Project Updates: Modern meets Traditional Style

Paloma Contreras Design Houston Brass Mantle

{For a long-time client in Houston, I designed their living room to marry traditional and modern elements in an elegant and inviting environment. The brass-framed chair is swathed in moss green velvet while a William McLure painting hangs over the fireplace for which I designed an antiqued-brass inset.}

The other day, a client mentioned that she’d noticed that I post a lot of photos on Instagram that I don’t share here on the blog. She was right since the two mediums serve different purposes for me. The blog is more focused editorially while Instagram is a great way to share what is inspiring me in the moment and during my travels. From time to time, I’ll share little sneak peeks of the projects I am currently working on at Paloma Contreras Design. My client made me realize that some of you may not be on Instagram, so I thought it would be nice to share a few glimpses of projects we are currently working on with you. We have quite a few projects locally in Houston, mainly in the River Oaks and West University neighborhoods, as well as a big project in Southampton, New York and one in Santa Barbara, California. In fact, we are heading to New York to install the Southampton project today! While all of these spaces are part of large-scale projects involving most or all of each house, I thought it would be fun to show you a few special details.

Paloma Contreras Design Living Room

{In addition to our client projects, I am still working on several projects around my new house. Our living room is complete now that I recently had my Verellen sofas delivered. This is just a small peek of one side of the room. I can’t wait to show you the whole space because it is my favorite in the house!}

Paloma Contreras Design River Oaks Living Room

{At another long-time client’s home in Houston’s River Oaks, we did a similar look with a seagrass rug layered with a vintage Kilim rug, custom-designed sectional upholstered in Perennials fabric, and a pair of traditional club chairs.}

Paloma Contreras Design River Oaks Living Room 2

{We took this photo during an installation, so a series of beautiful framed botanicals went up next to the mirror on the wall in the background after this was taken. You’ll notice similar elements to the rooms featured above, but we execute the look in a slightly more traditional look with a soft color palette.]

Paloma Contreras Design Hummingbirds Nursery{We recently completed this beautiful nursery for one of our favorite clients who just welcomed her second daughter. The walls are covered in Lee Jofa’s iconic Hummingbirds wallpaper.}

Paloma Contreras Design Santa Barbara

{We’ve been working with the sweetest client in Santa Barbara who has lovely taste and is a dream to work with. In her daughter’s bathroom, we went with classic subway tile, white cabinetry, and carrara marble countertops, and had a little fun with a Katie Ridder wallpaper and towels from Leontine Linens.}

Paloma Contreras Design West University Boys Room

{We have done houses in West University and Bellaire for this client. In their son’s room, we had more fun with wallpaper. This time, we used Miles Redd’s Deconstructed Stripe wallpaper against a cerused oak bunk bed dressed in navy and white bedding.}

Paloma Contreras Design West University Girls Room

{The same client’s little girl is obsessed with the Eiffel Tower, so we found a fun paper to suit her travel dreams and paired it with a custom roman shade in a pink Veere Greeney fabric for Schumacher.}

For more from behind-the-scenes and glimpses into my adventures, follow along on Instagram!


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  1. I love my morning ritual of reading your blog and love to follow you on Instagram as well. You have helped me in defining my own style. I am very much a traditionalist myself but always fear of the look being too formal.Yet, I am often inexpicably drawn to abstract patterns and clean lines, so marrying these elements together never occured to me before reading your blog and I often struggled with decorating my home. I will obviously never be able to do it as well as you, but you are always offering me inspiration. And, being able to understand and recognize what I gravitate to has been a game changer. Thank you!

  2. Thank you SO much for these images. Inspiring. And nothing as we see anywhere else, which is remarkable we feel.
    Appreciate your comment that not everyone sees Instagram. I can barely keep up with subscriptions. Plus personally feel – for rational reasons or actually any particular reasons – that other media lack the gravitas this mode has.
    (Never thought I’d be saying that about emails being a lifelong magazine/books fan, but there you have it.)
    Love your work and look forward to each post.

  3. Paloma, these are really lovely examples of your work ands I appreciate you sharing. For some reason I am having trouble with instagram or I would be following you there as well. I am adoring your well edited but cozy living room. What shade of white paint did you use?