Monday, September 30, 2013

The Shilvocks - A Couple with a Green thumb (Garden Tour)

Based in Warwickshire (UK), the residence of Michael and Neena Shilvock is an intimate abode that strongly resonates the couples love for travel and the outdoors. You'll have been introduced to Neena (an obstetrician and gynecologist by profession) as the creative mind behind Caprilicious Jewelry line and has been featured here. Neena  and Michael have been gracious in inviting us to take a tour of their lovely garden and share with us their gorgeous home filled with travel treasures. They share their home with their boy cat, Harold. And I must tell you'll that serendipity played a huge role, in being able to bring this beautiful home to you'll.

Armed with foresight and a vision of what they wanted their home to be,the Shilvocks have truly made every effort to make it their nest. Neena says,"The house was in a lovely spot, but very dated and dilapidated when we first bought it ten years ago - little by little we remodeled, reshaped, extended and redecorated, and filled the house with our own personalities - to the extent that we ripped up the carpets and the roof - and most of what was in between and redid them - it reflects our personalities now." 
The house is set in a sprawling English garden flaunting a burst of color at every corner of the landscape. The Shilvocks eagerly await for Spring and Summer to stay outdoors and tend to their garden. In Neena's own words,"We just love it. I had a garden in our previous house landscaped, and I realized that it isn't so hard to do with a bit of knowledge - it's all about finding the right plants for the right spot and sourcing them - the internet has made life so easy - we can spend a whole day in the summertime pottering around in the garden."
The Asian inspired statue (affectionately known as Kwannie - Kwan Yin) sits pretty by Neena's pool and is one of the many gifts that she cherishes given by her wonderful husband Michael.

The garden is sprinkled with bistro style seating so as to be able to enjoy English tea or share a conversation with a friend. 

Interesting garden decor from Spain and pots painted in indigo, add to the charm and whimsical feel of the garden. The antlers left behind by the previous owners, has been creatively used by Neena for hanging bird cages. A sign that says "Flizvos" - the sound of the surf on the shore - in Greek evokes fond memories of their many visits to Greece .
A close up of the kaleidoscope of colors from the Shilvocks garden. 

Are we ready to move inside and take a peek????

The Shilvocks describe their style as ," Eclectic and colorful, sometimes quirky and kitschy,  and at times seriously into antiques." Their prized antique possession that Neena and Michael love is an 18th century Mahogany French headboard.
The Shilvocks are not afraid to use color. Their home can be rightly said to be a "well traveled home", as their globe trotting trophies adorn every corner of their space. Neena loves collecting plates from every place that she travels to and has created a colorful collage of plates in the dining area.
Neena's grandmom's ivory lace box occupies a place of pride along with a gallery wall that displays Tram to the castle in Vienna, a Minakari inlay and the St Basil's square.
Tanjore  painting by Muthu Navaneetham
Neena  says, "I'm sure my roots are visible all over the house, but I am married to an Englishman and we have tried to integrate the two cultures and add little bits from our travels. It would be so easy to furnish the house to completely reflect my roots. We go to India a lot, but have to stop ourselves from buying a whole load of things there, beautiful as they are - we are - or we attempt to be, internationalists - and don't want to overwhelm our living space with any one culture to the exclusion of others." 
And finally their fur ball Harold (look at that face - are we in love ????)

Warwickshire has some harsh winters. The picture in the upper left hand corner makes us appreciate the effort the Shilvocks put in year after year into their garden of Eden so that it comes alive every spring and summer. Neena shares with us,"We love spending the summer in our house - that's when the garden comes into it's own. Once we have cleared up the dead leaves at the end of autumn, and planted out next springs bulbs, we take a holiday and go somewhere in Europe that would have been too hot in the summer." 
Neena's library and studio where she creates fascinating and one -of-a-kind jewelry line for Caprilicious Jewelry.

When asked what the Shilvocks do to entertain themselves when the garden and pool are closed for winter, Neena admits that they miss gardening but are kept busy as, "We read a lot, snuggle up in front of the telly with Harold, our 18 year old cat, watch movies late into the night, I make jewelry, we entertain friends - winter is filled with warmth and coziness, gaajar halwa and mince pies, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

We go to India to see my mother in Bangalore in January, and then spring is here - a bit of clearing up the winter debris in the garden, and another quick foray into Europe, before the heat of summer starts up - and we are ready to start the garden up again."

A couple with a green thumb and an insatiable desire to travel and experience all cultures. I would like to thank the Shilvocks for welcoming us into their lovely home and garden.Wishing Neena and Michael all the very best for the future!!!!!  

I was very excited to do this feature as it was my debut home/garden tour. Hope you'll enjoyed the feature as much as I had fun putting it together.

Take care and stay tuned for a delicious recipe coming up in "On the Plate" segment.  

Images : Courtesy  Mohan Kakade, Photo-editing Sruthi Singh.


  1. Thank you Sruthi, you and Mohan Kakade have done us proud, the garden looks lovely and colourful - all that hard work has paid off. It will be interesting to see what people think off our little corner of England
    Neena and Michael

    1. It's a wonderful space Neena and Thank you again for making this happen :) I'm eagerly waiting to hear from my lovely readers too !!!!

  2. Super gorgeous garden!! I loved everything about this garden and wanted to see more of it, a peek inside Neena's home wasn't enough.
    Loved pots in indigo and that statue a lot :)

    1. Hello Disha, Neena is going to be thrilled with the review. My favorite has to be the Kwan Yin statue too:)

  3. Oh My! What an absolute haven! I lived in England for a while and loved the nature there, the soil/environment is just so 'giving', But here, we see what a labour of love, and what a fabulous life they seem to be leading, soaking up all this goodness...loved every bit, the pictures, their story, your writing too! I now live in Dubai, desert- dont get a chance to put my green thumb much to use, nevertheless, we can draw pleasure from blogs like your's. Congrats on a very well done first tour! Loved it.

    1. Thank you Harshika, for the wonderful feedback. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed the post :)

  4. I saw Nina's work in your blog first Sruthi, and was really awed by her sense of style !! Being a designer myself, I fully understand and appreciate the innate talent and eye for beauty and color that needs to go into pieces as the ones Nina create ! But, I still wasn't prepared for the sheer loveliness of this feature ! WOW !! I love how the indoor and outdoor areas seem to blend so seamlessly ! Cant admire the beauty of all these, especially that of the bistro seating enough !! And the garde ,so lush and green; Kwannie,so serene, ; How delighted must the Shilvocks be of the slice of heaven they have created for themselves ! And, a wonderful Job on the first tour Sruthi :)

    1. Thank you Peeli, am so glad that you loved the post. And as for Neena's jewelry, I couldn't agree with you more - she is so meticulous and her designs are original and one-of-a -kind. . Thank you for taking the time to stop by and give us such wonderful reviews.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you WireWorkers Guild !!!! Hope to see you here again:)

  6. I have tremendous respect for anybody who can get their garden to look like that! It is a lot of work and it takes a ton of passion - as for me, I am a plant killer and all I can do for now is sigh at gardens that look like this!

    Congratulations Neena and michael - you must be proud of that space?

    shruthi- it is fun to showcase real home owners isn't it?


  7. It's wonderful and demanding at the same time to showcase real homes. Neena definitely made this daunting task easy for me. And Thank you Deepa for stopping by and taking the time to read.

  8. Thank you Deepa - we enjoy our garden, but the ground work is in reading about the plants first - where they go, what soil/light/water requirement etc etc - they tend to live a bit longer then :)
    (BTW, I have known your colleague Supriya as a child - ( I am very old ;) ) - I know her mom and uncles and aunt Sheeli and have watched her grow up into a very erudite woman - small world!)

  9. Gorgeous home and garden!! Absolutely love the spots of color everywhere and the reminders of amazing holidays abroad :)


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