Ashley Hicks Channels Renaissance Splendor at His Home in Oxfordshire, England

Landscaping this hexagonal room are figures from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel
A mural painted by Ashley Hicks at his home in Oxfordshire England.
A mural painted by Ashley Hicks at his home in Oxfordshire, England.Photo: Ashley Hicks

A mural painted by Ashley Hicks at his home in Oxfordshire, England.

Photo: Ashley Hicks

“There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them,” Sylvia Plath wrote in The Bell Jar. Granted the writer was hardly the Gwyneth Paltrow of her day, but in this case her wellness tip bears out—a good bath is indeed good for the soul. Just ask Ashley Hicks, the puckish designer, artist, and son of the legendary arbiter elegantiae David Hicks. At his home in Oxfordshire, England, hard by the famous garden his father cultivated on the family’s country estate, Hicks has crafted an idiosyncratic marvel of ablutionary splendor. The walls of the hexagonal room, formerly a storage space, are wrapped in the designer’s own hand-painted mural depicting figures from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. (Seen here are the Delphic Sibyl and the Prophet Ezekiel.) Hicks, who crafts similar feats for clients, surmounted those scenes with his vision of Bertel Thorvaldsen’s frieze of Alexander the Great’s triumphant entry into Babylon, rendered to simulate terra-cotta. Images of flowers leaven the classical pageantry with lyrical notes from the garden. The tub is encased in his signature resin-foam boulders, and the floor is painted to resemble terrazzo. “I love to read in the bath, being glared at by these stern apparitions,” says the designer.