“Once you’ve experienced an old property — despite its numerous problems like damp, failing walls — it’s hard to imagine yourself living anywhere else,” Poonam Sharma says. For the past 10 years, she and her partner Paul have lived in a Victorian villa in Hove, East Sussex in the UK. Although the couple still has ongoing house projects, they have transformed their home drastically over the last decade, highlighting period details while adding personal touches to each space. When Poonam and Paul’s son Zachary was born five years ago, Poonam left the corporate world of HR to focus on family. About a year ago, she wanted to try something new and started her blog, Modern Luxe, where she shares her home’s renovation along with completed makeovers.
When Poonam and Paul first moved in, they started off with painting their house in neutral colors. They wanted to live in and experience each space before deciding on colors and moods. “We talked about dark colors and as we’ve got really high ceilings we can get away [with] it, without losing the sense of space. “Initially Paul wasn’t convinced, so whilst he was away on a business trip, I painted the living room in Farrow & Ball ‘Railings.’ [Paul] didn’t speak to me for a couple of hours when he got back, but he loves it now and was more than happy for us to go dark in the bedroom too!” Poonam shares. Today, the family’s home includes various hues that continue beautifully from one space to the next, making the rooms feel both unique and connected at the same time. “Each of the rooms flows into each other, bringing a sense of unity, which we love,” Poonam explains.
Although Poonam and Paul now feel like they have a house they can proudly call home, they are still working on changes that will ultimately allow them to spend more quality time together as a family. Poonam has plans to change some things here and there, starting with the living room. She explains, “When we first bought the house, we didn’t have Zachary. But now [the house] needs to function as a family space. And I think on the whole it does, but there are a few rooms like the living room that look great but just don’t feel quite right as a family space. So that’s the next room on my hit list.” Scroll down to see how Poonam and Paul have created a home they love. For updates to the living room and the rest of the family’s home, there’s Poonam’s Instagram. —Sofia
Photography by Molly Seybold / Cathy Pyle
Image above: Adding shutters was one of the first things that Poonam did when she and Paul moved in. “Whilst they enhance all the original features, it also gives our house a modern feel, which is one of the reasons we love them,” Poonam says.
Paint – Farrow & Ball, “Plummet”
Paint – Farrow & Ball, “Railings”
Artwork – Dave White
Gold taps – Vado
Geometric floor tiles – Mosaic Factory
Paint – Valspar, “Tempest Teapot”
Artwork – bought from a hotel in Cape Town
Wallpaper – Bien Fait
Bedding – La Cerise Sur la Gateau
Paint – Valspar, “Night Blue Arch”