Shelley Carline's home is the epitome of extraordinary! A natural creative, we are completely mesmerised by Shelley's stunning home and her natural talent to transform small spaces into something wonderful, exciting and totally unique. Living in Sheffield with her husband, teenage son and adorable labradoodle, Shelley is a talented businesswoman who has transformed her love of interiors and styling into an amazing interiors boutique, Hilary & Flo.

Shelley's vintage apothecary cabinet that looks just as stunning in real life as it does in the photo! As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.

Describing her style as eclectic and with a serious love of dark walls and vintage finds, Shelley's home was the perfect fit for our Rockett St George book, Extraordinary Interiors, and her beautiful home stands out from pages. So for the next instalment in our #10MinsWith series we have sat down with the fabulous Shelley to find out all about her home, work and favourite RSG pieces ...

Shelley has mastered the picture wall display, which is beautifully complemented with eclectic accessories collected over the years as featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.

1.Take us back to the beginning. When did your passion for design and interiors first develop?

I bought my first house when I was 25 years old.  I was a single mother and didn’t have a lot of money to spend on my house, but it was decorated badly and needed an update.  I used to decorate and upcycle items when my son was asleep and loved that I could make rooms look a lot better without spending a lot of money.  I used to ask for interior gifts for birthdays and Christmas presents and loved buying interior magazines.

2. You have two businesses a craft café called ‘Fired Arts’ and an interior and gift shop called ‘Hilary & Flo’. What inspired you to start your businesses?

Prior to having my businesses, I used to work in training and helping people with numeracy and literacy.  I had done this for 10 years and, although it was a good and flexible job, I yearned to do something creative. The craft café was up for sale and I went along to see the owner without really knowing what to expect.  I fell in love with it and bought it as an ongoing business a few months later. The shop next to it became available to rent.  I had always wanted an interior and gift shop that was a little bit different to anything else in Sheffield, so did my research and decided to go for it!  I have since sold the craft café as it was getting too difficult to run both and my passion is with interiors.

We love humour in interiors at RSG and Jane & Lucy loved this climbing man so much that we just had to have it for RSG! As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.

3. Hilary & Flo specialises in eclectic and beautiful interior pieces and gifts. How do you decide on what to sell in your shop? Is there a special process that you follow?

When I first decided to set up the store, I visited lots of trade shows and searched the internet for independent makers.  I think I purchase on gut instinct.  If a product jumps out at me or makes me think ‘wow’ then I must have it in my shop.  I have now been trading for nearly 2 years and have started to learn what kind of products my customers and target audience want.  I try to keep up with trends, but also stock items that are classics and have longevity.

Shelley's beautiful living space - would you look at those gorgeous blue walls! As featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.

4. You have said that when you first purchased your home it needed a total upheaval to reflect your unique style. How did you transform it into the beautiful home that it is today?

I sold my house in 2005 and moved in with my now husband. The intention was that we would buy a house together in time – it’s never happened!   He had lived on his own for a while and so the house had become a bit dated.  We have 3 children between us and the house was a 3 bedroom house with 2 of the bedrooms being quite small.  We decided to build a side extension 11 years ago and then built a single storey extension in 2016. My style has changed a lot since having the shop which is now reflected in the dark interior of the house.

I do all the decorating myself and my husband is a joiner which means he can put his mind to most DIY tasks.  We have managed to create a home on a limited budget using reclaimed items and budget buys.  I love decorating and can often be found with a paintbrush in my hand in the early hours of the morning.

Beautiful tree silhouettes create a dreamy backdrop for the bed as featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.

5. Your home is featured in the Rockett St George Book, Extraordinary Interiors, and it is obvious that you are a natural talent when it comes to creating spectacular interiors. We were particularly struck by your kitchen. Tell us, what feeling did you try and create when designing this room?

Our old kitchen was tiny and totally impractical.  We used to have a conservatory on the back of the house which never got used.  We knocked this down and built an extension in its place, knocking the kitchen through. We didn’t have much money left after building the extension so had to do it on a budget.  I love dark kitchens and reclaimed wood and found lots of inspiration on Pinterest.  I wanted a rustic, industrial look with some vintage features thrown in like the tin tiles on the island.We upcycled our old kitchen units as I liked the style by sanding and painting them and putting on new handles.The reclaimed wood was wood that my husband had left over from a job so this was used around the range.  We made our own concrete island and sourced second-hand worktops.

We wanted the kitchen to be a space where we could cook and entertain while being able to chat to people in the adjoining space.  It had to be practical but I wanted it to look a bit different as well.  It’s totally changed how we now use the space.

We love the hilarious 'Did I just roll my eyes out loud' print in Shelley's kitchen as featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.

6. Your home is filled with treasures and one-off finds. Where is the first place that you look for unusual pieces?

I absolutely love vintage shopping.  I am in my element when wondering around antique fairs and vintage shops and always look for unusual items to put in our home.  There are some great ones about an hour from where we live. I often pop into our local TKMaxx as I always seem to find something a little bit different in there and the prices are really reasonable. I also tend to bring a few items home from my shop which I try not to do, but I can’t resist!

7. Is there any item in your home that has a sentimental value and why?

I always buy a little bit of something for the home whenever I go on holiday so that I remember what an amazing time we had.  I’ve got art prints, a wooden elephant head from our honeymoon and other little things that always bring back good memories.

A beautiful booth table which is not only a great space saver but looks beautiful against the dark wood walls as featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.

8. What advice would you give to someone who is trying to create an extraordinary home on a tight budget?

I am really fortunate that I have a husband that is so good at DIY so we have saved a fortune by not having to pay for tradesmen.However, I think it is possible to create an extraordinary home without spending lots of money, you just have to use your imagination.  Inexpensive or free items can be painted or repurposed to make something that looks a lot more expensive.  I love going to charity shops, salvage yards and car boot sales to pick up things that cost next to nothing.  There is a lot of inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram has a huge and inspirational interior community for ideas.

Shelley's amazing entrance hall as featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar.

9. Name three interior Instagram accounts that inspire you?

Suburbansalon – bit of a biased one here as Julia is also a very good friend of mine.  This aside, her house is beautiful, eclectic and unique and she makes the most beautiful cushions and Mongolian stools.

Carnivalofcolour - I’m very nervous about using colour in my home and tend to stick to quite a muted palette. Rebecca’s feed is a riot of colour, pattern and the most amazing one-off items. She inspires me to be a bit braver with my choices of décor.

Patirobins – this lady is the queen of interiors on a budget.  Her ideas are inventive and she does all the DIY herself which is something I totally admire.  Plus, her photography prints are stunning.

10. Finally, name three new RSG products that you love?

The Bamboo Chair £160, Faces brass side table £195 and the Power limited Ed Print by Diana Gomez £1500.


Quick Fire Questions

1.My ideal day would be spent….Chilling on a beach followed by cocktails watching the sunset.

2. If I could spend one day with one person (dead or alive) it would be… My late father in law – the most inspirational person I’ve ever met.

3. My dream holiday would be…Travelling around the USA in an RV, visiting all of the National Parks.

4. My guilty pleasure is… Listening to old school dance music and having a bit of a dance around the house!

5. The last film I saw was…Spotlight.

6. My favourite book is… Unfortunately, I don’t get time to read books unless I’m on holiday. I was a HUGE Enid Blyton fan when I was younger and would love to read them all again.

7. My go-to track is… Massive Attack – Unfinished Symphony

8. My signature dish is … I’m definitely not known for my cooking skills, however, I can whip up good huevos rancheros when pushed.

9. My superpower would be… I would love to be invisible for the day – the things I could get up to…..

10.The three things I can’t live without are…  My family, my phone, my labradoodle


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