Inspiration David Hicks

David Hicks - Timeless Chic
David Hicks (1929-1998)was the superstar designer of the 1960s and 1970s – sought after by royalty and the privileged. Though it's been many years since his last projects were center stage in the design world, David Hicks' influence is still felt today. David Hicks built the bridge connecting the formal classical styles of the past to the current modern style of today. Many past and present day interior designers, such as Billy Baldwin, Mark Hampton and Vicente Wolfe, got their inspiration from him. When you look at a room with a harmonious mix of classical and contemporary pieces, you are seeing an echo of the David Hicks style.

(Notice the painted antler head over the fireplace)

David Hicks was born in March of 1929 in Essex, Great Britain, surrounded by great country manors and sweeping formal gardens. He trained at the London Central School of Arts and Crafts, and through visiting the homes of some of his school friends started to explore the rest of Europe. His career was off to a great start when he was published in 1954 in House and Garden.

David Hicks' styling and color schemes blew in a fresh wind to the stale design environment. He would juxtapose a modern abstract painting with classical urns or vases. Antique sculptures would stand on plexiglass bases. Period French fauteuils would be upholstered in bold modern patterns. Expensive objets d'art would sit in a tablescape next to ordinary found objects from a beach or a ruin. Striking colors of vermilion and scarlet contrast against the dark woods.

He discovered unused printing blocks from Colefax & Fowler and commissioned new wallpaper prints with striking colors – blacks and yellows, scarlets and khakis.
Then by 1960, in typical whirlwind fashion, David Hicks met and married Pamela Mountbatten, the daughter of the Earl of Mountbatten and Viceroy of India.

Besides working in interior design, David Hicks designed furniture, jewelry, textiles, carpets, wallpaper, and even gardens. He opened several shops to showcase his products. His obsession with decorative details and extensive exposure to beautiful homes provided a constant source for creative ideas. His trips abroad to India and Middle East inspired his geometric designs for his carpets. Recognizing his popularity, the American textile company, JP Stevens, commissioned him to create designer linens for the American market. His daughter, Ashley Hicks, has also recently re-released editions of his fabric and carpet patterns. They can be seen on the David Hick's Web site.

David Hicks' melding of yesterday's designs with modern works has proven timeless (excerpt from Dezignare)
Timeless Chic
Definition of 'chic' (shēk)
1. The quality or state of being stylish; fashionableness.
2. Good form; style; elegance.
All of these rooms are by David Hicks from the David Hicks Archive and date from the 70's & 80's. They are remarkably and undeniably just as Chic today as they were 30 years ago. I am adding David Hicks to the dictionary definition of the word 'chic'...................
3. Timeless as in interiors by David Hicks

I love the way David Hicks masterfully handles canopy beds.

What a beautiful detailed room done all in white with punctuation marks of Yellow & Black

Geometric carpet
Love the mirrored ceiling
Textured Carpet


  1. Hi, I just bought a book on Hicks that I need to read. These pictures make me want to start tonight! Did you ever read his book on gardening? It's a favorite of mine.

    Cote de Texas

  2. No I didn't know he had a book on gardening.

  3. timeless indeed. wow, what elegant interiors. i can see why they inspire you! what i love is the use of white and neutral backdrops with punctuation marks of bright colour. makes a friendly interior even for someone on a budget, letting you swap out colours, etc. lovely. thanks!

  4. These rooms are so timeless, and just goes to show that not all of Hicks' interiors were full of wild colours. Still as chic today as they were when he created them. Now that is style!

  5. This is too funny…I almost posted on David Hicks today! I was looking online last night for the fabric La Fiorentina and got lost in the wonderful world of David Hicks. The garden book is My Kind of Garden.

  6. ATB that is the second comment I have gotten on his garden book. I must get it. Thanks

  7. Hi Suzy
    I always associated David Hicks with bold colors and geometrics and was pleasantly surprised when I started researchin his work to find all these lovely designs that he did in whites and creams with small hits of color.

  8. Hi Terri
    Your are absolutely right. Neutral rooms are good for someone on a budget. You can change your accessories and accent colors very easily and somewhat inexpensively. It is also a great way to change your rooms sasonally. out colours

  9. I really love Hicks' style; in fact, his "quieter" rooms are some of my all-time favorites. And of course he was a genius with fabric!

  10. Yes, I agree he is the definition of chic. Love all these images, just so inspiring. And I too associate him with bold colors, but love this more neutral side too!

  11. I cannot believe these rooms ar efrom decades ago!

  12. Yes, he was quite an icon. Timeless and classic, but with an edge too.

  13. Hi Katie
    You're right it is his edge that we are loving right now about his work.

  14. oh wow you are speaking my language with those neutral rooms with pops of color! DiVinE!!!!

  15. where would jonathan adler be without that geometric carpet as an ispiration

  16. bb8 - I totally agree with you and also ditto for Kelly Wearstler.

  17. Anonymous5/9/08

    Timeless design is one the true riches of beauty!! I can't wait to read Hicks..... I think anyone who appreciates good design will love JILL BUTLER. An amazing lady who through design teaches the world to EMPOWER YOUR LIFE!

  18. I love David Hicks. Those neutral color palettes are very modish:)...thanks for sharing. you have a fab blog, patricia!



Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

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