Saturday, July 16, 2016

At Home With Shelley Johnstone Paschke

As a design blogger, I see a lot of beautiful backyards, but hands down designer Shelley Johnstone Paschke's is my all-time favorite. If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen this breathtaking image I reposted from Shelley's backyard, and I am thrilled she is providing an in-depth tour today! We will also take a peek inside Shelley's glamorous home.

The estate is located on a sumptuous one acre lot in Lake Forest, Illinois. The main house was built in the 1950s, and it was designed to resemble a David Adler coach house with paneled library, plaster, stucco, and urns. It is European inspired and built like a grand country estate. Having studied at London's Inchbald School of Design, Shelley is heavily drawn towards European elegance.

When designing the backyard, Shelley was inspired by the restaurants of Capri with their pink tablecloths and blue and white linens. A black and and white awning adds a touch of Palm Beach/Hollywood Regency to the mix, and oodles of hydrangeas, roses, and geraniums create the sensation of a secret garden. This is truly my dream backyard!

"I have five boys and they usually have over a huge group of friends," said Shelley. "It is fun to see the boys with all the pink... pink and white striped towels, cushions and flowers." 

Shelley designed the pool house to complement the style of the main house. She was inspired by the follies of Newport and the pagoda-shaped pool houses of Palm Beach. In addition to serving as a lovely space for entertaining and relaxation, it is also functional, complete with changing room, outdoor shower, and storage space for pool equipment.
Image via Modern Luxury.

Shelley is currently adding more hydrangeas to the landscaping. She is always adding and layering!

The outdoor furniture is a combination of vintage Woodard (lounge chairs) and vintage and new Brown Jordan. The cushions are custom pink Sunbrella with white piping. Shelley uses indoor Pierre Frey fabric (not indoor/outdoor) for the pillows, which she replaces each season. 

She uses bamboo silverware, blue and white dishes and glasses, and rattan placemats.

Beautiful roses are planted in the boxwood parterre.  There are white hydrangea around pool area, and pink geraniums in blue and white containers scattered throughout.

Pink and white striped towels, inspired by Capri.

The cabana bath is painted pale pink. Prints by Slim Aarons framed in black bamboo set the mood.

Shelley oversaw a loving expansion of the main home several years ago when she remarried and her family blended from three to seven. With four boys and one girl, extra room was necessary! You can read more about the expansion here. Shelley painstakingly oversaw every detail from the Greek Key moldings to the elegant brass hardware, so the addition seamlessly complements the home's original structure and fine architectural details.  

Let's take a look inside!...

The trellis room was previously an outside patio, which Shelley enclosed and painted Hermes orange. She made sure the black marble flooring and architectural details all tied in with the rest of the home. 
Image via Modern Luxury.

The dining room walls are covered in elegant fabric. 

Pink flowers in blue and white vases to bring the outside in.

Shelley's romantic, European inspired master bedroom. 

Her master bathroom is clad in classic white marble, also inspired by Europe. 

A sneak peek of Shelley's daughter's bedroom via Instagram

Isn't Shelley's home gorgeous?! Unlike many designers who are frequently moving and looking for their next big home renovation, this is the forever home and oasis for Shelley and her family.  Last year, it was featured in Traditional Home decked in holiday finery... You can see it here for a little Christmas in July! 

Below are a few additional samples of her work... 

An elegant kitchen in progress, via Shelley's Instagram. She tells me the butler's pantry is lacquered darker grey... I cannot wait to see more! 

To learn more about Shelley and to see more of her work, please visit her website, Shelley Johnstone Design. And you will want to follow her on Instagram. Many of the images above were pulled from her fabulous account! Thank you, Shelley for sharing your beautiful home with us! I am now ready to move into your pool house. :)

About Shelley Johnstone Paschke
Trained at London's Inchbald School of Design, Shelley is known for her elegant European influenced interiors with a fresh modern twist. Projects have taken her from London, Newport, Rhode Island, Naples, Florida and through Chicago and its North Shore. Shelley works with her clients on projects ranging from initial architectural design and layouts, selection of fixtures, furnishings and accents and refreshing existing spaces. She strives to create a lifestyle for her clients, beautiful timeless homes to be lived in and enjoyed!


  1. What an absolutely beautiful home! I am smitten with the pool pavilion and all the lovely pink touches. Inside the home is equally gorgeous. Thanks for sharing, Andrea! xoxo

  2. Complete and utter fabulousness! Now, that's a house. Every detail is perfection. That is the most gorgeous home I have seen in years. What a taste level. Love her ideas and the execution. It's nearly unbelievable. All I can say is - "WOW" If only the shelter magazines would feature homes like this instead of the boring drivel of the last decade. Thank you, Andrea. You made my day.

  3. Just gorgeous! What a great place to raise a family. Totally smitten with the pool area too. Pamela


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