PALOMA CONTRERAS, Principle + Founder
Paloma Contreras Design
The Home Trust International (HTI): What first compelled you to enter design?
Paloma Contreras (PC): I have had a lifelong fascination with beauty, architecture, houses, and the art of living well, so interior design is the perfect fit for my talents and passions.
HTI: Who has been the strongest influence on your career and why?
PC: My husband has supported me every step of the way in my career. He is a wonderful sounding board and has been instrumental in helping me grow my business and brand.
HTI: If you could have told your 20 year old self one thing, what would it have been?
PC: Follow your passions and carve out your own path.
HTI: Please tell us about your family and your personal life.
PC: My husband and I have been married for 18 years. We live in an idyllic neighborhood in Houston, TX called West University with our darling two year old daughter.
HTI: What is the best advice you have received and who was it from?
PC: I don’t recall who I first heard this from, but the John Burroughs quote, “Leap and the net will appear” has been one of the big mantras in my life. It is the idea that if you take a chance and set forth with intention, hard work, and an open mind, the universe will conspire to help you succeed.
HTI: Is there a common thread that runs through all great products?
PC: Quality is the most important factor to me. Things should be well-designed, well-made, and stand the test of time, regardless of the category.
HTI: What’s on your wish list?
PC: A vacation in Provence!
HTI: Do you prefer the country or the city?
PC: I enjoy and appreciate both, but I am a city girl.
HTI: Tell us about your new book that is about to be published:
PC: My second book, The New Classic Home will be out on October 24th. It is the culmination of several years of work and features some of my favorite design projects to date.
HTI: How have home evolved?
PC: The way we utilize our homes has evolved over the years, but our intrinsic desire for comfort, beauty, and luxury has not. I will say that my idea of luxury has certainly changed. For me, the ultimate luxury is anything that gives me more of my most precious resource—time.
This is why working with the right design firm can be a game-changer. We offer a completely turn-key service to our clients. They are involved in the design process which is the fun part, but we handle everything else for them. Should our clients desire the top level of service, we will fully outfit their homes with everything they could need beyond furniture, drapery, and art. We have set up houses for our clients including the most minute details down to postage stamps and calamine lotion for summer residences.
HTI: The one thing I’ve had forever is:
PC: My inner circle and my integrity.
HTI: What do you miss the most?
PC: We are in a wonderful season of life with our toddler daughter. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but since you’ve asked, sometimes, I do miss the option to just go out to a restaurant or book a weekend away on a whim.
HTI: Do you have a business icon?
PC: I have great admiration for women like Tory Burch, Aerin Lauder, and Lauren Santo Domingo who have built incredible businesses that span multiple categories.
HTI: What is your favorite object that reflects extraordinary design (or love, etc) and why?
PC: I commissioned an artist to paint a custom Bemelmans-inspired mural that we then turned into wallpaper for my daughter’s bedroom. It sparks her imagination and is a topic of conversation anytime we are in her room. Knowing that she is the only person in the world who has it is truly special.
HTI: What makes a room sing?
PC: A sense of visual tension—you need to mix styles, periods, modern, and traditional elements in order to achieve a truly layered and personal look.
HTI: What place most inspires you?
PC: Paris, always.
HTI: Do you have a favorite…:
PC: Museum Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris
- Artist: Cy Twombly
- City: Paris
- Food: Italian
HTI: What is your favorite brand and why?
PC: Chanel has always maintained a standard of luxury and somehow manages to be classic, yet current.
HTI: When you’re not working where are you most likely to be found?
PC: Visiting a museum or at the park with my daughter.
HTI: What makes a great organization?
PC: Proven values, strong processes, results, and a high standard of integrity.
HTI: Why The Home Trust?
PC: The Home Trust upholds a high standard of excellence across several luxury categories and aims to be a true resource to those it serves.
HTI: If you could be granted one wish, what would it be?
PC: More personal time
HTI: If you weren’t in design, what would you be doing?
PC: I am very musically-minded (not to be confused with musically talented!). I think it would be fascinating to score movie soundtracks.
HTI: Who is on your personal ‘Board of Directors?’
PC: My husband, my Director of Operations, and a close circle of friends who are fellow designers.
HTI: What is your personal luxury?
PC: Quality time with my husband and child.
HTI: Paloma, that’s beautiful. Thank you for your time and sharing today. It is exciting to get to know you better.
Paloma Contreras is an acclaimed interior designer 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. Her interiors are at once timeless, yet fresh– balancing attention to detail and the intersection of form and function to enhance a well-lived life. Paloma has been repeatedly named to the prestigious ELLE Decor “A-List” and her work has been featured in numerous publications and websites including ELLE Decor, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Vogue, Domino, Luxe, The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. Paloma and her team are currently working on projects in Houston and beyond with clients in Palm Beach, Atlanta, and New York.