When asked "What is the best advice you have ever received, and what is the one piece of advice you would offer to a young, aspiring interior designer?", India Hicks replied: "For a young designer I would say, explore. Travel fuels ideas. Witness the trappings of another life; look for the tradition and beauty within it. Document each trip and all of the details, whether an upholstery fabric or a roof-tile pattern, a wooden fretwork balustrade or an old painted sign. These will one day inspire your work. My father’s famous tablescapes got much of their energy and interest from mixing poor and rich objects, and many of the poor had been collected by him on his travels. As a designer, you should always be looking, looking, looking."
Interview on Design*Sponge: http://www.designspongeonline.com/2010/12/whats-in-your-toolbox-india-hicks.html#ixzz1ATTKAtam