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Silke Berlinghof-Nielsen

Michael Carter

Cynthia First

David Manzi

Kyle Hoepner

Incorporating Antiques to Elevate Your Rooms

April 26, from 4:30PM to 6:30PM

At the SoWa Power Station Mezzanine

550 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118



“One should never be the oldest thing in one's house"  This brilliant  quote from Patsy Stone in the TV series 'Absolutely Fabulous' should be in every designer's back pocket. Antiques add history, depth and soul to a room but selecting and convincing clients to purchase them can be challenging. Fear not, this panel can help! 

Join design editor and writer Kyle Hoepner moderating a lively discussion with Boston based interior designer, Michael Carter, Principal at Carter & Company. Antique dealer and art historian Silke Berlinghof-Nielsen, founder of Boston-based furniture marketplace, Styylish; David Manzi of Manzi Appraisers and Cynthia First, owner of First Rugs. Come discover what they love about antiques and why antiques can be an important and valuable addition in today's interiors.  Join us for a reception and networking after the panel.


Silke Berlinghof-Nielsen was born in Heidelberg, Germany, into a family of antiques dealers. She completed her master’s degree in Art History, Archaeology, and Romance Languages at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. She spent time studying in Bologna, as well, falling in love with Italian Art and the Renaissance. Silke worked as an auctioneer in Germany and joined the cast of art appraisers of a German TV show, similar to Antiques Roadshow in 2007, and was a recognized expert, particularly in ceramics, porcelain, and antique furniture. In 2013 she started her own antique business on moving to the United States with her family. Styylish grew out of Silke's antique business, and since 2021, Silke and her business partner Margot Girin have been developing into an online marketplace for antique and contemporary furniture, fine art and design, while also establishing a brick and mortar location in Belmont, Massachusetts.


Michael Carter is the principal of Carter and Company and has been making his mark as a traditionalist in the world of interior designer in Boston and the New England area for over 25 years.  His work has been featured in countless books and magazines, including the covers of Traditional Homes Magazine, New England Home, Design New England and Spectacular Homes of New England. Michael’s interiors work is often described as “timeless” and “classic”, but most importantly it’s always a reflection of his client’s aesthetic artfully guided by his experience and expertise.  His projects extend from Boston and the Cape/Nantucket, to Maine, NH, VT, CT, New York City and most recently Vale, CO and Punta Cana. In 2016, Michael Carter was inducted into the New England Design Hall of Fame. In addition to his business, Michael is keenly involved in historic preservation, serving on the Board of Governors of Gore Place, the Board of Directors of the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture (New England Chapter), and on the advisory Council of Historic New England.


Cynthia First's expertise and passion are focused on her collection at First Rugs, which contains artful and authentic hand-knotted rugs from various regions around the world. With a background in art history and studio arts she was naturally led to apprenticeships in the UK: One in England with a Master ceramicist, and a second in Boston with a specialist in antique prints.

In 1994, while on the antique show circuit, Cynthia formed a partnership with a fourth-generation Persian rug-dealing family from Shiraz, Iran; two years later the partnership blossomed into First Rugs. Her subsequent travels to the Middle East in the early 2000's led her to develop a research interest in antique rugs.  Cynthia has given talks and curated visual displays for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and for libraries, community centers, and continuing education classes. Her research interest  led her to develop a much-needed resource book on Serapi rugs; the book is slated for publication in 2024.

David Manzi, founder of Manzi Appraisers & Restoration, has more than 20 years of experience in appraisals, restoration, insurance loss valuations, contents inventory and comparable replacement value appraisal research. David is also respected by individual clients assessing their sentimental items, as well as by government, businesses, financial and educational institutions for his expertise, attention to detail and client confidentiality while assessing special projects and collections. David is a United States Marine Corps veteran and subscribes to its core values of honor, courage, and commitment. He is also a long-time Boston Rotarian and follows the motto Service Above Self as a way of life.  With these attributes, David decided to establish Manzi Appraisers & Restoration to offer clients services including, appraisals and restoration to the things they LOVE. ️  


Kyle Hoepner (Moderator) is a writer, editor, speaker, and outreach consultant based in Boston. He has had a distinctly hands-on relationship with the worlds of publishing and design for more than three decades, including eleven years spent as editor-in-chief of the luxury shelter magazine New England Home. More recently, Kyle has taken on projects for a variety of publications and other creative clients, including Architectural Digest, Melville House, Milieu, Ocean Home, Boston Home, Boston Design Week, and an array of architecture, interiors, and landscape studios around the U.S.




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The SoWa Power Station lit up for an event.

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The Mezzanine at the SoWa Power Station

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