A calming bedroom with light and height — and a bathtub with a view

When Emma Sims Hilditch converted a 17th-century barn, she created a bedroom with both light and height. Giles Kime takes a look.

This bathroom is in a barn that adjoins the designer’s converted schoolhouse in Wiltshire. Emma spent two years transforming it with her husband, John, co-founder of Neptune. They took inspiration from buildings they had seen in Provence and, to create a similarly rustic feel, they used Douglas fir timbers for the beams and soft wood for the rafters, whitewashed with half water and half Silver Birch emulsion from Neptune.

Emma had always dreamt of having a bath tub with a view and she found the perfect spot in the corner of the bedroom. In order to lend a calm, restful feel to the space, she kept the palette quite neutral, with some stronger tones, including on the outside of the cast-iron bath, painted in Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon, and the headboard, which has a monochrome floral print.

The bathtub is painted in Farrow & Ball Pigeon. Pic credit: Ed Sheperd / Sims Hilditch.

A transformative decision was to open up ceilings to expose the rafters, thus making the most of the building’s height. Taps from Perrin & Rowe were fitted to the wall to create a pared-back feel.

In keeping with the rustic look, the walls were finished using a rough lime plaster and painted in Neptune Silver Birch and the woodwork in Dove Grey. The bed is hung with sheer curtains that create a light, breezy feel and covered with a combination of both angora and cotton throws, to create a luxurious layered look.

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Sims Hilditch — www.simshilditch.com