It was during her junior year of high school when the light bulb went off (in an antique Murano chandelier, no doubt) for Zara Taitt. Though she’d always had a love for pattern and color—a result of summers spent in her parents’ native Barbados—design wasn’t anywhere on her radar. But blueprints brought home by her father, a civil engineer for Marriott, piqued her curiosity, as did automobile aesthetics. “I was the weird high school girl who had car posters in her room,” remembers Taitt, who grew up in Irving. On a whim, she took an intro to design class that sealed her fate, and within a year of getting her interior design degree from UNT, she was hired by renowned designer Jan Showers. “I’ve just soaked everything in,” Taitt says of their 16-year working relationship. When she’s not working, busy being a mom, or trying new restaurants, Taitt uses her platform for good. She serves on the board of Dwell With Dignity and was the first featured designer for their Thrift Studio Live initiative, which highlights diversity within design. Here, Taitt shares a few of her favorite things, in Dallas and at home.
Favorite local restaurant: Hillstone! Second would be Oishii.
Place not enough people know about but should: Indigo 1745 in Bishop Arts District. Great local skincare, jewelry, and the softest t-shirts for men.
Favorite weekend activity: Family time over food or a good movie. Also, self-care—the pandemic made me realize it’s okay to take time out for myself.
Favorite local artist: Desireé Vaniecia. I first saw her work at the Dallas Kips Bay Showhouse in 2020 and it immediately resonated with me.
A home can never have too many: Photos of family and friends. Having great memories “frozen in time” is good for the soul.
Favorite scent: Lemon, lavender, and vanilla—I have been using diffusers lately and these essential oils have been in rotation.
Favorite serving staple: Trivets by Jill Walker with watercolor scenes of Barbados. They add color and memories to the table.
Favorite art or coffee table book: Rihanna (Phaidon)
Accessory you reach for more than any other: Small gold earrings—they go with anything!
One thing everyone should have in their closet: A blazer in a bright color—classic, polished, and fun all in one.
Favorite apothecary item: Rose Multi-Use Oil. It’s a mix of apricot seed oil and almond with rose. The soft scent lingers all day.
Best hosting hack: White votive candles—quiet candlelight looks great on a table. And hydrangeas—they can fill up a vase with a few stems.
Go-to bottle of wine: Black Girl Magic Rosé
Favorite travel destination: Barbados. This is where my family is from, and every time I land, I feel at home. I can’t wait to see my family, go to the beach, eat a Chefette roti and a mango from my aunt’s backyard.
Favorite item you purchased in the last year: Beneath Your Mask “Heal” whipped skin souffle. I am into skincare and this body cream is my little luxury.
Best advice you’ve ever received: “Many hands make light work.” —My mom
Shop Zara Taitt’s Favorite Things
“Heal” whipped skin souffle, $80/Beneath Your Mask
Black Girl Magic Rosé, $19.99/McBride Sisters Wine Company
The Rihanna Book, $150
Jill Walker Hawaiian Flower Hand Painted Trivet, $21.99/Ebay