Barefoot and pregnant, interior decorator designs dream house from a blank slate
Late Shepherd, founder and creative director of decor and design company Something Different, moved into her Sunningdale home in November 2014, when she was eight months’ pregnant.
How did you find the house?
We’d spent a lot of time in old houses and felt the need for a “new” home with a fresh build, look, feel and details.
It was their (the developer’s) show home, so all finishes and fittings were complete, so I could spend time on decor and design.
As a creative at heart, and with Something Different, I was fortunate to have my home as a playground for custom-designed furniture and decor pieces. Any girl’s dream.
What made you choose the area?
We moved from the southern suburbs to the beach side on the west coast. It was a big change for us, but we did it for two reasons: accessibility and for safety.
What made you fall in love with it?
Value for money in Table View is incredible; it’s an area with new malls, locations and great for children. It’s a kilometre from the beach.
What was it like when you moved in compared to now?
We had a lovely blank canvas and I redecorated the moment I moved in. However, I have since redecorated. I can’t help myself; when you design new spaces for every event, it’s hard not to keep wanting to revamp your personal space. My daughter loves it and we did the cutest bunny-themed table and chairs for her room.
What changes did you make to the property?
First thing we needed was a pool and entertainment area, so that’s when we put in the deck (with our bare hands – and yes, barefoot and pregnant); the pool followed.
Did you work with an architect and/or interior designer?
As the creative director of Something Different, I was truly spoilt for choice when it came to decor and design. With the support of my team, we created beautiful pieces and decor items of my own, with additional smalls from various stores.
What dictates your decor style?
That’s a tough question. I love all styles and trends; however, I do lean towards the more modern, elegant and simplistic look and feel. I don’t enjoy a cluttered environment and absolutely adore a “fresh and clear” approach to interiors, so don’t tend to collect lots of breakable eclectic things (also – I have a toddler and these two ideas don’t merge well). Greenery, open spaces and easy entertainment are what make my heart and our home happy.
What are your favourite things?
The daybed outside. In summer it’s warm, but shaded enough by the pergola. It has huge cushions and is super comfy – it feels like you can disappear into it for hours, reading or enjoying the summer sun and socialising.
I am proud of how I have included tasteful kids’ decor in our home; not everything needs to be gaudy and plastic – whether it’s my daughter’s beautiful princess bed, her room itself or her bunny chairs.
How does it feel to come home after work, or from a trip away?
As a family we love to travel to be inspired, to explore and all the usual excitements of holidays, but – as I said to my husband Ryan the other night – there is something so important and fun for us about coming home. We really want to come home; we long for our own place with the warm and welcoming feeling of our curated space.
What do you enjoy most about being at home?
We really have such a fun set-up for entertaining, whether it’s by the fire dining with friends in winter, or in summer when we fling open all the doors, with sun loungers and daybeds outside, with the pool/braai/bar combo. We love to have our space filled with people, laughter, splashing and music.
Is this your dream home or do you have other aspirations?
Eventually one day I would love to design and build my own home. With young children this is much of a dream right now, but I would love either a huge overhaul of a renovation project or create from scratch my dream home.
If you didn’t live here, where would you like to live?
Now that’s a question. I adore Cape Town. My heart is at home in a London picture-perfect terraced house with pillars and creeping ivy (think Chelsea). But I would have to say my favourite place would be a beautiful Italian villa, with marvellous Umbrian views, in a unique stone-clad building and place for lots of alfresco dining