Whether designing sumptuous florals for destinationweddings or fashioning whimsical costumesfor her young daughters, Alicia Rico radiatesrelentless creativity with energy to spare. She andher husband, Adam, also maintain a punishingpace thanks to the success of Bows + Arrows, aspecial-events florist that has besotted brides since 2009. As an antidote tothe rigors of their high-octane careers, the Ricos set about transforming an87-year-old Highland Park house into a serene setting that anchors theirfamily life.
“The location right across from Highland Park Village reminded us of theBrooklyn neighborhood where we lived before we had the girls,” says Alicia,who decamped for New York City not long after graduating from TexasChristian University in 2004. “We love the fact that we walk Dotty to schoolevery morning and can literally run across the street to go see a movie.”
“Everything in that house was so quirky, colorful and fun,” Alicia says.“But we felt like our taste is changing and maturing, and we wanted thisnew house to reflect that.”
With the blessing of Alicia’s architect-father, Charlie Price, the couplebought their diamond in the rough on Mockingbird Lane in February 2015.“The kitchen was a nightmare, something from a horror movie, andthe rest of the rooms were in pretty bad shape too,” she recalls. “But weknew we could turn it into a bright, sunny home that would be a goodfit for the four of us. And the schools in Highland Park are great, whichwas a big motivation.”
Six months of renovations succeededin enlivening the interiorspaces with abundant natural light.Along the way, the Ricos nearlydoubled the size of the one-storycottage by adding a new livingroom, expanding the kitchen andcreating a bathroom for their girls.
When it came to decorating,the duo gravitated towarda streamlined and sophisticatedaesthetic. They whitewashed thehome’s original wood floors andpainted the walls white, choosingto confine color mainlyto artwork and accessories.Except for the master bedroom,windows remain unadornedin order to welcome that allimportantnatural light.
“With the exception ofthe girl’s toy room, which has50-plus Barbies, hundreds ofbooks and all the Lego crazinessyou can imagine, we wantedevery room to look crisp andclean,” Alicia says. “We’ve madean effort to keep everything veryminimal, too.”
On the family’s frequenttravels, they do still hunt fortreasures, many of whichthey’ve incorporated into thedecor. During a six-week trip toEurope in the summer of 2015,the foursome spent a day cuddlingbaby lambs at a farm inthe Netherlands. A sheepskinfrom that particular adventurenow adorns one of the livingroom chairs that Adam discoveredat World Market.Bistro seating typical ofthe Paris cafes they visitedinspired the couple to purchasethe woven chairs andstools in their new breakfastroom and kitchen upontheir return.
The open kitchen-breakfastroom-living room areahas become the epicenter ofthe Ricos’ home life thanks inpart to the walls of windowsthat offer extravagant viewsof the outdoors. “We wantedto be able to see the greeneryand foliage in the garden,”Alicia explains. “These rooms arereally a comfortable place for us tobe.” Floor-to-ceiling bookshelvesremain carefully curated, a practicethe couple has no intention of abandoningwith respect to their decor.
“Adam and I slept with ourmattress on the floor for sixmonths before we found just theright bed,” she says. “We don’twant to rush this house.”