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Found: Vintage David Hicks on Decoration

               Being one of the most basic elements of decoration, fabrics can completely change 
               and create the atmosphere of a room. The choice of design, colour, and texture in 
               fabrics is what makes a room attractive or boring, simple or grand, a room of today
               or a traditional room. Nondescript rooms and furniture can be changed in a flash by
               using the right stuff for the curtains and furniture.
                                                                                                                                            –David Hicks

As if you don’t already know, I spend a great deal of my free time searching out any and every thrift/antique store I can find looking for my next greatest treasure.  It’s funny how these things give me joy–beautiful relics from a long ago heyday that are just searching for a new home in an updated context. I rarely dig through booths that house books, but last week at an antique store I did and came across something that was clearly meant for me–a 1st edition copy of David Hicks on Decoration for only $15 PLUS half off!

This book is one of 11 in a series that the iconic designer wrote to illustrate the design ideals he utilized in commercial and residential spaces. The “Hicks On” series included the titles Gardening, Kitchens, Bathrooms, and Living with Taste, where he first claimed credit for the tablescape. David Hicks on decoration-with fabrics is the 3rd in this series.

                                                                       via Matters of Style

If you do a bit of Googling, you’ll find that many of these books are very hard to come by. It’s not uncommon for prices of some of the more rare titles to start around $300 (like David Hicks on Decoration), so if you happen to see one of these in one of your shopping excursions, snatch it up–you’ll be glad you did. Now here’s a peek at some of the design magic….

Don’t you love how so many of the designs are still relevant today? That first picture looks like it came straight out of Domino! Miles Redd may have brought back the lacquered walls, but thank God the carpet enclosed bathtub went out of style! 
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13 Comments on Found: Vintage David Hicks on Decoration

  1. Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle
    February 24, 2011 at 9:35 am (6 years ago)

    As I was looking at the images I was thinking exactly what you said in your last paragraph, the designs still look fresh. Great find.

    Reply
  2. Dayka (Life +Style)
    February 24, 2011 at 9:40 am (6 years ago)

    Thanks, Karen! One of my favorite things to collect is old design books because I love pouring over the books to see the way things have (or have not) changed. David Hicks was truly a master–90% of the book is still so relevant!

    Reply
  3. Danielle
    February 24, 2011 at 10:32 am (6 years ago)

    So lucky…what a great find! And definitely the carpet covered bathroom is better left in the past. Just imagine how much mold got under that…yuck! And thanks for inspiring me to check out the book section in my local vintage/salvation shops. I can’t believe I never thought of it before.

    Reply
  4. Niki McNeill
    February 24, 2011 at 11:30 am (6 years ago)

    Great find!!! And the covers of that book series are gorgeous, you could frame them – seriously!

    Reply
  5. Mimi
    February 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm (6 years ago)

    Wow! I am no designer but like you said some of the looks are very similar to more current ones.

    I still want to know who in the past thought it was a good thing to put carpet in bathrooms, and who thought it a good idea back in the day to cover hardwoods with carpet. I am guessing those are two design #fails that will never make their rounds again!

    Reply
  6. Danika Herrick
    February 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm (6 years ago)

    I love this book. I actually have it on loan from the library right now!
    What a great score!
    -Danika

    Reply
  7. Kristen
    February 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm (6 years ago)

    hahaha…the carpet enclosed bathtub cracks me up 🙂

    Reply
  8. Erika at BluLabel Bungalow
    February 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm (6 years ago)

    what a find! knowing you, I’m willing to bet you’ll find the others during your thrifting adventures!

    Reply
  9. AB HOME Interiors
    February 25, 2011 at 10:47 pm (6 years ago)

    Yes the designs are still so current looking! AH-mazing!!

    Reply
  10. Mr. Goodwill Hunting
    February 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm (6 years ago)

    I really like the cover. Imagine the front of that book on a pillow.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

    Reply
  11. Sharstin
    February 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm (6 years ago)

    what a great find! and i totally agree–the design is still fresh and current! love the cover too! happy weekend girly~

    Reply
  12. Tracy
    February 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm (6 years ago)

    That first picture with the over-powering green about did me in. 😉

    I like the 3rd pix of the cooling brown tub much better though.

    Reply
  13. Andrew hing
    December 17, 2013 at 8:39 am (3 years ago)

    Dayka,

    Wonder if you can help. I have a couple of books by David Hicks (including the On Decoration that you refer to).

    It’s my grandmother’s old collection and I want to establish what to get rid of for nothing and what not too! Any help on this would be brilliant!

    Thanks,

    Andrew

    Reply

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