Author Archives: La Dolce Vita

About La Dolce Vita

Paloma Contreras is an award-winning interior decorator, tastemaker, and design blogger based in Houston, Texas. Paloma’s design sensibility is a modern take on traditional style– gravitating towards classic silhouettes and timeless pieces paired with a touch of glamour and an infusion of color. Paloma has honed her distinct eye for style through nearly a decade in the design industry and a lifetime of appreciating beauty in all of its various forms. Paloma is well versed in a broad range of styles, which are executed in a manner that is polished, refined, and effortless. Paloma believes that the most beautiful interiors are also the most personal. She is currently working on her first design book, which will be published by Abrams in Fall 2018.

The Power of a Cohesive Color Palette

One of the primary elements of a beautiful, successfully designed interior is the use of color. While it is totally okay for the color palette in your home to vary a bit from one room to the next, it is very important to keep the overall color palette of your home consistent. Can you imagine if every room in your house was a different color? It would feel completely chaotic and disjointed.



If you have the urge to embrace a bold color somewhere, use it in a space that can stand on its own and is separate from other spaces such as a bedroom, library, or powder room. Just as the overall style and mood should be cohesive for the entire house, it helps to have a unifying thread for the spaces in a house, so that it all flows beautifully. The best way to achieve this is by selecting an anchor neutral that works in every room of the house as well as by using the same or complementary accent color in the majority of the spaces. A great way to layer in these unifying colors is through upholstery and pillow fabrics, rugs, draperies, artwork, and of course, wall coverings and paint.



I recently completed a project for a client in Houston who loves the visual sense of calm imparted by a clean, minimal palette. The walls in the house are crisp white, the wood floors have a dark stain, and for the furnishings and décor, we selected a color palette primarily composed of varying shades of white, black, and gray. While we did not embrace bold colors in this house, the result is anything but boring thanks to the great mix of furniture, textures, art, and a few carefully selected patterns. The entire house tells the same story and you can venture from room to room seamlessly!

For more design tips: Room for Tuesday's Color Guide | It's All in the Mix! 

It’s All in the Mix!

Great design is all about the mixing and creating your own visual identity. It’s in the way you pair fabrics, mix furniture from various periods and of different styles, choosing an abstract piece of art for an otherwise traditional room, tempering the masculine with a touch of femininity– I could go on and on. The mix is essentially the DNA of our personal aesthetic and it is what distinguishes a great designer from his peers or a chic woman from her friends.



Just the other day, I was reading an article about a home by a famous architect and without knowing who had designed the house until the end, I kept thinking to myself “This is Steven Gambrel. It has all of the elements he is known for. This is so Gambrel.”– and it was! Anna Wintour has famously said “Create your own style. It should be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.”



Creating a visual mix is all the more interesting when you bring antique and vintage pieces into the fold to pair with modern pieces. You can have a variety of price points and styles in one room– a French settee with some Chinese blue and white pottery, anyone? My visual DNA is composed of classic silhouettes paired with a few modern touches and an infusion of color. I love chinoiserie, bamboo details, Louis XVI chairs, clean-lined Parsons-style furniture, and abstract art.

What mix is your visual DNA composed of?

Photos by: Brittany Ambridge

For more insights: Insights From Sheri Adelman | 15 iPhone Photo and Instagram Tips