Whether he is developing an extraordinary creation for a restaurant, hotel, or residential home, Australian and Los Angeles interior designer, David Hicks always ensures that his designs are modern yet timeless with the highest of quality. Since finding David Hicks, an internationally acclaimed interior, building, and garden design studio in 2002, David has traveled all over the world. He is often requested for speaking at events and has even served as a judge on the Australian interior design show Home Made.
We had the privilege of interviewing David on one of his gorgeous projects that we just had to find out more about! Enjoy as David takes us through a home tour of the stunning and elegant Toorak Residence.
1. David, before attending the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to study Interior Design, what inspired you to become an interior designer?
I have always been fascinated with built form. At first, it was just architecture since I did not know there was such a thing as an interior designer when I was young. I used to go to open houses with my parents and take the sale brochure with the floor plan on it. When I would get home, i would re-design the house. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be involved in architecture. When I was a little older and finishing high school, I learned about interior design. This appealed to me because the projects are of shorter duration in comparison to architecture and you can move on from one project to the next much quicker. My inspiration came from me- I knew that this is what I wanted to do.
2. Wow, your interest developed at a very early age. Now after all these years, what is the one thing you love about being an interior designer that drives your work?
I love the constant evolution of interior design. As a designer, I tend to hone my craft as the years go on. I get better with detail, better with my eye, and better with trusting my instinct. i love this constant shaping of myself through design. I also love the new materials that become available. I also always get excited when a project is finished and photographed. The finished images just make me so happy.
3. Your photographs definitely caught our eye! Your finished projects are always beautiful. In regards to the stunning Toorak Residence, can you give us some specifics on the location and client?
This house is located in a leafy affluent suburb in Melbourne, Australia. The house was a new build for a single middle-aged client of ours. They wanted a spacious home but did not want it to feel rambling.
4) How many rooms are there is this house?
This house consists of :
entry vestibule, study, master bedroom with en suite, two additional bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, powder room, living/dining space and kitchen area, which all surround an internal courtyard with a swimming pool. Below is a large garage which is accessed from the rear lane.
5. Sounds very spacious! What was the client looking for when you were asked to design this home?
The client wanted a modern home but one that would sit well in its surroundings. they did not want ultra modern but something with a little nostalgia. As I am very interested in modernist design, we kept the lines of the house very simple and added just a touch of moulding to the top to give it some character. This touch makes the house look established. Along with the custom designed entry gates and front doors, the detail hints to a past era. I love to insert a little bit of old world glamour and charm into my design work. This makes it somewhat timeless.
6. What unique furnishings did you incorporate into the living room?
As with most of our projects, we do not just design the house, we also complete the look with the entire interior. I love sourcing unusual and collectible pieces and combining them with custom made pieces from the David Hicks range, such as the sofa and the slipper chairs. The glass vase was found on a trip to Paris. It is vintage lalique and is very rare – and heavy. The mirror was found at an antique dealer’s showroom in London. I love to mix pieces from around the world as it gives a personal educated look to the house.
7. What inspired you to use animal print throws in the foyer leading to the outdoor patio?
I love a bit of animal print. This piece was actually owned by the client. It is a vintage piece that we had refurbished and backed in felt. It creates glamour and intrigue for the entry vestibule. it is like a piece of artwork.
8. The animal print is such a trendy touch. Can you describe the kitchen design, along with the unique tree branch décor?
The kitchen is heavily detailed and streamlined like most of our projects. The cabinets are made from bleached veneer and the backsplash to the rear bench is opaque glass to allow light to penetrate the space. The island bench is a sleek marble cube that forms a center piece and anchor for the space. The floral display is a collection of blossom tree branches that are arranged in a glass vase.
9) Moving on to the foyer, what influenced you to choose the unique wall art?
This piece is by a renowned Australian artist and is a contemporary landscape. The vibrant color and subject matter of this artwork is a striking contrast to the neutral tones of the house. This painting faces the internal courtyard of the house to provide a beautiful backdrop when looking into the house.
The painting on the left hand side is a portrait of the owner’s father, which is why it was incorporated into the design of the home.
10) The personal touch is fantastic and meaningful. Lastly, what do you think makes you stand out as a designer amongst others?
I believe in looking at design as a wholistic endeavor. as we undertake architecture, interiors and landscape design, the end product of a David Hicks design is very considered. When considering decoration projects, the use of international suppliers and products adds charm and sophistication that is hard to copy. This is why I like to source individual pieces for my clients and layer it into the design. Most architects or designers just stick to the one thing and mesh it all together. I believe this is what makes me stand out, especially in the U.S. where traditionally this approach is not undertaken. Since opening our studio in L.A., we have had huge interest in the David Hicks aesthetic as it is somewhat different and fresh.
Thank you to David Hicks for taking the time to give us an in-depth tour of just one of his exquisite projects!
Love David Hicks’ designs? Then check out his other wonderful portfolios and add some of his photos to your Faves today!