We are constantly inspired by the work of creative women working within the field of home design, and when those design professionals are also moms, we are floored by their dedication to both their work and their children. To celebrate Mother's Day this year, we asked some of our favorite design industry professionals to tell us how being mothers has also inspired their work. Keep reading to see how moms like Kathryn Ireland, India Hicks, Cat Seto, Tamara Kaye-Honey, and many more find balance, inspiration, and humor in their lives as designing moms.
You don't need to live on an island to covet India Hicks's earthy yet sophisticated aesthetic. The entrepreneur and style icon lives with her family in Harbour Island — a tropical paradise in the Caribbean — that never ceases to inspire her. She recently opened her doors for a Pottery Barn catalogue shoot and interview, dishing on everything from color obsessions to office essentials. Keep reading to discover the five design ideas we can't stop thinking about!
- Adopt a subtle island aesthetic
- Display your collections
- Add color with unexpected items
- Liven up your office (literally)
- Choose a sofa that matches your lifestyle
Island decor isn't just about pineapple motifs and mosquito netting. In her home, India swapped out harsher materials like glass, tile, and cement for earthier wood, paper, and straw to create a softer foundation.
India relied on a collection of straw hats to add personality and texture to her office. "We call them our lending library, and whenever we have guests come and stay, we have a shelf where these hats live in among our library. And the guests will help themselves to one and wear them while they're here," she says.
To create visual interest in a room of creamy neutrals, India pays attention to smaller details. "I'm a huge scrapbook person," she says. By using red Smythson albums to contain her scrapbooking projects, she's able to display them in a way that makes a bold color statement.
With a work schedule that sometimes requires spending 12 hours in her office, India stays connected to the outdoors by making sure there are always fresh flowers or foliage in the space. Her go-tos? A vase of bright bougainvillea or a green palm frond.
India relies on Pottery Barn sofas that can easily be reupholstered. "You need very practical pieces of furniture that can be reupholstered very easily. They're very useful for people who have a lot of dogs and children and a thoroughfare of activity, and that's very much the way we live our lives," she says.
Check out Pottery Barn's Inside & Out blog for the interview and even more pictures of her home!
India Hicks leads a fabulous life. The daughter of famed interior designer David Nightingale Hicks and British aristocrat Lady Pamela Mountbatten grew up in London around a family that valued culture, art, and everything design-related. Fun fact: India was a bridesmaid in Princess Diana's wedding. Amazing, right?
At 17 years old, she became a model for Emilio Pucci in Italy and shortly thereafter moved to New York to model for Ralph Lauren, among other designers. But what really defines her is her life in the Bahamas with her five children and longtime partner.
India told us, "Obviously we have the royalty, heritage side of my family, we have my father and his geometrics and his great, extraordinary use of color, and then we have my island life, which is my life that I’ve done, and I’m not the daughter or goddaughter of anybody. In saying that, it would be ridiculous not to refer back to my father and his work if I was doing design in some way."
We were so excited to sit down with India to talk about her newly debuted fine-jewelry collections called Love Letters, Hicks on Hicks, and Island Life.
A Bahamian-dwelling and -bred design enthusiast, India Hicks shared some easy pointers for capturing island style — regardless of where you live. If you're not planning an island escape anytime soon, then embrace the aesthetic at home by following India's foolproof steps.
- Bring the scent of the islands to your home.
The India Hicks Island Living collection at Crabtree & Evelyn includes indulgent tropical scents form the home. We're eyeing the rattan-wrapped Casuarina Scented Candle ($36) and the Casuarina Fragrance Diffuser ($70), inspired by casuarinas trees, palm leaves, orange blossoms, and sea air.
- Switch your sheets.
India suggests choosing airy colors like whites, creams, and pale grays. We're terribly tempted to try this Washed Linen Bedding ($75-$298).
- Collect palm fronds in a huge vase.
- Embrace mosquito netting.
India loves that they last longer than flowers and are incredibly affordable.
India insists that mosquito netting is an easy and affordable way to dress up your bed. She relies on styles from Bed Bath & Beyond, like this Siam White Bed Canopy ($30) option.
Source: India Hicks
I recently featured India Hicks's Harbor Island rental property, so when I came across an image of Ms. Hicks at her home in the Bahamas, I had to share its gorgeous Summer style with CasaSugar readers.
This workspace really works due to its mix of feminine and masculine elements. I love how the muscular campaign desk in Hicks's workspace anchors the room, while the wall, collaged with postcards, inspirational art clippings, and a curio box full of ocean souvenirs, adds a tropical femininity to the space.
To get the look, start with the biggest piece of furniture: the campaign desk. The desk will be the centerpiece of the room, so don't be afraid to splurge. I love this Rosewood and Leather Danish Campaign Desk ($3,200) from the early 1960s. For a contemporary option, try the Crate and Barrel Campaign Desk ($1,000).
For the rest of the look, read more
I recently caught a story about India Hicks in Coastal Living, and fell immediately in love with her beautiful island home. The laid-back, Bahamas lifestyle seems a perfect way to spend time with your family on a Summer vacation. Luckily, for those of us with the cash, we can rent out one of Ms. Hicks's properties on historic Harbour Island, Bahamas, which is lined with pink sand beaches and surrounded by tropical, turquoise waters.
One of the properties available for rent (for a cool $4,900 a week) is the Cricket Pavilion. This 2,000-square-foot, studio-style house boasts classical English architecture and a long, broad terrace, set back from the beach. Take a private path to reach the beach, where you can fish, scuba or snorkel, and take a dip in the gorgeous tropical waters. Around the house, you can relax in a hammock or in one of the thatched cabanas.
See more pictures of the house, and read about its interior when you click here
If you're not familiar with India Hicks, she was a famous model back in the '80s and '90s and she currently resides in the Bahamas. Ahh, island living. How amazing does that sound? You might also recognize her from her role as host of the interior design reality program, Top Design. (Check out Casa's interview with her here.)
Inspired by her serene home environment, Hicks is the founder of India Hicks Island Living Collection, sold through Crabtree & Evelyn. And recently, she's added to her home/natural body care line with India Hicks Island Night Collection, which aims to capture the feel of twilight on the islands. To see what I thought of the new Island Night Eau De Toilette ($50), read more
Three men (Preston, Eddie, and Nathan) and two women (Ondine and Andrea) remain on Top Design. Right off the bat, we are treated to more homesickness from Andrea (in case you forgot, which it is literally impossible to do if you watch the show regularly, she's Ricky Schroder's wife). As the episode begins, Andrea receives flowers and a love poem from her hubz, which she says makes her even more homesick. Many of you have been anti-Andrea, but I was actually starting to warm up to her. However, this display of adorableness has made me change my mind yet again. (And was it just me, or did Ondine seem a little sarcastic when she said she was thrilled to have met her?)
But on to the design challenge! Things started with a switcheroo, as the designers were asked to complete a pop design challenge before moving on to the main challenge. Using Jonathan Adler accessories, the designers styled the same sets of beige sofas. Eddie won immunity for the challenge (I did love his fern and floral table arrangement). Still, he continues to be a cheeky and, dare I say, rude, dude.
To see who won, and who had to leave, read more
If you've been reading my interviews, you know that I'm excited about this second season of Top Design, so I was pleased to tune in last night for the first episode. First off, I was surprised by the amount of star power in the contestant pool (well, for reality television at least), including one interior designer, Preston Lee, who I'd already featured on CasaSugar. Also in the mix was a Martha Stewart Living senior style editor (Eddie) and actor Ricky Schroder's wife (Andrea), among other talented contestants.
For the first challenge, the designers had to furnish an entire apartment in two days, with the designers divided into four teams, working on four loft space apartments for four-star clients.
To find out who the star clients were and to see photos from the episode, read more