Designers Who Inspire Me: David Hicks

April 29th, 2013 | by Christopher Kennedy | Comments

Long before we were “Living” with Martha Stewart, or learning how to “Color Splash” with David Bromstad… and decades prior to us tuning into Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators Mary McDonald and Martyn Lawrence-Bullard — there was David Nightengale Hicks.

Hicks definitely thought outside the box, creating fabulous spaces for the Jet Set of his day, including Helena Rubenstein, the Prince of Wales, and Vidal Sassoon.  During the 1960s and 1970s, his colorful interiors and elaborate, graphic patterns were the rage among Britain’s A-list. He brought celebrity status to the design profession – establishing himself as an international tastemaker.

Photo Courtesy of











Photos: Courtesy of the David Hicks Estate









His adventurous color combinations, bold use of geometric patterns, and his avante garde mixture of textures and materials were the epitome of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ scene.

Master of Branding: David Hicks Book Cover, His Hexagonal Wallpaper, Room Design (Photo Courtesy of David Hicks Estate)









Handsome and aristocratic, the uber-confident Hicks founded his empire by taking on high profile decorating projects including a yacht for King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and a nightclub on the QE2 ocean liner. He developed his own line of home goods, and published a series of books on design and living well. He was a marketing master who became an enduring brand unto himself.


Photo Courtesy of the Estate of David Hicks

Hicks found inspiration everywhere. He looked at everything around him through his designer eyes. I’ve heard tell his love of brown walls came after throwing a glass of Coke at a wall during a heated conversation. He then painted the wall to match the cola stain.


“He designed everything around him, including my mother’s hair and a client’s nose,” his daughter India recalled in a recent interview. “This client came to him and said he wanted help with a room. My father told him that he needed help with his nose. Every single thing was about design.”


Photo Courtesy of the Estate of David Hicks











”My greatest contribution as an interior designer has been to show people how to use bold color mixtures, how to use patterned carpets, how to light rooms and how to mix old with new,” he wrote in ”David Hicks on Living — with Taste” (1968).




Hicks-inspired art installation at my remodel of the original Palm Springs home of Liberace. Photo: J. Rockwell Seebach.







Yes. David Hicks has influenced me…in my design aesthetic, my business model and my overall philosophy that inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere. I doubt I would ever tell a client that they need a nose job — but I might very well recognize the perfect custom wall color by first seeing it in a toppled beverage.



ABOUT THIS BLOGGER:  Christopher Kennedy is an award-winning, international designer, whose work has captured the attention of leading publications such as Architectural Digest, Luxe Magazine, Dwell, California Home & Design, and Elle Decor. Now, part of the Desert Sun’s Desert Design Authority, Christopher shares his expertise on style, interior design, and home furnishings.

Based in Palm Springs and Los Angeles, Christopher is best known for his clean, modern aesthetic. His design projects currently include luxury desert escapes, homes in the Hollywood Hills, lofts in New York City, and waterfront properties from British Columbia to Laguna Beach.  His eponymous furniture line is available in showrooms in Palm Desert, Los Angeles, and Denver.  Locally, his Palm Springs candle line is available at Paul Kaplan at Raymond Lawrence, Palm Springs. View his complete portfolio online at


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