Paloma Contreras Dream Design Live review

Book review: Dream Design Live by Paloma Contreras

Here’s the interesting ethos of this book by Paloma Contreras.

Creating stunning home interiors can help us live better in other ways.

“When things look and feel good at home, this feeling serves as an impetus for living beautifully in other areas of our lives. …

Living beautifully requires intention and follow-through.”

So what can interior addicts learn about styling from Dream Design Live?

And can creating a stunning home help you to live with more intention in other aspects of your life?


*This post contains affiliate links. Roomy Home was given a copy of this book, with no obligation to review.


Who is Paloma Contreras?

If you’re a fully-fledged interior warrior, you’ve probably already come across Paloma Contreras.

In fact, you might have read her design blog La Dolce Vita.

Her work has featured in Domino, Elle Décor, Architectural Digest, Vogue and the New York Times, among other publications.

Forbes listed Contreras as one their top ten social influencers.

Paloma Contreras came to interior design the roundabout way, via teaching languages, and following an inspiring trip to Europe.

She’s now a leading interiors tastemaker. Dream Design Live is her first book.


What’s in the book?

Contreras divides Dream Design Live into three distinct sections. Each features stunning photography.

Firstly, Dream is all about interiors inspiration. That means where to find it.

And, more importantly, how to edit your discoveries into a cohesive style that you love.

Next, Design is the practical section.

It covers the method behind creating a style. That means it’s full of useful tips on, for example, ideal distances between pieces of furniture and styling windows.

Finally, Live covers ways to live better in your styled interior.

This section is actually mainly about entertaining guests. Although the tips are useful, it probably warrants a further book in itself. I’d love to read a deep dive into how your surroundings at home can help you live better.


What’s the Paloma Contreras signature style?

Contreras believes that the most appealing interiors are also the most personal.

Her interiors are sophisticated and polished.

She designs with a head for symmetry, and adds luxe details and restrained splashes of colour.

Her travels have also helped inspire her interiors. It’s tricky to narrow down a signature style, but for readers who’d like a shopping reference, the Oka lookbook is a close echo of the Contreras style.


What can interiors addicts learn from the book?

It’s not just full of great interior eye candy.

Dream Design Live has plenty of useful advice.

Here’s what you will come away with –

  • Great advice on choosing signature pieces for each room and using the piece that moves you most as the centre of your style.
  • Tips on playing with scale to create drama.
  • Visuals on putting fabric and pattern together.
  • Advice on, for example, styling a bookcase.

I really identified with Contreras’ description of design inspiration as being almost like a “moment of panic”. This is quickly followed by “an unsettling sense of urgency to make it happen”.

It’s a feeling that strikes many amateur interior decorators regularly!


Need a copy now?

Dream Design Live by Paloma Contreras (£26.99, Abrams).

Click the cover image to find out more.