Mounted atop the living room paneling at designer Caterina Heil Stewart’s Manhattan town house is a painting of a young skier barreling downslope amid flurries of snow or perhaps, more fantastically, across a starry cosmos.
It’s a memorable early Yoshitomo Nara work, rendered in the Japanese artist’s signature cartoonish style, the child’s expression a mix of innocence and rebellion.
That frolicsome spirit runs throughout the elegantly eclectic home that Heil Stewart has composed for her family of five. In the living room, works by Latin American artists Alberto Baraya, Ernesto Ballesteros, and Marcelo Silveira join in presiding over a dashing array of vintage Italian furnishings, among them mohair-clad Giuseppe Scapinelli seating, svelte Ico Parisi tables, and Art Deco–inflected Osvaldo Borsani armchairs that she paired with a Louis XIV games table. “I like mixing pieces from different eras that talk to each other,” says Heil Stewart, whose confident combinations favor furnishings that showcase craftsmanship and artistry.
“Caterina’s vision is not just decorative—she’s really got a collector’s eye,” says her husband, Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart. “She’s thinking about timeless beauty, timeless design.”
Heil Stewart grew up surrounded by design in São Paulo, where her grandfather and mother were both architects. Ultimately, she followed in her father’s footsteps and became a lawyer, but several years into her career, she sought a new path. After taking classes at Parsons School of Design and working as a fashion buyer, she began pursuing interiors projects, steadily building up her practice before founding her firm, StudioCAHS, in 2013.