We kick-off our Summer Decorating series with an interview of a woman who knows much about warm weather decor and style.
India Hicks is the daughter of famed interior designer David Hicks, second cousin to Prince Charles, ’80s fashion model for Ralph Lauren, host of Bravo TV’s Top Design, a hotel owner and fragrance creator of Crabtree & Eveyln’s Island Night & Island Living. British-born, she lives in the Caribbean full-time and has designed three guest homes plus a hotel with timeless look that depicts summertime living. India Hicks was visiting Canada last week and I had a chance to talk with her:
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What are the key decorating elements for creating a summer-style house that can last throughout the entire year?
Always try to bring elements of the outdoors to the inside of the house. Palm trees are key motifs for creating a summery Caribbean feel and are more dramatic than say, lots of brightly coloured flowers. Dark mahogany wood floors and a light cream/white colour scheme help add to the look.
Karl’s tip: Don’t mix too many different wood tones in one room; if choosing mahogany floors then also choose mahogany wood-toned furniture. Keep window treatments light and breezy; white linen draperies hung from dark wood curtain rods will help create a perfect summer look.
What is your favorite neutral paint colour?
My colour choices are always changing. Right now, I am surrounding myself with grey tones. I painted the floor of my porch grey and everyone thought I was crazy; it is very soothing and of the moment. Benjamin Moore’s Eternity (AF-695) is the perfect grey paint colour at this moment.
Karl’s tip: Don’t be afraid to paint just one room in your house all white (or a light neutral like grey). It can act as a cool getaway room from all the other rich colours throughout the rest of the house.
What is one must-have accessory we can add to our homes to create a summer look?
A Crabtree & Evelyn’s Island Living candle (she says with a proud smile). Its wrapped in a rattan storage box that can be used long after the candle has burnt away. I use the rattan boxes to keep pencils and brushes in my home office. You just don’t just get a beautiful accessory, you also get a fragrance for the home.
Karl’s tip: Make sure to choose the right type of scents throughout your home; cardamon, vanilla and orange work great in a bedroom; fresh citrus scents in a kitchen; floral scents in a living room or foyer and herbal scents in a dining area.
What would be an easy way to dress the inside of an unused fireplace during the summer months?
Gather some beautiful wood logs to display. I have six perfect logs that are displayed in the fireplace during the hot weather. They get put away when the fireplace becomes operable throughout the winter months.
Karl’s tip: Adding small bud vases amongst the logs during the summer months.