Get A Glimpse Into The Fabulous Life Of India Hicks
In our May 2018 issue, we sit down with the always lovely India Hicks and chat about her new vacation home, America Farm — a striking interpretation of English style that she and her family have built in Oxfordshire, near the grand estates where she grew up. India’s experience and memories of those ancestral homes, and America Farm, are detailed in A Slice of England, a new book from Rizzoli that’s launching in April. In it, she provides an intimate glimpse inside historic properties such as Broadlands (the stately home belonging to her grandfather, Lord Mountbatten) as well as The Grove and Britwell, both designed by her famous father, David Hicks.
Blending a carefree island style with refinement comes naturally to this former Ralph Lauren model, and royal bridesmaid to Princess Diana. Here is a glimpse into some of India’s favorite things, including offerings from her own burgeoning lifestyle brand encompassing bags, accessories, jewelry, and beauty products.
India still calls Harbour Island in the Bahamas home, but America Farm brings her closer to her mother, Lady Pamela Hicks. Industrial stools are pulled up to the island in the kitchen, topped in durable Belgium bluestone counters to stand up to life with her five children. India admits she’s not big on cooking. “I do many things: I can change the tire on a car; I love to play canasta; I’ve run three marathons; I probably waterskied before I walked. But the one thing I really do not do, is cook.”
In the eat-in kitchen, Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs ring the rustic, live-edge table of reclaimed oak. Radiant heating warms the tumbled limestone flooring. Loose, large-scale floral arrangements of branches suit the rustic setting. “We planted every one of the plants at America Farm,” says India. “They are all sorts of herbs or lavender, very wild English country flowers.”
The one thing that she absolutely can’t live without is…. “Banger, my Dachsund.”
India’s house in Harbour Island, Hibiscus Hill, is predominantly white, but she’s not averse to experiments with a new color scheme. “It changes, normally it’s fairly neutral and there are unexpected bursts of color in places. I painted my office a very pale denim blue, and I have been painting that for a while now. There is a really nice perennial fabric that we have been reupholstering a lot with that. Sunbrella Sailing Seagull (50143-0010).”
India is a globetrotter; When she’s not snowboarding in the Alps or shopping the Champs Élysées, she’s hopping from the Bahamas to Miami and then jetting off for business to L.A. or New York. “We have a little wash bag called the Zip Around in a durable performance fabric in a chic dark grey with a gold IH logo stamped on it, so it looks elegant. I put all my stuff in it; there are two compartments for dry and wet items like jewelry or your makeup, but what I like about is it’s not huge so I am forced to edit and carry only the absolute essentials.”
To keep beauty items organized and at the ready for impromptu flights, she relies on the Go bag. “It’s loaded with a week’s worth of deluxe travel sizes of cleanser, moisturizer, a mask and mist for the plane: and all of this fits in one bag.” She tosses her keys and phone into the clear bag to double as a clutch.
“Since starting Indiahicks.com, which is about women finding the entrepreneur in themselves, we used the beetle as our logo. They’re such unassuming little things, easily overlooked, unseen underfoot, but they are symbols of strength and luck. Ever since then I have been given beetles in any shape and form. It may be a photograph album, a brooch, scarf or paperweight, so now I have a massive collection (shown is the Indi beetle pendant, considered a good luck charm).”
India admits it tough to narrow her style inspirations down. “There are so many! John Robshaw (pictured) is a dear friend and I love his bedding and his Indian block-print textiles, I think he does it better than anybody. I was lucky enough to be on a TV show with Kelly Wearstler and she is absolutely barking mad, but has an unbelievable eye for design. It’s not necessarily an interior I would live in, but I find her very inspiring as someone who designs because she wants to have fun with it.”
As for her favorite bedlinens, India isn’t snobbish on the subject of sheets. “I like white, and very non-descript. I sleep on airport floors, I am perfectly happy with an easy bedsheet.”
And finally, here’s her secret shopping source for unexpected finds. “In England I live near a town called Wallingford and the Lamb Arcade is housed with antiques, I love hunting in there for smaller surprises and birthday gifts.”