Ask Ashley Hicks if he draws inspiration from the work of his late father, the renowned interior designer David Hicks, and he replies in the affirmative – while adding that he also distances himself in favour of earlier historical references. “I like to think my designs have great individuality as a result of a whole variety of influences,” he says. Clients generally arrive by word of mouth and “rely on me for ideas”.
The site-specific pieces are hand-crafted by a number of workshops – except for cast-bronze handles (second picture) and cast-metal legs whose original moulds Hicks makes himself, “often on the kitchen table”. Hicks, who has tackled interiors as varied as a villa in Turin, a cottage in Ireland, a Belgravia apartment and a Victorian artist’s studio in Kensington, says: “Everything is designed and made for the room where it will be used and it’s this variety that I enjoy so much.”
A pair of oversized sofas (from around £5,000 each) for a Regency house in Devon were given fabric-wrapped legs and feather-wrapped cushions covered in a GP&J Baker print from the David Hicks by Ashley Hicks collection. For a Mayfair penthouse, he designed a cabinet in sand-blasted oak and cream lacquer (from around £11,500) to house a collection of Chinese porcelain. And for a well-travelled client based in south-west London, he came up with a rectangular dining table whose surface is inlaid with a map of the world (£3,995).
Commissions often multiply at the same property: a dining table with a black oak top and gilded steel base (from around £8,500) ordered for a west London house was followed by a request for a cupboard decorated with brass nail-heads (from around £6,000). Non-bespoke furniture, meanwhile, includes the elegant Sabre desk (third picture, £2,900), X-frame leather ottoman (first picture, from £2,400) and Egyptian-inspired Drum table (from £935); non-bespoke pieces can also be customised.