Friday, December 30, 2011


                                                          Homestead in the old days

Throughout my life there have been a handful of people outside my family who have had a profound influence on me, and Carol Hicks Bolton is one. A great part of Carol's magic seems to be her ability to recognize potential ( in people and in objects) that others can't see. She recognized and nurtured that unseen raw talent in me.

My relationship with Carol has seen everything from the two of us sleeping on a pile of packing blankets in the back of a U-Haul truck at 3am on the way to buy antiques in Brimfield to her being the first person at the E.R. after my teenage daughter was seriously injured in an automobile accident, to giving into folly at numerous Homestead parties dressed in everything from pajamas to 18th century French gowns.

Through  the years Carol has always shown her great depth of compassion, creativity and love which have always outshone even her most glorious material works. And I wonder if it is because of those attributes that she is so easily able to create those glorious material things.

One of Carol's many gifts, as I think you will see in this interview,  is to be an artful storyteller whether she is using words or objects. So it is with great pleasure that I present a preview (the inside jacket cover?) of Carol's newest and wonderful story which she is preparing to tell the world.

So cozy up - brew a cup of hot tea and enjoy the one time, one-of-a-kind glimpse into the genius that is Carol Hicks Bolton.

BLF: In the more than twenty years that I have known you and Tim, you have both proven yourselves to be innovators and trendsetters, always on the cutting edge of design, morphing and sometimes changing entirely the business concept while aspects of the Carol Hicks Bolton signature style have remained relatively unchanged. Can you give us a glimpse behind the scenes of your latest endeavor?

CHB: Picture a space with million foot ceilings, concrete floors, tobacco stained, chickenfeed smelling concrete walls, and beautiful light--right next door to your favorite place to buy sod seed and fodder..... and there you are--a peek into our next adventure on Lincoln Street.

We loved being in the midst of the craziness of Main Street for 20+ years. (Wow, I don't even know how long we were there.) With the birth of our children, we began trying to simplify our lives so that we could enjoy the family that we had prayed for for 15 years. Mac is 16 now, and Augusta 12!!! Moving to Lincoln Street gives Tim a lot more flexibility of schedule. It will be a much more laid-back venue. The folks that head our direction will understand more about what we are doing and will appreciate the art of our aesthetic. Our clients will be our friends again. There will be time for relationship and fellowship--something we have missed with the busy footfall of Main Street.

BLF: So will we see the same Carol Hicks Bolton style that has been so successful in the past or are you taking things in a whole new direction?

CHB: It feels like a whole new direction for me--I have been at home with my children and out of the design world for awhile but I am still a storyteller. I continue to love interiors and objects that tell a tale--either make-believe or true. The CHB style is alive and well, perhaps a bit more spare but with a healthy dose of detail and wonder. We have bought a mountain--ok, a hill- of ancient cushy chairs from France that we are redressing into little jewel box pieces for boudoir and parlor-envision the diminutive antiquities clothed in a patchwork of sari's, paint and velvet, industrial bits of--wait, I can't tell you everything. there will be no surprise.

BLF: How has your style evolved over the years and what has driven that evolution?

CHB:I would say that my style has evolved from moreismorealiceinwonderlandmeetsbohemianbotanist to a littlelessmoreismorealiceinwonderlandmeetsbohemianbotanist. I have become much more simple in my own personal style. There's no time to dabble in things that aren't important.

BLF: What color could you not live without?

CHB: I've never met a sea-green, blue-green, mineral, greenish-blue, or aquamarine that I didn't like.

BLF:Words like Victorian, Old World and Nostalgic have be used to describe your look. How would you describe it?

CHB: hmmmmm..... I think that my look is a mash-up of Bollywood/Peasant Clothes/ Oliver Twist/laundered lace set out to dry/ National Geographic/French Modern

BLF: Tell me what your vision is for this newest pursuit?

CHB:Love God, Follow the Savior, Serve Others, Be Content, Inspire, Encourage,Have Fun.

BLF:What shapes do you find yourself drawn to?

CHB: Anything that was once chubby, but has now lost it's shape because of love---you know, Velveteen Rabbit-ish chairs and such.............

BLF: A key element to the Carol Hicks Bolton look seems to be taking a common object and using it in an unexpected way.
Can you elaborate on that?

CHB: We are calling this shop Carol Hicks Bolton: Antiquities & Laboratoire de Design. Tim has always been a "thing-finder"--you know those fascinating objects from the past ages that cause you to stop, gasp, and wonder. This time, instead of just displaying them as they are, they will be made into things-- old things made into new things.......we want the look to be always inventive--the space acting as more of a laboratory--something always in the works--a place for a changing assemblage of objects and antiquities. Tim is designing AMAZING beds out of these collected parts-so delicious. I'm putting together linens--pieces of my authentic style mixed with my new fascinations:---really pretty and kinda simple with a fewfewfew pillows instead of a pile.

BLF: How would you express the philosophy behind your designs and what feelings or emotions do you wish to create
through your designs?

CHB: I hope that you know that I cannot bear pretension in any way. Someone slap me if I ever act that way or attempt to create something that pretends pretension. It is what we all wish to create--it is what you and Ron do so beautifully---something that delights the eye and awakens the emotion. Life is messy. I believe that home should be safe haven. Home is "base" in the game. I want our designs to reek of a peaceful but exuberant place.

BLF: Your style has been a huge inspiration to many over the years, but what has been your greatest inspiration?

CHB:  Creation-The miraculous,mysterious, indescribably beautiful universe--spoken into reality by a word from the Master Creator

I hope you all enjoyed this peek into the person who is Carol Hicks Bolton as much as I enjoyed interviewing her. It is amazing that after all the years I have known her she still suprises me with her depth of inspiration like an old time magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat------ an old ,well loved, - velveteen - rabbit of course!!!

Carol Hicks Bolton: Antiquities & Laboratoire de Design will be opening in mid January at 301 South Lincoln Street. You may call 830- 997-5551 or go to for more information.


  1. Hi sweet Binky....I've always, ALWAYS admired Carol for her amazing sense of style and beautiful vintage taste but your interview has made me love her even more!!!! I absolutely love that she is so wonderfully spiritual and wants to reflect that in all she does ~ I'm sure the new store will be so amazing...I can only hope that someone will feature it in their magazine! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful interview with us, xxoo, Dawn

  2. Binky,
    Thank you for this New Year's gift! I have wondered what Carol was up to for quite awhile. My fingers were crossed hoping she & her amazingly gifted family would write a book on the Hicks-Bolton style.
    My husband & I discovered them while on a trip to Fredericksburg 20 years ago. Walking down Main St. was like my own personal Disneyland. The first time I ever saw a table set with with mixed silver & china (and tree stamp seats)was at American Higgledy Piggledy. I fell in love with white at Room 5 & I remember quite clearly the seed that was planted the day I saw a lamp made from misc parts at Homestead. It was the beginning of my venture into mixed media arts.
    Carol & her clan are hero's to me (I hope they don't see this & put a restraining order out). I cannot wait to see Carol's new vision. I agree with Dawn, it's wonderful to hear how she speaks of her art. Who knows, I might work up the nerve to introduce myself!
    Thanks for the great interview Binky

  3. Wow Binky, I can't wait to see what new adventure she'll create next. I still have all the magazines she was in bookmarked and look at them often. She does set the trend and is such an inspiration and getting to meet her and ultimately you was a dream come true! I miss you too Binky, you are so talented as well my friend. BTW, my son was in Fredericksburg a few weekends ago and had him go by her new place but he couldn't really see much. I so wanted him to describe what it will look like. I can't wait to see her new shop. I haven't been back to Fredericksburg in years and now can't wait to get back that way. Happy New Years!!

  4. Goodness gracious me, I think I'm in's apparent that I will be spending most every day off work wandering through and marveling at Carol and Tim's new space!

    It sounds like Carol has a true and honest vision for her latest endeavor, and I love that as always with Carol, she gives all the glory to God.

    Great interview Binky, I love you and will see you soon!


  5. Oh Binky I am drooling on my keyboard just thinking about what Carol has up her sleeve! I have been a fan of hers long before I ever got into the business!

    I met her once in my booth and she was very pleasent and charming!

    I long to visit this new venture of hers!

    Thanks for taking the time to post the interview I really enjoyed reading it!


  6. Dare I hope that she will put a book out? I'd be the first in line to buy it, I can tell you that! She's always been a huge influence on my style, I'd love to see her new venture in person!
    Thanks for the update......:).

  7. so very very exciting! Can't wait for more!
    great post...
    fabulous news!

  8. Beautiful post. Such exciting news! Thanks for sharing. Wishing you a wonderful new year.

  9. Hi Binky
    What a thrill to interview Carol, she has been such an inspiration to so many... God has blessed the work of her hands!
    I so enjoyed this, thank you so much for sharing this with all of us

  10. Yummy! Wish I lived closer!


  11. Thanks for the insight - I'm off to check out her website and learn more!

    I'm also following you now - it's nice to meet you!

    The Kramer Angle

  12. I am terrible about know designers but as soon as i read this- CHB:Love God, Follow the Savior, Serve Others, Be Content, Inspire, Encourage,Have Fun.

    I knew I would love her style!

  13. Thank you, Binky for posting a great interview. I can't wait to go see the new shop, next time I make it to Fredericksburg.

  14. Binky Thank You for sharing the Interview and Preview of what my all time favorite Designer, Carol Hicks-Bolton will now be pursuing! I can hardly wait for the big reveal... and as always I know it will be beyond-amazing!

    Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  15. Lovely, lovely interview! Thank you so very much for inviting us to 'listen in' - I have been a fan of Carol's work for years!
    ~ Zuzu

  16. Oh, thank you so much for sharing -via- Anne Lorys @ Fiona and Twig. Although I don't know Carol Hicks Bolton personally, I am enchanted with her style, and still have a fond memory of seeing her Mom's home featured on HGTV. Thank you, again!

  17. I hope you will tell Carol I started a group dedicated to her last year on facebook! I have loved her for many years, she was so inspiring to me and much of what I love was realized through articles about her in Victoria Magazine. Here is the link if you would like to see! Thanks, Kimberly

  18. Binky
    It has been a minute since our meeting again at John and Robins. I am coming to the photo shoot at Carol's with Robin's clothes for Where Women Cook. It should be our best article ever. And since you were all part of the "creation" of WWCook, it seems only "perfect" that you are all part of this photo shoot! See you soon!
    Much love

  19. That 2012 is of the happiest and most creative for you, a blessing for all your family!

    Beautiful day

  20. I feel a road trip to the Hill Country coming on! Thanks for the fun interview!