Hicks Tops Kelly’s Tricks

Mr. Blandings, on several occassions, has had to remind me that I’m not always right. I do think eldest girls come by this a bit naturally and I’m sure my sister would agree.

But when we played the dining room curtain game, a few folks were concerned that the brown and white and yellow were a little bit trendy. Maybe so-five-minutes ago. A particular L.A. designer’s name might have been mentioned.


So, it’s not so much that I need to be right, as much as I need to clarify the vision. While I was looking for Mr. Britt’s beach house night before last (I must get my tear sheets organized!) I ran across this David Hicks layout from House Beautiful, March 1998.

Hollywood Regency was not on my radar screen when the concept was born. David Hicks and Mark Hampton sat down at the table of my imagination and dreamed it up. Of course, I wish I could edit like this. Every piece a sculptural statement.

Hicks had taken a break from decorating and had been working on garden design. This was a re-design or his home in Albany.

He wanted to make a statement, “Bold, stark, disciplined.” I have tried to make that statement on occassion and it often just looks like I don’t have any stuff. Cold, bare, boring.

I need a pair of something flanking the bay. I’m not sure it’s gilded eagle console tables, but maybe. I dig this room so much I can barely stop looking at in. The purple trips me up a bit, but he is design royalty after all.

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15 thoughts on “Hicks Tops Kelly’s Tricks

  1. love it – it has a sort of brackish tint, a greenish cast which works lovely with that “aubergine” bergere.

    warm, sculptural and elegant.
    go with your gut.

  2. I think cold, bare, boring might be a step up from my current “kitschy, eclectic, cluttered” look I’m so going for (when the whole neoclassical playmobil effect isn’t dominating)

  3. Oh what a classic. This makes me want a dark brown room even more. And it perfectly illustrates your point.

    Also, the woman in question has always said Hicks is her design hero 🙂 So this all fits.

  4. Hicks was able to find such beautiful accesories -that miniature pyramid with the doorway is really spectacular! Why am I never able to find anything 1/2 as interesting! His homes were always full of them!

  5. LOVE!

    Several years ago I had my LR painted chocolate brown. I must say, it’s stunning. Aubergine as an accent never even crossed my mind. I went with, the much safer and expected, blue. There’s no going back, as I spent awful amounts of $$ on custom silk drapes – stripes with shades of brown, cream and blue. Thank God I still love them and really think I always will. Now, I’ll be keeping my eye open for an opportunity to add a bit of aubergine to the mix.

    Mrs. Blanding, you ROCK!

    By the way, I FINALLY subscribed. I don’t know what took me so long. The thought of more email in the inbox – please no. However, you are worth it!!!

  6. I love the brown walls! Always was my favorite color. Do you think something is wrong with an artist that loves brown????? Anyway, I feel the purple chair makes it. So unexpected and fresh. Go for it!

  7. Mrs B – Not to sound like a know it all, but the aubergine (which is always red rather than blue, it’s a fish knife thing) and yellow combination can be traced back to the 18th Century,

  8. It’s a beautiful room. The ornate gilded pieces keep it from being too masculine…which I think would be your challenge. Speaking of.. I saw some new Chinese knock offs of those chairs in an antique mall here and was torn over them. I was concerned about strength of their structure..the wings were obviously carved from wood that was pieced, not solid. But after seeing what could be done to them I think I’ll see if they are still there. Oh dear…you’ve started my wheels spinning. AND, this is important….They were heavy enough that my dog would not knock them over when she jumped up to the window…very rare indeed.

  9. Oh, heavens, I’ve been away all morning. I’m responding in one e:mail so that those of you who follow up won’t have 6 additional e:mails.

    P&G – I’m sure your home is fab – mine was early Little Tikes for a while. It does pass.

    Change – I think he shopped at Christopher Filley’s in KC! No, really, don’t forget, he inherited a lot of “stuff” from his very-U wife. (If you need a translation, see House of Beauty and Culture this week.)

    HoBC – I COUNT on you to be a know-it-all. I wait for it, fish for it, count on it. And am always so grateful when you follow through.

    Cricket – the LR sounds wonderful – aubergine will be just the thing.

    stljoie – it would be hard to pass up something that special -that holds up to the dogs as well! Good luck, it makes me want to go on the hunt this weekend.

  10. So fresh to see these images, I’m glad you posted about this! I don’t know what I would do with those swan chairs, but I feel like I need them for some reason.

    Have a great weekend!!

    ~Kate

  11. David Hicks is truly design royalty. You showed one of my all time favorite rooms that he did and more photos of his work. LOVE LOVE his stuff. Thank you for sharing Mrs. B! Your blog is lovely! I’m going to add you to my blogroll.

  12. I think your origanl instinct for your dining room is right on the money. If you have loved it for a long time and still do, you should do it! AND, who better to back you up than Hicks?! Thanks for the pictures. Wonderful post as usual.:)

  13. who doesn’t count mr. hicks as a design hero? he really could do no wrong! (even with purple).

    thanks for posting those pictures- i had never seen this room before, and it’s stunning.

    and of course, i look forward to your brown and white and yellow dining room. to the worried people who left comments on your dining color scheme, i would would advise that perhaps they need to worry less about what’s “five minutes ago” and more about following their hearts- anything that is truly loved will never, ever, be “five minutes ago”.

    thanks again for the post- the pictures are saved on my hard drive!

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