Over the years, Shirley Slee’s unique design esthetic has built a loyal following throughout Carlsbad, La Jolla, and Oceanside. It’s easy to spot a Shirley Slee remodel thanks to her signature touches, including olive trees, vineyards, swings, fire pits, and outdoor showers. Shirley doesn’t believe in fads, and prefers her designs to be timeless. She enjoys using natural elements and earthy textures to create a healthy living environment. Shirley's distinctive designs were recently highlighted by domino magazine and The San Diego Union Tribune.
Trees have always been an integral part of Shirley’s project homes. In particular, she’s been using olive trees for more than a decade. Her obsession originated with her mother, who always spoke of their beauty and symbolism of peace and friendship dating back to ancient Greek mythology. In her Spanish Way project, she planted 65-year-old olive trees in front of the home, turning heads and paving the way for olive trees to become a Shirley Slee Signature.
Shirley has always wanted to visit Italy and see the countryside. In fact, she has always been obsessed with the symmetry and satisfaction a vineyard brings, from the clean rows with crushed gravel underneath, to the added benefit of enjoying the grapes that grow from them. Now, she’s bringing the beauty of the Italian countryside to Northern San Diego, in the form of mini-vineyards adjacent to raised garden beds, and even resort-style vineyard-lined driveways.
When her children were young, Shirley decided to put a swing in the living room, and it quickly became a hit with her family and the surrounding neighborhood. Both kids and adults swarmed to the swing, and Shirley even found herself swinging in the middle of the day. The joy this swing brought to her and to others inspired Shirley to place two swings in each of her projects. Through the years, these simple, rustic swings have become the perfect addition to many of her remodels, reminding clients to slow down and have fun!
Shirley believes that front yards are often overlooked. When her children were younger, Shirley loved sitting on her front porch and watching them play while chatting with neighbors. Now, this sense of community is something she hopes to bring into her project homes, too, with the addition of fire pits in front yards. She loves the warm, homey feeling this type of gathering space creates. From modern concrete to cozy stone, fire pits transform outdoor spaces into usable works of art.
Nothing says California living like an outdoor shower. Since her projects are based in coastal communities, Shirley tries to imagine how her clients want to live on a daily basis, and how she can help them achieve that lifestyle. Whether rinsing off sand from surfing or a long beach day, outdoor showers have become an indulgent Shirley Slee Signature element that showcases the best of coastal living.