Meet 2021 New England Design Hall of Fame Inductee Lisa Tharp

October 27, 2021

Text by Paula M. Bodah


Lisa Tharp had a successful career making use of her visual talents long before she began designing interiors. For a decade, Tharp worked for HBO and Time Life Video and Television in marketing, production, and management. In the early 2000s, while she was taking some time off to stay home with her young daughter, she lost two family members to cancer, a set of tragedies that led to her decision to design and build a healthy home for her family.

The result, a Concord, Massachusetts, house designed in conjunction with Boston architectural firm ZeroEnergy Design, not only won awards for its good looks, sustainability, and use of nontoxic and organic material, it also sparked Tharp’s career in interior design and led to the creation of her company, Lisa Tharp Design, in 2011.

Tharp and her husband eventually sold the Concord home and moved to Boston’s Newbury Street, fulfilling a promise Tharp made to herself when she was a child on her first visit to the city. “I stepped out of the car on Commonwealth Avenue and was starstruck by the brownstones, by the trees lining the street,” she remembers. “It was magical to me, and I made a mental note to live here someday.”

As part of her firm’s mission to create beautiful spaces that improve the quality of life, Tharp has launched her own line of upholstered furniture, case goods, and accessories, a collection of elegant, contemporary pieces manufactured in the U.S.

Furthering her interest in maintaining a healthy environment, Tharp has partnered with ECOS Paints on Lisa Tharp Colors to offer a lineup of sixty shades of organic, nontoxic paint.

The self-taught designer says there are strong parallels between her early and current careers. “They’re both just different expressions of storytelling,” she says.

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