Rugs: Natural Fiber

{All Photos: Paloma Contreras Design}

One of the most important design elements in any space is texture. Texture can be added through a variety of mediums—lamps, art, layered pillows, drapery trim, books, and so on. One of the most impactful ways to add texture to a space is through rugs and no other type of flooring adds the type of texture that natural fiber brings to a space. I especially love using natural fiber rugs because they go with just about anything and they can stand up to almost anything. They live in almost every room in my home. They are extremely versatile, durable, and work in any budget. I especially love the juxtaposition that a simple natural fiber can create in an otherwise glamorous and formal room. The contrast is not only striking to the eye, but it grounds the space, keeping it from feeling stuffy or over the top.

Three Benefits of Natural Fiber Rugs:

  1. Add Texture
  2. Durable for High Traffic Areas
  3. Versatile, Neutral Style

My Top Three Natural Fiber Materials:

  1. Seagrass
  2. Sisal
  3. Abaca

Paloma’s Guide to Houston in Flower Magazine

Flower Magazine was kind enough to feature all of my favorite things about Houston in a wonderful ten page spread in their March issue called “My Hometown“. Be sure to pick up an issue to read all about my favorite restaurants (and sips), places to shop, and sites to see. I am a proud, lifelong Houstonian and hope that you’ll see why our beautiful, diverse, and resilient city is so special in this terrific feature.


  • Tiny Boxwoods
  • Brasserie 19
  • Le Colonial
  • Caracol
  • Anvil
  • Eloise Nichols
  • BCN Taste & Tradition
  • Armandos


  • Found
  • Sid & Ann Mashburn
  • à bientôt
  • Biscuit
  • Forty Five Ten
  • Longoria Collection
  • Kuhl-Linscomb
  • Thompson + Hanson

What to See:

  • The Menil Collection
  • Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • North and South Boulevards
  • Skyspace
  • Buffalo Bayou Park

Paloma’s Top 5: Kitchen Pendants

Whenever I walk into a kitchen, I am usually drawn to the lighting. I could probably say this about any space, since lighting is one of my favorite design elements. Lighting is especially important in a high-function space like a kitchen because it serves multiple purposes—providing functional light, acting as a highlight of the overall design, and infusing the space with warmth. Not to mention, lighting is truly the jewelry of the room, so it is a great way to make a statement! In my kitchen, I have a large pendant over my island, which is on the small side. I love that it is not only functional, but adds a hint of glamour.

When it comes to lighting, I generally find it better to scale up in size. Also, don’t be afraid to choose a pendant in a different finish than your hardware. As long as most of the elements are the same finish, it’s totally okay to add a different finish. For instance, if your plumbing fixtures and cabinet hardware are polished nickel, adding lighting in an aged brass finish would look fabulous. These details go a long way and ultimately are more appealing to the eye. You can find my top 5 favorite pendants in the image above. All five designs are versatile which allows them to work with various types of styles.

Get the Look: Modern Globe Pendant | Agnes Pendant | Morris Pendant | Country Industrial Pendant | Hicks Pendant

Decorating with Baskets & Trays

{Top Left: Paloma Contreras Design; Bottom Left: Mark D. Sikes; Middle: Alyssa Kapito Interiors; Top Right: Paloma Contreras Design}

It’s the small details in a room that make it stand out. Whether it’s a vase of fresh flowers, trinkets on top of stacked books, or a bowl of chocolates, details speak volumes. I especially appreciate baskets and trays. Chunky woven baskets next to a fireplace to hold wood or beside a chair for reading books—it’s the details that can be used practically but also add a visual punch. Trays are all over my home. In my kitchen, a woven tray sits on the island to frame my topiaries and napkins. In the Paloma Contreras Design office, a tray holds our stapler, sticky notes, business cards, etc. These goods could be free standing or hidden in a drawer but an orderly display adds character and dimension.

My favorite aspect of trays and baskets is the two purposes they serve—aesthetic appeal and functionality. For aesthetic, look for trays that have a unique finish like Lucite, marble or something with a black and white stripe detail. For functionality, I appreciate when every item has a home—it creates an organized environment and you will never misplace the coasters, napkins and candles ever again! With baskets, I gravitate towards a woven material. Durability is their strong suit while adding warmth to any room.