16 Jan



Antiques represent so much more to me than just a piece of furniture, or a simple part of my designs and business.

Antiques, for me, are the center of my life. There is something indescribable about a piece with history, that has survived the years through expert craftsmanship and remained so effortlessly stylish throughout the test of time. 

Having been in the importing and design business for over 20 years, it’s safe to say that furniture runs through my veins. The artful style of craftsmanship that makes antiques so enchantingly unique is in part what moved me to create my own reproduction line, Tara Shaw Maison, bringing the distinctive elegance of historical beauty to the modern market. Over time, this line has developed and evolved into the custom furniture I now make today, each piece made to order by skilled craftsmen locally in New Orleans. 

My barometer is this: If I would not own it, I do not buy it or make it. This stands true with each and every piece in my contemporary line. It was a natural transition to use this style of craftsmanship to create contemporary classics, mixing both traditional and modern elements into a sleek and elegant line that meld seamlessly into any design.

There may be no truer example of this than with my beloved Iron Venetian Canopy Bed. The Venetian-influenced headboard along with the gentle curves in the canopy point to a minimal gilded crown, alluding to the ornate while maintaining a quiet simplicity. This allows the piece to be a true chameleon of design, used many a time by me and other talented designers in diverse spaces throughout the world.

In fact, I have utilized this piece in my guest bedroom in the cabana, placing two of these sculptural beds side by side. This creates an easy symmetry to balance the space, and their height draws the eye to the skylights in the tall ceilings. The black contrasts brilliantly against the white room, providing an anchor for the space.

I have also used this bed in one of my favorite projects I have been a part of, House of Windsor. Veranda’s first ever concept house, I was chosen as part of a team of designers creating a home to redefine luxury for the modern family. To play up the ornate feel of the piece, I chose a curving fabric to accentuate the lines in the headboard. Paired with a fresh color palette and elegant array of antiques, the bed creates a space that is simultaneously feminine, sophisticated and young.

Melanie Turner uses this piece in her serene bedroom design in the 2013 Atlanta showhouse. Inspired by glamorous gowns worn by Hollywood’s elite, Turner pairs the soaring canopy bed with luxe fabrics and a dripping chandelier in a space that is saturated in elegance.

Designer John Stefanon paired this bed with bold black and white stripes in a modern, minimal guest bedroom in a New England home. Mixing luxury and fun, the bold walls are juxtaposed by the thin iron of the bed.

Truly showing its adaptability in this Kristin Mullen design, the bed is paired with French Colonial and Indo-Chinese influences to create a design that is one of a kind.

I am always so excited to see the fresh and inventive designs that my pieces are used in! The versatile Venetian looks beautiful in contemporary and traditional spaces, as well as everything in between.

– Tara