Karen studied Fine and history of Art at the Johannesburg Art Foundation, under the tutorship of Bill Ainslie, Ricky Burnett and William Kentridge. While studying, she apprenticed herself to well known Helen De Leeuw who was famous for pioneering Interior Design In South Africa. Later Karen opened and ran the Carriage House Gallery for Helen during which time she personally created and curated many exhibitions of well know South African artists and crafts man.
Karen’s passion for Art, Space, Proportion and Beautiful things lead her to open her own practice in 1988 which was then consolidated into Emporio Mona Lisa in 1990 and in 1991 she was joined by Tessa Proudfoot.
Karen and Tessa worked together for 5 years completing many successful installations, and launching with their great friend and co-creator Carol Gordon, the fabulous ‘Gordonsbury Range’ of handmade bed linens which gained international recognition for the Mona Lisa Designs.
They also jointly created a range of exclusive home ware items which were sold at their popular exhibitions and open days in the 90’s.
In 1995 Wilde At Heart Interiors was born and Karen entered into the Commercial and Corporate world of interiors completing many large and small prestigious projects all over South Africa, in London, China and in France.
Wilde At heart has gained regular recognition in some 40 publications over the 22 years of existence for both domestic and commercial interiors including Elle Decor, Habitat Magazine, Architect & Builder, House & Leisure, Garden & Home, IE Magazine, Conde Nast and the London Times.
Wilde At Heart’s greatest strength, second to their Talent, Vision and Enthusiasm is their ‘range of work’ which can be seen in their extensive portfolio.
Projects from classically inspired interiors including fine artwork and antiques, to very modern minimalistic environments have been created over the 22 years of trading.
‘One of our greatest strengths is that we do not have a standard look and feel that we ‘stamp’ out onto our clients. We use our knowledge, skill, perception and remarkable Stable of Artisans and Artists, to listen to our clients and to create exclusive environments that are especially designed and made for them according to their Brand DNA and company vision.
We deliver our "turnkey" projects perfectly on time and within budget and our holistic approach nurtures the entire process from the first client meeting until final handover.
We negotiate extensive guarantees for our clients from our suppliers which enables a very efficient after sales service and backup solution.