Louis Shields has worn many creative hats – he might’ve even designed a few.
“I have been an antiques dealer for 35 years. I am an interior designer. I design and fabricate custom furniture, and I am a contemporary painter with my own gallery, so I am always busy, never bored,” Louis says.
He has been involved in the process of art and design all his life. He studied painting at the University of Alabama, printmaking at the Washington Studio School and figure drawing at the Corcoran. He became a fashion designer in San Francisco and he opened a boutique of his own designs on 5th Avenue in New York City.
He later moved to London to pursue a career in art but fell in love with antiques. He then spent 11 years in England dealing antiques and restoring early period houses before moving his family and business to Middleburg, Virginia in 1981. He currently owns Hastening Design Studio specializing in 18th century European furniture and his own contemporary furniture and works of art. His paintings hang in harmony in the studio with his carefully chosen antiques.
As for current projects, he is working on a local estate in Virginia. “The main house was built in 1798, and we have researched and restored all the rooms to their original paint colors. We are using appropriate fabrics and 18th century period furniture,” Louis describes. Two other projects include the restoration and complete interior design of a 16th century villa in Florence, Italy (“wonderful silk fabrics and early Tuscan walnut furniture”), and a Middleburg home with an “incredible 20th century art collection,” all of the fabrics are contemporary and will be appointed with interesting modern furniture.
When it came to picking pieces to bring to Market Hill, he says, “I am always drawn to furniture that has a historical architectural inspiration, balanced structural elements, and, if it is wood, then the surface, color and patina are extremely important.”
On how he continues to find inspiration in his work, he says “I have been an antiques dealer for 35 years. I am an interior designer. I design and fabricate custom furniture, and I am a contemporary painter with my own gallery, so I am always busy, never bored,” Louis says.
To learn more, visit hasteningdesigns.com.