Simonsen-Hickok Interiors | JOAN SIMONSEN-HICKOK BIOGRAPHY
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JOAN SIMONSEN-HICKOK
ICONIC INTERIOR DESIGNER


Joan’s passion for interior design began at the early age of 5, when her Uncle Henry, a well-known antique dealer and collector, would take her on weekly trips to the antique shops along Madison Avenue. Afterwards, the two would discuss what they had seen in great detail over tea at the Plaza Hotel. Young Joan was deeply drawn in by the vivid world of furnishings, textures and color. From this inspired beginning, there was no turning back, and Joan’s love affair with interior design continues to this day, now a design icon amongst her peers.

FOR THE LOVE OF DESIGN…
AND DOGS


I consider myself lucky that I got to interview Joan at her lovely home in Naples, Florida. A lifetime of interior design expressed in every detail of every room, and in the foyer, hanging prominently, a portrait of Uncle Henry. Of that early time in her life Joan reflects: “No matter where I went, aesthetically, I became very aware of my surroundings. I observed every interior of every building. It’s an awareness money can’t buy.”

Joan’s second passion is her love of dogs. Pictured right is Joan with her beloved Alfred. “I love dogs as if they were people. In my mind, they can do no wrong.” Pictured above (and throughout this biography) is Joan with her current canine love Henry (named after Uncle Henry of course). During our interview, under my water glass, a cream colored napkin embossed in gold with the words “Henry’s Place”.

Other major influences on Joan’s work include groundbreaking interior designers such as Sister Parish, who is credited with popularizing the American Country aesthetic in the 1960’s. Known for her unforgiving style, Parish would assess a new client’s space by pushing a tea cart around the room and removing any items that did not meet her approval. Also on Joan’s short list is Elsie De Wolfe, known as “America’s first decorator”. De Wolfe, who took an anti-Victorian approach, was considered America’s first introduction to modernism – using bold, bright stripes and an uncluttered, airy style.

FOR THE LOVE OF DESIGN…
AND DOGS


I consider myself lucky that I got to interview Joan at her lovely home in Naples, Florida. A lifetime of interior design expressed in every detail of every room, and in the foyer, hanging prominently, a portrait of Uncle Henry. Of that early time in her life Joan reflects: “No matter where I went, aesthetically, I became very aware of my surroundings. I observed every interior of every building. It’s an awareness money can’t buy.”

Joan’s second passion is her love of dogs. Pictured right is Joan with her beloved Alfred. “I love dogs as if they were people. In my mind, they can do no wrong.” Pictured above (and throughout this biography) is Joan with her current canine love Henry (named after Uncle Henry of course). During our interview, under my water glass, a cream colored napkin embossed with the words “Henry’s Place”.

Other major influences on Joan’s work include groundbreaking interior designers such as Sister Parish, who is credited with popularizing the American Country aesthetic in the 1960’s. Known for her unforgiving style, Parish would assess a new client’s space by pushing a tea cart around the room and removing any items that did not meet her approval. Also on Joan’s short list is Elsie De Wolfe, known as “America’s first decorator”. De Wolfe, who took an anti-Victorian approach, was considered America’s first introduction to modernism – using bold, bright stripes and an uncluttered, airy style.

VISION, INSTINCT, EXPERIENCE

When asked about Joan’s design process: “When I walk into a space, I see a vision in my mind’s eye, and then I work to fulfill that vision. I believe the best design evolves as a project unfolds. I use my instinct, which I’ve cultivated and grown over the years.”

A New Jersey native, Joan relocated to Florida in 1988 and formed Simonsen-Hickok Interiors soon after. Joan has been designing homes and unique spaces for 50 years. Some of her most notable projects include the Florida Governor’s Mansion, a Gulfstream Jet, an 85-foot Vintage Yacht, a historic Fishing Lodge, the Chardonnay Restaurant, etc. Joan’s projects are as unique as the clients who inhabit them, with locations all over the U.S. and world, including Cape Town South Africa, Clapboard Island Maine, Los Angeles, Palm Beach, and of course, Naples, Florida. “I’ve had many interesting jobs and many interesting clients – it’s been a 50-year adventure so far.”

“Clients like the uniqueness of my designs because they are not based on trends. Instead, I focus on the architecture of the building, and draw inspiration from the classics – updating them for current lifestyles. My goal is to fulfill my client’s personal vision of how they want to live their life.”

Joan’s versatility and award-winning design sensibility is demonstrated in her work. No two projects are ever the same. To view some of Joan’s select projects, please visit her Portfolio Page. To read more about Simonsen-Hickok Interiors, please visit the About Us Page.