Teatime talk with Isabella Worsley
As you explore our gorgeous country house, you’ll notice that the place is filled with carefully thought-out details and accents. From pastel colour palettes and sumptuous fabrics to period chandeliers and statement handpainted wallpapers, each and every room has been lovingly designed by the wonderfully talented Isabella Worsley.
This classically trained designer first worked under Kit Kemp, the Creative Director behind the beautiful Firmdale Hotels, and we were fortunate enough to sit down with her for a quick chat about her time at Callow Hall.
So Isabella, what was your first impression of Callow Hall?
“From the very start, I knew we were working with a family home that had become a hotel, so I definitely wanted to keep that warm, welcoming atmosphere alive. When I first saw it, we pretty much just had the bones of the building, so there was a lot of freedom to take it where we wanted.”
After seeing Callow Hall and hearing about Ed and Charles’ ideas, how did you set about the process of designing it all?
“The key to Callow Hall was working with the original features, not against. Take a wander through the house and you’ll find beautiful panelling and antique tiles that now sit in the V&A Museum. Victorian architecture can often be quite sombre, so it was a matter of countering those accents with a little bit of quirk and character to create an eclectic English country house.”
What do you think makes Callow Hall so different from all those other beautiful country houses?
“We’re so blessed to have so many gorgeous old houses dotted around the country, and preserving them is a privilege for anyone to take on. Callow Hall has been rooted in its community since it was first built, and Ed and Charles’ vision has the incredible location right at its heart - and that’s what makes it so special.”
Which room is your favourite?
“Each room has its own identity and personality, creating pockets to spend time in throughout the day. The Spencer Room is opulent and rich, with a jewellery box palette, making it perfect for one last whisky at the end of the night. But, if you’re looking for somewhere stunning to sleep, rooms 1 and 2 offer those incredible views from statement in-room baths.”
If you had to pick a quirky design feature to share with us, what would it be?
“One of the best things about this project is that I was able to work with some fabulous young British artists. We’ve got handpainted wallpaper from Melissa White in the private dining room that features details from the local landscape, including a little Callow Hall and its signature beehives. And out in the Hives, Tess Newell has created beautiful folklore designs using stencils.”
And finally, we’ve got Tree Houses and woodland hideaways, but what sort of Wildhives would you like to see next?
“Callow Hall is nestled in acres and acres of beautiful woodland and dramatic topography, so it would definitely be exciting to see something near a body of water, like a lake or the sea. Water provides an inspiring location for design, so that would certainly be an interesting project for anyone.”