Decorating & Design
November 6, 2009
The David Hicks Legacy
Recently, a new book came across my desk: David Hicks: A Life of Design by his son Ashley Hicks.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the most comprehensive look at the influential designer’s life yet: it follows the designer from his childhood through his career and family life until 1998, when he passed. While I’m not a fan of everything David Hicks, there is a lot to be said for his design legacy. His work was done in the ‘50s and ‘60s yet a lot of it looks current and still influences many designers today.
His signature mark of coordinating wallpaper and fabric became a sign of 1960s trad with a twist décor and thanks in part to our belovedly departed Domino magazine, it’s back on trend today.
Hicks was also a master of featuring a dramatic four-poster bed, often paired with a tub in the middle of the room. It’s a glamorous treatment and one that takes a certain confidence, in more ways than one.
I’m a big fan of Muriel Brandolini and some of David Hicks’ use of deep saturated colour and lots of layers reminds me of her work. This one is David Hicks, more on the formal traditional side.
And this is Muriel Brandolini, more on the exotic side.
A lot of Jonathan Adler’s interiors have a Hicks influence as well but with more a sense of humour. Love this outdoor dining space that Adler did with the architecture framing the view…so 1950s.
Adler uses this Hicks-inspired honeycomb graphic a lot but personally I prefer a softer more livable take like Madeline Weinrib’s fabrics (clockwise from top left: Blue ivy, grey chevron, black isabelle, pink brooke).
And I love Allegra Hicks’ Spheres and Twigs dhurries for their more organic, grid-like use of pattern. It’s interesting to see how all three of his children carried on their design gene with their own unique spin.
Ashley Hicks recently designed a collection of marble and limestone flooring for Studium that reinterprets his father’s iconic style in tile work. It looks stunning in a front hall foyer.
And of course there is also the infamous India Hicks. You can see formal elements in her designs from her British upbringing, paired with the more casual, plantation-style influence from her life in the Bahamas.
1-7. David Hicks: A Life Of Design by Ashley Hicks ( 2009 RIzzoli)
8. Muriel Brandolini
9-10. Jonathan Adler
11. Madeline Weinrib
12-13. Allegra Hicks
16. India Hicks for Crabtree & Evelyn Island Living