My spotlight on the essential mid-century decorator David Hicks continues with: Tablescapes. David Hicks not only did beautiful tablescape, he invented the word. He had a philosophy about tablescapes, and I adore it. Quoted in an interview in The Independent, he said:
My passion for arranging masses of things together is part of the way I see objects and use them. It not only looks mean, but is visually meaningless, to have one bottle of gin, one of whisky, a couple of tonic water and a soda syphon on a table in the living-room, even though that might be perfectly adequate for the needs of one evening’s entertainment.
It is perhaps I who have made tablescapes – objects arranged as landscapes on a horizontal surface – into an art form; indeed, I invented the word . . . What is important is not how valuable or inexpensive your objects are, but the care and feeling with which you arrange them. I once bought six inexpensive tin mugs in Ireland and arranged them on a chimneypiece to create an interesting effect in a room which otherwise lacked objects. They stood there in simple perfection.
How to learn to do this? Stare at photos, study and analyze them. Then practice a lot . Fortunately, we have nine more David Hicks tablescapes to help get the studying started — yes, “Simple Perfection” –>
I took an interior design class once. I learned, that when making tablescape, think “Tall, Fat & Flat”. One tall item, one fat item, one flat item. I think this David Hicks tablescape kind of exemplifies that thought — although he takes it one step further and makes the tablescape even more dimensional by ensuring the artwork on the wall is part of the scene. Really, the carpet, stool and chair are also part of the vignette.
Here, lots of tactile layering going on.
The blue lampshade gives this particular dimension. And the tall print adds height. Otherwise, this might be *just* a collection of teeny tiny stuff — clutter.
“Balanced asymmetry” is a mid-century modern concept, I think. Although, from feng shui *I think* I learned that the tallest piece should be to the left. Left Dragon, Right Tiger.
Dragon and Tiger are correct here. The fuzzie ferns soften this arrangement and otherwise prevent it from being a sea of porcelain. Three’s are good.
Notice here — as in the other examples — how David Hicks is very careful not to make his tablescapes a cacophony of color. He chooses one maybe two colors. Again, this kind of “focus” prevents things from looking cluttered.
This is so charming! This could EASILY be an interior promoted as ALL THE RAGE TODAY.
I do have to say, though: If you are going to have tablescapes like this, keep the swiffer cloths handy. Pretty pretty pretty — but dust magnets, all!
David Hicks’ later life portrait — with a gorgeous tablescape, of course. It sure seems like this man knew how to live well. Thanks to The Estate of David Hicks for the great photos.