When Interior Designer and blogger, Meera from First Sense Interiors decided to update and refresh her living room, she had her whole family in mind. With two boys, aged 6 and 4, the space had become neglected and unloved as her and her husband saved for a much larger renovation down the road.
However, things got to breaking point when she realised the tatty uncomfortable sofas desperately needed an upgrade and with that, the entire space was refreshed.
Meera explains, “We were making do with while we saved for the renovation. [The sofas] essentially became bouncy toys / soft play for the kids when they were little, so the room wasn’t given any decor love and I just avoided it as much as possible. I know this sounds really sad for what was the main living space of our home, and it was sad, but those old sofas were completely letting the room down so I was just looking forward to having the opportunity to replace them and then I could finally breathe some life into the room.”
With elements of both contemporary and vintage pieces dictating her personal style, Meera got to work planning a new space the entire family could enjoy. “I love colour and texture, as well as a balance of light and dark elements. I also believe that biophilic design (connecting our homes with nature) enhances our well-being, so for me, no space is complete without greenery.”
A floorplan and mood board were her first steps, incorporating items that felt cosy, comfortable and relaxing. Luckily, the updates were mostly cosmetic so Meera and her husband were able to complete all the work themselves in just 4 short weeks, working whenever they could find time, including weekends and late nights after the boys were in bed. Certainly, given the ages of her children, the project wasn’t without its challenges. Meera tells us, “With two young children vying for attention all the time, the biggest challenge was time, but it wasn’t difficult for me to remain focused and motivated to complete this room because I had been without a decent living space for far too long!”
The result of their hard work is apparent and Meera’s design is timeless as well as stylish. “While I enjoy studying the evolution of design and style, I don’t worry about what’s in or out when designing my rooms. I aim to create spaces that are unfettered by trends and therefore stand the test of time.”
She then concedes with a laugh, “Looking at my room, it may appear that I have subscribed to the blue and houseplant trends, but these are things I have always loved and always will, whether they’re cool or not!”
One pleasant surprise was in how much larger the room felt after painting it in a cosy deep blue colour and incorporating a few new pieces of furniture. “Previously it was white and had much less furniture, yet it felt smaller. This just goes to show – a lighter room doesn’t necessarily mean it will feel bigger.”
Meera also upgraded her tech with a Samsung Smart TV coupled with a Sony soundbar, creating the perfect spot for family film and TV nights. “These have truly transformed our TV watching with amazing picture quality and sound that feels cinematic compared to what we had before! This is the only room which has a TV, so it is fantastic to enjoy such an immersive experience.”
We asked Meera if she had any advice for tackling a room update over a short period of time. “Stay focused on the goal. One tip that always works for me is this – if you have your heart set on a particular art piece or accessory for the room, buy it before the decorating is done as it’ll motivate you to complete the job so you can enjoy your prized possession as soon as possible!”
After all that hard work, the results were well worth the effort. “I love how the room cocoons you as soon as you step into it, it’s very cosy!” she says. “Thoughtful planning of the layout, colours and textures has done wonders for this space.”
That doesn’t mean she’s resting on her laurels. “Our next project is a big one – we are building an extension and knocking down internal walls to create a lovely open plan kitchen with a walk-in pantry and a separate utility room. I have dreamt about this project for years, so I am very excited!”
All images copyright Meera Pendred, First Sense Interiors and used with kind permission.