He’s credited with defining modern Australian luxury, but there’s more than a hint of old Europe about David Hicks’ South Yarra apartment.
With windows framing the dome of the Melbourne Synagogue and wall-to-wall marble floors, the multi-award-winning interior designer’s 280-square-metre penthouse is a perfect showcase of his skill in layering antique and modern.
“It is kind of an evolving space,” says David, whose most recent major project involved designing apartments, communal areas, a hotel-like lobby and the swimming pool of Gurner’s $150 million Albert Place development.
“It changes quite frequently in terms of furniture. I wouldn’t necessarily do this for a client because they have family or other people to consider, but for me I can basically do what I want.”
The overall effect is at once sumptuous and minimalist. “My idea of luxury is space, especially nowadays when it is becoming such a premium,” David says.
Intimate – A Private World of Interiors by David Hicks is available in bookstores or order from davidhicks.com
David’s favourite things:
This Grotto chair is an example of a movement in furniture design started in Venice. They made furniture to look like it had been submerged underwater. You can still see little glints of the silver gilt which originally covered it, giving you an idea of the age of the chair.
I am a fan of Dale Frank. I love his use of the paint in this one (Emphysema feathered his appetites 2013). The matt, and the gloss and the seemingly random swirling of colour in black. I love that dichotomy between the recklessness and the controlled.
The shape of this Clement Meadmore maquette (Rune 1995) is beautiful. I love the simplicity, but also the complexity of making that shape out of metal. It looks quite random and haphazard, but a lot of thought has gone into it.
These lamps are Rostrato or Italian pinched glass. They look so crazy and haphazard, but have taken a long time to create because every bit has been pulled by hand while they are blowing the glass. They are really sculptural pieces and not so great for reading.
I designed this cabinet to look like what you might find in French pharmacy in the 30s or 40s. I collect men’s perfumes because I like the textures and shapes of the bottles. You can get a lot of inspiration, I think, from this kind of design.
Charlie and Jett are Tibetan spaniels or temple dogs. They are very loyal and loving but they also bark and protect. They are big dog personalities in a small dog. They are said to be the most catlike dog and like to sit up high, like on the back of the sofa.
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