282. How following your creative passions can lead to incredible success! with interior designer Paloma Contreras

With Paloma Contreras
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282. How following your creative passions can lead to incredible success! with interior designer Paloma Contreras


Have you ever talked yourself out of taking a leap or trying something new because you convinced yourself that you needed another degree, an additional certification, more experience, a better network, more followers, more downloads, or just MORE? 

Qualifications and experience are incredibly important to be sure, but sometimes we let what we think is required of a job or new pursuit stand in the way of our even taking the first step toward learning important new skills. 

This part of my conversation with award-winning interior designer and best-selling author Paloma Contreras is one of my favorites. 



Paloma Contreras honed her distinct eye for style over more than a decade in the design industry, and developed a reputation for designing beautiful interiors in her signature modern-meets-traditional aesthetic resulting in spaces that feel polished, refined, and effortless. 

Paloma has repeatedly been named to the prestigious ELLE Decor “A-List” of the top interior designers in the world. She has also been recognized as a “Next Wave” interior designer by House Beautiful and has been named to LUXE Magazine’s “Gold List”. Paloma has been named one of the Top Social Media Influencers in the Home category by Forbes and has one of the Top 10 Instagram accounts to follow for interior design, according to ELLE Decor. Her work has been featured extensively in countless publications including ELLE Decor, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Vogue, Domino, Luxe, Traditional Home, Southern Living, among others. 

Paloma designs a lighting collection for Visual Comfort & Co., and has written two best-selling design books: “Dream Design Live,” and “The New Classic Home.” Her curated retail shop, Paloma & Co, opened in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood in January 2019, and has expanded to include an online platform. 

Paloma’s pivot from high school Spanish teacher to design blogger, to marketing exec, to interior designer and author, have one critically important thing in common: Paloma wasn’t afraid to try to do something she would have to learn on the job. She also wasn’t afraid of the setbacks and even failures that would come with trial and error, and she certainly wasn’t afraid of hard work. 



  • How Paloma made the career pivot from high school Spanish teacher to award-winning interior designer;  
  • How Paloma thinks about the creative process and where she finds inspiration;
  • How she built her multi-faceted design business;
  • How she learned how much to charge for her work;
  • How she turned a blogging hobby into a multi dimensional design business with fabulous collaborations; 
  • Paloma also shares some very tactical advice on accessorizing and adding those very personal layers that turn a house into a home that reflects its occupants. 


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About Paloma Contreras

Paloma & Co

Paloma’s books:  “Dream Design Live,” and “The New Classic Home.”

The Southern Coterie

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She Said/She Said Podcast is produced weekly by She Said/She Said Media, LLC  This week’s conversation is part of our 3rd She Said/She Said Podcast + The Southern Coterie collaboration.