For some people, their home is a quiet haven, away from the hurly-burly of life. Not for food stylist, Sharon. Hers is her life. It's where it all happens - work, rest and play. ?This house is very sociable. It's always full of people,? she says of the bijoux terraced house in Dublin 12 that she shares with husband Martin and two-year-old daughter Pearl. Whether it's friends visiting for dinner or anyone from food media folk to photographers popping in and out, Sharon's home functions as both a funky family pad and nerve centre for her super-creative work.
As a highly successful food stylist, food writer and home economist for over 13 years, Sharon really has had her finger in every pie. She's worked with the cr'me of celebrity chefs (from Jamie Oliver to Gordon Ramsay and Neven Maguire to Gary Rhodes); hosted live demos; styled food for magazines, movies (including Die Another Day), print advertising and commercials; and has worked on over 30 TV cookery shows (including the popular Ready Steady Cook series and the famed Barefoot Contessa series).
?No two days are ever the same, and I love the mix of it,? she says. ?Right now, I'm working on a baking cookbook with a BBC chef, helping her to test and edit recipes,? she adds as she breezes about her kitchen, deftly dusting a luscious- looking sponge with icing sugar; slicing up a batch of decadently rich brownies; and brewing coffee for the IMAGE crew, all while looking impossibly chic in a vivid print dress.
And just like her inspirational culinary style (check out the drool-worthy images on her website, blueberrypie.ie), Sharon has created a home that's warm, welcoming, and a visual delight. It's an object lesson in how to do colourful, happy chic. And while the whole house boasts an original, eclectic vibe, the design heart of the home, unsurprisingly, is the rather fabulous 1950s-flavoured kitchen and dining room.
?I prefer to buy old things because I feel they're bringing a story with them,? she explains. ?Anything I feel I can relate to, I buy,? she adds. ?I think
?After a decade working on location around the world and being inspired by other people's kitchens, I knew exactly what I wanted,? she explains. ?It had to be practical (full access open shelving, clever storage and a moveable kitchen island), but it also had to be beautiful.? The result is a space that celebrates the handmade home ethos in all its unique beauty, from the customised units to the upcycled and salvaged furniture to the sweet decorative detailing (scallop- and cookie-cut-out trims) and offbeat finishing touches.
She's a girl with a personal style as sunny as her home, full of enthusiasm for colour and patterns, which translates into a vintage, romantic look that is individual and uplifting. Her natural go-to labels include Cath Kidston and Orla Kiely, which she mixes up with select pieces from under-the-radar label Emily and Fin, a smattering of quirky jewellery (she's obsessed with plastic bow rings and brooches), cool market finds, and the occasional high street buy.
For Sharon, life is about expressing creativity - from her wardrobe to her business to her home. And it's non-stop. This month, she's juggling food photography (for Neven Maguire's new cookbook), her regular food magazine editorials, and she's hosting cake decorating masterclasses at the Bloom Garden Festival.
American with a retro diner feel that showcases a harmonious mix of vintage prints and soft pastel colours. And lots of cheerful collectibles. ?I don't do minimalism,? she says with a laugh. ?I like 'stuff? - I want to surround myself with the bits that I've collected. Everything reminds me of some part of my life.?
However, her ultimate dream is to write a book. ?Not just a cookbook, but an all-round lifestyle?book focussing on home interiors, garden'design and the best home cooking,? she says. ?It's all about creating a background for the best life you can have. That's the real end game.?
Check out Sharon's work in the current issue of BASH, our new wedding magazine, on newsstands now