Before you start thinking about lighting, it is imperative to start with great interior design. To help us understand how to achieve this we spoke to interior designer Emma Sims Hilditch of Sims Hilditch about the latest interior trends, how to approach a project and lighting design.
Sims Hilditch are a multidisciplinary practice, combining interior architecture, interior design, furniture design and project management for a range of projects from manor houses, farmhouses, cottages and bothies through to city apartments and townhouses for good measure.
What trends do you see for Autumn/Winter 16?
The talk is all about modern mixology. Traditional craft mixed with contemporary cleverness. In furniture design that means mixing rustic timber with smooth bronze to make elegant pieces. In lighting we are seeing a trend in the use of mixing glass with nickel or brass. See the Browning ceiling light by Neptune as an example.
How is it best to style your home to work with the seasons?
Adding seasonal colours is a very easy way to make significant changes in your home and completely change the dynamic. I often repaint our entrance hall to reflect the seasons. This winter I plan to paint it in a mustard yellow and decorate the hall table with large branches of autumnal twigs and berries. It is an easy way to make a difference to the feel of the whole house.
What are the key dos and don’ts when approaching a project?
Do write a brief. Whether you are decorating your own home or collaborating with a designer you should write down your expectations and any particular aspirations you may have. I would always say it is important to choose colours and fabrics you really love. Don’t be tempted to follow trends for trend sake. Usually your first instinct is right and when over faced with choice it is important to keep focused. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help with your project. Employing a lighting or interior designer can save expensive mistakes
How do you approach a project?
Every design starts with the property itself, I like to look to the interior architecture, the context, and the history to inspire the designs. It is also very important that the design works for your lifestyle and needs so we are very careful to build up a picture of how a home will be used before developing the aesthetic.
What would be your top tip for anyone designing a home?
Think about the end result and write a brief before getting into the finer details. It is important to consider how you will be using the home. If for example a client would like to entertain, we would encourage a functional, open-plan kitchen / living space.
How important do you think lighting is to complement your interiors?
It is fundamental throughout the design process to consider lighting as it can enhance a room and bring together a scheme. Clever use of decorative lighting will create subtle atmosphere whilst architectural lighting produces pools of light and shadow which adds drama to the overall design.
Do you have a favourite John Cullen product and if so why?
The Luccini uplight is a beautiful choice. It is a simple yet effective way to highlight period archways or doors.
For more interior design inspiration, visit www.simshilditch.com