Australian Homes

Megan Morton and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 24th August 2011

Megan Morton schjoozes the dining room of her light-filled Lane Cove home. “I love working a corner, here a duplicate hanging includes a pair of architectural drawings, a mirror and old linen oil painting, topped with a small french clock perfectly similar in diameter to Sarah King‘s prototype Sound Made Visible ceramic side plate” says Megan.  All photos by me.

The heart of the home – corner fireplace. “Walnut heaven in the form of an armless Cherner chair, flanking my kooky corner fireplace. When lit, winter magic happens” - Megan.

Details from the fireplace - “Botanical books found at Seasonal Concepts while propping for my own Propery – holding back a few sweet things is an occupational hazard” says Megan. And on the right, a “gentle and stirring” painting by Marcella Kaspar.

Today’s home is SERIOUSLY special.  When I first met fabulous interiors stylist Megan Morton nearly 3 years ago, I was super excited to visit her Sydney home – but of course she was very clear that it was far from perfect, and there would be NO PHOTOS!  Ain’t it always the way – the stylist always put their own home last?!

Fast forward to 2011 and FINALLY the Morton family home is ready for it’s close up – because after 6 glorious years here, The Morton family are moving on!  That’s right – Megan Morton’s home in the leafy Sydney suburb of Lane Cove is currently on the market – check out the real estate listing here.   I must say I feel incredibly lucky to finally have the opportunity to share this very special home with you all!  (Nothing like an impending auction to get people enthused about a TDF home feature!)

Megan lives here with husband Giles, and gorgeous kids Millie (12), Sebastian (10) and Bea (18 months).  Given Megan’s passion for beautiful details, it’s no surprise the home is styled to perfection.  The bathroom and kitchen have been updated in MM’s signature style – classic with a touch of clever and quirky detail.  It’s a home full of creative energy – and as with all genuinely ‘lived-in’ spaces, it’s an ever-changing work in progress.  Megan says really the home has been like her extended studio – “I have used walls here to shoot details and stories for magazines, and have used this home to research which floorboards are better, either white or dark – I did both to see!”

When asked for her favourite aspects of her home, Megan’s answer is too wonderful not to include in full!  Because she’s my favourite, and because no one can speak more eloquently and entertainingly about a home than MM, I’m handing the rest of this post over to her (even the captions!)… Enjoy!

5 Great things about my house.  By Megan Morton.

1. Its number 24 and that is SUCH a great thing as it also happens to also be my favourite pose number in yoga!

2. There is a tree house that has been built to fit three camping mattresses for little boys to sleep over in.  Our local pizza place deliveries care of ‘the tree house’. Dead cute and the little fellas love it.

3. Because of its spoilt position on a big block (for Sydney standards, it’s ginormous – close to 900 square metres), the house itself sits high up and dead set in the middle. This gives it, what can only be described as a sense of gentle elegance within its suburban landscape. The house itself though truly looks like its smiling. You need to see it to get it, but it really does. Its like ‘Which house do you live in’,  and I am like, ‘you know the white smiling one’ and head nods.

4. I grew up with parents who were city folk and right at my most important time to live in the big smoke, they upped sticks and learnt to be small time farmers. They learnt it all through Grass Roots magazine. (it is still around and totally ahead of it’s time in theory). I like to keep one toe in the selfish city and the other in the soil. So at my house there is a proper vegetable garden that is seasonally rotated – it can feed a family of five no worries. There is also a secret side alley that was my chicken run. Sadly our dog forgot his manners one day and while free eggs are awesome, I didn’t have the heart to replace the lost chooks, in case he forgot again.

5. It has shamelessly modest proportions, which means space for everyone to hide, but not sprawl.  Small kids rooms, which gets them out from behind closed doors and out to outdoor pursuits. Because it’s architecturally barren, creating wall vignettes and mini focal points are easy and necessary.

So if its good, why leave? It has been the loveliest place to have a family. This suburb has sourdough, proper single origin coffee, top schools and all the other rah rah that people like. My older kids are now teens and I didn’t want to be one of those people who starts to giveaway the trampoline and the slip’n’slide when the ‘kids’ are heading into their twenties!  This way a new family can enjoy all it’s spoils.  Oh sweet house, I have loved you.  For what you are now, but more so for what you will go onto be.

- Megan

Huge thanks to Megan for sharing her stunning home with us, and for such thoughtful words and captions!  A truly fitting farewell for a much loved family home. :)

Battered Leather chaise sits in the loungeroom, with velvet cushions by Rachel Castle. The stunning antique key is a treasured gift from Megan’s husband Giles – it’s from Parterre Garden. The paintings above the mirror are of Megan’s three kids – “I had Michelle Ball paint our children, and I love how they look so them and at the same time so not! Box mirror by Freedom enlarges the room and gives you a double dose of the adjoining fireplace” - Megan.

Lounge / dining details. Left – “I work a lot with flowers and rarely play with them at home, but I can’t ever resist a weeny amount of floppy tulips. Wall mounted jam jars are such lovely hosts to single stemmed bunches” says Megan. Right – “I bought these Klein blue laces in NYC and love them through my grey brogues. Blue and grey are like the Brangelina of the colour world – physical perfection”. :)

Kitchen – “rustic detail and geometry in the form of a copper tray from Collect Home, and Sarah King‘s prototype Sound Made Visible plates, giving eye candy to a basic kitchen that plays with monochromatic scheme. I am a bad cook but a good entertainer, so I left the cooking space small to have three eating spaces instead” - Megan.

Sitting room with antique console and rug by Loom “A console is the perfect place to practice your styling treatments, Here I play with size, proportion, scale and the tonal nuances of grey and powder blues” says Megan.

Its Beautiful here.  “Oh it so is.  Niesha Crosland‘s diagonal stripe is eye ball heaven to me. Along with Pierre & Charlotte‘s oversized FBI lounge under their crumpled light, a finally perfect rug from Nepal via loom, and Sarah King‘s kite stool.”

Allegedly, Megan’s real estate agents quizzically asked if these picture-perfect industrial lockers ‘were staying’ for the open house!? Ah, YES!? “The lockers are filled with games and musical instruments – the Enjoy flameless candles on the top make it a sparkly place to sit come the p.m.  I love working opposites – so to me the roughness of the lockers combined with the smoothness of the plaster objects is insanely beautiful”. – Megan.

Details in the sitting room.  Re: the painting bottom left – “She looks like a Marion right? I have hundreds of portraits of strangers. I love that Dutchy style of portraiture. I store them and pull out a new face to change things up a bit. The mood of a face can really change the tune of a room instantly” – Megan.

Hallway connecting the kids’ rooms and playroom.  “Metal chair found at Parterre Garden, and a Loom hall runner opens the hallway – where a prototype lounge I designed ends it.  An old post box works as ‘in trays’ for all the kids and a Hermes Avalon  blanket pleases me no end” – Megan.

Sparkly details in the hallway

Megan’s divine master bedroom – “Can you imagine what it’s like to wake up knowing all these amazing books are behind me?!” she says.  On the bed is a velvet cushion from friend Rachel Castle, and lovely pure crumpled linen from Frank & Mint.

Details from the bookshelves in the master bedroom.  Artwork top left – “Another stranger I really like.  Top lipstick action and hair scarf” says Megan! Also a Nicholas Jones book sculpture.  “Nicolas Jones has made me a book for my next Homelove book.  How wonderful… He has cut it from an old book entitled “The Australian Home decorating Guide”.

Re: the saddle in the bedroom – “I am equine mad. This saddle is my clothes horse. Better than a deep chair, you can’t dump clothes for a week,  keeps me slightly more organized.  MM luggage found while propping in Tasmania.” - Megan.

Baby Bea’s bedroom.  “Lucky Bea with artist Lisa Cooper as a godmother. Lisa’s artwork above her bed was a baptismal gift. Paris Tasmania made her a monogrammed badge, and a mirror from Izzi & Popo, one of my favourite Melbourne dealers.” - Megan.

Paris Tasmania monogrammed badge, and a mirror from Izzi & Popo.

Blue and Green wall in the playroom.   “Sometimes one thing kick starts a wall. In this case it was a timing issue, where I got this energetic oil painting from Maria Villa, a birthday house from Rachel Castle and a David Band trumpet. Between the three of them, a wall in the play  room was borne, and it goes around a corner in blues and green” - Megan.

“Millicent’s room is a mismatch, she is in that cross over of a little girl and a teen. I love that cross over, experimenting with what she likes now, versus things she has had since a baby.  Her Best in Park tile (just visible on the bedside!) is a love letter to her dog, August, the schnauzer.  She found the red alarm clock at a market in France and spent her holiday money on it.  So lovely”.

“Bathroom are real touch points – spend as much as you can and then some. It’s the one place you touch most days. I like butcher tiles and penny rounds, and trinkets to dress the sill from flea markets and folly-stores. I recently raided the South of France and found some sweet silver and ceramics.  My sink was found online at a UK bathroom supply, its called the ‘cloak room sink’ as its super skinny. Empty Dyptique vessels make for toothbrush holders, vases and general hold alls” - Megan.

Entrance hall – no Megan Morton shoot is complete without a pair of perfectly placed shoes.  Or in this case, gumboots.  Thankyou MM!

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 24th August 2011

57 comments

  • Soph 3 years ago

    Swooning. (The floors!) Pure heaven. Thanks for sharing. xxS

  • rachel castle 3 years ago

    Who, SERIOUSLY, would not die to live here? That hallway to kiddies room, ouch that is too good. Rxxxx

  • line x shape x colour 3 years ago

    wowsers! what a beautiful house to start my
    day with. love every detail! thank you for sharing!

  • Lauren 3 years ago

    Seriously stunning!

  • Sangi 3 years ago

    What a great place! Love the floors and that brilliant bookshelf! :)

  • mariana 3 years ago

    big big sigh*

  • Emily 3 years ago

    OH MY GOODNESS!

    What a stunning home. Such divine details….floppy tulips, yves klein blue and that giant key!

    Love.

  • megan 3 years ago

    dear design filers. i am so tickled by all comments so far. if you know anyone who would love to live here, send them over to http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-nsw-lane+cove-107619024. It has an Annie Wilkes ivy garden, sparkly pool, tree house for three little fellas to sleep over in, 5 bedrooms, downstairs office and a proper vegetable garden. its kinda wonderful. mm

  • Siobhan Rogers 3 years ago

    Love the paisley Quilts :)
    Im sure you wont have any issues selling MM. Leafy North Shore is a family haven & big blocks are always sort after Xx

  • jas 3 years ago

    oh my this home is gorgeous Megan! I too love blue and grey so those shoes are speaking to me :) This whole home really does show off (and I’m sure it’s only part of) your talent. I’m in love with the floors…. *sigh*

  • Jessamy 3 years ago

    I live in hope that one day I will own a place as beautiful as this.

  • Carol 3 years ago

    This is such an inspiring house tour. One of my favourites. Looking forward to MM’s next book too.

  • LIBBY LOU 3 years ago

    Another stitch in the rich “Morton Tapestry” – and another labour of love …. it photographs like you really live & love there….. the feel of a real family home …. something you cant buy ! Must go … starting to sound like Daryl Kerrigan x

  • Cherie 3 years ago

    Everything about this home inspires me!

    The most beautiful home to be featured on the design files.net to date!

    Question? The ‘it’s beautiful here’ wall art … are there any Australian artists who would do something like this? I’ve loved the concept for so long, and have googled the hell out of it, but alas, nothing.

    The closest I’ve come is a south African artist, only he used multi colored phone cords. Not AS in love with that, as much as I am this 3 dimensional metal beauty :)

    Please help a fellow Aussie out? xx

  • Margie 3 years ago

    YAY for black floors!

  • Tia 3 years ago

    This is an advertisement for a property selling in Sydney, not an insightful blog entry about the process of styling a home.

    It is disappointing to see blogs falling into print publishing’s back-slapping, ‘jobs’ for the ‘boys’ editorial style, which is fast becoming a tiresome mainstay of the publishing industry generally that, after many years, has seen me discontinuing my many subscriptions.

    So, Megan puts her house on the market and it’s only now that we all now get the see how lovely it is? I would have been completely impressed if Megan had agreed to an interview all those years ago – yes, including photos – and seeing the after shots here, today. Now, that would be something to see! Admittedly, it’s a creative approach to have your home feature on The Design Files just as it goes on the market. Yes, indeed. But, from an editorial perspective, I’m saddened by the approach.

    Importantly, this comment is NOT a personal attack on either Megan or Lucy. This is a truly beautiful home and Megan is, indeed, a gifted professional. And, Lucy, I enjoy your blog. I subscribe to be inspired, learn, admire, compare and understand the process, design and the work of other creative minds.

    I don’t want to consume advertorial in blog entries – keep the ads on the sidebars where they belong.

  • jessica anderson 3 years ago

    So beautiful. I hope the next family to move in shows such care and respect for such a beautiful home. Wish it could be me!! All the best for your new adventure mm xx

  • Livia 3 years ago

    @Tia, you have a point but, personally, I just appreciate getting to see this gorgeous house. Whether it’s come about because the owner is selling her lovely property or wanting to showcase it just because, it doesn’t really matter to me, it’s most inspiring either way. P.s, if this is an advertisement for selling a property, real estate agents should take heed – it’s one powerful way to inspire bidders!

  • Susie 3 years ago

    Beautiful home. Can you tell us about the umbrella stand in the entry hall, next to the boots? I love it! Thanks.

  • Lucy 3 years ago

    THANKS so much for all your lovely comments guys.

    Tia – The definition of an advertisement is that it is paid for. This article clearly doesn’t fall into that category – and in fact as you guys know there is NO ‘dedicated’ content at all on TDF – no one ever pays to be featured! All editorial is written by me and is independent of any advertising on the site. Having said that of course I try to support people whose work I admire with a plug wherever possible.

    I travelled to Sydney at my own expense and photographed this home in person last week. Megan is a friend so of course I seized the opportunity also to assist by giving the upcoming auction a plug! I’m sure many Sydneysiders would love to opportunity for a sticky beak whilst the home is open for inspection!

    And ps. I have interviewed Megan a long time ago and she was super generous with her answers and offered many styling tips and words of wisdom in that interview. It just happens that her house wasn’t ready for a feature until now. I would be a bit crazy to turn it down!

    THANKS!

  • MARIA VILLA 3 years ago

    Girls, Thank you so much tot sharing beauty with all of us. Love your style MM.

    Tia – like Megan always says:
    “You see I believe in decorative karma, so I am always up for sharing”

    Nothing else need to be say. Thank you :)

  • gaz 3 years ago

    Wonder which flooring she found easiest to live with – white or black. Deciding whether or not to go for black lacquered timber, any opinions on this????

  • Jacinta 3 years ago

    Yes @ Tia I agree….She is selling her house why the links to the realestate website???…
    The house like Megan’s work is creative and inspirational and the space is gorgoeus..but why do I feel like Im reading the domain blog for the house of the week……

  • Clare 3 years ago

    I’m torn on this issue of including houses on the market on interiors blogs…

    but I’m crazy for that rounded fireplace, and definitely inspired by the mirrored corner displays! It was a very enjoyable house tour.

  • Judy 3 years ago

    Wow!! What an amazing home. It is truly an inspiration. Absolutely love it.

  • lexi 3 years ago

    Who wouldn’t love a sneak peek into Megan’s beautiful home! Such a rare insight – and I loved every second of it. How inspiring. Now I’m swooning. Dreaming. Wow. Thanks Lucy for such a beautiful post – and thanks to Megan for letting the camera in behind closed doors.

  • Megan 3 years ago

    Oh people. I hear you but I need to share with you that one of the ways I practiced my styling and interior was literally being a real estate tyre kicker! When I first moved to Sydney I was notoriously known to all the real estate agents as I would sit and study why it was that one room or house worked and another didn’t. It was truly the making of a lot of my ideas and a totally insightful way as to how people live. Sometimes I would leave a note saying ‘if you are moving maybe you would like to sell me you pastel blue bike/amoire/nice car!’ and so my props business was also born! I still look at real estate pages and sites daily as you can really borrow great ideas, be exposed to floorplans that great architects have devised as well as see brave colour schemes or incredible art work. Everything is inspiring when you love house. And sometimes if your lucky you can buy it too. Oh house love – as comments show – is a beautiful and passionate territory! MM

  • tamara maynes 3 years ago

    MM’s pad is divine and lovely just as she is! And to CHERIE and anyone else wondering… Megan’s ‘ITS BEAUTIFUL HERE’ wire words are made by me… glad you love!

  • Kylie 3 years ago

    I love those lockers v. much and now I know how to spell “schjoozes” x

  • Tia 3 years ago

    Thanks for the debate everyone – I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to be able to see a genuine discussion in the Comments section of a blog post without vitriol and hatred. So, thank you very sincerely for that – you’ve restored my faith in mankind online!

    I just wanted to clarify my point about advertising: It was a comment on the style of the entry – I didn’t suggest payment was made. It just reads like advertorial.

    As an avid reader of blogs and magazines, I just wanted to add to the online conversation about the value readers place on content.

  • It really is a beautiful home – seriously stunning. As for any discussion of editorial style, I think Lucy was straight up with readers that the home was for sale in the opening paragraphs, so I was prepared for a bit of a plug, and that seems fair enough. I will certainly be pinning these pics for inspiration!

  • Linda Byrne 3 years ago

    Beautiful photos Lucy!

  • Megan 3 years ago

    … And for Susie.
    The umbrella stand is a vintage kartell one. You can buy new from space furniture or search for older ones that aren’t split/in good condition. I have just found three fairly fabulous yellow ones for my new office as apart from brolly holders, they are slender and ideal office bins! MM

  • Louisa Bailey 3 years ago

    I see no problem showing a house that’s for sale – most of the other things/designs/services/artists featured on this blog are for sale or commission if you think about it. I loved seeing these pictures and reading Megan’s beautiful ode to what is obviously a special family home. And I LOVE that saddle idea – I have been wondering what to do with my 17 year old saddle (have given up the idea of buying a horse in the next few years now I have a baby and a mortgage).

    A beautiful feature Lucy and Megan!

  • Lucy 3 years ago

    You guys are awesome :) Thanks for all the fabulous comments ladies!

    Feel very lucky to be able to share this gorgeous home with you!

    xxx

  • Nicola 3 years ago

    Is the mirror behind the chaise REALLY from Freedom? Love it…

  • Simone 3 years ago

    Awww, you won’t hear me complaining about my 2 favourite online worlds colliding! I love interiors blogs (spesh this one) AND I love trawling real estate sites! There are a lot of super creative interiors on there that you never otherwise get to see.

    Thanks MM for letting us all come to an exclusive DF open for inspection! Love your home and your ability to be able to say goodbye inspires me x

  • Cougy Gale 3 years ago

    STUNNING *** STUNNING *** STUNNING. What a treat for the soul! I am so lucky to have been able to have a sticky-beak into this beautiful home – love it! @Tia, I would not have an issue with watching a current affairs program featuring MM’s home, she could also give us a tour/interview – now that’s entertainment! Got any contacts,MM? Go for it! What a professional and what a talented woman she is. Keep all the inspiration and humor coming. All the best with the ‘home’ sale, wish it was mine. Ps…phew… Thank you Tia, for gracefully redeeming yourself (with your later entry) and not leaving us all with the negativity. Really, really love this girls style! Xx

  • onefinelady 3 years ago

    Thanks for the lush images and lovely words – a real treat. Lucy, this is your online sitting room which you invite us into. Feel free to post whatever you jolly well fancy. You know we’ll come back for more, eyes bright and minds hungry!

  • Megan 3 years ago

    …for Nicola
    Yes the mirror behind my chaise is the box mirror from freedom. It comes with red or white surrounds. They have really upped their game. My lovely white noodle stool in kitchen shot next to stove is also from there. I love mixing too end with middle end. That’s where the fun is.

  • Sonia 3 years ago

    I can only imagine that, given the creative work of someone of Megan’s calibre is shared so publicly everyday, that she would prefer to keep the specifically personal expression of her creativity for her family and friends behind closed doors. And that the sale/departure of this home towards the creation of a new home would be the only reason to ‘let the public in’.

    Such an unfortunately unpleasant thing to read on a blog that, at heart, is all about sharing. Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether it’s for sale or not, at least we’ve all seen it and can be inspired by it.

  • rachael 3 years ago

    please,please tell me where you sourced your beautiful comforters in the girls rooms..i love them!!

  • Megan 3 years ago

    … Rachel
    The comforters in the little ladies rooms are vintage eiderdowns from Peppergreen in market place Bettina. Sadly the store is closing down so be sure to get there! They are
    amazingly comfy and warm as well as beautiful tones. Glad you love

  • Kaspia 3 years ago

    Oh MM’s house is just gorgeous…who wouldn’t want to swing by and see it in it’s 3 dimensional glory! What a lovely inspiring article and she is great with all the tips and tricks she shares. Merci!

  • Anna Walker 3 years ago

    Love Megan, she is amazing and has wonderful ideas BUT to actually see those ideas put into practice in her own living, evolving, family home is quite something…It shows you can have a beautiful life with children, it doesn’t have to be all primary colours and IKEA…it is real, lovely and functional…and most of all desirable…And Megan, if you are out there, I miss our little email chats :)

  • rachael 3 years ago

    thanks megan!!

  • Sara Green 3 years ago

    Hi MM, where did you find the beautiful green chinese porcelain stool? I have been looking everywhere and can’t find the perfect one. House looks absolutely stunning. Love, love. Sara xx

  • carley 3 years ago

    Love your house Megan, just wondering from your research which floors did you find were better black or white?

  • Megan 3 years ago

    … For gaz and Carly re floor colour discussion. I wrote a story about it in home love but essentially, it all come s down to what kind of dirt you are more comfortable seeing! I personally, after living with both, love the richness of darker floors. In my new house I am unsure what I will do, as I have a salt n pepper schnauzer and most my dirt is dog/white.
    … And for lovely Sarah green!!! I got the stools (the are divine, and I was lucky enough to get a pair) from Edit, they have a showroom in surry hills. Sublime!
    MM

  • Dahlia 3 years ago

    The hanging key hits me.
    Such a vintage, chic and comfy house.
    Thanks, Megan.

  • cushions 3 years ago

    Love the light colours used in the interiors and the strong accents used in accessories

  • No matter if some one searches for his necessary thing, therefore he/she wishes
    to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.

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