To achieve this gigantic project, the designer Emma Sims Hilditch proposed keeping the Gregorian spirit of the country house but with modern decorations to give it a more contemporary touch. “In the end, I think [el cliente] chose us for the size [pequeño] of our firm,” shares Sims Hilditch, whose namesake firm has offices in London and Gloucestershire. “I knew we needed a big project like this,” adds the designer, who launched her namesake firm in 2009, and if there’s anything she can provide 4,270 square meter project is, indeed, spacious.
The sprawling estate in the north of England It has been in the same family for over 500 years. The current owner inherited it from a distant cousin. To carry out the necessary repairs and updates, some of the property’s land was sold to finance the renovation.
The early stages of the project were the most exciting: “We discovered many parts of the house,” recalls Sims Hilditch excitedly. The old stone walls of the false fireplaces were dismantled and the rugs were removed to reveal the forgotten tiles.
However, other aspects were challenging: the center of the house, for example, was a maze of Victorian-era rooms intended for the dozens of employees who would have operated in the house. A historical marvel, yes, but not exactly functional for a single-family home.
To open up the space, the client conceptualized a great room with an impressive octagonal skylight that flooded the area with light with the help of architect Mason Gillibrand. “It really became a wonderful central meeting point of the house“, adds the designer. With a cozy set of cushioned sofas surrounding a plush ottoman, the room seems like a perfect area to hang out. But the grandeur never ceases to amaze: above an ornate fireplace, family portraits and trophies Hunting garlands decorate the double-height wall, flanked by balconies that look out on either side, above which a Vaughan chandelier casts a soft glow.
The rest of the renewal became a delicate balance between maintaining the integrity of the grand building steeped in history and introducing modern and tasteful decorations: “Our client didn’t want the house to feel too heavy, but rather a fresh English country interior suitable for the next generation,” explains Sims Hilditch. “So we wanted to have a little fun with her.”
This approach is revealed in endless details throughout the interiors. An example is the powder room on the ground floor, where a seemingly traditional Braquenié print covers the walls. Sims Hilditch surprised his client with a custom print featuring the grounds of the estate and even the owner’s dogs. Likewise, an antique canary-yellow claw-foot tub in a guest bathroom and a colorful kitchen help liven up an otherwise traditional palette.