Design  Stories

Take Five with Annabelle Hickson

As part of our ‘Take Five’ series, we were recently lucky enough to chat with Annabelle Hickson. We have been long time followers of Annabelle’s, from scrolling through her beautifully curated Instagram feed to listening to her podcasts (all things related to cooking, gardening, reading, travel and female friendship) and we can’t wait to read her first book which is in the final throws of being finished and scheduled to be released next year. We sat down and found out more about Annabelle, how she describes herself and who inspires her.

Tell us a little bit about your background – what path led you to what you’re doing now? 

I’m a bit of a jack of all trades (and I’m paranoid about being a master of none so let’s get this question out of the way as quickly as possible). I’m a freelance writer and photographer. I’m about to publish a book on flower arranging early next year and I have a podcast with a friend called Dispatch to a Friend which is all about writing letters and cooking and gardening and friendship. And I’m married to a farmer – we live on a pecan farm with our kids – and I’m very interested in rural life, and how it differs from my Sydney roots.

Who inspires you inside & outside the design world?

I love to read – writers like Anne Lamott, David Sedaris, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Nikki Gemmel are some of my favourites – I take great inspiration from them, mainly because they make life feel not entirely hopeless. Life is simultaneously beautiful and hopeless isn’t it, so it is always good to tip the balance towards the beautiful. Inside the design world, I adore Nicola Lawrence who sells the most beautiful collection of wallpapers and fabrics. I love the interiors travelling couple Tara Mangini and Percy Bright create, under the name of Jersey Ice Cream Co. And Aussie photographer Luisa Brimble always makes me want to be a kinder, more driven person. On the floral front, I love what Loose Leaf does, particularly their public floral installations. They are breathtaking.

Which other Australian designers, artists, brands or creatives are you loving at the moment? 

A friend suggested I pop into the Assembly Store when I was visiting in the city and I just about fainted. Gorgeous t-shirts, linens, jeans, swimmers, all at very reasonable prices. I would happily wear Assembly all day every day. With a bit of Jac + Jack and Lee Matthews thrown in too. I love Pop and Scott’s giant paper lanterns and dreamer couches and Hale Mercantile dusty pink linen sheets. And I am not just saying this because I am talking to you guys at Hale. I genuinely adore your linen.

What would be your dream creative project? 

I would love to do more public floral installations. In particular, I’d love to create a huge cotton installation down the main street of a rural town in a cotton growing area to celebrate harvest.

We’re assuming spring is a favourite season for you, given your work, although we will ask the question.. What is your favourite season and why? 

Spring is lovely, but it means summer is not far away, which makes me shake with fear. I am not made for hot climates and where I live does get very hot. I’m more of an autumn girl, so much to pick and to eat. And there is nothing better than the sound of a crunchy autumn leaf underfoot.


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