Sims Hilditch Interior Designer, Gema Broch welcomes us into her expertly remodelled Redland home in issue four of our lifestyle magazine, Original Features.
Where did your journey into Interior Design begin?
I’ve had a passion for interiors since I was little. I remember playing with my Mum’s interior design magazines in Spain, cutting out pictures of furniture and creating room layouts. I was always very attracted to the architecture of the buildings when travelling. This developed over the years, until I then studied Product Design at University, and then did my Masters in Graphic Design, which is an amazing skill to create more tailored interiors and helps in the design of bespoke furniture. Interior Design was the main reason I moved to England. Back home, my initial experience was more commercial-like projects, however, I have always wanted to be more involved in residential and the British style.
You work at one of the best-regarded interior companies in the South West - is it as rewarding as we’d imagine?
Sims Hilditch is such an incredible team to work with. Our studio is beautiful and so inspiring. I get to see wonderful properties, from manor houses and country estates to townhouses in London. These are magnificent buildings with the most beautiful character and architecture. It’s such a joy designing them and turning them into a home.
How would you best describe your style?
Timeless, where the old meets the new, achieving a curated look while being functional and aligned to the current way of living. Creating spaces that can evolve over time, and that homely feel which has an element of unexpected fun by using colour, art and antiques, because whilst it’s important a home looks and feels beautiful, it needs to be functional too!
How can we achieve your style?
Understanding and respecting the architecture of the house is very important to me. It’s key to select the right paint colour, and lighting layout depending on how and what time of the day the room is going to be used. For example, in our bedroom, I chose Shaded White from Farrow & Ball which is a gorgeous off-white with warm undertones to create a relaxing space. Introducing antiques, beautiful natural fabrics such as linens, a statement piece of art, or painting a piece of joinery in a fun colour, the possibilities are endless.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in the everyday. A walk around our neighbourhood where you see the different coloured houses and front doors is inspiring to start a colour scheme, as well as bringing the outside in with fallen branches, which make beautiful rustic floral arrangements. Travelling is another amazing source of inspiration, the different cultures, hotels, and local markets; I love bringing back unique finds. I actually bought a kilim once in the Marrakesh souks, which nearly didn’t fit in my suitcase. I fell in love with the colourful hats from the rice fields in Bali. All these things make a house a home full of memories. Social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest are important tools to discover designers and source products from all around the world. I have an interiors Instagram account where I share lots of inspiration as well as the progress of our latest home renovation and other interior projects that I am working on.
Does your Valencian heritage influence your style at all?
Absolutely! I am from a town called Vila-real where the main industry is ceramics. Growing up surrounded by beautifully painted tiles is something that has really influenced my style, especially when selecting hard materials for a house and designing bathrooms, which I really enjoy. Living on the coast is also something that I find influences me by wanting to achieve a calm environment where you can relax.
How do you prep for each of your clients (assessing space and style first for example)?
Getting to know the client, understanding how they live as well as learning about the architecture and location of the property is very important when starting the design process. The concept stage is key to achieving the best result by sharing loads of ideas, inspiration and collaborating with the client throughout the whole process.