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‘People should do what they love rather than follow the latest trend’

Designer Shelley Hollywood showcases her skills on a new interiors show


Shelley Hollywood and husband Eddie. Credit: Afro-Mic Productions

Shelley Hollywood and husband Eddie. Credit: Afro-Mic Productions

Afro- Mic Productions

Shelley Hollywood and husband Eddie. Credit: Afro-Mic Productions

From quirky Airbnbs in Belfast to million-pound luxury pads on the North Down coast; Shelley Hollywood has been using her design skills to transform houses since she was a teenager.

Now offering a glimpse into her world, Shelley is one of three design teams wowing viewers with their skills in a new BBC series Beautiful Interiors Northern Ireland.

The Belfast mum-of-one, who now lives in Carryduff with husband and business partner Eddie, has taken social media by storm since she appeared on the new show.

And it’s not just her beautiful interiors that have evoked a flurry of comments but the fact that she took part in filming throughout the entire duration of her pregnancy.

On what starts off as a busy building site at a new house in Helen’s Bay which she is project managing — viewers see Shelley (36) in a hard hat, high-viz vest and sporting a baby bump!

She says: “The feedback from the show has been really positive and I had a lot of people say they were empowered by the fact that I was pregnant but still going out and working and getting things done.

“I had just found out I was pregnant when we started filming last March. Some days I was throwing up on the side of the road on my way to the site and then appearing on camera.

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“That’s when Eddie decided to come into the business with me. He has worked in housing and has experience of project management so it has worked well and now that Georgia is here, we juggle everything between us.”

Georgia is their adorable four-month-old daughter who viewers also get to meet.

Shelley, who runs her own company Meala Design, was surprised to be asked to be part of the show during what was a very special year for her expecting her first child.

We see her create an opulent cinema room, complete with starry ceiling, a fabulous hallway with floating stairs and a massive designer kitchen and living space for her Co Down clients.

Shelley has a distinct interior style which she describes as natural with a Scandi vibe.

She says: “We very much work with natural products like timber and concrete and in my designs there are more white space with botanical elements. Light is also very important.

“I would rely on materials from outside to create an accent in the room rather than colour.

“For me it’s very much about bringing the outside in.

“I like Scandinavian style with clean lines and very practical spaces.

“I think it’s important that every space works to its full potential.”

As for our own homes, Shelley advises to be brave and go with our gut when designing a room.

She says: “People should do what they love rather than follow the latest trend.

“I would advise people to pick an item they love, be it a sofa or another piece of furniture and grow their design from there.

“A lot of my work is with people who have their own ideas but don’t know how to tie it all together.

“My top tip is to hire an interior designer as we have contacts and get discounts and it may actually save you money as well as time.”

Shelley also has an online interior shop at www.mealadesign.com.

Catch all episodes of Beautiful Interiors Northern Ireland on BBC iPlayer

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