Authored by Heather Karlie Viera

Custom. Bespoke. Tailored.

The pieces you design for your client’s homes are integral to them, to their presentation, enjoyment and understanding. The details aren’t the details, they are the design. Hi, I’m Heather Karlie Vieira of 20th Century by HKFA and I’d like to share with you how I incorporated custom design into my inventory of antique and vintage furnishings.

Modern Lookbook - Heather Karlie Viera

You could say that it started back in 2007 when I was selling antique and period picture frames in Manhattan. My clients were the owners of the elite Upper East Side art galleries and I was their source for picture frames. Early mornings spent at the flea market in Chelsea yielded armfuls of rare and important frames while late afternoons were occupied with appointments. It was a very exciting time. And I’m sharing this because it was at one of those appointments where I met an artist. Now, mind you, anything contemporary really wasn’t in my wheelhouse. I was buying and selling objects that were anywhere from fifty to five hundred years old. Contemporary art was foreign to me. The artist I met that afternoon would go on to have several shows and great gallery representation throughout New York City, and he even painted my portrait! But I digress…

The years flew by and my business had taken on many forms, but stayed true to my love of antique and vintage pieces. Until Modern Look Book came into being. Modern Look Book is a new concept built on the relationship between antique and contemporary, vintage and custom – an exploration into the push / pull between two very separate mindsets. I came up with the idea for Modern Look Book to showcase and share the art, design and products of a few colleagues. Whether it was the design for a show house that juxtaposed vintage finds amongst a contemporary setting or an artist creating contemporary works or a new product line – Modern Look Book was created to collaborate and share great design.

Modern Look Book

And here is where that meeting all those years ago in a New York City gallery comes into play. Fast forward to 2016 and to a message from that artist. Through social media he had been seeing the growth of Modern Look Book and wanted to be part of it. I was thrilled and immediately began to construct an idea to introduce not only his paintings, but also the work of a few other colleagues who were designers and creators. And why? Because I have seen the amazing power of collaboration in the Interior Design discipline. Where creatives come together and tackle an issue through a process that shares information. It is this open and welcoming process that would be the inspiration for Modern Look Book.

Portrait of Heather by Clintel Steed

I’d like to share now the work of the artist, Clintel Steed, and how working together with an artist can help create another facet in your custom, bespoke, tailored environment. Commissioning a work of art is a long and well documented tradition. Portraits, landscapes, interiors are some of the subject matter for artists who are commissioned by patrons to create a work of art. These commissions were once reserved for only the very wealthy, those in the nobility – but today, commissioned artworks are far more accessible. Perhaps your client wants a portrait of their family, or a painting of their home, or a mural created with a specific color palette – all of these ideas and so many more are achievable through relationships with artists. And it is these relationships that I want to celebrate and share through Modern Look Book.

Clintel Steed, Heather Karlie, Modern Lookbook, Michel Boyd
Michel Boyd – Southern Style Now Showhouse Room ft. Clintel Steed

One specific example is the Interior Designer Michel Smith Boyd. Michel and I first met at Las Vegas Market when I was a Design Campus tour guide in July 2015. I immediately responded to Michel’s strong aesthetic and his penchant for taking risks in an interior.

Bold. Intimate. Stylish.

Each of his designs is a personal exploration. I had no idea what was to come just a few months later. And it was at this past Spring Furniture Market in High Point where I debuted the Modern Look Book collaboration. The artwork, products and works were displayed alongside my vintage and antique finds – it was a truly exciting showcase! Michel stopped by one afternoon and was immediately inspired by the paintings and the story of Clintel Steed. It was on the spot that we organized a loan of one of Clintel’s paintings for the room that Michel was designing at the Southern Style Now / Traditional Home Show House in New Orleans.

Clintel Steed in Kelli Ellis’ Room in the Universal Showroom for High Point Market

Interior Designers have the power to cement these relationships and continue to build an incredible foundation for the arts. Through collaborations with contemporary artists, Interior Designers can introduce new artists to the media and provide a totally custom, bespoke and tailored product to their clients. I hope to grow Modern Look Book into an even more dedicated source for contemporary artists and product designers to showcase their work. The growth of Modern Look Book from my own antique and vintage business is a direct result of my relationship with the Interior Design trade – a blending and mixing of old and new resulting in a wonderful balance!

Clintel Steed in Kelli Ellis’ Room in the Universal Showroom for High Point Market

For more information on Heather Karlie Viera and how you can collaborate visit:

20th Century by HKFA

Modern Look Book

Heather Karlie Fine Art 

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