Pamela Ballantine: ‘When I’m at home - I’m a couch potato’

Pamela Ballantine in her favourite room in her Belfast home.
PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
Pamela Ballantine in her favourite room in her Belfast home. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

She’s got a reputation as being something of a socialite, a party-seeking presenter who loves being out and about.

But sociable as she may be, popular presenter and household name Pamela Ballantine loves nothing more than curling up in her favourite room in her beautiful Belfast house - her extended living area and kitchen - on the very settee that she had made for her.

Pamela has a lot of artworks - including pictures of high heels given to her by her friend, and fellow broadcaster, Julian Simmons

Pamela has a lot of artworks - including pictures of high heels given to her by her friend, and fellow broadcaster, Julian Simmons

“Even though this area of the house is north facing, there is so much light that comes in because there are floor to ceiling doors at the back,” says the bubbly broadcaster, who lives in a leafy east Belfast suburb not far from Belmont Park. “It’s got a lovely big window looking out onto the garden, and it’s also my home office.” Pamela had her L-shaped settee specially made by a company, after mentioning to her friend Maureen Collins the kind of sofa she was after.

“When the guys who made it came to my house they said, ‘ah, now we understand!’ And I said, ‘what are you talking about, understand what?’ They said they couldn’t understand why the chaise longue bit had no back on it, because it would block the light from the window. They made it to my specifications and it was done in three weeks.”

From the comfort of her bespoke settee, Pamela can see both the television in her living room, and the one in her kitchen, depending on her chosen vantage point - which is handy given she’s a self-confessed telly addict.

“This room is pretty much where I spend 90 per cent of my time when I’m at home,” she says.

“People think I’m always out and never at home. But you see when I am at home, I am a couch potato and I am TV addict, and I just love lying up on the settee. Also, it’s good for my posture, because I sit with my laptop on my knee and I’m not hunched over. I’ve actually done Pilates in this room too, so it really is multi-functional!”

But it’s not just the multi-faceted nature of this space when it comes to its uses that pleases Pamela; she also just simply loves the look of the room, with its soothing, cool tones of grey, green and blue. She chose the charcoal grey carpet, and a painting that belonged to her uncle hanging over the fireplace was the inspiration for the palette of shades she picked to furnish the rest of the room. She has finished it off with a few beautiful paintings and pieces of art, including two pictures of stilettos, personally presented to her by her friend Julian Simmons.

A picture of a horse, painted by the late Nicola Russell, also holds a very special place in her heart, with its vibrant mixture of colours. Pamela says it would be hard to shoehorn her into either the category of dedicated modernist or traditional girl when it comes to choosing how to decorate her home.

“I like a bit of both - I’m not a minimalist but I don’t like clutter,” she says. “I like a house to be a home.”

One the subject of shoes, footwear fanatic Pamela has also just recently had bespoke, built-in wardrobes made for her ‘shoe room’ encasing no less - and possibly more - than 132 pairs behind gloss-fronted doors.

“And me being slightly OCD, they’re all colour coordinated,” she laughed.