Working mum Shelley Ferguson enjoys juggling a young family, her third season of The Block and a full-time gig editing two home magazines, but she admits it isn’t always easy. Forward planning and Steve’s flexible hours as head coach of the Piha Surf Lifesaving Club does help.
“But if it’s a busy week and I don’t get that time with them each day, my balance starts to go and I just need to be with them,” she confesses. “When the balance is out, you feel bad about yourself the whole time.”
Kicking off her career at 18, Shelley has worked across various magazines here and abroad ever since, and it was during her time at Cleo that she met former Olympic canoer Steven, 36.
He was a finalist in the now-defunct magazine’s Bachelor of the Year competition and the pair felt an instant connection. They married just a couple of years later in an intimate seaside ceremony.
Throughout her career, Shelley’s love of home design and interior decorating has never waned and, three years ago, she came “full circle” by landing her role as Managing Editor of Your Home and Garden, the magazine on which she got her first break as a teen.
“It’s always been my thing,” smiles Shelley, who has since joined Woman’s Day as an interiors columnist and also edits Taste magazine. “I’m obsessed with interiors so it doesn’t feel like work to me.”
The plans were all in place for Shelley and Steve to add some creative flair to their 1960s-style abode by tackling their own home makeover, but then reality sank in.
She explains, “I know exactly what a renovation entails and I was confident I could manage it well, but I also knew what was coming. We’ve got a young family and our house was going to be unlivable for five months. We were going to have to rent and that adds a huge amount to the budget.”
Luckily, Shelley stumbled across her “dream family home” and now the Fergusons are in the middle of packing up and moving in – just 30 seconds down the road from their current house on Auckland’s North Shore.
Their new place will allow them to stay in the community they love, and is equally close to the city and the sea, but there’s another reason for its appeal – the view overlooks the spot where the couple got married seven years ago.
Now the intention is to put their own stamp on this new address. With Shelley’s creative talent and Steve’s handyman know-how, the good-looking duo have made plans to bite off just enough for them to chew.
“All the big stuff is done – it has beautiful bones and is great structurally,” laughs Shelley. “But it just needs updating. It’s a bit of an interiors project, which is my ideal. Now we don’t have to live through what the contestants on The Block have to live through ... with the added pressure of raising two kids!”
Shelley’s back on site for The Block NZ: Girls vs Boys on TV3, Monday-Wednesday at 7.30pm, and Sunday at 7pm.
Watch Sam and Emmett's kids' room reveal in the video player below