COTE DE TEXAS: Tara Shaw Antiques and MAISON

Tara Shaw Antiques and MAISON


I once gave my life for Tara Shaw, almost.  This is what happened:

You know how I say that I hyperventilate for antiques?   Well, it’s true, I do.   You think I exaggerate?   It all started when, after years of owning  a To-The-Trade showroom in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina blew Ms. Shaw to Houston.  We were all thrilled to welcome her, in fact, antique lovers were positively abuzz about her arrival.  Finally, Houston interior designers had a chance at the big time – buying 18th and 19th century antiques straight off the boat, without having to pay any middlemen – and at true To-The-Trade prices.   At the very first unloading show, there was a preview of the inventory the day before the sale.    The next day, the line at the door was very long  and everyone was given a number.   Once your number was called, you could run into Tara Shaw, race to what you had previewed the day before, pray it hadn’t been sold, and if it was still available, you would pull the top tag and the antique was yours.  That day I suffered much anxiety because my number was quite high and I nervously fidgeted watching most of the people in line be let inside before my number was finally called.  But luck was with me and what I had chosen to buy the day before was still available.   Later that day, when the time came to pay, to my horror I didn’t have my wallet and had to run home like a maniac to get it before the shop closed.  All the way home, my heart was racing as I weaved in and out on the back streets trying to beat the closing.  At my house, I bolted upstairs to get my checkbook, and back in my car I noticed my heart was practically beating out of my chest, beating so hard, and or so long, that it scared me, and I thought “I am actually having a heart attack over buying a set of antique chairs!”  The next day I made my first appointment with a cardiologist.   When the doctor asked why I was there, I explained:   “I was at Tara Shaw’s opening sale and my heart was beating like crazy and wouldn’t stop!”     After a battery of tests, he pronounced me alive and healthy but lectured me about getting too excited at Tara Shaw’s.  Don’t laugh.  It’s a true story.   I seriously thought I was having a heart attack over Tara Shaw’s beautiful antiques!  

And I’m not alone.   The store seems to have that effect on people.   Tara Shaw, the beautiful and chic shop owner, has an unerring eye for what you want.  Her shops are filled with just the very antique you lusted after in Veranda last month or on  Southern Accent’s current cover.   She specializes in French, Italian and Swedish antiques with their beautiful woods, the painted finishes, or the gilding done to perfection.  The showrooms’ ceilings drip with crystal chandeliers, or  lustres, as Tara prefers to use the original language when describing her goods.    There is bois, and jardineres, trumeaus and biblioteques – the array is dazzling and extremely tempting.   And Tara Shaw is true To-The-Trade only.  Really.  And her prices reflect this.  She deals with antique store owners from all over the country who come to Houston and New Orleans for her unloading sales, or they purchase from the internet.    To get the true values  found  at Tara Shaw’s, interior designers would have to go to Europe themselves and deal with all the shipping hassles.  Tara Shaw takes care of that for you instead.   Her prices are enough to make a mere mortal swoon, or visit their cardiologist, take your pick!   I can’t stay away from Tara Shaw for too long and there have been just a few unloading sales that I’ve missed, and only because I was out of town.  My clients have benefited from her shop too – many of their homes are filled with pieces from there.  Houston has been very lucky to have Tara Shaw open here and we proudly share her with New Orleans. 

Recently there’s been some rumblings that Tara was off on a new adventure, manufacturing her own line of furniture, inspired by original pieces she owns in her private collection.    For the past few months, her web site has hinted at the new venture:  MAISON, it’s called.   The web site featured only one picture from MAISON to whet your appetite, not nearly enough to satisfy all the curiosity.  Until this week, that is, when the new Tara Shaw web site was finally launched, formally introducing MAISON to the public.   The debut was worth the wait.    The new MAISON pieces are gorgeous, their authenticity is unrivaled by anything available on the market today.  Besides wonderful tables, chairs, and bookcases, there is a great array of smalls – candlesticks and mirrors, crowns and jardineres.   One could certainly furnish a house with the MAISON line,  that’s how extensive it is.   The craftsmanship is superb, each piece was created under Shaw’s knowledgeable and watchful eyes.   The finishes are perfectly aged – it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between the inspiration piece and it’s newer counterpart.    The Italian wood chandeliers are gorgeous and come in two sizes.  The mirrors, too, come both huge and tiny.    The best part of MAISON is the pricing, again.     The line is realistically priced, just as her antiques are.   One of the nicest things about doing business with Tara Shaw is you walk away feeling you’ve paid an honest price, not a price fabricated to make someone, somewhere uber rich.   I can’t rave enough about Tara Shaw, her antiques, her reproductions, her store, her interior design (yes!  she also dabbles in interior design), her sweetness, warmth and friendliness.     If you haven’t been to her web site, be sure to visit -  if you are new to it,  you will need to register first.    And if you aren’t in the trade, the staff will gladly direct you to a dealer who will be able to help you purchase an antique or an item from MAISON.   Tara tells me she hopes to soon have the MAISON line in stores around the country – and we can’t wait until everyone in America ends up hyperventilating over them!   




 MAISON:   It’s hard to believe these are reproductions – the detail is amazingly authentic.   The banquette and chair reflect the growing popularity of Swedish antiques - hard to fine, impossibly expensive, until now, that is.   The Italian gilded wood alter table with stone top is based on the original which is in Tara’s private collection.




MAISON:   The stars of the line:   The painted blue-gray French biblioteque and Italian gilded table with mirrored top.  The Italian chair is part of the line, too.



MAISON:  \The Swedish dining table is a highly versatile piece – it comes apart to become two demi lune consoles and a smaller table.  Four tables in one!   The chairs are part of the line as is the Swedish corner cabinet.   The gorgeous Italian wood chandelier comes in two sizes.  



MAISON:   a close up of the Swedish barrel back bergere.   What a graceful shape!  Notice the intricate carving, just beautiful!



MAISON:  Candlesticks are so popular today – and Tara Shaw has several different sizes.  There is also one made into a floor lamp.




The Louis XVI mirrored table comes in two sizes.




MAISON:   one of my favorite pieces in the line is this  Swedish banquette,  perfect for the living room or the bedroom.



MAISON:  there are two mirrors – one small, one huge. 





Besides the new MAISON line, there is of course, the original antique store – here is a glimpse of the Tara Shaw showroom. 




In the stores and online, here are a few of my favorite items for sale.  This Italian lustre, or chandelier, is really my style!



This 18th century Swedish Rococo sofa is remarkably like the one in the MAISON line.   This would be perfect in an living room, or a dining room too.





A 19th century Swedish clock buffet – perfect for an entry way or living room.




A French Napoleon III canape – of course I would love this!   This would be beautiful in front of a king sized bed, or in an entry hall.





A Louis XVI lit, or bed, ala Charlotte Moss.   Fabulous!





19th century Louis XVI chaise, so perfect for a dressing room or bedroom.



 To die for:   18c Set of 8 Louis XVI Caned and Original Lacquer Chairs – Genoa.    I would give anything to own this set!!!




 18th century Louis XVI chest – such beautiful hardware!



 What every house needs – an 18th century Louis XVI trumeau.    I love the store’s reflection in the mirror.




Is anyone remodeling their kitchen?    This would make the most perfect show stopping island:    19c Marble Top Comptoir.



There is always an amazing array of garden items, like these 19th century jardineres.  Of course – these would have to come inside!!!




Right now in the showrooms are great series of framed art, including these Italian coral pieces.  




This was my first glimpse of Tara – a cover story about her house in New Orleans.  It was the year 2000 – and it made me crazy to know her store was out there, but not in Houston!!!   I couldn’t wait to go visit.  




 She has moved her showroom since these pictures were taken – pre Katrina – but what lover of antiques wouldn’t go wild – or hyperventilate – looking at this?   Those chairs!  That table!  Those sconces!   Those jardineres!!!



The Veranda cover story in 2000 that introduced Tara to the world.  




Her living room – with the ballgown, taffeta curtains that New Orleans is famous for.  Seagrass and antiques, Fortuny and linen – a great mix.  



Tara’s dining room is filled with pieces she buys for Tara Shaw but somehow make it home.  I love the chandelier, the Lustre!   The silk taffeta curtains flow into this room too.   And notice the rustic jardineres flanking the Louis Philippe console – just perfect!!




In the study, a beautiful Louis XIV chair is covered in white suede. 



The gilded iron cachepot is in Tara’s new MAISON line, perfectly reproduced – using her original, see above,  as an inspiration.




In the powder room, the walls are covered in fellow New Orleans designer Angele Parlange’s wallcovering.



How is this for a dressing room?   Pretty nice!   I love that daybed covered in a Nancy Corzine brocade, but the oil painting is definitely the focal point here. 



Tara’s bedroom with more antiques – the gilded console is matched with the less dressy botanicals.  The antique books, the Italian lamp – everything is so beautiful!




The cover shot – with, for Tara, a rare English antique – a burled wood bed.  The painted walls plays off the gorgeous silk taffeta curtains in the same luscious apricot shade.   To die for!




Tara Shaw made another huge smash when the house she decorated for Emil Lagasse and his wife Alden was published in Veranda in May 2005.   No one could possible have known then that in just a few short months – New Orleans would be devastated by Hurricane Katrina – the storm that forced Shaw to open her store in Houston.    Here the Lagasses’ beautiful living room with its pale tones punctuated with sea greens, seen in the antique table, chest, and paintings.     





In the house there are candlesticks all around – some made into lamps.  The MAISON line has recreated the candlesticks in different sizes, including one that is electrified.




A vignette with a wonderful painted trumeau and metal with stone table.




The family room with its antique stone fireplace and Italian chandelier.  MAISON has two sizes of this fixture available.



MAISON’s smaller 12 arm Italian chandelier.   How gorgeous is this????!!!



The Lagasses’ very dressy dining room – with a large mirror reflecting everything, including a Swedish Moro clock!  



MAISON carries a similar floor mirror – this huge painted, French inspired version measures 53 x 95 inches!




I can only imagine the meals cooked in this kitchen!!  What a gorgeous chandelier.    Notice the crown on the table. 



Of course MAISON has its own crown!   Italian, gilded wood – 15” tall.



Over the past four years that Tara Shaw has been open in Houston, I’ve bought my fair share.    For instance, I got these sconces from the shop.  I had originally planned to show everything that I have bought from Tara Shaw, but when I added it up, it got to be just a little excessive and a tad embarrassing.   Suffice it to say – I’ve been a good client! And now with the new MAISON line – I’m sure I’ll be an even better client!!!!!


For more information on Tara Shaw MAISON and Tara Shaw Antiques, please be sure to go to   If you are new to the site, you will need to register.  In the box that asks where you heard about Tara Shaw, please be sure to say Cote de Texas!   I would really appreciate that!!!!!


  1. So, Joni... when can i come down for the weekend and go shopping with you?

  2. OOooo, I wanna see what else you've bought from there! The stuff is GORGEOUS!

  3. Oh, please please show us your purchases.

    Those Cane chairs are to 'fight 'n die' for ...... smiles.

  4. This post gives new meaning to be still my heart!!! Absolutely wonderful!!

  5. Goodness!! I have seen some of her beautiful things, it is wonderful the opening of her new website! Always a treat to go visual shopping with you Joni!!
    LMF Blog

  6. I remember that Veranda article and drooling over everything! Thanks so much for the tip Joni! I am going to register TODAY! She is such a talent..I love the home she did for Emil Lagasse. Perfection! I am glad to hear you recovered from that pesky heart scare!

  7. I well remember the home she did for Emeril Lagasse. How did it weather the storm, do you know?

    We'd love to see your purchases. No embarassment here...just envy!!!

  8. Wonderful things, but I'd love to know the prices on those new pieces. That would be fun to know, but I'm sure it's still WAY out of most of us mere mortal's budget.

  9. so joni, i got all excited when i saw the title of the post in my reader- "joni did a post about lil old me? but why do i have to share it with some chick named tara?". then alas, i saw it was just a post about a bunch o' gorgeous furniture... ;-)

    really nice stuff in the line, btw!

    happy passover to you and yours!

  10. Now this is what I'm talking about!
    This post almost gave ME a heart attack! I mean it! My heart is going pitter patter.
    xo xo

  11. We DEMAND to see more of your treasurers from Tara Shaw!

    Those scones are wonderful. Especially love the unusal crystal decoration at the tip top.

    Thanks for another wonderful post! Dang, you're good!

  12. Oh, no, I don't see a thing that I wouldn't love, love to have! Joni you find all the best treats to see.

  13. Heart palpitations down in Brazil - can you feel them?!
    So, pray tell, are you by chance a dealer Tara Shaw would refer us to?

    Oh! Love, love, LOVE your Mora Clock - as well as your collection of quartz obelisks - Magnifico!

  14. Another reason to visit New Orleans and/or Houston - Tara Shaw. Although I hate to admit this, I do tend to prefer a well done reproduction to an antique. Tara's new line looks right up my alley.

  15. Just beautiful,Joni! I am impressed!

  16. My mouth is watering over here. Lovely, Beautiful, Tres Magnifique!!

  17. Joni, Joni, please stay clear of Tara Shaw! We need you around for a while yet.

    Seriously, when I was 15, and came to Vancouver from my tiny town, to shop at IKEA, I felt palpatations upon seeing the yellow and blue building. I'm over it. LOL

    I guess then, I better stay clear of Tara Shaw...

    Beautiful things.

    Have a great weekend Joni...


  18. OMG!!! Simply exquisite! And you KNOW I am salivating over the sweet sunburst mirror in the final photograph! Once again, I'm willing to crawl on my hands and knees, over burning coals and broken glass.....! Everything is beyond delicious! Fabulous post, Joni!


  19. Extraordinary pieces and great detailed description.
    I also love the way she arranges objects. Precious Post.

  20. OMG Joni...are we twins separated at birth??// I am also dying for that Set of 8 Louis XVI Chairs. My sentiments totally "I would give anything to own them". Do you want to do a share on them 6 months at your home and 6 at mine, or 3 on, 3 off?? much are they?

  21. I love the italian chandelier that comes in two sizes...but dumb it electrified? I never see them lit with lights??

    Oh...those jardinerre's would SO have my name on them. SO.

  22. This lady really knows her stuff!!
    What an amazing eye..and she even knows how to edit. Thank you so much for sharing Tara. Fantastic Post!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Once again you take us on a visual tour that exceeds our wildest dreams! Not only could I live with any of this, I could just take up residence in her warehouse and be perfectly happy. Thanks for sharing your perspective and designer's eye with the rest of us.
    And to think, we both have such great shopping and dreaming in our hometowns - could anyone be luckier??

  24. Oh, my! What lovely things. I could just imagine you racing for the chairs. I have been one of those "darters" trying to get to MY object before someone else nabs it! So funny! Glad you didn't have a heart attack-save that for the ultimate find!

  25. bring us beauty AND humor. Be still YOUR heart. And, I concur w/Dianne: more on your TS goodies. We are voyeurs, don't ya know?

  26. You are so funny! I'm glad you're okay!:)Everything is so beautiful - thanks for sharing the images from Veranda. Those issues came out before I started my subscription.

  27. Beautiful antiques and shop! I love her house too.

    What an accomplishment to create reproductions that are so "real" in their finishes! Only one with a great eye could pull that off!

  28. Joni,
    F.Y.I., I am offering a training course for serious design sale addicts. "Combat Sale Tactics and Techniques" will aid in the development of timing, stealth, proper footwear, elbow-digging, underhanded maneuvers, and other essential skills necessary for successful sale shopping.

    Successful graduates of my course will be treated to a lovely afternoon tea and a private shopping spree followed by a few private sessions with my personal psychologist. (Ha-ha)

    Oh, the things we will do for that "must have" item!

  29. So lovely,

    I hope you have a nice holiday...

    Kathy :)

  30. I don't blame your reaction her taste is utterly perfect. A wonerful Passover, Joni...

  31. I have been having the most difficult time with my computer and haven't been able to get your blog to open properly for a week! I've been in Joni withdrawls!! Finally it opened today and to such DREAMY things! Reproductions?! I don't believe it! But with such fabulous ones, I might just have to finally get that chandelier I've been pining away for and have it be my first interior post of Museville!

    Show us what you bought, and please take me shopping, I can be on a plane in a matter of hours. =)
    Have a fabulous weekend,
    xo Isa

  32. As always your posts never disappoint!

    I am in love!!!

    Many thanks again!


  33. That 12 arm chandelier has a very high yum factor!


  34. Oh my goodness Joni...I can see WHY your heart would pitter patter. I am signing up immediately...her store is lovely and those chandeliers...well everything...beautiful. I would be in there all the time.
    Happy Passover.

  35. * What can one really "SAY"?~~~ It's just toooo FANTABULOUS for words, Joni! THANK YOU for sharing a world that so many of us do NOT get to often "see/experience"! XO, Linda *

  36. Gorgeous!! I love drinking my first cup 'o coffee with one of your most inspiring posts Joni!

    Have a Wonderful Day! :)

  37. What a gorgeous collection! If I lived in your area, I'd be living at this shop!

  38. Oh be still my heart, (you know exactly what I mean!). Beautiful.

  39. Love Tara, love the visits I have made to her warehouse in New Orleans and LOVE, LOVE Maison!! Thanks for the beautiful post! You are so thorough!! Coming from one over-acheiver to another...when do you find the time???? Tobi

  40. Too much blogging causes orgasms to be confused with heart attacks.

  41. Joni~
    First let me wipe the drool off the keyboard....

    I haver pressed my nose onto the glass door at Tara Shaw many many a time but alas being a mere mortal....I am not allowed entry.

    I can beleive you had a heart attack...if you ever need to go and feel as though you need a therapist (I have a PhD) to acompany you---purely for health reasons (anxiety and all)PLEASE let me know;)


  42. Great, funny post Joni! I used to get emails of her latest shipment, but after we moved here it was just to painful to see all her beautiful things and knowing I was so far away that I opted out.... now I have to go opt back in!
    She really is so lovely and what a great eye she has!
    I bet your cardiologist is still telling your story!!

  43. Joni - Thanks for such a "Heavenly" Post-! Loved it-! Interesting to see her own home - somehow missed that one-!

  44. Joni, I was laughing about your close call the first time you went to the shop. Then, you presented me with photos of her shop and her futniture, and without even being in her store, I was almost hyperventilating! Am I your only visitor who isn't a decorator/ designer? I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but I've always wondered if "To The Trade Only" merchandise is a conspiracy among designers to make everyone need to hire a decorator! As I drooled over these photos, in the back of my mind was the thought that, even if there was something in this shop that I could afford, I still wouldn't be able to buy anything wihout first hiring a decorator. If I go to her site, I assume there are no prices listed, and that an additional fee would be added, so that a decorator could place my order. I'm really not complaining. It's just something I've always been curious about. What is the benefit to a shop owner of selling only to the trade? laurie

  45. And to think that Tara Shaw is how our little friendship started! Remember that? She has some seriously incredible pieces and they are VERY gracious in the N.O. Store. Looks like I'll be specin'g some of the pieces soon! Hehe ;)

  46. ok LOVE EVERYTHING. will have to go register!!

  47. Coucou Joni, Love both her new pieces and her antiques. What a taste .
    This is funny but in my last antiques fair I've sold a lot of pieces to houstonian antiques dealers ... may be you will buy one day one of the pieces I've sold.
    Hope you had a good pessah

  48. Oh, Joni, I know I wasn't suppose to laugh, but I did! And I can see why your heart raced too- those original Louis XVI caned and lacquer chairs are incredible!

  49. I love Tara Shaw!!! I remember that Verandah story on her from 2000 - I loved her look then, and I still do. Beautiful! And how exciting that she now has a "new" line of reproductions.

    Oh, and from your newest post - I would KILL for either the blue bungalow, the smaller (more authentic) Texas farmhouse, or the small shingled bungalow. KILL. I think if I were lucky enough to own any of those, I would walk around with a big perma-grin because I would just be so happy all the time. They're what I dream of when I dream of my perfect house.

    (Although, I'd still take yours if you ever come up with the 3 mil to buy that showhouse!!!)

  50. We cannot see the pictures on this blog post.

  51. Hi there, I absolutely am inspired by your much so that blogging is a new project for me as well. I enjoy your sense of humor and candor.
    Thanks for the continued fun and creativity.

    best regards~*~ Kelley (The Polished Pebble)

    ps: loved the octogon house so much I asked my husband if he wanted to move to Texas!

  52. Oh, Joni... be still my heart! I can see why you went to the cardiologist. WOW! Love it! I want the botanicals in her bedroom and her dining room chairs and so much more!

    And congrats to you on your speaking engagement. I'm proud of you! You look so cute!

    I enjoyed this so much. I've been MIA because a friend's mother died, and I have been devoting my time to that. Took a break tonight, and I'm enjoying these antiques SO much! Thanks!



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  57. Hi Hello,

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