Bella Donna


Beautiful, funny, extremely chic and with good taste to spare, Donna Nelson (and her sister Melissa, who will be on the blog this Wednesday) are hands down the best Interior Decorators and Stylists in Taos.


When Donna opened the door, Billy (a very succesful male model for 25 years and has seen it all) who is half Italian, responded with “Bella, bella!” when introduced. Appropriate. I first met Donna twenty years ago when I managed an antiques gallery in Ranchos de Taos. She and Melissa walked in dressed to the nines and my jaw dropped.

Were they from Paris, NYC or Rome perhaps? Non. These were two home-grown American Girls with Style with a Capitol S. They just happen to have an incredible mother who also happens to be an Interior Decorator par excellance and certainly, these apples didn’t fall far from the tree!

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We are all a little older now and dare I say Donna and Melissa are even more fabulous than they were then, with that gorgeous self-confidence only women with a lifetime of experience seem to have.

IMG_0017Donna recently moved from a house her husband Richard (an architect) designed and built in Penasco. They raised two children there; Donna’s daughter Melina from a previous marriage and their son Magnus. With the kids gone and her nest empty, Donna was done with the house, the 7 acres in the country, animals and homesteading.

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Donna works as a broker (for Diamond Mortgage in Taos) with her office in town and the commute was also getting to her, so she and Richard sold the house and downsized their life. They bought a little condo in El Prado and this is where these shots were taken last week, by Bill Curry when we visited her there. Rather than show you one of the incredible homes she’s decorated for others, I thought Donna in her own space was the best possible way to introduce you to her.

Growing up in Boston until moving to Mexico with her parents in her teens, Donna is worldly, traveled and incredibly knowledgeable about the interior design process and most especially renovations. She is incredibly passionate about all things interior design related and, when not working, she can often be found scrolling through interior design websites like the one that you can see here. Building her own home with Richard added to her arsenal of tricks and I’ve seen so many homes completely transformed by this woman’s vision. As you can see, she really has an eye for interior and furniture. She makes use of websites like for most of her furniture, so some people may want to visit that website if they want a similar interior design in their home.


These photographs, taken in her open living space reflect Donna’s beautiful aesthetic, refined taste and fabulous sense of humour. Her cosmopolitan little condo could be anywhere, but it’s not, it’s right here, tucked behind a tree-lined street, with the Rio Pueblo running through it.

Donna can be contacted at Diamond Mortgage in Taos (575) 758-5566

Photographs of Donna Nelson in her home by Bill Curry


3 thoughts on “Bella Donna

  1. Love her design. Simple elegance. I have admired that confidence you mentioned for years. It is good to catch a deeper glimpse of her. Wow! She makes me want to move my furniture around!

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