Sims Hilditch, an award-winning boutique interiors practice based in Bath, design elegant interiors that make everyday living comfortable, engaging and inspirational. Over the last 20 years, the practice has developed a beautiful portfolio across homes and hotels from the most contemporary spaces to listed buildings, whilst always staying true to their classic style. They have been featured in the Sunday Times Top 30 and the House and Garden Top 100 Interior Designers lists.
We talk to Emma Sims Hilditch, the Design Director, about her style and influences.
Q: How would you describe your signature style?
Our interiors radiate timeless elegance and are celebrated for their classic yet contemporary style.
Our philosophy is to inspire and delight discerning clients with an unwavering commitment to intelligent design, traditional craftsmanship and gorgeous materials.
Q: Who is/are your favourite designer(s)?
Axel Vervoordt and Marco Meneguzzi because of the calmness their work exudes. It takes a huge amount of ingenuity and talent to create designs which appear effortless.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
The variety. We get to work with such beautiful materials and incredible clients. I enjoy collaborating with others – the team aspect is a lot of fun. And of course, the sense of achievement when we present clients with their new home is always a buzz.
Q: What’s the hardest part?
Making decisions! As I said, we get to work with an array of beautiful objects and materials so one has to be disciplined in the decision-making process. Often, less is more.
Q: If you were to own just one design classic piece what would you choose?
A full-height statement dresser, especially if it is oversized or antique. A piece like this creates character and becomes a focal point around which a design scheme can flow.
Q: What inspires you the most?
I am greatly observant of my surroundings; whether it’s the colours and fragrances of nature or the luxury of a great room in a hotel.
Q: Where’s your favourite place to be?
Our family home is in a lovely area of the Cotswolds where we go walking through the Bybrook Valley; the ever-changing landscape is always a delight but the beech plantation at the edge of the valley has to be my favourite Autumnal view. A close second is our holiday cottage in Cornwall where we go sailing in summer – who doesn’t love getting away from it all? And of course, Italy is always a treat. It’s wonderful to spend time with my daughter who is studying art in Florence.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
Q: If you had a time machine, what period of design would you like to live in?
I love the classically inspired architecture of the Georgian era. Rooms were light and spacious yet there was great attention to detail. It was a period of understatement and subtle yet sophisticated style.
Q: Complete this sentence – home is…
The ultimate expression of one’s personality. It’s a haven and a space to do the things you love for the people you care about.
Q: Tell us about one of your bathroom design projects that you’ve worked on?
We are currently working with Drummonds to incorporate the ultimate in luxurious sanitary ware into a listed building. The scale and quality are inspiring and we have gone all out with two giant shower heads and a beautiful pewter bath.
Q: What is one key bathroom essential that you couldn’t live without?
To me, a bathroom is your own private spa. All elements should contribute to a sense of relaxation and pampering.
Q: Where in the world have you stayed where a bathroom design has really stood out, and why?
The Idle Rocks in St Mawes. It is a perfect example of a seaside inspired aesthetic carried off to perfection. The bathrooms are especially well done, beautifully combining glass and weathered timber to create a calming atmosphere. I especially love the double ended bath which overlooks the sea.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice when designing a bathroom, what would it be?
Treat the bathroom as an extension of the bedroom; the aim is to create a seamless flow between the two. Try not to overdo tiling as it can appear cold and harsh.