real home

Shel­ley Car­line and her hus­band Wayne have cre­ated a home brim­ming with dec­o­ra­tive drama and unique style

Real Homes - - Contents -

Shel­ley and Wayne Car­line have cre­ated a home brim­ming with drama and unique style

On the south­ern out­skirts of Sh­effield, at the end of a mod­est cul-de-sac, hides the home of in­te­ri­ors spe­cial­ist Shel­ley Car­line.

Like many of the most ex­cit­ing re­fur­bish­ment and ex­ten­sion projects, Shel­ley and her hus­band Wayne’s home gives noth­ing away from the front; its façade is al­most iden­ti­cal to the sur­round­ing prop­er­ties, aside from the touch of Shel­ley’s favourite off-black shade (Far­row & Ball’s Rail­ings) adorn­ing the door and win­dows.

All of this only adds to the thrill of step­ping in­side. The cou­ple have cre­ated a se­ries of spa­ces that ef­fort­lessly func­tion as both a com­fort­able, cosy fam­ily home and a the­atri­cal back­drop for Shel­ley’s unique dec­o­ra­tive flights of imag­i­na­tion – cre­at­ing a prop­erty that’s the per­fect mix of stage set and Aladdin’s cave.

The rich and glam­orous tone of the dé­cor within these mod­est walls has been achieved with in­ven­tive­ness, re­source­ful­ness and an un­fail­ing eye for an up­cy­cling op­por­tu­nity. It comes as no sur­prise that Shel­ley is a vet­eran of in­te­rior re­fur­bish­ment. ‘I was only 25 and a sin­gle mother when I bought my first house,’ she says, ‘It’s fair to say money was tight, but the dé­cor in that place was so dated and de­press­ing, I knew I had to do some­thing to give it a makeover. I be­gan spend­ing pretty much all my spare cash on buy­ing fur­ni­ture to up­cy­cle, and in­te­rior mag­a­zines for in­spi­ra­tion.’

Shel­ley’s love for in­te­ri­ors soon de­vel­oped into a ca­reer. ‘I ac­tu­ally used to love work­ing away on my lit­tle projects after my son was tucked up in bed,’ she says. ‘It wasn’t long be­fore it made me crave a more cre­ative ca­reer.’ Soon after, her on­line shop Hi­lary & Flo was born – and with it ar­rived many of the or­na­ments and soft fur­nish­ings that make Shel­ley’s home so unique. ‘I do bring a lot of stuff back here,’ she ad­mits, ‘but I need to know that ev­ery item will work in-situ be­fore

I sell it – or at least that’s what I tell my­self!’

Shel­ley moved in with her now hus­band, Wayne, in 2005, and although their ini­tial plan was to buy a new home to­gether, the re­fur­bish­ment of Wayne’s ‘bach­e­lor pad’ was a pro­ject Shel­ley sim­ply couldn’t re­sist. ‘I’d like to call it a blank can­vas, but it was more “1980s peach-and-grey” than that,’ she says. ‘There was also a pokey gal­ley kitchen and an old con­ser­va­tory out back, which was boil­ing in sum­mer and freez­ing in win­ter. Just like with my old place, we set to work slowly and steadily, im­prov­ing as and when we could af­ford it.’

The cou­ple started with a side-re­turn ex­ten­sion, which ini­tially pro­vided the el­e­gant ex­tra din­ing space at the front of the house as well as a util­ity room and WC to the rear. Since then, the cou­ple have also taken down the old con­ser­va­tory be­hind the gal­ley kitchen and used the foot­print to cre­ate a kitchen-liv­ing area with Velux win­dows above and glass slid­ing doors open­ing onto the re­vamped back gar­den.

It’s a space that’s un­doubt­edly be­come the fo­cal area of their home, while also show­cas­ing their com­bined tal­ents and style. ‘I’m in­cred­i­bly lucky that Wayne is a pro­fes­sional joiner,’ Shel­ley says, ‘not least be­cause he made most of the kitchen by re­paint­ing and re­pur­pos­ing the old beech kitchen units, along with other un­wanted of­f­cuts of wood he’s brought back from work. We sourced the cen­tral is­land unit se­cond-hand but we also made the pol­ished con­crete top our­selves. You can’t beat the feel­ing of suc­cess­fully up­cy­cling – and it meant that most of our bud­get could be spent on qual­ity kitchen ap­pli­ances.’

To­day, Shel­ley and Wayne’s home is a tes­ta­ment to what can be achieved with the right com­bi­na­tion of per­spi­ra­tion and in­spi­ra­tion, and re­gard­less of whether her taste in style changes, that’s an ethos Shel­ley will never give up. ‘There are so many places to get up­cy­cling in­spi­ra­tion these days,’ she says, ‘and you’re never far away from a vin­tage fair or a car boot sale. If you gave me a blank cheque­book right now, I still wouldn’t want to do it any other way.’

Left and far left Si­t­u­ated where the old con­ser­va­tory once stood, the new liv­ing area has Velux win­dows above and glazed slid­ing doors cov­er­ing most of the far wall, let­ting light flood into a space painted in dark, dra­matic colours. The side wall is dom­i­nated by a huge an­tique apothe­cary’s cab­i­net, pur­chased from sup­plier friends who im­port vin­tage from the US.‘It’s some­thing that’s al­ways been on my wishlist, and when this ar­rived from New York, I just couldn’t re­sist,’ Shel­ley says. Mu­ral, Rebel Walls. Chan­de­lier and rug, Hi­lary & Flo. Ot­toman, Cortesi Home. For a sim­i­lar foot­stool, try Ebay. Ori­en­tal screen, Hay­den An­tiques. Sofa, Walls painted in Devon­shire Green, Valspar

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