Design Viewpoint

Paloma Contreras: A Decade of Defining Elegance in Interior Design

Paloma Contreras: A Decade of Defining Elegance in Interior Design

The Journey Unveiled

It’s been 10 years since Paloma Contreras ventured beyond her role as Director of Marketing at Visual Comfort, embarking on a transformative journey to establish Paloma Contreras Design. This illustrious decade witnessed her evolution from a high school Spanish teacher to a celebrated interior designer, with her distinct touch gracing spaces across Houston, Texas.

Contreras’ passion for design blossomed unexpectedly, surfacing during her teaching career when she felt creatively stifled.

“I became completely passionate about design and sought out as much information and knowledge as I could,” Contreras recalls. 

In 2007, she seized the digital realm, launching the influential blog La Dolce Vita. It became her portal into the design universe, sparking a deep-seated passion that eventually led her to Visual Comfort, where she played a pivotal role in launching the Aerin Collection.

However, the allure of client-centric design persisted, prompting Contreras to found Paloma Contreras Design. A decade later, the firm stands as a testament to her unwavering commitment to creating timeless and captivating interiors.

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Paloma’s Design Philosophy

In a recent interview with us, Contreras provided valuable insights into her remarkable journey, shedding light on her design philosophy, influences and the intricacies of her process.

Contreras attributes her design influences to a myriad of sources, with travel being a significant catalyst. Although her recent travels have been limited, she emphasizes the importance of breaking routine and gaining fresh perspectives. France, in particular Paris, holds a special place in her heart, influencing her love for antiques. Addressing her approach to traditional pieces, Contreras underscores the significance of creating tension within a space. By juxtaposing classic elements with modern touches like unique light fixtures, abstract art and unexpected color palettes, she breathes new life into traditional interiors.

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Contreras recently authored “The New Classic Home, Modern Meets Traditional Style,” an extension of her first book, “Dream, Design, Live.” It explores the concept of seamlessly blending modern and classic elements to create homes that feel timeless and current. Paloma is also gearing up for a book tour!

Reflecting on significant obstacles, Contreras acknowledges, “A big challenge for me over the years as my firm has grown has been saying ‘no.'” With growth, she learned the importance of discernment, ensuring each project aligns seamlessly with her firm’s vision. Contreras also manages her social media personally, sharing organic glimpses into her life and design process. She emphasizes the holistic nature of her life, integrating personal and professional aspects seamlessly.

When asked about her dream project, she described a small boutique hotel with a distinctive personality and vibe. Contreras envisions translating a brand’s vision into a tangible experience for guests—a challenge she finds intriguing.

Beyond interior design, Contreras expresses her creativity through a lighting collection with Visual Comfort. Launched last spring, the collection reflects her multifaceted approach to design.

As we celebrate a decade of Paloma Contreras Design, it’s evident that Contreras has not only created timeless interiors but also etched her name as a design luminary, inspiring the next generation of creatives. Her journey from teaching to design and beyond encapsulates the essence of a designer who has mastered the art of balancing tradition and modernity with grace and innovation. 

Learn more about Contreras and other amazing designers in our ‘Life by Design’ YouTube series. Also be sure to get Contreras’ new book The New Classic Home, a Modern Take on Traditional Interiors and her other works!

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