Inspiration: Paul and Poonam

After two years of stalking it online, Poonam was able to buy her Victorian dream house in Hove, close to Brighton. Where she decorated it with vigor, but she is now ready to change some of the rooms to make it a family friendly space.

Victorian family vibes

Where: Hove, United Kingdom

Who: Paul and Poonam, Zachary (4)

Type: Victorian villa

In a nutshell: ‘Our style is modern which we like to spice up with antiques to give our home a unique feel.’

‘I had fallen in love with our house when it first came on the market, but it was way too expensive for us.’ Poonam kept an eye on the property for over two years and when it still was on the market, they put in a ‘cheeky offer’ as she phrases it. And before they knew it, they owned their dream home, consisting of a living room, study, kitchen-dining area, 4 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a utility room.

‘We absolutely fell in love with the house for its high ceilings, its original details and its great location, just five minutes from the beach,’ Poonam says. The couple pulled down walls at the back of the house, remodeled the bathrooms, removed all the outdated patterned wallpaper, and installed a huge glass façade in the kitchen-dinner area. ‘We wanted to get as much light in the house as possible,’

Poonam gets a lot of her inspiration from social media, such as Instagram and Pinterest and also from the many hotels that she has visited as part of her role working for Delta Airlines in HR where she was responsible for Europe, Middle East & Africa. ‘I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite extensively and have found lots of inspiration on how to decorate our home.’

Poonam loves modern furniture, and adds personality and uniqueness by hunting for antiques as often as she can: ‘I love mixing the modern with antiques. I love finding quirky things that give a room a different spin.’ As an example she mentions the giant antique mirror, which she bought 20 years ago, that gives their bedroom a touch of grandeur.

Even though the couple are content in their Victorian home and its current interior design scheme, Poonam feels it is time for some changes. Poonam: ‘There’s nothing wrong as such, however, the living room has a very mature vibe to it. We decorated it when Zachary was really small and to be honest I didn’t think how we would use this space as a family. So unfortunately, it doesn’t feel quite right anymore. I want to make it more family friendly, because I want Zachary to feel comfortable too.’ As an example Poonam mentions the red velvet sofa: ’I mean come on! It is velvet! Can you think of anything less practical with a four-year-old?’

While some of the interior changes Poonam is making is driven by the desire to create an even better family home, Poonam also uses interior design as an outlet for her creativity: ‘I gave up my job, when Zachary was born. All of a sudden I had nothing else to do then to take care of him. Don’t get me wrong, having him is the best thing that has ever happened to us, but the first year was very hard for me. I found it a little monotonous to be at home with a baby after resigning from a high end job and a social lifestyle.’

It was then that Poonam started her blog ‘Modern Luxe’ where she blogs about interior design and interviews with fellow interior enthusiasts and professionals about interior design. Poonam: ‘I look very much forward to do more with interior design and would love to make some kind of career out of it, now Zachary is getting older.’

The first project she will be working on from a more professional angle, is changing Zachary’s room, so it’s more suited for a four-year-old. ‘I got Zachary in the design and to be honest I was quite surprised about how involved he was and he even chose his own wallpaper, which unfortunately was the most expensive one I showed him. I think he gets his expensive taste from me.’

Her second project is also queuing: ‘After Zachary’s room, I’ll be making some changes to the living room, changing the dark walls to an off white. I’m currently in the process of working on a mood board.’

It’ll be a challenge to convince partner Paul to change the living room and its color scheme: ‘He hated the idea of dark walls, which I painted when he was away on a business trip, at first, but now he loves them. I am convinced that he’ll also love the new color and interiors, so we can enjoy this space more as a family.’

Curious about Poonam’s blog Modern Luxe? You can find it here.

Pictures taken by Poonam Sharma and Cathy Pyle:
Pictures of the bathroom, bedroom and Zachary’s room are made by Cathy Pyle (on this page ordered as pictures no. 7-11 and 13-14). The other pictures I have borrowed with permission from Poonam’s Instagram feed (respectively shown on this page as photographs no. 1-6 and 12).