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Mill House

12 February 2019

When it comes to house renovations, for many of us it’s simply a case of adding an extension or knocking down a few internal walls. But for the owners of this stunning Mill House property in the tranquil English countryside, their starting point was a working farm full of character and history. What was once a former pigsty, Mill House slowly but surely evolved into a warm, welcoming family home as the various outbuildings were joined together to create a sprawling U-shaped layout. It may have had unconventional beginnings but the property is now packed with heritage and natural beauty throughout, thanks to a sympathetic interior design by Sims Hilditch, which features stone tiling by Artisans of Devizes throughout.

Renowned for championing a fresh approach to a new English look, Sims Hilditch specialise in designing rooms that are both classic and comfortable with each project offering a truly bespoke experience. It was only natural then, that Artisans of Devizes were selected to provide the property’s stone flooring.

‘We adore Artisans of Devizes,’ confirms Emma Sims-Hilditch, founder and creative director of Sims Hilditch. ‘We have used them for many of our projects. Our clients love the timeless quality and durability of the products.’

The brief for the overall design of Mill House was that it had to include a sense of flow, so Sims Hilditch reconfigured the original floor plans and introduced a colour palette that focused on subtle hues with plenty of pinks and delicate mauves taking centre stage. Patterned fabrics and wallpaper add texture while a carefully curated collection of antiques and handmade bespoke furniture introduce a sense of cosiness and individuality.

‘For our clients, it was love at first sight,’ reveals Emma, ‘as they felt it was the perfect countryside escape with enough space for their young family as well as guests. The challenge was to create an identity that would bring the seemingly disparate parts together as a whole. This was achieved with a classically elegant scheme and stone flooring, which provides a beautifully elegant finish to the rooms that complement the raw features such as the exposed timber.’

The kitchen is the hub of any home and this scheme, with its bespoke in-frame Shaker-style cabinetry, is complemented throughout by Buscot Limestone flooring in a Seasoned Finish with an American Pattern layout. Warm and durable, the large format tiles create instant impact, which cleverly manages to remain understated at the same time. ‘Our flagship stone, this design adds subtle character to any space,’ explains Mark Thompson, project sales consultant at Artisans of Devizes, who worked with Sims Hilditch to select the perfect stone. ‘It’s ideal for rustic kitchens, as it oozes character and charm while being extremely hardwearing – perfect for high traffic areas.’

The same flooring is carried through to the entrance hall with its beautifully crafted timber panelled walls and a built-in storage niche that is used by the family for letters, paperwork and correspondence. A pair of console tables provides a handy spot for additional storage and some fresh foliage while a fisherman’s-style wall light enhances the vintage vibe. ‘Having the same stone flooring throughout a home lends a sense of flow and unity,’ adds project sales consultant Mark Thompson. ‘We laid it through to the utility area too, where it works wonderfully as a contrast to the pale mauve cabinetry. It’s a good design tool to use in any downstairs layout, especially where you want to create a feeling of space and a seamless finish.’

Upstairs, the master bathroom is the ultimate relaxing retreat and features a vanity top, upstands, bath surround and bath upstand in Artisans of Devizes’ Lanyon Limestone. Its neutral tones and subtle markings are ideal for enhancing a timeless, elegant interior and it’s the perfect partner for the classic in-frame panelled cabinetry. ‘I particularly love the bathroom with the limestone vanity top and bath surround,’ confirms Emma Sims-Hilditch. ‘It is such a refined, luxurious spa-like bathroom.’

Mill House is a prime example of how, with careful planning and a keen eye for colour, texture and finish, what was once a jumble of industrial outbuildings can organically become a stunning family home full of life and character.

With special thanks to the team at Sims Hilditch.