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Style in Bloom: Alicia Rico

A Dallas floral designer invites us into her Highland Park digs

Whether designing sumptuous florals for destination weddings or fashioning whimsical costumes for her young daughters, Alicia Rico radiates relentless creativity with energy to spare. She and her husband, Adam, also maintain a punishing pace thanks to the success of Bows + Arrows, a special-events florist that has besotted brides since 2009. As an antidote to the rigors of their high-octane careers, the Ricos set about transforming an 87-year-old Highland Park house into a serene setting that anchors their family life.
“The location right across from Highland Park Village reminded us of the Brooklyn neighborhood where we lived before we had the girls,” says Alicia, who decamped for New York City not long after graduating from Texas Christian University in 2004. “We love the fact that we walk Dotty to school every morning and can literally run across the street to go see a movie.”
The couple met in New York where she worked as a florist while Adam, armed with a fine arts degree from the prestigious Pratt Institute, produced photo shoots. The move back to Alicia’s hometown felt right when she was expecting Dotty, now 7; sister Pia followed three years later. Not long after launching their business (which has amassed over 160,000 Instagram followers to date), the Ricos bought a home on Richard Avenue in Lakewood, which they proceeded to fill with riotous patterns, fearless hues and an array of funky flea market finds.
“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 this new house to reflect that.”
With the blessing of Alicia’s architect-father, Charlie Price, the couple bought their diamond in the rough on Mockingbird Lane in February 2015. “The kitchen was a nightmare, something from a horror movie, and the rest of the rooms were in pretty bad shape too,” she recalls. “But we knew we could turn it into a bright, sunny home that would be a good fit for the four of us. And the schools in Highland Park are great, which was a big motivation.”
Six months of renovations succeeded in enlivening the interior spaces with abundant natural light. Along the way, the Ricos nearly doubled the size of the one-story cottage by adding a new living room, expanding the kitchen and creating a bathroom for their girls.
When it came to decorating, the duo gravitated toward a streamlined and sophisticated aesthetic. They whitewashed the home’s original wood floors and painted the walls white, choosing to confine color mainly to artwork and accessories. Except for the master bedroom, windows remain unadorned in order to welcome that allimportant natural light.
“With the exception of the girl’s toy room, which has 50-plus Barbies, hundreds of books and all the Lego craziness you can imagine, we wanted every room to look crisp and clean,” Alicia says. “We’ve made an effort to keep everything very minimal, too.”
On the family’s frequent travels, they do still hunt for treasures, many of which they’ve incorporated into the decor. During a six-week trip to Europe in the summer of 2015, the foursome spent a day cuddling baby lambs at a farm in the Netherlands. A sheepskin from that particular adventure now adorns one of the living room chairs that Adam discovered at World Market. Bistro seating typical of the Paris cafes they visited inspired the couple to purchase the woven chairs and stools in their new breakfast room and kitchen upon their return.
The open kitchen-breakfast room-living room area has become the epicenter of the Ricos’ home life thanks in part to the walls of windows that offer extravagant views of the outdoors. “We wanted to be able to see the greenery and foliage in the garden,” Alicia explains. “These rooms are really a comfortable place for us to be.” Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves remain carefully curated, a practice the couple has no intention of abandoning with respect to their decor.
“Adam and I slept with our mattress on the floor for six months before we found just the right bed,” she says. “We don’t want to rush this house.”