Back to journal

Studio Refresh: Creating Timeless English Style

It has been a year full of exciting developments at Sims Hilditch, one of the most recent being the much-anticipated refresh of our Cotswold studio. We spoke to our Design Director Louise Wicksteed who helped to develop the scheme.

What aesthetic did you wish to achieve with this scheme?

At Sims Hilditch we tend toward a layered aesthetic in our designs, incorporating a beautiful selection of antiques and vintage pieces. We also like to play with pattern and colour, adding freshness, texture and depth to each design. It is these elements that we aimed to capture in the interior of our studio.

What was the design inspiration?

We took inspiration from the gorgeous landscape that surrounds our studio, as well as from The White Hart itself. Steeped in history, our studio was a former coaching house that we sympathetically renovated in 2013, retaining much of its original structure. The Cotswold stone provides the perfect backdrop for a scheme inspired by the country surroundings, full of pattern, colour and optimism. We are also privileged to be located close to a selection of antique dealerships in and around Tetbury. This was incredibly inspirational when curating and collecting original pieces to add character to the design, while also retaining the Sims Hilditch DNA.

How would you describe the colour palette and why did you choose it?

We decided to use stronger colours in this design scheme, opting for a fresh, fun and whimsical palette of powder blue and terracotta. This combination works in perfect harmony and is offset beautifully by a neutral backdrop. The terracotta was inspired by the reclaimed brick that was left over from the building’s original structure, and the blue brings to mind the Cotswold sky on a summer’s day.

How did you incorporate different textures into the design?

When we originally designed the studio interior back in 2013 we played with the materiality including rough boarding, rendered finishes and the original stone walls. For the studio refresh, we built on this by adding a textured sisal rug and a selection of antique furniture paired with glass and brass. The combination of ‘smooth, rough and polished’ contributes well to a layered and bespoke interior.

Tell us about the antique pieces which have been used?

We found some 18th-century artwork featuring birds at Lorfords which worked well in the sitting area. We also played with a ‘cabinet of curiosities’. This is a unique and interesting feature which includes clam shells from Lorfords and additional sculptural elements. We also included an antique writing desk in our garden room which has accumulated layers of terracotta and blue paint over the years. This works beautifully with our textured and collated approach to design, as well as our colour scheme. Antiques add such a gravitas to an interior whilst supporting our vision to becoming a more sustainable business.

Which suppliers did you work with?

For the lighting and lampshades, we sourced many of the items from Visual Comfort and Vaughan. The beautifully patterned lampshades and the cushions were from Fermoie and much of the furniture was from Lorfords. We also sourced some lovely artwork from Panter & Hall. We work with a variety of suppliers but in particular we are passionate about supporting British brands where we can. There are a few very special elements that we also incorporated into this scheme. We are delighted to reveal our first-ever furniture collection with George Smith, which includes an ottoman, armchairs and a sofa. More information on these pieces will be available very soon!