WHEN TV presenter Nicki Shields and her husband Mark found their four-bedroom terrace in Shepherd’s Bush in 2016, it wasn’t quite what they’d set out to buy.
‘We were looking for a three-bedroom terrace that needed some work. We were planning to buy something that needed an extension and loft conversion — but this was already done and we fell in love with it,’ she says.
‘We might not make the money that you can do with a renovation but I’m glad we did it this way.’
Nicki, 32, currently presents a string of motor racing and eco shows and time is often tight. ‘I struggled to find the three weeks to manage the garden being done,’ she says.
But it was quite a transformation in those three weeks and has been their biggest change to the house. They overhauled the original patch of grass, putting down a patio and installing two seating areas, lights, speakers, flower beds and a light-up water feature. The grass is also gone — replaced with an artificial lawn.
‘We’ve taken influence from the villa in Ibiza where we got married,’ says Nicki. ‘We’ve got a pink rose and white-washed seating. It’s a slice of Ibiza in Shepherd’s Bush.’
While house-hunting, Nicki was presenting long-running daytime property show Escape To The Country — but she wasn’t tempted to move out of London herself.
She says, ‘I loved doing that programme — the contributors were lovely and it was great to see so many houses. It was good for inspiration when it came to interiors. It made me more aware of the difference between property prices in London compared to more rural areas — but I need to live in London for work.’
And Shepherd’s Bush proved ideal. ‘Soho House is about to open here, there are a lot of TV production companies in the area and it’s easy to get to Heathrow airport,’ she says.
Nicki regularly flies to racing events around the world — and she has brought some souvenirs home with her. There’s a small collection of model cars on her piano which she’s acquired on various jobs. ‘There are a few McLarens and one is from a talk I hosted in Barcelona with Lewis Hamilton,’ she tells us.
Nicki describes her taste in interiors as ‘contemporary with a mix of vintage’.
She explains, ‘I like to put pieces from different eras together — so I like having my grandmother’s marble side table with the modern coffee table from West Elm.
‘I like design, I enjoy fashion and making things look good. I work a lot with high-performance cars. A lot of that is about design and finish so it’s all about attention to detail — and that follows through if you’re driving a car or if you’re sitting on a sofa.’ The sofa in question is a new addition, from Camerich. Nicki says, ‘It’s so cosy and comfortable. One of my friends runs a design company and she recommended them.’
Her designer pal also served as a mentor when it came to other decor decisions. She says, ‘Alcove shelving is quite traditional, but we’ve gone for chunkier shelves and a simple finish to make them more contemporary. I really wanted to paint them Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball, but my husband thought it was too dark. My designer friend told me just to go for it, and it looks great.’
There are also several items of sentimental value on display. Nicki’s father has recently taken up painting and one of his works, an interesting abstract, hangs on the living room wall. Then there is the piano, which was given to Nicki by a friend of the family.
‘She was moving and didn’t have room so gave it to us. It’s such a beautiful piece of furniture,’ she says. ‘My father is very musical and I grew up with a piano in the house — I got up to Grade 5. I’ve just started having lessons again.’
Colourful decorative touches include an eye-catching artwork — an assemblage of butterflies, arranged in a circle, made out of matchbooks. ‘I was walking past a shop near the Southbank Centre, saw this in the window and had to buy it,’ she says.
Some large hydrangeas add an element of life to her faux granite dining table. Nicki tells us, ‘There’s a local florist that sells them for £6 for a stem. This one has lasted six weeks.’
Now that she’s settled in and put the finishing touches to her home, how long does she think she will stay? She says, ‘I am in no hurry to move. We will be here for the foreseeable future.’
Nicki presents Formula E on Channel 5 and Supercharged and Going Green on CNN. Follow her on Instagram @nickishields. The next Formula E race is on March 3 in Mexico
Get the look
■ Heart of House geometric cushion, £14.99, argos.co.uk
■ Halmstad concrete dining table, £349, barkerandstonehouse.co.uk
■ Wickes Royal Sapphire paint, £12 for 2.5L, wickes.co.uk
■ John Lewis Esher furnishing fabric, £30 per metre, johnlewis.com
■ Neon Foxy box sign, £95, grahamandgreen.co.uk
■ Rainbow upcycled butterflies, £145, etsy.com
■ Anglepoise Type 75 mini desk lamp, £115, heals.com
■ Hudson Reed Colosseum horizontal column radiator, £240.99, wayfair.co.uk
■ Blue Juliet 1 rug, £409, dunelm.com
■ Villiers reclaimed wood pedestal desk, £675, barkerandstonehouse.co.uk