing that I love about this project is that the entire house feels cohesive and features the same color palette. As a result, each room is distinctive in and of itself, but tells the same story as the rest of the house. Cohesion is truly one of the most important things you should strive for at home. When your home feels cohesive, it also feels more relaxed and inviting because you don’t have elements fighting for attention, as a result, you’ll achieve beauty and a truly welcoming environment, just as Elizabeth has in this house.

Elizabeth Bauer Watt LR

{The living room features ample seating and glamorous lacquered walls and ceiling in a custom aqua hue.}

Elizabeth Bauer Watt 3

{The cheery breakfast room features painted floors, a built-in banquette with a great mix of textiles, a classic Saarinen tulip table, and rattan chairs.}

Elizabeth Bauer Watt BR

{The master bedroom is dressed in classic blue and white.}

Paloma Signature

{Photography by Francesco Lagnese for House Beautiful}

Friday Favorites: 02.10.17

PCD Friday Favorites 02 10

I cannot believe it is already Friday! Last weekend, we were in The Hamptons and New York City for work and flew home Monday, so the rest of this week has gone by in the blink of an eye. It has been a couple of weeks since my last installment of Friday Favorites, so I am excited to share a few new things on my radar with you. Shall we?

Design: I read the March issue of House Beautiful on the way home from New York from cover to cover. It’s their color issue, so each project is vibrant and different from the next. Nick Olsen and Elizabeth Bauer Watt have some very beautiful projects in this issue, so it is a definite must-read!
Style: By now, you all know that I have an affinity for deGournay’s beautiful, hand-painted Chinoiserie wallpapers. I used one in the bedroom I designed for the Southern Style Now Showhouse last summer and have framed panels in my own dining room. Naturally, I was thrilled to see the new Moda Operandi x deGournay collaboration featuring a couple of beautiful, silk robe designs. Each one is hand-painted featuring a beautiful Chinoiserie design. Can you think of anything more chic than that?

Eat: So, the highlight of last week’s New York trip was meeting my idol, Ina Garten and her adorable husband Jeffrey while out to dinner in Bridgehampton! They are everything you would expect and more– gracious, lovely, and funny! I can normally keep it cool when it comes to star sightings, but this was definitely my best one yet! If you love Ina as much as I do, you’ll want to read this Bon Appetit article: 3 Kitchen Tools Ina Garten Can’t Live Without. How great is that?

Watch: With a star-studded cast including Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, the new HBO drama, Big Little Lies looks devilishly entertaining! The drama, the beautiful Monterey scenery, and the mystery look too enticing to pass up. It premieres February 19th, so set your DVRs! Have you read the book by the same name that the series is based upon per chance? Would you recommend it?

Read: Speaking of books, we discovered the most beautiful book while shopping for coffee table books for the installation at our client’s house in Southampton. It was so nice to go into a small, independently-owned bookstore! The shopkeeper at Southampton Books was so friendly and knowledgeable. He mentioned that this significant, sizable book, Hamptons Gardens is going out of print soon. The last time it went out of print, he said it was trading for a few thousand dollars, so it is a definite collector’s piece. There are only 8 left in stock, so act fast!

Beauty: I don’t really ever wear my hair up, except to wash my face, but I love the look of a loose velvet ribbon tied around a loose ponytail or a braid. The look is chic, classic, and romantic.

Shop: While we are on the topic of romance, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so be sure to check out our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for the perfect gift for your special someone!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Paloma Signature

The Style Files: Shelley Johnstone

Shelley Johnstone Portrait


Shelley Johnstone is a talented, up and coming designer based in Lake Forest, Illinois. I first came across Shelley’s work on Instagram and instantly identified with her elegant, traditional style. She is known for elegant, European inspired interiors with a modern twist– an aesthetic I can certainly relate to. Shelley trained at the Inchbald School of Design in London and has completed projects in various parts of Illinois, Rhode Island, London, and Naples, Florida. Shelley is adept at embracing color and the special, bespoke details that make for stand-out interiors. I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about this chic and promising designer.

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Shelley Johnstone: Classic and timeless with modern and curated pieces layered in to create interest.

shelley johnstone living room

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

SJ: Chicago and my home town of Lake Forest have given me a tremendous awareness and appreciation for beautiful architecture and the importance of small details: On a walk through town, I am fortunate to see Chevron doors, Chippendale gates, limestone urns, and other design elements that provide flair.

shelley johnstone treillage

PC: What does your home say about you?

SJ: That I enjoy creating a beautiful place where my family and friends can also feel comfortable and at home.

Shelley Johnstone Bedroom

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

SJ: I am inspired by everything around me – a shell on the beach, the prettiest pink tablecloth at a restaurant in Capri, a Rothko hanging at the Art Institute of Chicago. I try to recreate the many visuals and environments from my experiences into my design and my home.

Shelley Johnstone Kitchen Detail

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

SJ: I am most influenced by the beautiful lifestyles created and enjoyed by Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Bunny Williams, and John Rosselli.

oscar and annette de la renta vogue

{Oscar and Annette de la Renta}

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

SJ: I admire those who are kind, considerate, and well-mannered.

Shelley Johnstone Breakfast

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

SJ: Chocolate!

shelley johnstone blue and white

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

SJ: My parents, who are extremely creative and entrepreneurial while keeping an emphasis on family and life at home.

Shelley Johnstone Kitchen 2

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

SJ: Creating and enjoying a beautiful life with family.

Shelley Johnstone Living Room

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

SJ: I am currently designing a table for Veranda’s Orchid Dinner benefitting the New York Botanic Garden, and decorating a room for the 2017 Infant Welfare Showhouse in Lake Forest. Meanwhile, I am fortunate to continue working with amazing clients on projects for Shelley Johnstone Design.

Shelley Johnstone Vignette



Go-To Outfit: Roger Vivier shoes, jeans, and an elegant top

Style Mantra: “Keep it simple.”

Scent: Candles and fresh flowers

Piece of Jewelry: My engagement ring and my Cartier Panthere gold watch

Color I Never Tire Of: Chocolate brown

Indispensable Design Element: Chic natural fiber rugs (sisal, jute, abaca) and bamboo and rattan furniture

Fabric/Textile: Interesting prints on linen mixed with textured velvet and cashmere

Dream Project: More projects with the wonderful, detail-oriented clients I have!


Drink: Almond milk hot chocolate

Hotel: The Carlyle Hotel in New York and La Scalinatella in Capri

Museum: The Art Institute of Chicago and Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris

Artist: Mark Rothko (painting) and Massimo Listri (photography)

Actor: Cary Grant

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Hello Goodbye by the Beatles

Movie Set Design: Sets from 1940’s Hollywood, especially You Were Never Lovelier (1942) featuring Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth