Shelley Carline and her husband Wayne have created a home brimming with decorative drama and unique style
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, Made.com. Walls painted in Devonshire Green, Valspar