Back in person for the first time in two years, London House was delighted to attend Masterpiece London this year. Masterpiece London is the unmissable art fair where visitors can view and buy the finest works of art, design, furniture, and jewellery - from antiquity to the present day. It has quickly become the go-to event for those in the market for luxury art, antiques, and design.
One of the stands that was a highlight for us was the Philip Mould & Company stand designed in collaboration with interior design house Sims Hilditch. The stand wanted to showcase and celebrate 500 Years of British Art. We sit down with design director Louise Wicksteed to find out more about her design process, the relationship between art and interiors and to find out a little more about the design studio.
Let’s start from the very beginning - how did the collaboration come about?
Both Sims Hilditch and Philip Mould Gallery have a mutual respect for fine art, from more contemporary pieces to those with great historic value. It is this appreciation, as well as a deep understanding of how art should be used within a home, that led to this collaboration.
What was the design brief from Philip Mould?
The aim of the stand was to showcase 500 years of British artwork as it would be seen within a home. With this is mind, we created two spaces within: an inviting drawing room decorated using the sofa and armchairs from our furniture collection with George Smith, and a smaller space with a round table and antique chairs. Both spaces were painted in a deep aubergine which historically has been considered a regal and feminine shade. This is in keeping with the theme of the stand, which was feminine glamour.
What was the design inspiration behind the stand? Did certain artworks inspire the design process for the team?
The typically rich colours used in the oil paintings on display were a great source of inspiration for us. We selected a dramatic colour palette of aubergine, contrasted with beautiful olives and natural linens. The daring fluidity of the style in which Ambrose McEvoy painted Vicomtesse Phyllis de Janze helped to inform the boldness of our design, and the balance of traditional and contemporary techniques used by Gerard Leslie Butler are reflected in the antique and modern furniture that we chose. For more on our design inspiration, see here.
The stand was all about the coming together of art and architecture, how was this achieved?
The stand was designed to be reflective of a home, showcasing the relationship between art and architecture. The idea was to provide an inviting backdrop to the artwork on display, guiding the eye and providing invited glimpses of what is within. We did this by installing archways within the design, framing key pieces of artwork, and drawing people in.
Did you partner with other design brands?
We worked closely with Fermoie, who provided many of the fabrics for the stand including the olive patterned fabric for the sofa and the striped fabric for the curtains. Lorfords kindly provided a range of antiques and we sourced much of the lighting from Vaughan.
How would you describe the Sims Hilditch aesthetic?
Sims Hilditch champion fine British design and craftsmanship, and this is something that we focused on when designing the Masterpiece stand. A layered, curated interior that feels luxurious but lived in is our signature aesthetic at Sims Hilditch. We achieved this in the stand by sourcing a pair of Gustavian and Swedish Empire stools as well as a mid-century sideboard from Lorfords to bring gravitas to the interior, befitting Philip Mould’s fine collection of art. We also introduced plenty of pattern and texture into the scheme in the form of fringed cushions, striped curtains and dining chairs and a sisal rug. A metal coffee table and dramatic colour scheme bring a contemporary feel an comfortable sofa and armchairs create a cosy aesthetic.
What exciting projects do you have in the pipeline for this year?
We are about to launch our first ever interiors book ‘The Evolution of Home’ on 13th September and have just launched a new collection of tiles with Marlborough Tiles.