Modern Icons: The Fantastic Geometry of David Hicks

David Hicks was a mythical U.K. designer who designed everything out of the background in Richard Nixon’s bowling alley to the Prince of Wales’ flat in Windsor Castle (his daughter India was a bridesmaid in Charles and Diana’s wedding). When leafing through his designs, many of them look familiar. This is because he was a major influence on a lot of the most well-known designers. Back in the day, the juxtapositions he generated between bold geometric patterns and traditional classic pieces was rule-breaking and adventuresome. It’s currently the norm. Here’s a look at a number of his most favorite patterns that are still wildly popular.

You’ve seen this hexagonal patterned background around. The first time I saw it was in a Jonathan Adler-designed powder room (which bore a striking resemblance to a original Hicks toilet ). It packs a graphic punch and makes a fantastic first impression in an entryway. This entry has a distinctive eclectic style, with its Moroccan gold-leafed light fixture and Nelson Bench.

Splendid Willow

Here the exact same wallcovering functions with more traditional furniture in a really different entryway.

The pattern has a solid presence in a narrow powder room. Repeat and the scale work in a range of room sizes.

Lucy McLintic

The pattern appears calmer in this serene nursery, paired with plain blue paint, branch stickers and a zebra print rug. As this baby grows up, the room will take on a more mature look on account of the geometric background.


Hicks popularized a boomerang pattern such as the one found on this background.

La Fiorentina Fabric – $120

One of Hicks’ most popular prints, La Fiorentina, has experienced a recent resurgence that reveals no signs of waning. Its energetic geometry and scale functions well in a range of styles and colours.

Andrea Schumacher Interiors

Here it is in tan and white onto a large dining settee. The combo of the print with the more traditional and Asian-style pieces in the room is completely Hicksian.

Philpotts Interiors

This pattern fits nicely with a relaxed tropical fashion.

Tracery Interiors

La Fiorentina adds high drama to those long drapes.

Spinnaker Development

Additionally, it brings pattern to this neutral dining room via the dining chair seat upholstery.

Furbish Studio

18″ David Hicks Pillow in Wine/Magenta – $88

La Fiorentina becomes electric in this daring colorway. Should you do a search of”David Hicks” on Etsy, then you will find a ton of handmade pillows in this cloth, made by Lee Jofa.


David Hicks: Designer by Ashley Hicks

This publication, written by David’s son Ashley Hicks, is an excellent overview of Hicks’ life and work from someone who knows him really well.

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