David Hicks, Designer & Legend

David Hicks: el maestro de los 60.

Contemplar sus trabajos de los años 60 es entender el interiorismo que marca tendencia hoy. Por algo este decorador inglés, adalid del eclecticismo, ha sido uno de los más influyentes del siglo pasado.

Hace trece años que nos dejaba, a los 69, David Hicks, pero su obra sigue inspirando a interioristas de todo el mundo. Nacido en 1929 en la localidad inglesa de Goggeshall, Essex, y con estudios de arte y diseño, su nombre se hizo conocido cuando la revista británica House & Garden publicó en 1954 un reportaje sobre la casa de su madre. Su matrimonio con Pamela Mountbatten acrecentó esta fama y le convirtió en decorador de cabecera entre la realeza y la aristocracia. En los setenta crea su propia marca, que hoy está en manos de su hijo Ashley.

EL SELLO HICKS. Magistral en su mezcla de antigüedades con mueble moderno, su uso audaz del color, en unas combinaciones impactantes, extravagantes incluso –rosa, naranja, bermellón, cereza…–, ha marcado estilo. David Hicks buscaba matices únicos que provocaban golpes de efecto y una total exclusividad.

SUS DISEÑOS. Cansado de no encontrar en el mercado las piezas que le gustaban, comienza a crear sus propios diseños de mobiliario, textiles, papeles y alfombras. Icónicos son sus mesas y asientos lacados, los obeliscos de metacrilato con baldas y los coloridos estampados geométricos de sus telas.

POLIFACÉTICO. Fotógrafo, pintor, escultor…, Hicks escribió también numerosos libros sobre decoración y diseñó jardines: el de su casa de Oxfordshire está considerado como uno de los mejores de Inglaterra.

SUS TRABAJOS. Su peculiar estilo triunfó entre las clases acomodadas y los personajes cool de la época: Helena Rubinstein, Vidal Sassoon, Mrs. Conde Nast… Diseñó alfombras para el castillo de Windsor, decoró el primer apartamento del príncipe de Gales y el yate del rey Fahd de Arabia Saudí. Sus papeles pintados llegaron hasta la Casa Blanca… Incluso coqueteó en 1968 con el cine diseñando los ambientes de una de las películas del momento, Petulia, de Richard Lester.

NOS HA DEJADO… Como él mismo afirmaba, su mayor contribución a la decoración ha sido «mostrar el modo de utilizar mezclas atrevidas de colores, la manera de usar las alfombras estampadas, cómo dar luminosidad a las estancias y a mezclar lo antiguo con lo nuevo».

David Hicks (1929-98) has emerged as the most influential interior designer of his generation. His style, known through his own books and through Ashley’s David Hicks: A Life of Design, has been a foremost influence on contemporary designers of both fashion and home.


David Hicks was born in the English country village of Coggeshall, Essex. After public school at Charterhouse and studies in art and design at the Central School in London, he launched his design career with the decoration of his own house in London in 1954.

Early clients mixed aristocracy, media and fashion (Vidal Sassoon, Helena Rubinstein, the Duchess of Rutland and Mrs Condé Nast). Hicks married Lady Pamela Mountbatten in 1960 and was soon making carpets for Windsor Castle and decorating the Prince of Wales’ first apartment at Buckingham Palace.

David Hicks first started to design patterned carpets and fabrics in 1963 when he found none on the market that he could use. These and his dynamic colour sense formed the basis of a style which was much admired and copied. In 1967, Hicks began working in the USA, designing apartments in Manhattan for an international clientele, and at the same time promoting his carpet and fabric collections.


In the 70’s and 80’s David Hicks shops opened in fifteen countries around the world. Hicks designed everything from the Okura Hotel in Tokyo to the yacht of the King of Saudi Arabia. Hicks was a talented photographer and also made paintings and sculptures. He produced fashion and jewelry collections. He designed the interior of a BMW and scarlet-heeled men’s evening shoes.

David Hicks spent the last years of his life living increasingly in the country, in Oxfordshire, where he created one of the most extraordinary gardens in England. Hicks designed several gardens around the world. These, together with his own and other gardens both historical and contemporary, can be seen in his last book My Kind of Garden, which he was working on when he died in 1998, and which was then edited and published by Ashley Hicks. David Hicks even designed his own coffin, in which he ‘lay in state’, according to his precise instructions, in the ground-floor room of the Gothick pavilion of his own design which he had been given by his wife Pamela as a 60th birthday present.

David Hicks’s Garden at The Grove, Oxfordshire


David Hicks spent much of the last 18 years of his life creating the extraordinary garden at his Oxfordshire home. Taking inspiration from the Anglo-French gardens of the early 18th century, he laid out avenues and vistas great and small, forming an intricate sequence of green ‘rooms’. It is a place of rigid formality coupled with a lush romanticism that makes it genuinely unique. Watch David Hicks showing the garden in winter to Rosemary Verey in 1993 by clicking here.

The garden at The Grove is not open to the public but occasionally we are able to arrange special visits for groups who are truly passionate about gardens and very keen to see it. 

If you represent a group that would like to visit the garden, please email us with the number in your group (minimum 12 people) and your preferred date, and we will attempt to accommodate you. Email: garden@dh1970.com

DAVID HICKS by Ashley Hicks


Ashley Hicks has created collections of fabric, carpet and tile adapted from, or inspired by, original David Hicks designs. These are available from the following distributors, whose websites can be reached by clicking on the links:

Fabric: LeeJofa/Groundworks: www.leejofa.com
Carpet: Stark Carpet: www.starkcarpet.com
Cut-Marble Flooring: Studium NYC: www.studiumnyc.com
Cement Tiles: Popham Design: www.pophamdesign.com

 

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