When Shirley Ballas wanted to redo her entire house, she knew exactly who to turn to. The Strictly Come Dancing head judge was moving back to London after living in Los Angeles and intended to totally renovate the property she would be living in. Having previously lived in south-east London house with her son Mark, she had rented it out after moving to California and knew it needed a totally new look.
After admiring the work of the Sparkle Company on Instagram, she got in touch with the women behind the brand, Louise Fawcett and Claire Hills. Together, they came up with a plan for Shirley’s home – and the effect, as seen in this week’s HELLO! magazine, is simply stunning. Speaking exclusively to HELLO!, Louise explained how she and Claire provided Shirley with everything she needed.
WATCH: Shirley Ballas shows us round her incredible home
"When Shirley first approached us on Instagram, she said she loved our page and wanted us to source some products for her. I asked her what she needed and she said she was renovating her whole house and that she wanted an interior designer. So we got involved," she said. "We did a lot of work in partnership with the architect so we gave our knowledge to them to help build the house as well. We also designed her dressing room in the attic upstairs, all her closets, the dining room and all her furniture and we helped pick fabrics, linens and so on."
Work on the house took a year, with The Sparkle Company coming in for nine months. "Shirley wanted a contemporary look at first, but then she said it might be too modern for what she wanted," Louise said. "So we suggested that we should mix it up with some old-fashioned pieces, too, because there is no saying that you can’t do that, but you have to do it a certain way. We created modern features like the lighting, and the mirrored console tables and dressing tables in the bedrooms but we mainly created a warm environment for her and her family because she is quite a cosy lady. She likes to relax and we created warmth for her."
Shirley Ballas enlisted The Sparkle Company to transform her London house
Family photographs are dotted around the house, showing how much importance Shirley places on her relationship with her mother Audrey and son Mark. "They are all so super close, the bond they have is amazing. She is very close to Mark and Audrey - she keeps her on the right track. She keeps us on the right track too!"
As for their favourite features? The bar in the lounge and Shirley’s glam dressing room, which holds her Strictly outfits and takes inspiration from Hollywood icons like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. In the space there is even a wall of photographs that Shirley loves from previous shoots with HELLO! magazine. "The bar idea came because Shirley wanted a bit of a party house, She just wants to live life and enjoy herself! We wowed her with her dressing room. She came back from LA and we wouldn’t let her see anything until it was finished. She said: 'I just want my closet to be a girlie closet!', so I said: 'Let's just do what we know best,' and we made it into a great space."
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