Dressed, when we meet, in a lilac cardigan and plum skirt, with fingernails the shade of black tulips, there’s no doubting Allegra Hicks’s assertion that she is seriously in touch with colour’, or that the interiors she undertakes (on a strictly one-at-a-time basis) wall be sophisticated, thoughtful, brave. She’s best known for the spidery and geometric designs which race across her limited-edition rugs at Christopher Farr and which cluster in small scale in her fabric collection, Allegra Hicks. And there’s no getting away from the fame of being married to furniture designer, Ashley Hicks, son of the late David Hicks. Her style is the fruit of a formidable training: graphic and industrial design in Milan, trompeToeil painting in Brussels, drawing at The Parson’s School of Design in New York and antiques at Sotheby’s in London. Yet she has a refreshing take on decorating, combining practicality with a psychological approach that is aeons away from mere fabrics and paints. It is irrelevant whether clients love blue or red, it is the way they live that really matters,’ she says. Not a day goes by without Allegra drawing something: It keeps my vocabulary alive.
The alphabet is always the same, it has just been used to make other words.’ Allegra Hicks Designs, G2 The Old Imperial Laundry, Gate 2, 71 Warriner Gardens, SW11 (tel: 0171-720 3669). An exhibition of her rugs continues until May 22, at Christopher Farr, 212 Westbourne Grove, Wll (tel: 0171-792 5761) The kitchen should be part of daily life, particularly if you have children, Living room decorating tips so make it comfortable, not clinical. And if you don’t have formal dinner parties, don’t waste space on a separate dining room; combine it with the kitchen. It’s a good rule to treat a kitchen or a bathroom as you would the sitting room, including antiques, paintings, music, and so on. When you’re working with pattern, choose all the fabrics together. If you are a little unsure, stick to small repeat patterns where the contrast is not so strong. Smaller repeats are better on sofas, because huge designs can become overpowering, particularly in smaller rooms, and I believe that sofas are to be used, not enhanced.