Paloma’s Top 5: Kitchen Faucets

Get the Look: Parq Deck-Mount Bridge Faucet with Sidespray | Tuscan Brass Hunley Single Handle | Julia One Hole High Profile | Regulator Gooseneck Double Spout | Henry Three Hole Gooseneck

Kitchens are among my favorite spaces to design for clients because they are essentially the center of the home and get so much use. It’s fun to bridge the gap between form and function in a space that is so utilitarian, but presents the opportunity for show-stopping design. I tend to prefer more classic style in general, but that rings particularly true when it comes to kitchen and bath design since these rooms are quite costly to remodel, so it is best to take an approach that will endure the test of time.

A simple way to add glamour to your kitchen is with your faucet. The faucet is one of those seemingly small details that really adds character and sophistication to any space. There are all types of faucet styles and finishes to choose from. In the featured image above, I have featured my top five faucets that I often use in projects. You can also see some of these faucets installed in the images below.

{All Photos: Paloma Contreras Design}

 

2018 ELLE DECOR A-LIST PARTY

Last week, I flew to New York for the 2018 ELLE DECOR A-List party. Hosted by Editor-in-Chief Whitney Robinson in partnership with Hudson Yards, the event was held on the terrace for a penthouse by Zaha Hadid. It was wonderful being amongst so many incredibly talented designers and architects whom I respect and admire. We were each given the Doob miniatures of ourselves that were published in the magazine spread. It was so fun to see my little mini-me! I’m still pinching myself over the incredible honor of being named to this year’s A-List. I am so grateful to the team of editors at ELLE DECOR as well as to my wonderful clients and my talented team. It was a magical evening that I won’t soon forget!

Artist Spotlight: Alexis Walter

One of our favorite artists here at Paloma Contreras Design is the talented, Alexis Walter. The New Orleans-based artist specializes in beautiful abstract, mixed media paintings in various pastel palettes with extraordinary depth and texture. Her paintings work beautifully in any environment, be it traditional, modern, or somewhere in between. I often use Alexis’s pieces for clients because they are extremely versatile while making a statement at the same time. In the past couple of years, she has showcased bolder colors in her pieces, which I love just as much as her pastels.

Alexis has become a good friend as I have worked with her on several projects including the 2016 Southern Style Now Showhouse in New Orleans, my personal home and am currently working with her on a collaboration that I can’t wait to share with you! A few of my favorite pieces are featured in the image above but be sure to visit her website to see her full assortment.

Rugs: Oushak

Rugs are an important design element as they literally set the foundation for a room and also provide a great way to add texture and character to your space. Oushak rugs have become a favorite in our office and we have used them almost as much as natural fiber rugs. Antique oushaks come in a variety of colors, from soft muted tones to bolder hues, so they can really tie a color palette together. They add a traditional element to a space without the heaviness or dated look of traditional oriental rugs. Since they are constructed of wool, they feel soft underfoot and are extremely durable. Many of the vintage ones we’ve sourced for clients are decades old and still look fantastic. Oushak runners are extremely versatile and are great in kitchens as well in hallways and entryways. I also love to layer oushak rugs, especially atop seagrass. You’ll find that a pair of layered rugs will immediately add an eclectic vibe to a room, lending a chic and sort of collected feel, like the room was curated over time.

I am currently loving these oushaks: One | Two | Three | Four | Five

On My Bookshelf: Must Have Books for Spring

Every spring and fall, I eagerly anticipate the new book releases. I am legitimately addicted to books and have always been fascinated by them. One of my favorite memories from my childhood is of my mom taking me to the public library every couple of weeks. I would peruse the shelves and fill up my big canvas bag with books upon books to devour at home. When I was growing up, I knew that as an adult, I would be happy if I had two simple things: a house filled with books and the ability to travel often. I am grateful to say that I have both.

The thing about addictions is that you always want more, so I am always thinking about the next place to visit, and I am constantly ordering books online. This spring promises to be quite fruitful in terms of inspiring new books in the design, fashion, and entertaining categories. There also seem to be quite a few new cookbooks to add to my repertoire. I am planning to order so many wonderful new titles including a slew of gorgeous, new design books. There are so many titles that will be released this spring that I cannot wait to get my hands on! Of course, I would be remiss not to mention that my book, Dream. Design. Live. is now available for pre-order before it is officially released on September 4th. I hope you’ll excuse the shameless plug! Working on my book has taken years and has been a labor of love. I am so proud of it and cannot wait to share it with you! In the meantime, it looks like we will have plenty of fabulous books to read. You can go here to find my list of must have books for spring!

 

 

ELLE DECOR A-LIST

I am truly thrilled, honored, and humbled to share that I have been named to ELLE DECOR’s prestigious A-List this year amongst so many designers I admire as well as several good friends, which makes the honor even more special. It honestly feels like a dream to be named to the list of “The Best Designers in the World” by a magazine I have loved for as long as I can remember and to be in the company of such tremendously talented people.

This year, ELLE DECOR decided to have some fun with the A List so Editor-in-Chief, Whitney Robinson decided to shrink everyone down to six inches! Back in February, I received a call with the news that I was being included in this year’s A-List and nearly fell out of my chair. I was told that they wanted to have our Doob, a small, 3D printed statuette made of each of us, so off I went to New York for a super quick trip! The results can be found in the A-List story which turned out fabulously. Be sure to pick up the new issue when it hits newsstands soon! In the meantime, you can read more about the designers on #TheNewAList here.

2018 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I know you must be in full brainstorming mode to find the perfect gift for the special women in your life. You may have seen my Mother’s Day gift guide last week on La Dolce Vita Blog, but for those of you who have not it is sure to have the ideal gift for anyone on your list including fragrance– both personal and for the home; jewelry and accessories both casual and dressy; as well as beautiful books and a few other tokens of appreciation for your own mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, or wife.

{1. AERIN Figural Leaf Pitcher 2. Hemstitch Guest Towel in White 3. AERIN Limited Edition Mediterranean Honeysuckle Three Piece Set 4. Charlotte Moss Entertains: Celebrations and Everyday Occasions 5. Melange Collection Necklace 6. Tory Burch Lettuce Ware Pitcher 7. Peonies: Beautiful Varieties for Home & Garden 8. Wicker Basket 9. Tory Burch Decorative Leaf Plates, Set of 4 10. Long Sleeve PJ Set in White 11. AERIN Wave Gallery Frames 12. Mother and Child 13. AERIN Ardsley Champagne Bucket with Woven Handle 14. Jackie, Janet & Lee: The Secret Lives of Janet Auchincloss and Her Daughters 15. AERIN White Confetti Stemless Wine Glasses 16. Crete Wicker Clutch 17. Nathan Turner’s I Love California: Live, Eat, and Entertain the West Coast Way 18. Monogrammed Duet Cocktail Napkins, Natural (Set of 4) 19. Cuyana  Leather Travel Case Set 20. Diptyque – Baies, Roses And Figuier Set Of Three Candles}
 
{Lead Image: Sneak Peek from Dream. Design. Live. \ Photography by Max Burkhalter}

Monograms 101

In the fast-paced and commercialized environment we live in these days, I always appreciate when there is a touch of personalization in the home. Where I live in the South, monograms are an element that have always been and always will be a source of personalization. It is an easy way to spruce up your space without adding too much effort. My favorite place to add a monogram is on bedding. I prefer crisp white linens with a contrasting monogram—it’s an easy way to elevate the overall look of a bedroom, while adding a personal, romantic detail. Below is some etiquette on how to properly execute a monogram. Store this away for the future as I’m sure you will need it!

  1. ONE LETTER if you want to use just your first initial (E for Elizabeth) or the first letter of your last name (H for Hadley).
  2. TWO LETTERS if you prefer to use the initials of your first and last names (DD for Dorothy Draper) or the last initials of a couple with different last names.
  3. THREE LETTERS if you want to include the initials of your first, middle, and last names or the first and last initials of a couple sharing the same last name. Keep in mind that the first letter of the last name goes in the center (JKJ for John and Jacqueline Kennedy). According to tradition, the husband’s initial goes on the left on everything except bed linens.

Items to put monograms on:

  • Pillows
  • Linens
  • Cocktail napkins
  • Trays
  • Luggage
  • Stationary
  • Drapes
  • Crystal glasses
  • Totes
  • Towels
  • Jewelry
  • Loafers

Paloma’s Top 5: Barstools

I love to design kitchens. My style ranges from completely traditional to refreshingly clean-lined and modern. I usually stick with a neutral color palette on the cabinets, counter tops and back splash and like to add touches of color in the hardware, light fixtures, rugs and bar stools. While kitchens are utilitarian spaces, elements such as counter stools, art, and window coverings can really soften up the space and infuse it with personality. In my own kitchen, I have a pair of Riviera Backless Barstools in black. The compact size was perfect for my slim island and they look great alongside my grey cabinets, mix of white and black counter tops and white subway tile.

Since most of our projects include kitchens, I have developed a list of favorite bar stools and counter stools over time. I personally like to choose the stools after I have decided on the paint and finishes for the kitchen. In the photo above are my top 5 bar stools, which all have their own unique style and fit in various types of kitchens.