We are big (huge!!) fans of Meredith Thayer. The East Coast designer creates spaces that evoke balance and serenity, yet she always brings an element of high-style surprise. (Did you know she also has a product line that is going to be the next big thing??? We first wrote about it here.) When she shared one of her recent design projects, we knew we had to share it here. It’s extremely beautiful yet still manages to be totally family-friendly. We’re chatting with Meredith to learn more about the space:

Tell us a little bit about the clients!
My clients were this wonderful, fun and busy family of 6.

They had been living in a 1940s New England colonial home with 4 boys (!!!) for about 12 years, until about 2 years ago they began a major project that basically doubled the size of the home. It was a full gut job / addition that allowed the home to have more expansive and open living space, along with areas for the kids that felt separate but not totally closed off from rest of the house.

What was their goal/vision, and what was your priority when starting the design?
When they came to me, they had been in the home for about 6 months with little to no furniture and were really looking for something fresh and new that fit with the updated style and flow of their home.

We were primarily focused on two areas to start that would make the most impact — the kitchen sitting area and the living room. It was important that these spaces be worked on, as the holidays were nearing and this would be a first for the family in their new space.

Our priority was to make these spaces feel updated and stylish, yet totally comfortable and casual so their kids could still hangout and they could entertain with family/friends easily. We really focused on having a laid back vibe that still felt put together — especially in the area off the kitchen as it’s the most central location of the home — and with it’s proximity to the kitchen, naturally most entertaining would occur.

With any project, there are bound to be hiccups. What were the biggest challenges with this property?
The biggest challenge in this space was figuring out a layout that worked by the fireplace in the kitchen. The fireplace was not centered on the wall and the area is surrounded by other entry points from various parts of the house, so we had to be careful not to block anything. The space is the center of the house! Everything funnels into this space, so we had to think creatively about how to make the space feel open and balanced, and totally functional.

There are a lot of unique pieces in the space. What are some of your favorite resources to shop?
I love sourcing from Four Hands… they have so many interesting pieces that you don’t always find around here in New England. Most of the furniture came from there.

Pillows are from Boho Pillow, Zak & Fox, Susan Connor, and Rebecca Atwood — all my favorties! I laugh because once I get a client to get a really nice pillow, they feel like they can never go back…

I also source from Cle Tile, The Shade Store, Ann Sacks, West Elm, Target, World Market, Restoration Hardware, Rejuvenation, Wayfair, Minted, and CB2. Kind of all over!

I really like to mix in those nice, designer items like the pillows with other items from RH or C&B to balance it out (and keep it on budget). And accessories, like vases from CB2 are always so affordable. mixed in with cool books or a few Target pieces are great.

Do you have a favorite room or feature in the house?
I think the obvious one is the fireplace tile. It was so transformational to the space. And so fun!

For a virtual tour by Meredith herself, start the slideshow