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
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.