Some things are just better played loud, like an electric guitar.
Such is also the case with the work of British designer David Nightingale Hicks. His work is not for the timid. His use of color is strikingly bold, his motifs pulse with the heart of a giant, and his decors practically hum with manic energy. And yet, for all his optical vitality, his rooms still retain a sense of depth, space, and a kind of virtuosic harmony. Usually when we say harmony the implication is a kind of quietude, a relaxed state of being that happens when all fits into its place. Hicks's work reveals that there's so much more to it than that.
Any self-respecting designer should've no trouble making an impact with with red and gold;
but to go white with undiminished effect takes a singularly deft eye.
Or how about a bold purple room done with impeccable taste?
Or similar bold executions achieved in a limitless series of colored iterations:
As was noted in an earlier post on the history of interior design, Dorothy Draper, et al, early greats of design balanced their artistic sensibilities and ambitions with rosters of A-list of friends. David Hicks was no exception. (His first breakout project was the redecoration of his mother's house. And, by the way, his daughter's godfather was Prince Charles.) Yet, for all the blue blood tint in Hicks's social sphere, it's hard to imagine him toning down a project to pander to a client. If there's one thing apparent in a Hicks project, it'd be its utter lack of compromise.
Committees don't produce work like this:
Hicks was also known for his prodigious ability in the quick study. He could enter a room, light a cigarette, and decide within ten minutes what the aesthetic solution would be. You can imagine his difficulty in explaining the concept above. Eventually he'd just have to say, "trust me." It'll be brilliant. And he'd be right.
Shiny and velvety and round: Imagine another room featuring twin beds that's as completely sexy as this.
Hicks takes it outside.
Below are images of one of the most famous gardens in the world you've never seen: Hicks's private gardens at his home in Oxfordshire, The Grove.
Hicks mixes the traditional with whatever his fancy conjured; A description that'd probably describe all his work. History hammered into something beautiful and new.