Design Experts
Jul 13, 2011

Inside design: Allegra Hicks

By: Tamara Robbins Griffith

Inside design: Allegra Hicks Author: Style At Home

Design Experts
Jul 13, 2011

Inside design: Allegra Hicks

By: Tamara Robbins Griffith

Allegra Hicks is a textile genius whose trademark style has made her an influential tastemaker. Her creativity and business savvy have helped her conquer the worlds of both interior design and fashion – and the results are nothing short of stunning.

Textile-Whisperer-Final-Medium.jpgStyle at Home: Tell us about your decorating ground rules.
Allegra Hicks: Textiles are important, especially in Canada, where the summer season is short. Soft, textural elements like rugs, throws and window dressings make a home inviting and give it interest.

S@H: What’s the most important element when decorating a room?

AH: Lighting, and it should always be planned in advance. Different rooms have different lighting demands. Whether you’re cooking in the kitchen or relaxing in the bedroom, lighting really shapes a room in terms of both mood and functionality.

S@H: Describe the perfect room.

AH: There’s no such thing as the perfect room, but to create the best room, the first thing you should ask yourself is: What do you want to get out of the space? It’s necessary to establish how you live before making decisions about decor. For example, if you eat out at restaurants all the time, why create a big kitchen? The best room is one where functionality and creativity live in harmony.

S@H: How important are accessories in terms of finishing a room?

AH: Accessories make a room feel lived in. Every room needs a personal touch, and those touches are even more special when they’re meaningful gifts from friends. One of my favourites is a Tom Dixon mask that was a birthday present from him.

Textile-London.jpg
S@H: You grew up in Italy, studied in Europe, moved to New York to start your career, and now live in London - what a whirlwind! Is there one place in particular that inspires you the most?
AH: Everywhere I’ve been has inspired me - it just depends on the stage of life I’m in. When I moved to New York at 21, it was a fast-paced world of opportunity and excitement. In London, everything’s so eclectic. There are no rules and you can get away with anything - you could walk down the street naked and nobody would look twice!

Textile-Whisperer-Travel-LARGE.jpg S@H: How do the worlds of fashion and home decor relate?
AH:
They’re both about knowing yourself and being comfortable in your own skin. When you feel relaxed and confident about what you’re wearing, you look good. The same rule applies to the home. Don’t try too hard. If you can feel relaxed and comfortable in your space – and it reflects you – then it’ll be a success!

Textiles-WFinal.jpg
CUSHION COVERS (Clockwise from top left): Embroidered Wave, $34; Embroidered Palm Leaf, $29; Flower Hemp, $29; Embroidered Wave, $34; Sounds Hemp, $24; Flower Hemp, $29; West Elm.

S@H: What drew you to collaborate with West Elm on your new collection (available this fall)?
AH:
I truly believe that home design should be accessible and affordable – and West Elm already does that so well!

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Inside design: Allegra Hicks