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Local designer Anitra Mecadon hosts new DIY show ‘Mega Dens’

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Johns Creek interior designer Anitra Mecadon’s pet sitter in 2009 sent in a tape of Anitra for her to appear on the Animal Planet show “It’s Me or the Dog,” which was being shot in Atlanta. Her dogs, Mecadon admitted, are undisciplined.

The production company liked her – but not for the canine show. Instead, in early 2010,  when she told them she had been dying to do a design show, they created a concept about her re-doing family dens and pitched it to networks.

DIY bit. It commissioned 13 episodes, all to be shot in Atlanta. By August, she was in production.

“It’s happened so fast, it’s been a whirlwind,” Mecadon marveled. “I haven’t had a chance to sit down and grasp what’s going on!”

A Pennsylvania native, she has worked as an interior designer in metro Atlanta for more than a decade and runs her own business Plum Avocado. There, she focuses on commercial work. Her credits include Grindhouse Killer Burgers (both locations) and the Raging Burrito in Decatur.

“Working in the commercial industry, I think I have more of an edge than our average designer,” Mecadon said. “I use materials the average home designer wouldn’t think of suing.” She likes having things custom fabricated. She also likes to raid a household’s attic or basement to look for gems she can turn into something new.

In this day and age, family members are often in different rooms watching different TV shows or watching stuff on Hulu on their computers. She interviews family members to find out if they’re techies or sports fans or video game players. Her goal is to make the family den so enticing to bring them all into the same room again.

Over four days,  the 33-year-old clears out the den and starts over.  “I’m big on furniture rescue,” she said. “I scavenge hunt throughout the house.” She sifts through attics and basements. In the episode she just taped, she found stained glass windows from a church she used as art. She found some ceiling tiles at one home she also turned into art.

Normally, she has shied away from doing home renovations because people tend to be pretty conservative when it comes to renovations and she likes to be more creative.  In terms of doing a TV home renovation, home owners (with the show paying much of the renovation) tend to be a bit more open.

Why didn’t she get picked for “It’s Me or the Dog?”

“Apparently,” she said, ” there wasn’t enough turmoil between me and my partner. He thinks our dogs are angels and I think they’re perfect!”

TV PREVIEW

“Mega Dens,” 10 p.m. on Mondays, debuting Jan. 17 on DIY Network

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