Spotlight On: Rose Tarlow

Store History

  • Founded: 1974
  • Founded by: Rose Tarlow
  • Headquarters: Los Angeles

R. Tarlow Antiques opened on the secluded and sun-dappled Melrose Place in Los Angeles in 1976. For those lucky enough to find it, the shop was a sanctuary of impeccable antiques and eclectic pieces chosen from the most exclusive sources. Each item had a charm and a textured story that seemed to flow from the proprietor herself.

"Fresh, clean, contemporary furniture and art mixed with wonderful old pieces — and a very definite edge of eccentricity," sounds like the description of the best of Apartment Therapy's House Tours. It's not. It's actually decorating doyenne Rose Tarlow's philosophy of interior design. Tarlow's showroom, Rose Tarlow Melrose House, is the setting for tonight's Blog Out Loud event.

Rose Tarlow got her start in 1976 with the opening of her antique shop on Melrose Avenue. At the time, with the focus on modern design, opening a shop dedicated to old school antiques seemed like a move destined for failure. Now, almost thirty-five years later, Tarlow's got the last laugh. Today, she's renowned for her modern reproductions of antique items with English, French and Asian influences, including furniture, wall coverings, fabrics, accessories and scented candles. But, although antiques form the backbone of her business, there's nothing antique about the way she thinks about design or her constantly evolving style — part California casual, part European traditional, always comfortable and never staid. Many of her design philosophies are ones we live by:

  • A home should reflect the people who live there.
  • I have always had an aversion to the concepts of "in style" and "out of style".
  • To continue to change is an imperative in life and in design.
  • It's the mix — of style, of material — that's important.
  • Everything you live with should be wonderful. Not expensive, just wonderful.
  • Enjoy the process of decorating.

To see her showroom for yourself and join the conversation 9/21/2010 see Blog Out Loud.

Images: Rose Tarlow Melrose House