Sims Hilditch are internationally renowned for their leading interior designs and established portfolio for creating a fresh take on the English country house look.
“We believe true luxury is about quality of life, embracing the beauty of everyday living and allowing inspiration to flow from our surroundings” – Emma Sims Hilditch.
What does interior design mean to Sims Hilditch? Do your designs extend beyond the home?
We believe that good interior design can truly transform lives. To us, a successful project is all about making a home work for our client’s lifestyle. While we spend much of our time creating schemes for the interiors, we do also enjoy working with outside spaces too. We will often partner with landscapers and garden designers to encourage a real sense of continuity between interior and exterior worlds. They should be extensions of one another rather than segregated entities.
What tips do you have for someone looking for an interior design company?
When choosing an interior designer, they should definitely provide the style and aesthetic that you are looking for in your home. It is imperative for the designer to understand how you may want to live in your home before developing the overall aesthetic. Most importantly, you must employ a team that you can trust and work collaboratively with to achieve the very best for your home.
Where do you find inspiration as interior designers?
We believe that design inspiration can be found almost anywhere. There are times when the imagination has been stirred by something so seemingly simple, like an afternoon’s walk somewhere picturesque and peaceful that gave rise to an entire colour palette.
On other occasions, we look to more pronounced movements, such as periods of history like the Renaissance, or the design heritage of a particular country, be it Scandinavia, Italy, France, Great Britain or parts of America.
Do interior trends differ during the season?
Our interiors are often described as ‘calming’ or ‘tranquil’ because of how we approach colour. Colour trends are always changing therefore we like to choose our materials and colour schemes carefully. We use a lot of natural materials like wood and stone, it follows by considering the floor and wall treatments as well as joinery. We often use beautiful materials like limestone, white washed oak and marble to create the canvas for the furniture and decoration. The scheme is then built up in layers with fabric selection for curtains, upholstery and soft furnishings. The fabric for these soft furnishings can then be easily changed depending on colour and style trends.
What has been the most popular trend so far this summer?
Geometric wallpapers are hugely popular.
Embellishments such as tassels and fringing on cushions are quite fun too!
We are seeing an increase in trends exploiting the outdoors, no longer is it just dining al fresco, people are using the outdoors for entertaining, relaxing and creating quaint cinema space. What are your thoughts on al fresco trends?
We adore outside space and al fresco trends. We are very fortunate to design beautiful properties with accompanying land or large garden areas. It is so important to design the exterior space to fit harmoniously with the interior space to bring the whole home together. A garden area can be quite often seen as an additional extension or room to the house – particularly in the spring summer months when the weather is a little warmer. At our studio, The White Hart, we have croquet lawn where the team play over lunch. We also love the concept of the kitchen garden – we have dedicated area to grow vegetables and herbs for the team to enjoy.
What colours would you bring outdoors? Do some colours work better than others?
The majority of the time, we use our surroundings and the beautiful rolling countryside to create colour schemes for the interior. When it comes to bringing colours to the outdoor areas, we would very much ensure it complements the style of the interior. We would use light and neutral hues that help create a relaxed and tranquil setting suited to quiet time with the family and formally entertaining friends.
What materials do you prefer to use outdoors?
Similar to our interiors, we would stay close to natural materials, therefore we tend to choose wicker furniture due to its outside durability and the way it complements a paved patio and garden foliage. We then love adding soft furnishings to the outdoor furniture that can be interchangeable for all seasons throughout the year.
What tips do you have for utilising an outdoor space?
- Think smart. For example, design the space so that cooking areas are close to the kitchen to help with prepping and cleaning up.
- Make use of your space (no matter how large or small)
- Think about how you would like to use your garden and make a plan
Do you have a favourite design you’ve created that explores (and possibly tests) the outdoor barriers?
A particular project that took us to a stunning Grade II Listed Property dating back to the 13th Century. Over time, the property evolved into something of a historic jigsaw puzzle with Norman and Georgian architecture pieced together with wooden beams, stone walls, ancient flagstone floors, large fireplaces and detailed wooden panelling. In order to incorporate the large grounds belonging to the property, we incorporated a large glass extension with glazed doors opening to effortlessly link the inside of the home to the original bones of the property, we were able to provide extra space connecting the home to the magnificent surrounding countryside.