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Monday, February 15, 2010

Blog It Forward: What Inspires Me

flowers domino2

I am very excited to be a part of the very first Blog It Forward Blogger Mashup. A huge thank you to Victoria of SFGirlbyBay for organizing this event which will feature posts by over 300 bloggers over the course of the next couple of months.

More than anything, I am excited about the challenge of visualizing the things that are most inspiring to me at the moment. I draw inspiration from so many sources: people, places, books, magazines, music, food, art… I could go on forever. It was difficult to narrow down my list of inspiration, but I hope that it will inspire you in some small way as well.



{Soho, New York}

In my opinion, few things are as thrilling, enriching, inspiring, or cathartic as travel. To go to a place that is foreign for you, different from where you live, allows you to grow on a multitude of levels. It is fascinating to be in the midst of a different culture, surrounded by beautiful architecture, meeting new people, and reveling in the sights, tastes, and sounds. Travel is quite possibly the thing from which I draw the most inspiration in my life, whether I am going to a place that is new to me (Barcelona in July!) or revisiting a place that I know and love, like New York or San Francisco.


 art music


I have loved art throughout my entire life. Regardless of your medium of choice, having the ability to express the inner workings of your soul, along with your inspiration are truly a God-given gift that I so wish I possessed. Despite the fact that I am not really artistically-gifted, I absolutely love the work of so many artists including Dégas (pictured above), Van Gogh, Picasso, Kahlo, Rothko, Matisse, and so many others including the extraordinary photographer, Rodney Smith (below).


Music is a daily source of inspiration for me. I love its ability to adapt to my mood or change it completely. It has the power to transport me to a completely different time or place. It is amazing how our memories are linked to music!


image {Molly Sims’ Apartment designed by Kishani Perera}

Looking at beautiful spaces is part of my daily routine and an integral part of La Dolce Vita. It is always fun to see the new spaces that designers have created and sometimes, incorporate some of those ideas into our own spaces. I believe that interior design is an art in and of itself.


{The Home of Sally Wheat}


{A Bedroom Designed by Thom Filicia for the Designer Visions Showhouse 2009}patterns image

{A Forever Classic: La Fiorentina by David Hicks}

I tend to favor neutral palettes with a punch of color or pattern. My favorites all seem to be geometric: chevron, lattice, Greek Key. They add so much interest and character to any room and usually take a space from boring to fabulous! I also love ethnic patterns like Ikat and Suzani prints. Some of my favorite patterns of all time are David Hicks’ La Fiorentina (I have an entire post on this print that I will publish in the coming days) and Kelly Wearstler’s Imperial Trellis.


{Kelly Wearstler’s Ever-Popular Imperial Trellis}


{Amazing Patterned Flooring by Ann Sacks}

gorgeous vistas


{Napa Valley, California}

I love Houston, but when you live in a place as flat as this city, you tend to daydream constantly about visually stunning places. Places with mountains, hills, stunning architecture and nearby bodies of water…

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco by Michael Layefsky.

{The Palace of Fine Arts overlooking the bay in San Francisco}


{A Gorgeous Mexican Hacienda}

{Lake Como, Italy}


To say that blogging has enriched my life would be an understatement. In some way, this blog has become ingrained in who I am. It is a direct reflection of myself, my taste, and the things that inspire me at any given moment. It has afforded me the ability to share a part of my life with my amazing readers as well as the opportunity to meet some of my design idols and several fellow bloggers.

image {High Point Market, October 2009 with Cassandra Lavalle of coco+kelley, Franki Durbin of Life in a Venti Cup, and Tobi Fairley.


{The Wonderful Houston Bloggers! From left: Me, Courtney of Under A Paper Moon, Meg of Late Check-In, Kylie of Bandelle, Carolina of Carolina Eclectic, Lauren of Material Girls, and Courtney of Inside the Loop. Paige of I *Heart* You snapped this pic. Sadly, Joni of Cote de Texas was ill that day and was unable to join us.}



{The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten at a Market in Paris}

I have always had the desire to be a good cook. My mother is an amazing cook and I knew from a very young age that I wanted people to enjoy eating my cooking as well. They say there are two types of people. Those who eat to live and the ones who live to eat! I’m not sure it is so black and white, but I am certainly closer to the latter group.

{Ina’s Baked Shrimp Scampi is a big hit at our house!}

I adore fresh, well-seasoned food made with seasonal, high-quality ingredients, which is where the Barefoot Contessa comes in. She has been such a tremendous influence on the way that I cook and I would say that my style is very similar to hers. I think she is an absolute domestic goddess! Everything she does is beautiful, elegant, and delicious. Her recipes are so simple and scrumptious. I don’t think I have ever made a dish of hers that wasn’t a total hit.


If you came here today by way of the Blogger Mashup, WELCOME! I hope you’ll visit La Dolce Vita again soon! Blog It Forward began last Wednesday with Ink on My Fingers kicking things on for my group and then passing the torch on to k.i.d. collective, who then passed it on to kizz designs, but she dropped the baton and forgot to post,  and now I am passing it on to lama designs.


west by south said...

What a great, wonderful post! WOW! I will b re-reading it all day! Thank you Paloma! Just love it...

ABC Dragoo said...

Paloma -

We're on the same wavelength. I too am crazy for patterned stone floors! I did a post all about them last week: The first image in that post links back to another I wrote about David Hicks' designs.

His son is doing such great things, bringing back his design and incorporating it into such things as flooring and fabric.

I can't wait to incorporate some sort of graphic flooring in my next personal design project!

Great post. :)
ABCD said...

great post, an inspiration by itself.


Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

I was really looking forward to your mashup Paloma and of course it didn't disappoint. Very inspirational

Full House said...

Yes I can see why all of those things inspire you.

Fun post!


samia said...

I am s there with you in all these inspirations..

Amanda said...

oh, very inspiring!! How lovely!

The Simply Luxurious Life said...


It was so nice to get to know you a bit better. The pictures of fellow bloggers meeting each other is inspiring.

Anonymous said...

I love Barefoot Contessa!
I love the way you have the script as titles.....lovely.

Sonya McCllough Lockridge said...

So much inspiration in just one place...Thank You

M and E said...

Gorgeous photos!! And I love Ina too. Every recipe is a masterpiece!

Unknown said...

From Soho, to my favorite Kishani image, music and the Contessa...ditto!
So well said. And the photos of you and the others was an added bonus!

bazaarofserendipity said...

Loved hearing about your Inspirations!!!

So funny that you said you had a post on David Hicks La Fiorentina fabric just did one today!! GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE :)

alexandra said...

so much to look at here and really beautifully composed!

degas and rothko are it for me as far as artists. and your palace of fine arts photo made me happy- that is one of my favorite places anywhere.

so fun to find your site through blog it forward!

Arcadia said...

What a beautiful blog! As I was scrolling down I was wondering if you liked Kelly W. too, and then I see a print by her :). We share a lot of the same tastes. I couldn't agree with you more about San Francisco, but then again I live here -hahaha! Thanks for sharing today.

Jessica Nichols said...

That photo of Lake Como made my heart sing. Visiting from Blog It Forward, this was a great post but that image is what will stay in my Italian heart. :)

Francine Gardner said...

You are so talented and I so enjoy reading your blog. It was a treat reading more about you and a visual feast to look at your beautiful images. Francine

LindsB said...

What a great list! I'm still jealous of your Spain trip coming up- I am dying to go back!

Lydia, Clueless Crafter said...

Paloma, I guess ABCD, you, and I have the same affinity for bold design from Greek Key to Ikat. If I'm not going the way of deified designers, I pick up tribal runners at auctions. They are unique and quite varied in geometric patterns.

from lara said...

aw you did a great job with your blog it forward post! lovely inspirations! i have to start working on mine :) i think it's going to be hard to narrow it down...

Anonymous said...

what a lovely post. it is fun getting to know you a little bit more and finding out where your inspirations come from.

William said...

Wonderful story. I loved the patterns. La Fiorentina by David Hicks is one of my favorites. Although the wire chairs in the Anna Sacks photo look really uncomfortable.

Caitlin said...

Fabulous images! Who wouldn't be inspired? I love the beautiful architecture in it. Barcelona Chairs