Tastemaker: Paloma Contreras
India Amory Linens used: Hollyhock Tablecloth and Hollyhock Dinner Napkins
You've recently had huge success with Dream Design Live, can you tell us about how the book came to be? I'd had a few different ideas for a book over the past five years, but did not feel truly ready to seriously pursue the project until I connected with my amazing literary agent about three years ago. We fine-tuned the concept for the book together, resulting in what I believe is not only a book filled with pretty pictures, but a hard-working resource with a lot of valuable takeaways and tangible advice.
Do you have a favorite interior project you've worked on over the years? All of our projects are special to me for various reasons. There are several favorites in Dream Design Live. We recently photographed a project we completed in the fall that I am super excited about. Every room is so beautiful and the entire house feels very cohesive. I was quite lucky to have a client who trusted my vision and was on board with everything I presented. I am really proud of this particular project and am excited to share it in th future.
How do you approach setting a table? I approach setting a table very much in the same way I do the design process. The type of occasion dictates a lot of the elements such as the formality of the table, color palette, etc. Once I have those things figured out, I usually start with the linens to determine the colors and flatware to use. From there, I figure out what type of flowers I would like to use and have fun arranging them. I really love setting a beautiful table. It feels like a treat for guests and is another way of extending warm hospitality. Receiving a compliment on my table setting is as flattering as being told the meal is delicious!
Favorite destination and why? Has that place influenced your work? I love to travel, so it really depends on my mood. I absolutely love Paris and London for design inspiration. If I am looking to unplug and relax, my husband and I will usually head to Napa Valley and have become recent fans of Round Hill in Jamaica. We visited for the first time last year and already have another trip planned there this year!
Your style has been described by Domino Magazine as being "effortlessly sophisticated" - what does that mean to you and how do you approach that ethos?To me, effortless sophistication is all about pairing classic design elements with a modern sensibility. Rooms should be beautiful, yet comfortable and never overly fussy. It is so important to edit!
Interior Designers or artists who have most influenced your work? I am inspired by so many designers, particularly the greats from previous generations-- Billy Baldwin, David Hicks, and Albert Hadley are among my favorites.
What interior design trend makes you cringe, conversely any that make your heart sing? There is a lot of "sameness" out there nowadays. With social media, it is really obvious when something becomes a trend and you start to notice people jumping on the bandwagon in droves. I believe there is a huge difference between drawing inspiration from a specific look or designer and just copying it. I'd like to see more individuality and personality.
What is your most treasured possession and why? I can't think of a specific thing to be honest. I love just about every piece of art or furniture in my house and am a big advocate for only buying the things you truly love, but I realize they are just things. Does a dog count as a possession? If so, my sweet cockapoo Tate wins hands-down!
What's next for Paloma? There are a lot of exciting things in the works for 2019! First up, I am opening a little jewel box shop, Paloma & Co later this month. My business partner, Devon Liedtke and I have been working very diligently for the past six months to source antiques, original art from emerging artists, interesting, one-of-a-kind objects, along with decorative accessories and tabletop pieces that tell a story. The shop is filled with so many of my favorite things-- items that I frequently use in my projects and have a difficult time finding. We will launch e-commerce in the spring and are also working on developing a lot of exclusive products. You can follow us @shoppalomaandco for all of our latest finds and to shop with us until we launch the new website! In addition, I am launching a very exciting collaboration with a well-known American brand this spring!
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