Shelley Ferguson explains how great interiors can build a happy home.
It’s fair to say that interiors expert Shelley Ferguson is au fait in all aspects of aesthetics – not only has she judged and presented high-rating TV property shows The Block NZ and Slice of Paradise, she’s also the former editorial director of multiple home and fashion magazines.
Interior design consulting, however, is where her passion lies. The Shelley Ferguson Design Studio is a manifestation of her natural talent for all things beautiful and functional in order to create content, harmonious homes around New Zealand.
Today, Shelley provides a bespoke interior design service, and personally works with clients to achieve their dream living spaces by creating initial design concepts and moodboards, 3D models and floorplans, as well as liaising with tradespeople for new builds and renovations. But her innate knack for knowing “what’s hot” means she’s often busy sourcing products and providing general décor and styling advice, too.
“Being surrounded by NZ’s incredible landscapes married with a background in fashion and interiors has inspired my ‘natural glamour’ aesthetic,” she says. “My design approach is focussed on fostering personal connections to surroundings – it’s about honouring the needs of the people who reside there, adding value both aesthetically and emotionally.”
Although her distinctive understated elegance remains at the heart of every project, Shelley says it’s important to dedicate the same commitment to the practical side of interior design. As a mum of two young children, she understands that a home needs to fit the lifestyle of the occupants and not be confined by any set design rules.
“A home can’t just look great, it needs to work for everyone who lives there,” she says. “I love working with owners who have the honesty and vision to explore how their household really works, the daily pressures their current home creates, and how we can come up with solutions. When the home functions and flows well, it allows more opportunity for positive, memorable experiences and these are what make a house a home.”
Introducing a ‘vacation vibe’ at home is Shelley’s jam, harnessing restful tones and textures and connections to nature with chic, contemporary pieces, vintage finds and textural layers. One of her most recent projects was transforming a home on a tight central Auckland section with white rendered plaster, breeze blocks, palms, green marble and resort-inspired accessories for a Santorini feel.
“Interior design is so important because it influences human behaviour – it’s an investment in positive experiences and interactions in the home,” she says. “Whether it’s a built-in benchseat looking out to your favourite view, a gallery hallway of art that inspires you, a grouping of furniture that encourages conversation or even a built-in bar, considered design enables better experiences. Also, let’s be honest, living in a beautifully designed home is pretty satisfying, too!”
Read our lifestyle & property magazine Property Style in full >