Fran Hickman’s tips on confidently using colour and materials
Stone This is one of the most versatile materials we use in our studio – we employ it for everything from floors, walls and ceilings to furniture and lighting. The characteristics of a particular stone change dramatically depending on how you finish it. I almost always specify it honed rather than polished, because it has more character – it absorbs light, rather than reflecting it, drawing you into the room.
Glass At the moment, we are playing with the reflective capabilities of glass to bring a sense of place to our projects. I recently discovered a nickelchromium alloy called Inconel that we are using as a metallic film on glass – it brightens and adds depth to an otherwise clear, flat surface. This approach can be used to create new levels of engagement in spaces that might otherwise feel dull or neglected.
Colour This is one of my favourite tools – it has such transformative power. We went to great lengths to find the perfect shade of blush pink for the dressing rooms in Emilia Wickstead’s boutique.she believes that the colour has brought her good luck and sees it as integral to her brand. It’s a good shade for dressing rooms, too, as it flatters all skin tones. Conversely, a favourite technique of mine is to paint a room in a dark colour – this way your eyes lose the edges of the space and it appears larger. The process of picking a hue should be complex: you need to consider its symbolism in relation to your home in order to use it to full effect. I couldn’t choose a favourite colour – it would be like picking a favourite musical note.