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David Hicks: A Life of Design Hardcover – October 20, 2009


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David Hicks: A Life of Design + Billy Baldwin: The Great American Decorator + Sister Parish: American Style
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Hicks book is THE book of the season."
—Stephen Drucker, Editor in Chief, House Beautiful

"[A] lavish illustrated survey of the renowned British decorator’s work by his son...plenty of dish on Hicks’s glamorous life and times..."
The New York Times Magazine
 
"[A]n elegant volume that showcases Hicks' power to conjure up an entirely new atmosphere and transform a space into an enchanting oasis. With 700 breath taking illustration this gorgeous book will be an instant classic…!"
—Le Petit Blog
 
"If you are a Hicks fan, or if you collect monographs of great designers, I think this book will be a worthy addition to your collection."
Peak of Chic
 
"If you can't get to Paris to experience David Hicks designs in person then I recommend the new book, David Hicks: A Life of Design by his son Ashley Hicks."
Habitually Chic 
 
"[A]n intimate portrait of the ultimate designer...a technicolor biography..."
Design New England

About the Author

Ashley Hicks is a designer of interiors, furniture, carpet, and fabric. He has designed private homes in the U.K., New York, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as retail stores for his wife, Allegra Hicks, in London and New York. He lives in London.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (October 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847833305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847833306
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 1.4 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Carlos Raffo on October 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is more about Hick's life than about his work or style. I am glad I bought it, but expected more: better glossier pictures, bigger pictures instead of so many small ones....I guess it's a book a son would write about the father he admires, but as a reader, I am not interested in his marriage, his private life, etc. For that I could buy a biography. I expected more about his work, better pictures, less about his life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kate Rees on August 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This a beautiful book on several levels. Ashley Hicks has provided an unsentimental and insightful overview of his father's career and masterfully edited a lifetime of designing and jetsetting into one gloriously rich weighty tome.
The book is layered with personal fragments of Hick's life...family phtographs, cherished heirlooms and notes from his sketchbooks. It really is an intensely readable combination of biography/design history.
Predictably, there are several previously published examples of his work (notably, from "Living with Design"), but this in no way diminishes the relevance of what is on offer here. For anyone interested in this great designer, this book is a must.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Danvers on March 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Good photographs and a good balance of writting/illustrations. The Hicks bible. Amazing how his interiors still look modern. A visionary whose work is wonderful to see. Amazing use of colour and beautiful examples of "tablescapes" from the man who invented the word. Many ideas which may be copied, such as the black trimming on an orange hallway (yes, it sounds daring, but it looks great!) and the "fake" canopied beds made by putting curtain railings on the ceiling. If you must buy one decoration book, do buy this one, you will not be dissappointed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
David Hicks (1929 - 1998) may be one of the most celebrated British designers of the last century. Indeed at the time of his death the press described his 'relentlessly organized, color-clashing home interiors as the acme of jet-set chic in the 1960's, known for his love of graphic color combinations as well as for a temperament that veered between disarming charm and apoplectic rage. Mr. Hicks was the most famous decorator of his day. Late in life he became celebrated for designing geometrically precise gardens.' All of this is documented in this rather hefty book written by his son Ashley Hicks and the history of Hicks' life and career are supplemented with countless full color photographs of his best rooms and homes and gardens.

What is immediately appealing about the design of David Hicks is his intensely creative placement of objets d'art in perfect alignment with the chosen colors of his walls and the configuration of his rooms. There is a wild assortment of bits of stone statues, geometric forms of all types, works of art in the form of paintings or drawings, and substantial reliquaries for the placement of either bits of found work or branches or flowers. He juxtaposed colors form all the wrong portions of the color wheel to an effect that is at first jarring and then with repeated viewing perfectly balanced with the space he designed. His eye discovered art in a new way and he elected to share art by focusing his interiors (and exterior gardens) with contrasting elements that made each work seem even more important. David Hicks managed to walk that tightrope between art and design and did so with aplomb. Another fascinating book from Rizzoli. Grady Harp, April 10
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer J. Doyle on November 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
many thanks to his wonderful son for writing this book. so much information. just about the best book in a long time
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Ray on August 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a BIG beautifully illustrated book, with lots of text making a good read. The story is amazing. Although I was very familiar with the main points of David Hicks life (interested in both design and the Mountbattens) it was like reading a good analytical biography. The hubris, humiliation, triumph and trial are all here- and unvarnished, give or take some romantic escapades.
It also has LOTS of pictures and descriptions of interiors, gardens, designs. When compared to the recent Mark Hampton book, which is very good, this one had just as many pictures, and just as much analysis of design, but with a much fuller story.
There are some small illustrations right through, but in every one of the eight sections there are several glossy mag full pages of illustration.
I was going to give it four stars, because the type font makes the text a bit difficult to read, and the captions even more so. When I was griping about this, my non-design spouse pointed out that the choice might have been between size of picture and the size and quantity of text. So five stars.
(Slight warning: if you have several of Hicks design books, you'll find some replication of photographs.)
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