According to son Ashley Hicks, one of David Hicks' favorite design tricks was to outline the edges and corners of a room with a contrasting braid or paper (Hicks also liked to apply similar borders on window treatments and upholstered furniture too). The effect is one that is bold and graphic- it visually reinforces the shape of the room. Ruthie Sommers used a similar idea in a room she designed for her husband (above). Wanting to make the room look like it was "tied up like a package", Sommers chose a Hicks style paper for the walls and painted a dark, wide border around the edges of the walls. What intrigued me most about this decorating "device" (to use the words of Ashley Hicks) is that it was used in the former royal palace Kew Palace (England) during the late 18th/ early 19th c. In Princess Elizabeth's room (below), the walls are covered in a green verditer wallpaper, and a Greek key border outlines each wall. How interesting to see this type of decoration used in a historical home, in a mod sixties room, and in a 21st c. California home.
A graphic room designed by David Hicks
Another Hicks designed room; the walls are covered in a blue woolen fabric and the outline is achieved using black braid.
Princess Elizabeth's bedroom at Kew Palace
(Photo at top of Ruthie Sommers' Santa Monica home; courtesy of Cottage Living)