The interior decorator, tastemaker, and design influencer feathers a stylish nest in Houston.
If you don’t know Paloma Contreras by name, you definitely know her designs. Since launching her award-winning blog La Dolce Vita in 2007, Paloma’s star has been continuously on the rise, leaving her former life as an educator to open her own firm, Palomas Contreras Design. The designer, based in Houston, Texas, is known for her “modern-meets-traditional” vibe that has earned her legion of high-profile clients. She also provides endless inspiration in her book, Dream Design Live (2018, Abrams).
Thrughout her career, Contreras has honed her modern take on classic style, blending timeless pieces and sophisticated silhouettes with touches of glamour and pops of rich color.
A scroll through her Instagram feed yields interiors with a polished, refined, and effortless manner. One particular bedroom seemed the epitome of this chic mix. So it was no surprise when we found out that it was Contreras’ own sleep space at her home in Houston, Texas.
Designing her own bedroom was a labor of love for the designer, who says it is deeply personal. “I wanted it to reflect some of the things I love most,” says Contreras. “Tailored, monogrammed linens, my favorite ikat fabric from Schumacher, and a mix of great art.”
We asked Contreras to walk us through the space and reveal some of her signature secrets for getting the style balance just right.
If this bedroom had a name, what would it be?
"My entire home is what I consider my signature design, ‘modern-meets-traditional’.”
Can you talk a bit about the palette you chose?
"Since this is our bedroom, I wanted the foundation to be muted and classic but also looked to incorporate some of my favorite colors—moss green, raspberry, Prussian Blue, and the beautiful chocolate hue on the bedding."
There's pattern here but it never overwhelmes. Instead, it's serene and sophisticated. What's your secret?
"I believe in using pattern in a very mindful way. I don't do a ton of pattern on pattern. Instead, I'll choose what I call a hero fabric and then I layer in smaller scale prints that complement the star. I talk a lot about this in my book, Dream Design Live. Too much pattern overwhelms me and I find it most powerful when used in small does—it really shines this way.”
Talk to us about texture. How do you get the balance of sheen and matte just right?
"Honestly it is very instinctual. Design is all about creating just the right amount of tension whether that is between modern and traditional elements; masculine and feminine; rough and luxe. I don't know that there is a rule about the ratio, it just feels right."
We love the gallery wall. It’s a real twist for a bedroom. Why was it an important element here?
"We love art and have collected an embarrassing number of pieces since moving to this house. I was worried that having so much art in the bedroom would feel overwhelming, but it was truly out of necessity. We had a big blank wall and plenty of pieces to fill it with.”
Any tips for people trying for a similar look in their bedroom?
"The key is to plan ahead. Decide which pieces you want to group together and determine which piece will serve as the anchor in the center. There should be some unifying elements between the pieces, such as similar colors as well as a good mix of frames. Lay it all out on the ground before you start adding holes to the walls."
Tell us a bit about the bedding you chose. Why was it right for this space?
"I knew I wanted something beautiful and loved the chocolate border on the Meridian bedding. It’s neutral but has such great depth. I also knew I wanted an appliqué monogram which I find so special. The overall look of this bedding collection is completely timeless. Matouk provides not only the right style but the level of quality that I was looking for. Our bedding is so comfortable and has worn exceptionally well over time."
And tell us about the gorgeous monogram.
"I am from the South where people will monogram anything that isn't moving! I find monogrammed linens to be very personal and special. They have an old-fashioned sensibility which I find to be quite charming."
“I am from the South where people will monogram anything that isn’t moving! I find monogrammed linens to be very personal and special.”
It's easy for an all-white bath to be a bit bland, but not here. What's your approach?
"I believe in taking a classic approach in the bathroom since they're not as easy to redo as other rooms. It really is all about the materials. I chose Carrara marble and polished nickel which feels timeless. Often, people forget to decorate their bathrooms and kitchens since they are primarily utilitarian spaces. You'll notice my bathroom includes a couple of pieces of art, fresh flowers, and of course, Matouk towels.”
We love the use of Matouk monogrammed towels in the bath, too! They match the bedding but not in an obvious, old-fashioned way.
"The key is that the color is complementary but not identical to what I have in the bedroom. The style of this particular monogram feels graphic and fresh to me.”
Our Own Edit Note
For those of you in or nearby Houston — be sure to stop by Longoria Collection for luxurious bed, bath, and home decor items that will elevate your home and suit your personal style.