Trained at London’s Inchbald School of Design, Shelley is known for her elegant European influenced interiors with a fresh modern twist. Projects have taken her from London, Newport, Rhode Island, Naples, Florida, and through Chicago and its North Shore. Shelley works with her clients on projects ranging from initial architectural design and layouts, selection of fixtures, furnishings and accents, and refreshing existing spaces.
What inspired this career path for you?
I have always been inspired by beautiful spaces and all the layers and details that made them interesting. I grew up surrounded by creativity as my father was a landscape architect and my mother was a floral designer; both had careers driven by their love and passion for the outdoors. Following my passion for design and architecture felt like a natural career path.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
My go-to source for inspiration has always been fueled by travel. As a very tactile person, seeing and experiencing different lifestyles, architecture, and the natural beauty of the destination, supplies me with endless ideas. I can be inspired by the color of the sand on a beach at sunset to the prettiest pink linen tablecloth at a local café. I am very visual and I instinctually take in every detail of people, places, and things that I find beautiful.
Tell us about your creative process.
I get a feel from my clients of what they are envisioning, and then try to use my experience and vision to build upon their wishes with a space that is beautiful, timeless, and respectful to the architecture and setting.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
My design style is best described as traditional and elegant with a modern twist.
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
A staple in my tool kit is definitely a measuring tape; I’m always taking and re-taking measurements. You know they say, measure twice, cut once — in our world that adage has never been more apt!
Who do you look up to in the design world?
I look up to David Adler and Frances Elkins from the past. Adler designed his homes collaborating with Elkins on every interior detail, creating timeless and beautifully cohesive spaces.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
If I could design a space for anyone it would be a client who appreciates beautiful architecture. [I would design them] rooms with timeless details and gardens that they would want to live in and truly enjoy!
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
I love the quote by Albert Hadley: “Decoration is really about creating a quality of life, and a beauty in that life that nourishes the soul, that makes life beautiful. That’s what all this is about, not just what’s in and what’s out.”
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
Blogs, I like. Viyet of course and Mark D. Sikes, La Dolce Vita, Stylebeat, Aerin and Tory… as for magazines, I buy them all, especially the European ones that are often hard to find in the casual newsstand!