Paloma Contreras is an interior decorator, tastemaker, and award-winning design blogger who believes that every home should be a reflection of the people who inhabit its walls. She pairs classic silhouettes and timeless pieces with a touch of glamour and an infusion of color to create comfortable, luxurious spaces.
What inspired this career path for you?
About 10 years ago, I purchased my first house. When I started to decorate it, the process gave me a creative outlet that I found very fulfilling. Around that same time, I started my blog, La Dolce Vita, which began as a series of personal essays about the things I loved. My blog was always about style, travel, and design, but through the writing process, it became clear to me that interior design was the crux of what I loved the most. I now have my own design business and I haven’t looked back.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
My primary source of inspiration is travel. It’s always interesting to be in a new place, to see what people are wearing, and to take in the architecture and setting of some place that is different from home. If I cannot hop on a plane, I’ll settle for Instagram. On a day-to-day basis, social media really inspires me.
Tell us about your creative process.
I typically start a room by identifying a single piece that will serve as an anchor for the whole room. This might be a work of art, a fabric, or a great piece of furniture with an interesting silhouette. From there, I create a floor plan and design the rest of the room to work in concert with the original piece.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
A modern take on traditional style.
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
One thing we use a lot of is perennial fabrics. These are indoor/outdoor fabrics that are indestructible while also having a really nice hand. Most of our clients have children and pets, and these fabrics stand up to the tough love and occasional mess that are inevitable for young families.
Who do you look up to in the design world?
To me, Suzanne Kasler is a beacon of elegance and timeless style. More than that, she is a lovely person. Suzanne is someone who is not only a very smart business woman, but she also consistently creates beautiful spaces that inspire me.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
I’d love to design a house in the California wine country. It’s a favorite getaway of mine—I love the setting. Aside from the location, the ideal client would be the one who gives me carte blanche. They would be trusting, laid-back, and without hesitation. In short, a laid-back oenophile would be wonderful!
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
Miles Redd said, “Buy the best, and you’ll only cry once.” As applied to interior design, these words really ring true.
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
I really like to follow the design world on Editor at Large. It’s so helpful for keeping you abreast of what is going on in our industry.
What do you love about Viyet?
Viyet is a great resource for curated finds.