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Fran Hickman podcast | The Case For Emotional Design |  Listen to more designers on LuxDeco's The Tastemakers podcast
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Podcast Ep 6: The Case For Emotional Design with Fran Hickman

The purveyor of fashion-forward interiors details her commitment to emotion-driven design

Jon Sharpe
By Jon Sharpe, Chief Creative Officer
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A prominent figure in the new wave of generation-defining British interior design talent, Fran Hickman is a name you either know or you should know. A House & Garden 100 and LuxDeco 100 honouree and the Elle Decoration British Interior Designer of the Year for 2019, Fran began her design career at Soho House. There she turned her hand to hotspots such as Babington House and Shoreditch House before stints at prestigious—and very different—studios Colefax and Fowler and Waldo Works. Since setting up her own studio in 2014, she’s been responsible for London’s Moda Operandi flagship store, a pop up for Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop as well as numerous other award winning residential, hospitality and retail projects.

Such a stellar portfolio is the result of Fran's unique approach to design. The creative advocates design storytelling: the power of design choices in telling one’s story—be that for a person or a brand—the beauty of creating the right feeling within that space and, ultimately, design’s ability to influence our personal narratives by changing how we act.

Listen in as LuxDeco Chief Creative Officer Jon Sharpe discusses emotional design, the power of storytelling and why feeling is just as important as form and function.


I think that for any idea to be truly appealing, it has to appeal to your heart as well as your head. You have to feel it.

Don’t miss

  • Where a good design story starts at 17:58
  • Fran’s unique take on the Form v. Function debate at 27:11
  • What home means to her at 34:15
  • And the Marmite piece in her home at 56:55
Fran Hickman | Chess Club private members club | Listen to LuxDeco's The Tastemakers wherever you get your podcast
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Fran's Emilia Wickstead store design

The designer opted for a modern, feminine touch for this London boutique store with an ever-deepening pink colour palette and pared back design choices.

Fran Hickman | Emilia Wickstead store | Listen to LuxDeco's The Tastemakers wherever you get your podcast
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Mirror Vivienne
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Mirror Vivienne
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Fran Hickman | Emilia Wickstead | Listen to LuxDeco's The Tastemakers wherever you get your podcast
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I personally design from the inside out rather than the outside in, because I feel like interiors are about that. They're about being inside something. So architects will design design from the outside in, interior designers design from the inside out, thinking about the person at the centre of that.

Fran Hickman | Emilia Wickstead | Listen to LuxDeco's The Tastemakers wherever you get your podcast
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Fran's Designs for Moda Operandi London flagship

Lauren Santo Domingo turned to Fran for the London flagship of her luxury fashion e-store.

Moda Operandi store | Fran Hickman | Listen to LuxDeco's The Tastemakers wherever you get your podcast
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We consider feeling throughout, I would say; it comes first and last and always.

Fran Hickman | Moda Operandi store | Listen to LuxDeco's The Tastemakers wherever you get your podcast
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London Rug
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London Rug
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Fran Hickman | Listen to LuxDeco's The Tastemakers wherever you get your podcast | Moda Operandi flagship store
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