TARA SHAW AND BROTHER LUCCA AT HER NEW ORLEANS WAREHOUSE. PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRENDA COFFEE ©1010PARKPLACE, 2018
For the last 25 years antique importer and designer, Tara Shaw, has walked through one open door after another. She calls it her spiritual journey. When a book agent told Tara, ‘I know you have a book in you,’ Tara said, “I sure do. I’ve been working on it since 2004.” Instead of sending the agent a book about design, Tara sent the memoir she’d been working on, The Coat Your Father Gave You. “I feel each person has a coat from God,” Tara said. “It’s very unique. Authentic. We listen to our heart, and it’s our calling. We go through the doors. That book was my spiritual stories from 20-something years of traveling in Europe and working in China and India.”
When her agent told Tara she didn’t want an Eat, Pray, Love book, Tara wrote the design book. It will be finished in 2019 and published by Abrams in 2020.
BRENDA COFFEE REFLECTED IN HER POWDER ROOM MIRROR. PHOTOGRAPHS © JENNIFER DENTON, 2017.
This time last year I took you on a video tour of the house I bought. That was the “Before.” Now I’m going to show you some of the “After.” Even though the house had been “flipped” before I bought it, the bathrooms were a disaster. On my first walk thru, the instant I saw the master bath and the powder room, I visualized what I wanted to change, and that’s never wavered.
Except for things like flooring, most of the pieces in my new bathrooms, I already owned, and each piece has a special story.
A blank wall is like a naked body — lovely in its most basic form but full of possibilities for adornment.
I buy and sell vintage art for a living, and many of my finds never make it into the shop. The walls of my home are hung with interesting woodcuts, sculptures, oils, watercolors, textiles, collages, and photographs. I live in a stylish and chic space that reflects me and my family to a ‘t,’ and our art collection was amassed at a fraction of the cost had I purchased everything new.
If I can do it, so can you.
It was my friend Patrick who warned me about the dangers of theme decorating. I had regaled him with my dream of a Scheherazade-style dining room: kilim rugs on the floor, ikat runners down the table, camel-shaped teacups, brass candlesticks, giant paisleys painted on the walls, and heaping platters of Basmati rice on the buffet.
The whole scheme made Patrick nervous. He didn’t want to see my dining room jumping the shark. In the upper echelons of the design world, theme decorating is frowned upon. It’s a big fat no-no.
God forbid you decorate an entire house in beach décor when a tasteful trug of seashells will suffice. And even more pox upon you if your house is not situated on an actual beach.
Who would have thought you can use your grandmother’s silver in the bathroom? Yes, the bathroom.
Yes, you read the headline right. Wallpaper is not only back, but back in a big way. I recently toured my local Parade of Homes and saw first-hand how wallpaper’s made a comeback.
The one thing I like about wallpaper is it gives a big pop of design! I always like to include something a little unpredictable in my decorating. A little WOW factor.