My Home in Domino

Domino Winter 2014 Cover

I had a little something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving– my home is featured in the new, Winter issue of Domino and Tate and I appear on the cover! It’s definitely a “pinch me”, dream come true moment and I am incredibly grateful to the wonderful team at Domino (Robert Leleux, Brittany Ambridge, Brittany Chevalier, Amanda Thompson, and Caroline Biggs) for making this entire experience so amazing. I may be biased, but the Winter issue is my favorite this year. My home is featured alongside other inspiring homes and features on Jeremiah Brent, Christopher Spitzmiller, and Clare Vivier. I am honored to be in such talented company.

In my home, I took the approach of creating a backdrop of neutral, rich, saturated color and layering upon that with pattern, texture, art, and items with personal meaning. The spaces from my house that made it into the spread are all tied together by the use of Behr’s “Aging Barrel” on the walls–a rich, chocolate hue that makes for a beautiful, neutral backdrop. Be sure to pick up a copy of the Winter issue of Domino which is on newsstands now to see all of the images and read the full story! Thank you to everyone who has emailed, texted, and shared images of the feature on social media!

Paloma Contreras Design | Domino | Living Room | Abstract Art

{Our Formal Living Room | Custom Sofa and Pillows, Vintage Marcel Breuer Leather and Chrome Arm Chair, Natural Curiosities Black and White Abstract, AERIN Dover Table Lamp, West Elm Faceted Mirror Side Table}

Paloma Contreras Design | Domino | Bar Area | Abstract Art

{The Bar Area in our Dining Room | Adjustable Table Lamp, Custom Artwork, iomoi Lucite Tray}

Paloma Contreras Design | Domino | Breakfast Room

{Our Breakfast Room | Custom Curtains, Martha Stewart for FLOR Rug (discontinued) Layered over Seagrass, Marble Topped Tulip Table (similar), Ballard Designs Dayna Side Chairs, Choros Chandelier}

Paloma Contreras Design | Domino | Blue and White Vignette

{A Blue and White Vignette in our Master Bedroom}

Paloma Contreras Design | Domino | Guest Bedroom | Leopard | Gilt

{Our Guest Bedroom | AERIN Warren Table Lamp, Biscuit Katie Polka Dot Bedding, Arianna Belle Leopard Pillows, 55 Downing Street Upholstered Bed}

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{Images by Brittany Ambridge for Domino}

House Beautiful’s Next Wave

Paloma Contreras House Beautiful Next Wave

I am absolutely thrilled, honored, and incredibly grateful to be featured as the “Next Wave” designer in the November issue of House Beautiful. I have read the magazine faithfully each month for as long as I can remember, so being profiled in such an iconic feature within the magazine is an absolute dream come true. While I was in High Point last week, I attended a panel discussion moderated by Shax Rigler from House Beautiful featuring three of their recent “Next Wave” designers, Sara Gilbane, Jon Call, and Patrick Mele. During the presentation, Shax went over the many phases of the “Next Wave” since its inception in 1998 along with many of the people who have been recognized in the feature over the years including Jeffrey Bilhuber, Victoria Hagan, Thomas O’Brien, Barbara Barry, Thom Filicia, Michael and Alexandra Misczynski of Atelier AM, along with many of my contemporaries in more recent years. To say that I am completely humbled would be a major understatement. It is surreal to be grouped with such talent and receiving this honor will only serve as a catalyst for me to continue pushing myself to do the best work that I can. A huge thank you to the entire team at House Beautiful!

The November issue is on newsstands now and it is fantastic! There are several gorgeous homes featured this month, so you should definitely check it out. To view my feature online and read about my design essentials, click here.

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Designing Windows: Paloma Contreras Design at Memorial Antiques & Interiors

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Memorial Antiques & Interiors, one of my favorite design destinations here in Houston as well as a sponsor on LDV, recently asked me to participate in their “Designing Windows” series. Since the beginning of the year, local designers have been invited to design the windows at MAI’s Building 1 and Building 2 for a month at a time. I was honored to be asked and was quite excited to design the windows at Building 2 because I love designing vignettes or “moments” within larger spaces and felt that this was an opportunity to make a big visual impact in a small space. I’m always up for a challenge and I knew that designing the windows for August would be quite a fun one!

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 I knew going in that I wanted to incorporate certain elements that I often use in my design work– white lacquer, gilt, beautiful lighting, a touch of Greek Key, great mirrors and art, and of course, a mix of modern and traditional pieces. Then, I decided that I wanted to show two versions of a similar concept– a vignette that could work just as well in a living room, dining room, or entryway and that featured several of the same elements, but done in two styles. For the left window, I decided to develop a modern, fresh vignette. I had the walls painted in one of my go-to colors– Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy and paired a beautiful white buffet with a Louis XVI-style chair in a fun graphic pattern, modern lamps, a bold abstract painting in shades of pink and orange, along with pops of blue and white from antique Chinese pottery.

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 {Left Window}

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 {Left Window}

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 {Left Window}

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 For the right window, I opted for a lot of the same elements– a beautiful console, classic Louis XVI-style chairs, a gilt mirror, and sumptuous Scalamandre silk tiger velvet pillows with the intention of creating a more formal vignette. I love that the color palette is tight and pulled together. The composition in this window is pretty similar to the composition in the other one and you’ll notice a few of the same elements repeated, but my goal was to show how versatile these classic pieces can be and the fact that when you stick with the classics, you can make them work in a traditional or modern setting with bold pops of color or with a minimal, mostly neutral color palette.

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 {Right Window}

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 {Right Window}

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 {Right Window}

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 {Right Window}

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 {Right Window}

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 {My window designs will be on display at Memorial Antiques and Interiors Building 2 through the end of August. If you live in Houston, I would love for you to check them out. I posted a sneak peek of each window on Instagram while I was installing them on Friday and the more modern window on the left received more likes. Which of the two windows do you like best?}

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Dive Right In

Pool Kelly Wearstler

{Kelly Wearstler’s Stunning Beverly Hills Pool}

It probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone that summers in Houston are hot and unbearably humid. Fabian and I were just wondering the other day if it gets worse each summer or if our tolerance for the heat and humidity just grows lower as we grow older. Every year, when summer rolls around, we always lament to each other how much we wish we had a pool. We don’t plan to stay in our current home long enough to justify the expense of putting one in, but it is definitely a priority for our next house. It’s warm enough to go swimming nine months out of the year in Houston and it makes it much easier to get through the hot and sticky summer when you have a pool to cool you off– not to mention the built-in exercise and entertainment factors! As I dream about having a pool, I can’t help but be drawn to beautifully-designed pools and pool houses. I typically think simplicity is best and will endure the test of time, so you won’t see a ton of crazy shapes, slides, and water features here. Instead, I have focused on classic pools that are chic, timeless, and I would imagine quite refreshing!

Pool House AD

{I love the deep indigo color of the pool tiles in this pool and especially love the architecture of the pool house. The chippendale railing is incredible! | Image via Architectural Digest}

Pool Raleigh Hotel

{The Regency-style pool at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami is pretty major.}

pool janice parker

{The pool and surrounding area in landscape architect, Janice Parker’s Millbrook Farm project evoke thoughts of the Italian countryside. I love the simplicity of the pool and the imposing topiaries.}

Pool JK Place Capri

{The pool at the J.K. Place Hotel in Capri is the picture of chic simplicity.}

Pool AD Juan Montoya

{This gorgeous pool surrounded by hydrangea hedges is the very picture of Hamptons idyll thanks to designer, Juan Montoya. | Image via Architectural Digest}

Pool Round Cabana Domaine

{Isn’t this round pool charming? | Image via Domaine Home}

pool AD

{A Simple, Clean-Lined Pool with Slate Decking via Architectural Digest}

Pool Southern Living

{The classic gardens and symmetrical lines of this pool complement one another perfectly. | Image via Southern Living}

pool anouska hempel

{Anouska Hempel designed this lovely pool. I love the symmetrical elements surrounding the pool area– chic boxwoods in concrete pots, concrete orb objets, a pair of benches, and two whimsical umbrellas.}

Pool Carolyne Roehm

{Carolyne Roehm dotted the perimeter of her pool with white Chippendale benches and boxwood topiaries in blue and white pots, of course!}

pool decking

{I really like the simplicity of this pool and especially like the wood decking around it which looks clean and modern. | Image via Pinterest, Original Source Unknown}

Pool Howard Design TTI

{An Elegant Pool and Garden by Howard Design Studio via Things That Inspire}

Pool Luxe

{What does a modern farmhouse call for? A sleek, clean-lined pool! | Image via Luxe Magazine}

Pool Aerin Lauder ED

{Aerin Lauder’s Chic Pool and Pool House in The Hamptons via ELLE DECOR}

pool florida

{A Beautiful Pool and Lush Landscaping at a Home in Florida’s Alys Beach | Image via Pinterest}

Pool George Cukor

{Legendary Director, George Cukor’s 1930’s Pool and Pool House in Los Angeles}

Pool Estee Stanley Lux

{A Spanish-style house receives a treatment of printed cement tile and black and white striped furniture, courtesy of designer, Estee Stanley via Luxe Magazine}

Pool Kathryn M. Ireland

{Kathryn M. Ireland’s Charming Santa Monica Home features a Lovely Pool}

What is your idea of a great pool?

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Project Reveal: A Glamorous Before and After Part 2

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 {After: The Dining Room}

Thank you for all of your sweet comments on Part 1 of this project reveal last week! Today, I’ll be sharing more of the first floor of the house, including the dining room, entry, living room, and two powder bathrooms. You’ll see in the before photos that we were dealing with a lot of the same issues that we had in the kitchen, breakfast room, and family room that I showed you last time– dated colors and finishes, too many gimmicks, an inappropriate use of scale, and an overall lack of warmth and cohesion. Let’s begin the tour, shall we?

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 {Before: The Dining Room– This space is rather large in scale and feels even larger because it is open onto the entry and formal living room, so again, we were faced with adjoining rooms that actually felt quite disjointed in their previous iteration.}

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{After: The dining room features extensive and heavy millwork, including big pediment archways on two sides, dentil moulding, tall baseboards, and a tray ceiling, so I wanted something that would make the room feel lighter and more airy. My client had mentioned that she was open to doing a patterned wallpaper in this room and we found just the thing in Farrow & Ball’s Silvergate wallpaper, a classic damask pattern. My client had also come to me knowing that she wanted this specific type of dining chair. Since the rest of the room is so feminine and glamorous, I paired it with a large, trestle-style table to temper the femininity and ground the space. You’ll notice that we didn’t use a rug or curtains in this room and that was intentional in order to make it feel lighter and less imposing. The scale of the room looks so much better now. Before, everything felt a little too small. The crystal and iron Adrianna chandelier is more appropriate in size and you’ll notice we also used a rather large Venetian mirror and substantial mercury glass hurricane-style table lamps atop the buffet.}

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{After: Details on the Buffet}

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{Before: The Entry– You can see more of the pediments and millwork I mentioned above in regard to the dining room and this gives you a better feel for how everything is laid out. The dining room is on the left, the formal living room is straight ahead, and the study is to the right.}

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{After: You can really see the detail of the ebony floors we laid throughout the house. We used various sized planks to add interest and you’ll notice that I had the quarter round trim painted white instead of matching the wood. I find this to look much cleaner and more polished. We kept it pretty simple in the entry with a pretty chandelier overhead, an antique  mirrored console table, crystal lamp, and series of framed artwork to greet guests as they make their way into the home.}

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{After: A Detailed Shot of the Pieces in the Entry}

dodd before living room

{Before: As we move on to the formal living room, you’ll notice that scale continued to be an issue. Everything was too small and the furniture was pushed out to the extremities of the space.}

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{Before: An Additional View of the Room to Give you a feel for the Space.}

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{After: We used the same wall color as we did in the areas of the house from Part 1 of the reveal, which are to the left on the other side of the wall. You’ll notice we had the black granite fireplace surround replaced with white carrara marble so that it was cohesive with the nearby kitchen. My client was really open to the idea of navy blue velvet roll arm sofas, so we did a pair of them parallel to one another on either side of the room. Notice that we didn’t put anything right up against the walls. We also brought in a new chandelier, lamps, a pretty coffee table, and a pair of antique Louis XVI-style armchairs. I wanted this room to feel a little more formal and to use fabrics that were rich and sumptuous to give my client the element of glamour that she craved while ensuring that the room was comfortable for hosting guests. Everyone has a place to set their drink!}

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{After: Looking towards the Dining Room from the Living Room– the chairs and martini table usually rest atop the rug, but full disclosure– we moved them out a bit because the perspective in the photograph looked better.}

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{After: Mirrored Obelisks and a Gilded Sunburst Mirror bring Glamour to the Fireplace in the Living Room}

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{Before: I’m calling this the Navy Powder Bath and you’ll see why soon. This room is actually pretty large for a powder bathroom, but it felt so chopped up before between the long mirror hung horizontally and the huge bookshelf over the toilet. I never really understood why that was there. The slate color on the walls didn’t really do much for me or my client either and you might recognize the same black and tan granite that was also in the kitchen before.}

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{After: I knew that I wanted rich, deep navy walls for this room and my client was totally up for it! Other than that, we brought in some of the glamorous elements seen in the rest of the house — beautiful lighting, a Venetian mirror, polished nickel fixtures and hardware, new honed black granite countertops, and a beautiful polished marble basketweave floor. We also added a simple roman shade with navy tape trim to tie everything together and soften the space a bit. You’ll notice we ripped out the bookshelf over the toilet! It feels like the room can breathe now. Sometimes, less really is more.}

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{After: Pretty, Classic Details}

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{Before: It’s hard for me to decide which of the powder bathrooms received the most dramatic facelift since I think they both look drastically different than they did before. I think this one, the Silver Powder Bath may be the winner. Before, there was a busy gold and brown wallpaper, another ornate, horizontal mirror, a random alcove (I wish builders would stop doing this. What’s the point?),  and a very heavy wood and dark marble sink cabinet with a bright white porcelain sink with a bronze faucet, and dated lighting overhead.}

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{After: We simplified the room tremendously! I had sheetrock put over the old alcove and had the walls covered in a grayish/silver Phillip Jeffries metallic grasscloth. We got rid of the old sink and replaced it with a classic polished nickel and marble washstand, pairing it with a tall, narrow mirror which works with the height of the room. We added a pretty new chandelier, and sconces, continued the black and white marble basket weave flooring, and added some framed art over the toilet. The result feels fresh, pretty, and timeless.}

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{After: I just love the way this powder bathroom turned out and my client couldn’t be happier.}

I hope you’ve enjoyed Part 2 of the tour and would love to hear your thoughts on the changes we made. I was really so very lucky to have a client who was so open to change and willing to trust that my design decisions would give her the results she was looking for in the end. I will share the third and final part of the tour early next week. Happy Monday!

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{“After” Images by Max Burkhalter}