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Introducing Louise Wicksteed, Design Director for Sims Hilditch

This Spring I am excited to introduce a new and very special member of our team; Louise joins us as Design Director and will lead our design team, inspiring creativity with her wealth of experience and positive energy. We are all very excited to welcome Louise and her family to the Cotswolds! So let’s get to know her a little better:

What made you pursue interior design as a career?

I love all aspects of interior design, from examining the flow and functionality of spaces to the more conceptual and creative layering of fabrics, finishes and objects. I was drawn to the fact you engage both the logical and creative sides of your brain. Also, we are lucky enough to work with incredible clients and lots of other creatives, from architects to artisan makers. Each project has a story which I love to write through a creative process.

How would you describe your personal style in terms of interior design?

Well, I always start by looking at the history and heritage of the building or space I am working with. I love clean lines, relaxed luxury and the curating of one-off antiques and contemporary vintage items to create layered, personal spaces.

Images: The antique grandfather clock in this Welsh Family Home and the wooden beams from the original structure of this Surrey Lake House are great additions to an interior.

What inspires you?

I think we are constantly absorbing influences from all around us, from the magazines and books we read, to the places we travel and the landscapes we are in. I love being in nature so I tend to be very inspired by texture, muted natural colour palettes and craftsmanship. I love to collect antiques and objects, so am always scouring markets and second-hand shops for unusual one-off items, especially when we are on holiday. I would rather go sourcing than relaxing which drives my husband mad.

What makes a Sims Hilditch interior?

For me Sims Hilditch has an undeniable timeless British aesthetic which is so relevant now, and I feel there is beautiful softness to our interiors, whilst at the same time they are incredibly practical and liveable.

Images: Our Scottish Lodge project was inspired by the scenic Scottish Highlands that surrounded the property.

What is your favourite Sims Hilditch project to date?

That is a very good question. I don’t have one particular favourite, rather elements from different projects which I am drawn to. I love the Chelsea Townhouse we completed recently, as it has a playfulness with the forest green cabinetry in the snug and overall it has a good balance of the English country style we are known for, with some more luxe touches.

What design question are you most often asked?

Friends and family most often ask for advice about colour and room layouts. With clients they are interested in the practicality and longevity of materials and design details.

Images: Our Chelsea Townhouse project was designed with elegance and sophistication in mind, as well as comfort.

What is your favourite design feature at the moment?

I love working with Antiques as every piece has a unique story and a historical value which is timeless. Also I love scalloping, reeding and fringing – it really is all in the detail right now.

What is the most interesting and unique project you have worked on?

I don’t have a single stand out project as they are all so different. I really enjoy working on private homes but we like to respect our client’s privacy, so most of them are never even photographed!

I love working with Antiques as every piece has a unique story and a historical value that is timeless.

Louise Wicksteed

What is the proudest moment of your career so far?

Every project is a learning curve, and my style and approach are always evolving, so I get more excited about the next project rather than looking backwards. As long as our clients are happy at the end of the process, that makes me proud.

Image: We consider our clients' requirements carefully when designing their interiors. Our Surrey Lake House was to be was to be warm, inviting and incredibly cosy, and our Scottish Lodge was to be a welcoming weekend retreat.

What non-design related activities do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to go for walks in the park with my family, often sheltering from the rain!

What is your top design tip for 2021?

Mix old and new and try and start with a single point of inspiration for each space such as a painting, fabric or wallpaper you love.

Image: The original Victorian tiles in this room inspired the colour scheme for this entire Malvern Family Home.