As football kicks off a new season and fantasy managers huddle around the country for their yearly draft to eat wings and watch the big screen, this weekend DIY Network airs episodes of Mega Dens to inspire folks of all skill levels to enhance their own family space or game room. Mega Dens features host and interior designer Anitra Mecadon, as she creates over-the-top rec-room sanctuaries while giving you the skills to renovate your own family space. These unbelievable room renovations feature incredible home theaters, innovative gaming areas, clever storage solutions and more. Anitra’s rock ‘n’ roll approach to design transforms these rooms beyond the homeowners’ wildest imaginations. Highly charismatic, on the cutting edge and not afraid to get her hands dirty, Mecadon has designed some of the most well-known, hip, and edgy restaurants, residences, boutiques, galleries, and other spaces in Atlanta for the past 10 years. With a strong background in art and theater, combined with a degree in interior design, she creates inspiring interiors and exteriors. DirecTV talked with her about her past, what inspires her, what the new season of Mega Dens holds and the best way to spice up your own sports Mega Den on a shoestring budget!
Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?
Anitra Mecadon: Honestly, everything in my eye line is fair game…. the color of a leaf, the pattern of a concrete underpass, rusted metal gears, even a crazy pair of socks!
When did you know that you wanted to be an interior designer?
AM: I have always been a hands on type of girl: arts and crafts were more exciting to me than video games. When I was around fourteen or fifteen I started watching home improvement television shows. To be honest, I was obsessed with them. I don’t know how this happened, but one day I started telling my parents I was going to have my own home improvement show. I am pretty sure they thought I was crazy, but like awesome parents should, they encouraged me. I won’t lie; they also encouraged me to be a doctor just in case the TV thing didn’t work out!
For years, you’ve been helping families upgrade their spaces on Mega Dens. What can viewers look forward to seeing on this season on DIY Network? What’s the most memorable reaction you’ve ever received on a reveal in your career?
AM: We are turning up the heat! This is our 5th season of Mega Dens and I have to say, it may be my favorite season ever! You can expect to see killer renovations and get tons of ideas you can use at home!
When the family gets to actually see their finished Mega Den, they are always blown away, but I have to say, the tears of joy are always the moments that get me. To know that in one week, we were able to literally change this family’s life (for the better), makes all that hard work and sleepless nights worth it!!
You’re based in Atlanta — Are you a Falcons/Braves fan? What’s the best advice you can give someone who’s trying to build his or her own Mega Den on a shoestring budget for the new football season?
AM: I am a sports fan in general! It’s fun and exciting, plus it’s always a great excuse to have a party! My advice to anyone building a Mega Den, even if it’s on a shoestring budget is to have a plan! I don’t start a single project or buy a single piece of furniture without knowing the size of my room and having a rough layout. Also, I’m a big fan of up cycling & using reclaimed materials; it’s a great way to add character and save some coin. You also get a lot of bang for your buck out of a gallon of paint. The goal here is to save enough money for that big screen TV by DIY’ing, up cycling & using reclaimed materials. Let’s be honest, the big game is always better on a big screen!
How do you incorporate your personality into your design decisions?
AM: My personality is written all over every single Mega Den. They are crazy, colorful, fun, inviting & functional. The trick is doing it in a way that still represents the family. I am able to crawl inside their heads and give them the room they always wanted but didn’t know how to ask for. And I do it in a way that pushes their boundaries and gets their motors running (that is the little bit of me sprinkled in….).
Why is this show a “must see”?
AM: This show is a must see! I promise it will get your wheels spinning! There are so many crazy ideas that it will inspire you to get up and tackle your own DIY projects. No matter what your budget is, or your DIY skill level, there is something for everyone on Mega Dens.
You can see Anitra Mecadon on Mega Dens every Sunday at 8pm ET/ 7pm PT on the DIY Netowrk (ch. 230).