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A Rural Idyll: Redesigning a Country House in Kent by Zahra Pettican

You’re invited on a tour inside the stunning two-year bespoke interior design project that involved the total renovation of a listed manor country house in Kent. Be charmed by the results.

A beautiful listed manor house sits in an idyllic spot overlooking green fields and a 15th-century church. Once near-derelict, it has been completely renovated by bespoke interior design company Callender Howorth. This residence demonstrates the skill, imagination and versatility of the London-based interior architects who dedicated more than two years to restoring the property into a beautiful bolthole in the picturesque Kent countryside.

The ambitious project involved working with English Heritage to adhere to building regulations and keep the listed building true to its original structure. The interior designers engaged the services of local craftsmen and suppliers in their work towards creating the perfect family home. The client’s brief was to design a classic-style home that respects the country house tradition but still feels warm, accessible and cosy. The village is surrounded by verdant pastures and is located close to the sea.

This Kent country house was fortunate that its original structure included large spaces and high ceilings. The designers highlighted this airy ambience and light-infused rooms by blending an occasionally neutral palette with plenty of bold, vibrant colours. From bright white to indigo and pea green, the walls really make a statement, but not in an obtrusive way. In fact, some walls feature patterns and motifs to create a truly unique space in each room. Even the bathrooms and kitchen have elements that stay true to the traditional spirit of the house.

The bespoke interior design of the country house benefited from a range of styles and textures. Vintage papers, antiques and cleverly sourced objects have been placed throughout the property. The house is full of stylish finishing touches and accessories, giving it a laid-back sophistication and an abundance of character. It is a magnificent example of a family home that seamlessly combines practicality with contemporary elements while remaining true to its heritage.

The design team was led by Mark Howorth, who founded Callender Howorth in 1997 and is one of the leading luxury London interior designers. Passionate about design, inspired by colour and materials, and fascinated by the dynamics of space and layout, the award-winning designer has over 20 years of experience of working with an international clientele and today the practice has a portfolio of completed projects across the UK, France, Switzerland and the USA.

Mark is justifiably proud of the completed Kent country house project and commented: “Callender Howorth has brought this house back to life, instilling charm along with every modern convenience, while reinstating the classic proportions that its heritage dictates.” The final design is certainly proof that, with a bit of creative thinking and the right design team, it is possible to have it all.


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