David Hicks’s Advice: Cluster Similar Colors Together
What he said: “There are a set of loose rules, which when applied to colour cannot fail.… All reds go together, all pinks go together, just as all blues, greens, yellows, browns and all grays do," said David Hicks (1929-1998), in David Hicks on Decoration (1966). A decorator whose clients included Vidal Sassoon and Prince Charles, Hicks was known for pairing antiques with modern pieces. An upholstered Louis XVI chair would look right at home next to a Lucite table in one of his rooms.
Why it works: Colors from a single family blend effortlessly without being matchy-matchy. Pick a color you love and stick with its variations. If you like green, for example, paint walls and choose curtains in a rich khaki. Punch up the palette with a brighter sofa. Accessorize with a lime green patterned rug, botanical prints featuring different shades of green and brown, and a yellow green throw.
More of His Advice:
- On using color: “The only way to learn…is to study colour combinations used by great masters like Matisse…(and) to see how dress designers noted for their flair for colour―like Cardin and Quant―use it. Look at the colour in movies. Look at it in musicals, absorb the way opera and ballet costume designers use it. Most big stores have window displays that use colour amazingly well.”
- On collections: “If you are a collector of objects, like decorative eggs, beautifully shaped pebbles, snuffboxes―whatever it is―mass them together on one table. They look so much better grouped than dotted around the room.”