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Shirley Pengelly

Shirley has a preference for contemporary design, with a little retro thrown in. She likes the use of bold colours, clean lines, shape, form and transparency.

1. Who is your style hero?

Instead of having a style hero, I go through a process of being inspired by things around me. I usually get ideas, which through manipulation and experimentation, I develop.

2. If you had an unlimited budget to spend on your home what improvements would you make?

An unlimited budget would allow me to transform my home in all areas. However, I would start with my kitchen and adjoining conservatory. I would remove the divided glass doors and create one big open space. The units and worktops would be designed to complement the shape of the kitchen, embracing curved worktops, cupboards a split level floor and big windows. Simplicity in lines, shape and accessories would be very important, reflecting my sense for pattern, texture and colours in key areas.

3. Would you have the room you created in your own home?


4. What did you learn from taking part in ‘Your Home In Their Hands’?

I embraced the bigger picture of interior design. I fully responded to the challenge of the process and its requirements. It completely utilised my organisational and creative ability. I surprised myself.

5. What is your golden rule when it comes to interior design?

Doing what feels right for a particular space.

6. What is your DIY tool that you just can’t live without?

My sewing machine.

7. What is your biggest DIY achievement?

Making good my old kitchen, realising how much a space could be transformed with a few alterations. I laid new vinyl flooring and worktops. I replaced one wall unit with a door-less unit for simplicity, and painted the walls.

8. What’s your biggest DIY disaster?

My biggest disaster was styling and decorating my living room while working around two leather cream sofas that were not really suitable for two young boys. I sent the sofa back, and started again.

9. If you could design a room in any building in the world, what room would you design and why?

I would love to design a room in Buckingham Palace. It would be a challenge to create a space that is rich in grandeur but in a very contemporary way.