Fran Hickman, An Exclusive Interior Designer Interview

Fran Hickman Interior Design

Driven by a belief in the capacity of good design to shape how people behave, Fran Hickman Design & Interiors creates spaces that feel special while making people feel special within them. Founded in 2014 by Fran Hickman, the studio has its home base in London and a satellite office in New York City. Since kicking off her career with a stunning interior design for the exclusive, luxury fashion salon of Moda Operandi in Belgravia, Fran has gone on to design a variety of fabulous commercial and residential interiors.

An exclusive shopping salon for Farfetch in Tokyo designed by Fran Hickman
An exclusive shopping salon for Farfetch in Tokyo (Photo by Annabel Elston)

With an extensive design vocabulary and passion for creating atmosphere from materials rather than objects, Fran Hickman’s interiors are each beautiful works of art. Lh had the great pleasure of interviewing the fabulous Fran Hickman, read on to get to know her and be inspired by a selection of her designs!

Lh Exclusive Interview with Fran Hickman

Love Happens: I love how your design philosophy focuses on how a well-designed space can influence behavior, this relationship between people and space. What led you to take this approach to design? How do you practice this philosophy in your work today?

Fran Hickman: We believe interior design is inherently social. Every aspect of our studio’s work is grounded in the relationship between people and space. Form always follows function, of course, but feeling is vital too. Design the right feeling into the right function and the right form will follow. Our objective is not simply to make spaces feel special but to make people feel special within them.

Nottinghill Townhouse hall designed by Fran Hickman
Hallway in a Nottinghill Townhouse
Locket's Wine Bar & Restaurant, St. James's (Photo by Annabel Elston)
Locket’s Wine Bar & Restaurant, St. James’s (Photo by Annabel Elston)

Lh: What led to your decision to start your own business?

Fran Hickman: My sister’s accountant advised me to start a company when I was moving jobs. I thought I was just opening a bank account. Moda Operandi and a private client came in not long after that and it became legit.

Lh: What do you believe is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since the creation of your business?

Fran: Maintaining balance as best I can.

Lh: What three pieces of advice would you give an aspiring designer/entrepreneur looking to make it?

Fran: Determine and finesse your voice, consider all perspectives and maintain focus on the objective.

Lh: Do you have any mottos? Business, personal, design or perhaps something else?

Fran: Look after the space and it will look after you.

Paintbox nail salon in NYC designed by Fran Hickman
Paintbox Nail Studio in NYC (Photo by Alica Gao)

Lh: Do you have any desire to have your own furniture collection or to partner with a product brand?

Fran: We have been developing a limited edition of tables & chairs in house. Made from fully recycled materials, they are beautiful but not comfortable.  I would develop that with a partner.  We’ll see…     

Lh: Are there any particular projects/clients you dream of working on/for?

The Tate, Curzon, The Collective on the South Bank? I would like to work on commercial spaces enticing enough to encourage people to leave their screens at home.

Chess Club restaurant and bar in Mayfair (Photo Annabel Elston)
Chess Club restaurant and bar in Mayfair (Photo Annabel Elston)

Lh: What’s next for Fran Hickman?

I will keep exploring, collaborating, learning.

A Peek Inside the Fabulous and Inspiring Mind of Fran Hickman with the Lh Design Questionnaire

Fran Hickman Interior Design
Fran Hickman, Founder (Photo by Nick Haddow)

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being with loved ones, a good meal, a clear horizon.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My 1967 Mercedes Pagoda.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Winning a school rounders match on my own after everyone else was run out.

What profession does your alter ego have?

National Geographic photographer.

The project you will never forget.

Moda Operandi – it was my first.

Retail Interior for Moda Operandi, Belgravia (Photo by Annabel Elston)
Retail Interior for Moda Operandi, Belgravia (Photo by Annabel Elston)

Your favorite business tool or resource.


The most timeless design.

A Japanese Ryokan

The biggest business faux pas.

Telling a client to **** off?

What 3 words come to mind when you think of our publisher the luxury decor brand KOKET?

Interesting, bold, glamorous.

Love happens when…

You allow it to happen.

Intro & Interview by Anna Beck Bimba