Endless Summer

alessandra branca lonny

{Alessandra Branca via Lonny}

I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July! It’s funny- the Fourth always seems to signal that summer is officially here and somehow, already halfway gone. With summer firmly on my mind, I have been really drawn to beach houses as of late, probably because I am secretly craving a beach vacation. There are elements that are tailor-made for beach houses and outdoor use– wicker, rattan, and other natural fibers, bamboo and coral details, weathered wood, crisp white director’s chairs, stripes and ethnic fabrics and colors like red, white, and blue, of course. The beauty of these elements is that they really work anywhere and at anytime of year. It’s like having an endless summer at home no matter where you are.

blue white bamboo

{The Blue and White Pool House at Blue Ridge Farm in Albemarle County, Virgina via The Pink Pagoda}

bunny williams

{Bunny Williams}

casa tua domino

{Casa Tua in Miami via Domino}

india hicks chairs

{No one does British Colonial Tropical Style quite like India Hicks}

india hicks lonny

{India Hicks}

alan wanzenberg

{Alan Wanzenberg}


{Jeffrey Alan Marks}

nathan turner eric hughes

{Nathan Turner}

ralph lauren

{Ralph Lauren}

max and co

{Phoebe Howard’s Max & Company}

sig bergamin

{Sig Bergamin via ELLE DECOR}

saint barths

{A Villa in St. Barth’s}

tim barber

{Tim Barber}

tim clarke

{Tim Clarke}

tom scheerer

{I seriously considered making this post strictly about Tom Scheerer’s work since it is the epitome of beachside chic even when an ocean isn’t remotely nearby.}

tom scheerer bedroom

{Tom Scheerer}

tom scheerer hats

{Tom Scheerer}

tom scheerer shiplap

{Tom Scheerer}

tom scheerer patio

{Tom Scheerer}

tom scheerer wicker

{Tom Scheerer}

tom scheerer twin beds

{Tom Scheerer}

A House Fit for A Music Legend

Fleetwood Mac is one of my all-time favorite music groups. I grew up with their music and continue to love it to this day. A couple of years ago, Fabian and I snagged really great seats to see them play in Houston and they were incredible. Lead guitarist and vocalist, Lindsey Buckingham was simply amazing in concert! Lindsay happens to be married to a very talented interior designer, Kristen Buckingham, who is as sweet and beautiful as she is talented. The couple have built a life together, and recently, over the last four years to be exact, they also built a house together. Located in the tony Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood, the sprawling house is on the market for a cool $22.5 million. The house is perfect for indoor/outdoor living and blends a traditional sensibility with a sense of California ease. 

{The Cozy Sunroom}

{Family Room with Custom, Built-In Bar}

{This kitchen is super chic! I love the lighting and choice of finishes.}

{The dining room opens to an outdoor terrace.}

{The house has not one, but two fabulous kitchens, including the catering kitchen, pictured here.}

{The Spacious Master Bedroom}

{The Marble-Clad Master Bathroom}

{A Private Study}

{The Perfect Area for Dining Al Fresco}

{Classic California Living}

{Images via Cottages & Gardens | View the Full MLS Listing Here}

Dissecting the Details: Phoebe Howard

Hello lovely LDV readers, Nancy of Marcus Design here to share another installment of the Dissecting the Details column with you today! I’m always drawn to very classic design in the bedroom, and Phoebe Howard knows exactly how to create a timeless and effortlessly chic bedroom space. Let’s take a closer peek into four key elements that Phoebe uses to accomplish this look:


Whether its an obvious all-over hue or an ever so subtle touch of pillows and lamps, the overall look is as soothing as the sea itself. I think blue has to be my all-time favorite color for the bedroom, so it’s definitely something I am drawn to in Phoebe’s designs.


The above examples show antique or antique style furniture, lighting, and artwork throughout. The warm wood hues of the antique desks, spindle beds, and dressers add so much to these overall light and airy spaces. The mirrors and artwork framed in substantial antique gold frames are stand-outs in each space.


Every space featured has a seating area, no matter how large or small the room. Even in the smallest of bedroom, I think one occassional or slipper chair brings so much comfort and charm to the bedroom.


One of my all-time favorites, the canopy bed could not be more perfectly suited to Phoebe’s spaces. The old-world charm and luxury can’t be beat. Truthfully I think these beds can make the ceiling appear higher and the space seem larger. And fabric always serves to warm a space!

Which of the four features is your favorite? Would you implement these in your own bedroom space? To see more from Phoebe’s stunning and extensive portfolio hop here.


Friday Favorites 06.16.17

This week was very exciting as we wrapped the first official photoshoot for my upcoming book! We spent a couple of days photographing one of my favorite projects which we have worked on for about two and a half years. I can’t wait to share it with you because it is so beautiful and special, just like the family who lives there. I feel so lucky to have such wonderful clients who entrust me with their homes and then allow me and my team to take over their houses for a few days while we shoot everything. In addition, we have been very busy working on projects for new and existing clients, planning the rest of the shoots for my book, interviewing candidates for the new position on our Paloma Contreras Design team, and working on a few special projects in addition to everything else. To say that I am ready for our Parisian vacation may be an understatement! It will be so nice to enjoy a week away and then return feeling inspired, rested, and energized and to channel that into my creative pursuits. I have some great things to share with you today, so I hope you’ll enjoy this week’s Friday Favorites and that you’ll let me know what you’re currently loving!

Design: When the new issue of Architectural Digest arrived at my house last weekend, I instantly loved the vibrant red bedroom on the cover. While I am not exactly a minimalist, I am definitely not a maximalist. I use pattern much more sparingly, but I found something about this bohemian home on Long Island so charming. Designed by Peter Marino, the house reflects the clients’ love of travel so beautifully. It’s obvious that the house is a significant piece of real estate, but it maintains a very relaxed quality without any pretense. Check out the full tour here.

Style: As I mentioned yesterday, we are heading to Paris in a little over a week and are so excited to be back in one of our favorite cities! French woman are so effortlessly stylish, that I can’t wait to people watch. I started following model Jeanne Damas on Instagram a while ago and find that she embodies “French Girl Chic” quite perfectly. 

Read: I worked on my kitchen renovation with Caesarstone last fall and they invited me to share some of my design musings on their fantastic blog, The Interior Collective. In my first post, I am sharing my thoughts on getting your personal style mix just right. Read the article here.

Watch: Last weekend, I watched a new documentary on Netflix about two of my favorite women, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill called Jackie: A Tale of Two Sisters. It is only an hour long and provided a fascinating glimpse into the complicated relationship between two sisters who became two of the most enduring style icons in history.

Travel: While I have our Paris trip planned, Bradley Agather Means of Luella & June recently shared her Favorite Places to Shop & Eat in Paris— a guide I will definitely check out because Bradley has fabulous taste.

Shop: It is really hot in Houston! Yesterday’s high humidity and scorching temperatures felt nearly unbearable which is why summertime calls for chic, easy sandals. You can’t go wrong with these, these, or these— chic, versatile styles to keep you cool all summer long. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Style Files: Sam Allen

Sam Allen Headshot 1

Sam Allen is a young interior designer based in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Having grown up watching his decorator mother in action, Sam knew that design was his calling from an early age and established his eponymous design firm while still in his teens. In the years since, Sam has been recognized as a “Next Wave” Designer by House Beautiful and his work has been featured in multiple publications including The New York Times, Luxe, Vogue, and Domino proving that talent and good taste are truly ageless. Over the years, Sam and I have become friends and frequently run into each other at design industry events such as Legends of La Cienega in Los Angeles or furniture market in High Point, North Carolina. I recently saw Sam not only in Los Angeles, but also in New York where we both designed tables for the annual Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Spring Gala. I have enjoyed watching Sam’s career blossom over the past several years and have no doubt that big things are on the horizon for him. Enjoy!


Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Sam Allen: Clean and classic meets elevated glamour, and always original. I like crisp, traditional neutrals with a personalized edge.

Sam Allen Vignette

PC: How has living in Connecticut influenced your style?

SA: There’s an interpretation of East Coast style that translates well across the board. It’s fresh and lively, but also refined, with a large dose of cozy. Those are all notes I enjoy seeing in a finished project.

Sam Allen Skirted Table

PC: What does your home say about you?

SA: Nothing makes me happier than perfecting the finishing details, and that comes through in my own home. I even have a folding board for my clothes.

Sam Allen Bedroom Stripes

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

SA: For my own, personal inspiration, I love travel. Whether it’s a design-focused trip, like going to LCDQ Legends or High Point, or just a vacation, I feel my creativity enhanced when I’m exposed to new experiences. It doesn’t even have to be far – even a day trip to New York for Kips Bay or to a museum can be inspiring. For a project, I like to be inspired by my clients. Getting to know them and who they are, and executing a vision that enhances their way of life – that’s inspiring!

Sam Allen Bold Living Room

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

SA: David Hicks’ style was iconic. He really knew and understood the way people live. As for someone current, Bruce Budd is doing really beautiful work. Every time a new project of his is published, I love it. In the world of fashion, Brunello Cucinelli’s style is classic and elevated in a way I strive to emulate.

bruce budd AD

{Worlds Collide: A Bedroom Designed by Bruce Budd featuring David Hicks’ Iconic La Fiorentina Fabric}

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

SA: Self-confidence. Have faith in yourself or no one else will.

Sam Allen Dining Room

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

SA: Shopping. Serious shopping. Particularly in Paris.

Sam Allen Vignette

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

SA: Martha Stewart. She’s a family friend, and I interned for her at the beginning of my career. I admire her resilience and ability to evolve. She’s a smart businessperson.

Sam Allen Kitchen

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

SA: Waking up in the Peninsula Beverly Hills and never having to go back to reality.

Sam Allen Bedroom

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

SA: I’ve just started a large new project in Martha’s Vineyard. It’s in an amazing location on the water with exquisite views. We’re currently developing the creative concept, and I’m very excited about it.

Sam Allen Bath



Go-To Outfit: I love my Brunello Cucinelli cashmere sweatsuit, worn with leather sneakers

Style Mantra: “Buy the best, and you will only cry once.” Miles Redd speaks the truth.

Scent: Lily of the Valley

Piece of Jewelry: My yellow gold Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch

Color I Never Tire Of: Hermès Orange

Flower: White Peonies

Indispensable Design Element: Quality textiles and flowers

Era for Design: Billy Baldwin and the 1950’s

Dream Project: My mother always says that a project can only ever be as good as the client. So my “dream project” would be working with someone who allows me creative control and trusts my vision.

Fabric/Textile: Bennison and C+C Milano

Hostess Gift: White, fresh cut flowers

Meal: Homemade pasta

Drink: Diet Coke


Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: A manicure

3 Things I Love About My City: Its charm, the timeless beauty and architecture, and the fact that it’s on the water.

Weekend Destination: My grandparent’s home in Martha’s Vineyard

Hotel: The Peninsula Beverly Hills

City: Paris

Museum: The V&A in London

Artist: Jean-Marc Louis

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: “In Da Club” by 50 Cent

Actor/Actress: George Clooney & Meryl Streep

Prized Possession: My friendships

Risk Worth Taking: Starting your own business

Greatest Extravagance: Cars

Go-To Color Palette: Crisp neutrals

Rule to Break: All of them!

Movie Set Design: Anything by Nancy Meyers

I can never have too many… Minutes of the day!

Paloma Signature

{Images Courtesy of Sam Allen Interiors | For more of Sam’s work and funny personality, follow him on Instagram @samallen1}