David Hicks

David Hicks

Pop quiz. Was this London living room completed yesterday or 35 years ago? Look carefully: oversized geometric–pattern carpet, a boldly modern sofa covered in raw silk and flanked by Empire bookcases, and a plain sheet of mirror topping a Regency fireplace mantel. If you chose 1971, go to the head of the class. This was just one of innumerable spaces designed by David Hicks (1929–1998), arguably the most influential designer of his generation. Hicks was one of the first to create deliberately photogenic rooms. No wonder his client list included equally close-up–ready clients such as John Schlesinger, Helena Rubinstein, Vidal Sassoon and the Prince of Wales. Indeed, Hicks’s dynamic mix of antique and modern pieces has a deceptively contemporary ring. Designers including Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, Muriel Brandolini and Tom Ford—young guns who learned his coveted look pouring over the 11 books Hicks authored in his lifetime—have adopted his signature style. Hicks’s second coming is due partly to the work of his son, Ashley Hicks, who designs new collections of carpet and fabric inspired by his father’s designs for Lee Jofa and Saxony Carpet.