When renovating her new home in Donegal, Fleetwood interior designer Shelley Leslie transformed a former hallway into an intimate escape packed with bold style
The brief: Create a quirky snug with a sense of fun
In partnership with Fleetwood
What makes a home is the people in it, and that is why it feels so satisfying to put your own stamp on your space. Fleetwood interior designer Shelley Leslie has renovated this property in Donegal over the past two years. While the rest of the house is focused on family-friendly living, she wanted a snug for her and her husband to have space for themselves.
“This was a hallway, but we reconfigured it. We could have had this as part of the kitchen in a big open space but we decided to create this room. It’s for the adults in the house but I still wanted it to be quirky and fun,” Shelley says.
“It’s a bit of a breakaway room. It’s somewhere I go if I’ve to make a phone call, if I have a friend over or if I just want five minutes to myself.”
Hidden behind pocket doors, the room is a riot of colour. Shelley has paired the bright jewel tone of Sylvia Beach by Fleetwood with Lucy Tiffney wallpaper.
Sylvia Beach is a bold colour, named for a daring woman. Bookseller and publisher Sylvia Beach of the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris was the only person brave enough to publish James Joyce’s Ulysses. Fittingly, this hue matches the cover of the first edition.
“People shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. If colours resonate with you, if you like wearing it in your everyday life, those are the colours you should have in your home.”
“What drew me to the wallpaper was the vibrancy, the colour, the excitement of it. It’s just so different. I love Lucy Tiffney’s designs. This room needed a bright, brave colour like Sylvia Beach, to sit with that wallpaper,” Shelley says.
Shelley advises adding some unexpected touches to any interior design project: “Nothing should be too matchy matchy. A house that is 100% perfect is rarely full of charm. I found that this small room was a chance to be brave and to experiment.”
While initially tempted to turn a tricky alcove into storage, Shelley got creative and designed a bar for the space. “A local joiner fitted it out, then Letterkenny Glass put in this antique effect glass in the colour ‘suma’ and it is backlit too, so it feels really luxe,” Shelley says. “I think this adds to the room without taking over, because you can overdo a bar. It adds a nice eclectic touch.”
The sofa came from their old house, and was reupholstered by Nick Brown in a velvet that blends well with the wall colour. Shelley also added two Isla armchairs from her furniture store, Coast Contemporary Furniture.
The inky navy colour complements the colour of the bar, Salute Pantone 19-4001 by Fleetwood, and the base colour of the wallpaper.
“I love having three elements that are the same in the room, as that brings balance. The inky, dark colour works well with the brightness of Sylvia Beach,” Shelley says.
Emma Shipley cushions add another flash of pattern in a coordinating colour palette, and the lamps are sourced from Kelly Interiors in Donegal town. Shelley’s favourite piece in the room is a mid-century sideboard that belonged to her late father. Her husband brought the piece back to life.
“It fits really well in the room, it’s not too bulky and that little touch of wood adds a nice warmth. It’s so lovely to have a piece with such sentimental value to finish the room.”
This is an approach she takes with her clients, getting to know them and their home so that the design can reflect who they are. “Interiors shouldn’t be trend-based. Interiors should tell a story about the person living there. Even something as simple as using colours they really love ensures that the house is an extension of the homeowner.”
To find your nearest Fleetwood Prestige stockist, visit fleetwood.ie. Fleetwood Prestige is exclusive to the Vogue, Ventura and Pantone Colour Collections, and any colour can be mixed into Fleetwood Prestige; fleetwood.ie.