Internationally renowned Australian interior design maverick David Hicks releases his first book, Intimate, this month – a compendium of his most fabulous designs from the past 15 years. With a unique aesthetic that has been described as ‘new luxury,’ there’s no denying that the designer has a particular talent for mixing antique finds with modern finishes and a particularly elegant look.
“I have a passion for mixing materials, styles and cultures, which has created a signature look that is broadly defined as eclectic and opulent, yet is also harmonious and refined,” he says. “I love architecture, interior design and decoration and often combine all three. They operate in synergy and form, or what I call my golden triangle. Weaving together these many strands, I curate highly individual spaces for my clients.”
“My appreciation for detail and understanding of how materials work together is something I consider a strength, especially when coupled with my vast knowledge of the decorative, antique and vintage periods.”
Eschewing trends, the designer prefers to create spaces that are tailored to his clients, and tell individual stories along the way. “Throughout the past 15 years in the industry, there have been a number of trends come and go. I wanted to use Intimate as a platform to showcase how every home that we work with tells a different story, from decadent marble and white, bright interiors to pops of vibrant colour and intricate antiques, no two homes are the same,” says David. A long-time fan of marble, he’ll continue to use it after the latest trend has faded.
“Obviously we are susceptible to the times and are inspired by our surrounds, but we are less likely to conform to temporary fads or phases. ”
And with art central to his work, David’s view of its place in interior design is an interesting one — he doesn’t use it as a decorative tool. “Artwork is very important but I don’t believe in art for art’s sake. We like to incorporate pieces that tell a story or have some type of pedigree to them, or sometimes purely because the client has an emotional attachment to them. We don’t use art as a decorative tool and don’t believe it should even necessarily match the interior. Art is a very personal thing and can add a great layer or depth to a space with the colour and texture it adds, or it can be a bold statement that incites conversation and interest,” says David.
As for his favourite projects, he likens them to children and finds it difficult to choose. “I don’t play favourites. I fall in love with every project we do. Every project has something to love, for instance we are currently building a house on the clifftop in Portsea, complete with a cantilevered rooftop and glass-sided pool. Or there is the large 1920’s home in Toorak we have just refurbished and decorated with pieces from all over the world – each are special in their own unique ways,” says David.
Photography: Ivan Terestchenko and Shannon McGrath
Intimate is published by Thames & Hudson and will available in all good book stores from later this month.