I love the interiors of New Orleans’ designer Tara Shaw. Tara has an effortless way of blending Old World pieces and classical furnishings along with the right amount of edginess. She ties them all together with a neutral palette that’s the definition of modern chic. It’s the look I’d like for my new home, but alas, I don’t have a Tara Shaw budget to buy all new pieces.
Since my biggest fear is winding up in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere, I will use the furnishings I already have.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no reason to complain. My things are beautiful, and I’m grateful I still have them. It’s just that my tastes have changed. My furnishings were bought before I realized my first husband wasn’t kidding when he said he wanted “to run out of money and breath at the same time.”
Imagine burying your husband and a month later, after you’ve paid off his year’s worth of cancer bills; three years of income taxes—penalty and interest you didn’t know you owed—you discover another financial commitment you knew nothing about. A balloon note on your home that’s due in six months.
By then my finances were so dire, I had to sell much of what I owned just to keep the lights on. I even traded my “things” for a year’s worth of haircuts. It was a scary and degrading place to be. Like a tightrope walker, balancing on a thin wire, I walked the walk, but the touch and go high-wire act taught me an important lesson about money and marital trust: My money is mine. Your money is yours. Our money and assets we manage together.
That brings me back to my fear of living in a cardboard box. I will gratefully use the things I have, along with a handful of new pieces like a sofa and an edgy splurge… What can I say? The devil made me do it… You’ll see… A week from today, I’m getting the rest of my things out of storage, and I’m excited to see how it all comes together.
The painters are here and the big blue wall has been covered with primer. Tomorrow the wall color goes up! Should a cardboard box materialize in my future, I have no one to blame but myself.