April 2020

David Hicks was a British interior designer who hated all things English and chintz.

Known for his graphic colour combinations and fiery temperament, David Hicks is regarded as one of the most influential interior designers of his generation. Born outside of London, Hicks ruled the interiors world during the 1960s and 70s and pioneered a new wave of style which broke away from post-war austere interiors. His advocacy for clashing colours, geometric-patterned carpets and large-scale objects arranged in small spaces became his modus operandi and set him apart from competitors.

Based in London, Hicks dominated international design in the sixties and seventies. His portfolio was so substantial because it was said that should he discover something hideous, he’d have to redesign it himself; there was a lot of hideousness in the 60s and 70s so we can see how he was kept busy. His eclectic and unique style often saw him bringing together objects and finishes in the most unconventional ways. For example, he once introduced a piece of grandiose Chippendale furniture into a scheme but gave it a modern-day twist by casting it in chrome. Another example was a Louis XV chair upholstered in buttery soft glove leather; nothing was regular and instead Hicks preferred to veer towards the irregular which ensured his position as hot ticket was retained.

His portfolio ranged from houses, hotels and restaurants to carpets, furniture, gardens and nightclubs; he even designed door handles and fixtures wherever possible. His abilities were broad and ever expanding, ensuring his creative mark was left in indelible ink for all to see, even after his death in 1998. Whilst his designs fell out of fashion during the 90s and 00s, when sleek minimalism and international beige were de rigueur, today they have resurfaced and reminded us of the fun one can have when bringing colour to the forefront of a scheme. At MBDS we often look back on his work for inspiration and hope they inspire you today too.  

Photos via Pinterest