Welcome to Café Design!
My name is Eva Contreras and I strongly believe in the power of personal spaces to shape who we are.
I am an avid decorator and design enthusiast living in small town Illinois with my husband and our five year-old daughter. Trying to find a creative outlet, this blog was born out of my passion for all things beautiful – art, fashion, stylish homes, wonderful gardens – and my mission is to inspire you to bring more beauty in your life. I try to blog four times a week (five if time permits) about interesting design finds old and new, about the good life, the beautiful life and whatever else interests me at the moment.
My style is rooted in traditional design and I’d like to think of it as All-American effortless elegance. I admire the work of design icons like Billy Baldwin, Tom Scheerer and Steven Gambrel. I look up to and find immense inspiration in the rooms of Mark D. Sikes, Rita Konig, Miles Redd, Sarah Bartholomew and Victoria Hagan, to name just a few. I love color and all its possibilities. I love traditional architecture with a rustic, California casual elegance but most of all, I am drawn to cheerful interiors that are comfortable, tailored and personal. My dream home would be designed by architect Gil Schafer and decorated by Tom Scheerer.
Here’s a little bit about me and my background. My story is that of second chances: after a career in academia working as a junior researcher, I decided that it was time for a change. Despite my degree in Mathematics, interior design was and is my true passion so I took myself back to school. I was fortunate enough to live in the Bay Area at the time so I had access to wonderful teachers and designers to learn from.
Over time, this blog has evolved into my very public design diary and it helps me to constantly shape my style as a decorator with each beautiful home discovered. I also hope it can help you in your own design journey. And since one of the best perks of writing a blog is connecting with kindred spirits, feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!