Spotlight: A Chat with Manuel of Contempo Linens

| BY TASHA  CARATTINI |  August 25, 2020, 10:35 EST |

This month we are excited to be debuting this new Vendor Spotlight segment, and who better to kick it off with than with Manuel Antonio Polanco of Contempo Linens!

Hi Manuel, thank you for agreeing to style these tables and chat with me for our first Vendor Spotlight!


Thank you for thinking of me, these tables are coming out more amazing than I had imagined.

So, tell me what’s new with Contempo?


Well, you may know we have been under new management and it has been a really positive change for us. With everything happening, we are focusing on making our company better and improving our service and selection for clients–putting energy into expanding our inventory and fabric selection. New linens, napkins, and pillows, as well as tableware like chargers…. it’s very exciting!

That sounds great, such a positive way to look at it! What’s inspiring you these days?


I’m feeling very inspired by the city of Paris and events I have seen happening in London, events that are designed in an elegant and timeless way. I feel like we need to bring that back to Miami, right now the popular choice is a tropical theme. But, I want clients to know tropical doesn’t have to mean rustic–it can be done in a modern and elegant way.

I love that, what trends are you seeing on the rise when it comes to linen choices?


What I am noticing most, is that clients are leaning towards more of a tactile experience. The focus isn’t just on color, but how does the fabric feel? Does it have texture? Does it have dimension and detail?

These are the defining factors for our clients, so they are leaning towards more luxe fabrics like velvet.

What colors or combination of colors do you feel are on the rise?


I feel that lately the tropical theme has had its moment, and I am looking forward to seeing more classic neutrals. Seeing classics brought back in those fun textures we spoke about. Colors like black, navy, not only gold but also silver–those timeless and elegant colors. Neutral doesn’t have to be boring, these colors allow for floral design to really pop and can be paired with any aesthetic.

I completely agree, the black velvet linen you brought today is amazing and the florals are so much more impactful on it!


What do love about working at the Penthouse?


Well, of course you can’t beat the views and blank canvas! But, it definitely goes beyond that– the level of customer service the team at Penthouse provides makes our jobs easier. You guys are always considerate when it comes to respecting our time as we respect yours and you make load in a breeze. It’s a beautiful venue that helps everyone execute a flawless event from the clients to all vendors involved.

What advise do you have for couples at the stage of designing and picking linens?


My biggest tip is to make an appoint and go in person, always! Seeing fabric online is not the same as touching it in person, laying it on a table and trying different combinations. Dedicate the time to creating your vision and bringing those elements together!

With that said, how are you guys handling appointments amid Covid?

All appointments must be scheduled in advance, and we are not allowing a visit to go over 1 hour to allow time to reset before next appointments. We are also limiting our appointments to 3 guests per group and requiring masks to be worn the entire time.

It has been a huge help to have clients send us inspiration and budgets before their visit, so that we can pull items and looks in advance as well.

Tell me, what is Contempo looking forward to in the year to come?


We are, like so many in the industry, hopeful for the new year and being able to get back to what we love­­­–amazing events! Looking forward to working with new clients on exciting projects, and getting to place where people are confident in traveling and bringing their special events to Miami once again.

Well, thank you so much for talking with me and showcasing your linens in our venue today. We are looking forward to seeing the new things to come with Contempo Linens!

Till next time.

Table Design:

Linens – Contempo Linens

Floral Designs – Le Chat Roses

Stationery + Calligraphy – Tinta + Pulso

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The Penthouse Riverside Wharf is located at 125 SW North River Drive, Miami, FL 33130.
For venue rental inquires,Melissa Montez, Venue Director 305. 400.1900 via email at: [email protected].