Learn more about the world-renowned designer and antiquarian, Tara Shaw. Her mix of contemporary minimalist design and storied antiques create a unique style that helps each home tell its own story.

While researching Mora clocks, I couldn’t help but come across the amazing New Orleans-based designer, Tara Shaw, and her European styling. If you love time-worn patina, layered furnishings, and luxurious textures, you’ll love Tara’s style.

european inspired home library with leather chair and designer tara shaw sitting on floor
Tara Shaw – Image Via TSG

Design Style

What captured my eye the most about Tara’s design aesthetic, is how she seamlessly blends sleek, contemporary pieces with antiques. While using a serene tone-on-tone color palette, she masterfully mixes finishes, textures, and time periods for a seamless look.

My decorating style is European roots incorporated in a timeless, effortless, casual elegance that has longevity.

-Tara Shaw

european style living room with white paneled walls and french settee and french armoire
Tara’s personal living room. Tara Shaw for Veranda Magazine.
bedroom with white walls and white bed with antique french crown above and antiques in the room

Tara’s Career Journey

Tara started her career in the apparel industry but transitioned to interior design after discovering her passion while decorating her own home. She started out by purchasing just one antique a year for herself, as that was all she could afford at the time.

Eventually, Tara took a risk and invested almost everything she had on importing a 20 ft container full of goods from France and Italy, to sell to antique dealers and businesses in the New Orleans area. Luckily, she sold out within 10 minutes, and thus her antique wholesale business blossomed.

bedroom with french upholstered bed with white bedding and purple velvet quilt

From there, a national magazine requested a photoshoot of her warehouse and home. The photo made the cover and calls for her design services started flooding in!

Tara now runs a successful design business and staging service, in addition to her antique wholesale business. She also has a furniture line, Maison, which includes pieces hand-crafted in the greater New Orleans area.

tara shaw's breakfast room with gustavian furniture and mora clock in corner
Tara’s breakfast room includes an antique Belgian corner cabinet and Swedish drop leaf table, mixed with reproduction dining chairs and a banquette from Tara Shaw Maison. Tara Shaw for Veranda Magazine.

Surrounding yourself with pieces you love and which hold artistic and historical meaning can be uniquely powerful.

– Tara Shaw

Tara’s Personal Home

Tara’s personal home in New Orleans was designed by a local architect and Francophile, Charlie Boggs. She fell in love with the Haussmannian facade of the home.

tara shaw's french style home with beige stucco and wisteria vines
french style home backyard with pool and outdoor antique planters

She chose a wide array of neutrals for her home, from white to black and everything in between. Her goal was to create a relaxing sanctuary for herself after a long day at work.

white dining room with french table and sette along with midcentury modern leather head chair
Antique pieces mixed with a mid-century chair for interest. The bench and candelabras are from Tara Shaw Maison.
bathroom with freestanding tub and french chair next to it with antique panels on the walls
Regal furnishings make her bath a retreat! The contemporary tub is mixed with a bergere from Tara Shaw Maison. The salvaged Louis XV wall panels were imported from the South of France and trimmed out to fit the bathroom.
white kitchen and breakfast room with antique wood pendants above island

You might think Tara’s guest room is full of antiques reminiscent of Gustavian style, but did you see the sleek opaque contemporary console in the corner? That’s the mix that makes Tara Shaw’s style so unique.

gustavian style furniture in a bedroom with desk lounge and trumeau mirrors
Tara Shaw for Veranda Magazine.

I lean toward minimalism because of my love for straight lines, whether they’re on a Louis XVI chair or a Christian Liaigre sofa.

– Tara Shaw
top down view of curved stairway with wood treads and white risers
Tara Shaw for Veranda Magazine.
primary bedroom with mix of contemporary and antique furnishings
A high-gloss lacquered bed frame is paired with luxurious textures of velvet bench and long-haired rug. Tara Shaw for Veranda Magazine.
dining room with french table and chairs and large crystal chandelier and painting of jesus

You can get more inspiration from Tara’s book, Soul of the Home: Designing with Antiques. The book aims to help readers understand how to select the best antiques and how to display them in a contemporary interior. It’s available on Amazon.

soul of the home book cover showing european inspired living room

You don’t want your home to look like someone else’s home and there’s no way to get around that unless you use unique pieces.

– Tara Shaw

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