The Anatomy of an All-White Room

Tara Shaw has mastered the art of creating elegant, timeless interiors by liberally employing whites and soft neutrals from floor to ceiling, layering in texture via period pieces and fabrics in similarly fresh tones. Here, the New Orleans-based interior designer and creative force behind Tara Shaw Antiques and Tara Shaw Maison discusses her approach to creating an all-white room that’s anything but boring.

Embrace the beauty and benefits of a monochromatic palette. Staying within a defined, restrained color scheme makes a space feel cohesive, Shaw says. “The connective thread in color and hue is very important to make the room and the elements in it feel harmonious.”

Pick tones from your base color to play off of in other elements. “The floor and walls are ground zero for me when it comes to painting a neutral palette,” Shaw says. The floor in the room featured above has a hint of grey and taupe added into the white base to pull the hint of color from the Swedish white Tara Shaw Maison dining table and Tara Shaw for Restoration Hardware floor mirror.

Create depth with details. It’s what you layer in that can take a neutral space to a new level of sophistication. “Adding neutral texture in fabrics and accessories gives depth to the design,” Shaw explains. “This is where you can explore the layering of whites whether it is white stone, pottery, textured art, a hide rug; all will add a rich detail.”

TSG Tip 192 and featured image from Tara Shaw. Photography by Max Kim-Bee. Tara Shaw is featured in The Scout Guide New Orleans.