LAP OF LUX­URY

MEL­BOURNE-BASED DE­SIGNER DAVID HICKS HAS AN ECLEC­TIC STYLE THAT SEAM­LESSLY BLENDS GLAM­OUR, NOS­TAL­GIA AND MODERN CLAS­SIC. HERE, AN EX­CLU­SIVE LOOK AT HIS NEW BOOK, WITH AN IN­TRO­DUC­TION

VOGUE Living Australia - - News - BY NEALE WHI­TAKER.

Mel­bourne de­signer David Hicks has an eclec­tic style that seam­lessly blends glam­our, nos­tal­gia and modern clas­sic

RICHLY VEINED CALA­CATTA MAR­BLE, a Warren Plat­ner chair, some­thing glam­orously vin­tage (most likely Ital­ian), per­haps a Bud­dhist torso or head — and above all an in­nate spa­tial aware­ness. David Hicks’ in­te­rior style is grace­fully, lux­u­ri­ously un­mis­tak­able, deftly com­bin­ing the Mod­ernist prin­ci­ples he so ad­mires with more than a hint of la dolce vita. His work may take you to mid-cen­tury Palm Springs by way of Via Con­dotti, but it re­mains un­de­ni­ably Aus­tralian in its in­tu­itive un­der­stand­ing of light and space. It comes as no sur­prise to learn that David grew up in Malaysia. The child­hood home he re­calls — with its open-plan liv­ing, ter­razzo floor­ing, dec­o­ra­tive screens and wrap­around veran­dah — has, to my mind at least, left an in­deli­ble mark on his style. There is a re­straint and har­mony in David’s work that I as­so­ciate with the tra­di­tional in­te­ri­ors of South­east Asia, and they add yet an­other di­men­sion to his dis­tinc­tive art. I met David soon af­ter I moved to Aus­tralia from the UK and around the time he launched his de­sign prac­tice. ››

‹‹ It sounds strange to re­fer to it as the turn of the cen­tury. David’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to suc­ceed at what was so ob­vi­ously his pas­sion seemed re­fresh­ingly Aus­tralian to me and em­bod­ied so much about the coun­try I had cho­sen to make my new home. I also glimpsed in him an aes­thetic that of­fered a dy­namic al­ter­na­tive to the Nordic-in­flu­enced Min­i­mal­ism or Euro­pean Clas­si­cism that de­fined the pen­du­lum swing of Aus­tralian in­te­rior de­sign at that time. David and I have re­mained friends since that day more than a decade and a half ago, and I have pub­lished many of his in­te­ri­ors at Vogue Liv­ing. We’ve made videos and tele­vi­sion to­gether and we’ve laughed a lot. We’ve also con­sumed con­sid­er­able amounts of Cham­pagne, usu­ally at his mag­nif­i­cent in­ner-Mel­bourne apart­ment. A lot has hap­pened in the de­sign world since David Hicks launched his prac­tice. Aus­tralia has now rightly taken its place on the world stage, and our in­te­rior style is lauded and em­u­lated from Cal­i­for­nia to the Cotswolds. I be­lieve David has played a sig­nifi­f­i­cant part in that evo­lu­tion and will con­tinue to do so.

clock­wise from top: pool court­yard in Ul­timo Court, Toorak, res­i­dence — Sev­ered Land­scape art­work by Christo­pher Lees (right) and por­trait of the client’s fa­ther (left). Mar­ble stair­case in South Yarra, Vic­to­ria, project. Dress­ing area in Toorak res­i­dence — Flower No 3 art­work by Huang Xu from Arc One Gallery. Spi­ral stair de­tail in Struan Street, Toorak, res­i­dence — Robert Owen sculp­ture from Arc One Gallery, vin­tage Mu­rano chan­de­lier from LA’s Down­town. En­try to Ul­timo Court res­i­dence. De­tails, last pages.

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