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The School with Megan Morton – How To Personalise Your Space

by Jenny Butler
Monday 19th March 2012

Today we welcome the exceptionally talented Megan Morton! With her latest project, The School, just about to open its doors, Megan is with us all week sharing some of her super stylist tips that you can apply in your own home. She has even included MUSIC recommendations for you to listen to as you read each daily post – what a delight! – Jenny x

MUSIC TO ACCOMPANY TODAY’S POST –  Home – by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zero’s. ‘Apart from Edward being my other celebrity husband to Kevin McCloud (more on that later this week), I do love this overplayed song.  Home is wherever I am with you. Totes true.’ – Megan.

Megan’s own living room, see the full tour here! Photo – Lucy Feagins

Megan Morton’s loungeroom.  Photo – Lucy Feagins.  ‘It’s Beautiful Here’ sign handmade by Tamara Maynes from The Six Week Boutique

This is my living room. It serves a family of five and our dog. It’s beautiful here, as the pic says. But it’s a little bit like the plumber with the leaky tap. I just pulled it together in between working on other peoples living rooms.

I work with people on many aspects of their homes. Some from scratch. Others in passing. Some as an independent eye. Some as a patchup to someone else’s bad. What I have noticed with all of my clients, is the need to put your own stamp on your space, no matter if they have spent $200 or $200k . It’s a natural instinct that needs to be tended to, in order to establish a real connection to your home, so you can not only have loving and warm feelings towards it, but also be its fierce protector.  So to kick start a love affair with your space, there needs to be a bit of you and those you love in it.

The kind of house I did when I first met my husband was really a decorative love letter to him. It had some key comfort factors – a nice twist on English traditional (he’s British) but still totally Oz, and it managed to be a space where our combined belongings could cohabit happily together.

Our family home, on the other hand, was first a bunker for three of us, then four of us, and now five of us, plus August (meet him here). The idea is to keep something of you in all of that. No matter who you share your space with, once a piece of yourself is in it, there is more of a chance you will want to preserve it and treasure it.  Aren’t houses so clever the way they get you to fall in love with them!

Getting to know yourself if possibly the most painful thing. One of my style guru’s Iris Apfel says that ‘fashion is easy, style is hard’. She said that the style bit comes to you only when you know yourself. And it is this bit, the knowing yourself, that is often the ‘painful part of the whole process’.

A good trigger to uncovering our personal style might be the sort of hotels you dream about staying in, the restaurants you get excited about eating it, the countries you like to explore, the magazine pages that make your heart skip a beat. In fact, answering all of these Cleo-quizzy questions would give you a pretty good idea and be a instant mood board in the making.

From here, its about being open to having an opinion on things. Be opinionated. Ask questions, keep your ‘favourite images’ file topped up, and edit it down regularly so you’re left with a strong vision, not a watered down ‘I-liked-that-5-years-ago’ version, or the ‘when-I-get-rich’ version.  And then, when it is time to strike, you will go confidently.  As you will have sat with these ideas and things for a while,  and so putting them together is the easy bit.

Just in my team alone, we might work out of the same office,  but we have three very different boards…

The Stylist – Sophie The

Sophie is my styling assistant.  She’s French and fabulous.  If her mood board was any more eclectic I would need an upper case E.  Pulling disparate components together and making them sing is Sophie’s way. She is one of the chicest people I know and does wonderful things with colour combinations.

Last week it khaki and red. I can’t wait to see what it will be this week. She styles with a looseness, as well as tightness that can be put down to her Frenchness as well as her attitude to life. Tres chic. Totally.

The GM – Rennae Long

That marble kitchen bench in Mosman can’t come soon enough for Rennae. And she has the pewter champagne ice bucket already pre-purchased to toast her clean, classic yet decidedly decadent new kitchen with dining hutch and oak flooring.

She also likes piping. A lot. And velvety touches everywhere. She knows how to spend and save, because a lot of marble can sometimes be overkill. And given her initials, she is also a fan of the monogram, especially those expensive show-off RL insignia blankets at Ralph Lauren!

The Intern – Laura Darling

She might come across all English rose but she could easily be wife of rockstar with her high end fittings, luxury edging and her preference for bad boys.  Pedigree velvets, vintage detailing and a flash of fluoro is what makes her our very own decorating darling. She has a little bit of country with a little bit of rock n roll. Nice combo.

So, what would you look like if you were a mood board? Doing this exercise in editing and curating your board will help you in so many ways. It will pull you closer to the true things you love and want to invest in and chase. It will help you find more suitable real estate when paralysed by all the options in the property market, and will give you a short cut to how you want your next dream room or house to look and feel.

A board also gives you something to share with a design professional, if you are working with one. Nothing says, `this is me’ like a well edited mood board. But remember, like Iris says, the knowing yourself is the all important bit in discovering your own style.

- Megan x


by Jenny Butler
Monday 19th March 2012

31 comments

  • Megan 3 years ago

    A bit embarrassing that I am first comment on my own post but wanted to tell you as I have to shoot today and won’t be able read comments till another day how Tamara Maynes from The
    Six Week Boutique made the charming it’s beautiful here wire work. Clever Tamara / she can make you one too!

  • Georgina 3 years ago

    Oh it is going to be a good week. Love MM.

  • dustjacket 3 years ago

    Loved this first post Megan, thanks. It looks easy, but it’s hard to do a mood board unconsciously…that sounds weird. I mean to do one from the heart. As you say, knowing yourself well is the biggest step to this, loved the trigger questions you mentioned. Looking forward to hearing more styling tips this week.
    xxdj

  • Jen 3 years ago

    do you know what? listening to a specifically chosen song for a post is genius. I clicked on it, went back and dissected MM’s musings. and then couldn’t help but get lost in the world of that film clip. running up and down stairs at the opera house never looked so cute! Perfect start to the day!

  • Aurelie 3 years ago

    please… can’t this be for a month!?!!!

  • Lucy 3 years ago

    Ha ha I love you MM! More people should be the first comment on their own Guest post. (and I’ll add that caption!) x

  • I loved looking at everyone’s mood board! I can tell this is going to be a brilliant week.

  • Harriet 3 years ago

    Wonderful! Can’t wait to read the rest of the week’s posts. Those red and green paint swatches with mother of pearl – YES.

  • Siobhan 3 years ago

    RL has always had style so not surprised its the board I like the most Xx

  • Jane 3 years ago

    Really enjoyed this read and can’t wait for the next installment. Very inspiring.

  • ecoandco.net 3 years ago

    Loved the fun and inspiring post

  • margie 3 years ago

    So how DO you get your dark floors so rich and handsome without a tinge of chestnut or noir? I would love to know. I would!

  • megan 3 years ago

    Hey Margie, Floor Equation – get your guys to put on one coat of black japan and then quickly sponge it off. then, do it again and sponge off again. like hair colour – it all depends on what colour / floor you are starting off with to begin with. Make sense? good luck. i love dark floors – so handsome, so noble yet rough all at the same time. m

  • Kristen Mather 3 years ago

    Hooray for MM on the guest blog! I have a crazy week ahead, so this will be my morning ‘downtime’ reading! So glad!

  • lexi 3 years ago

    Swoon. I love Sophie’s use of colour. It’s true to how she styles herself too. So beautiful and punchy. And Rennae’s mood board – mmm, gorg.

    Can’t wait for this week of guest postery. Amazing MM. MORE MORE MORE!

  • Miss Polly 3 years ago

    Was also interested in the black floors….In paintspot the well informed paint chap comvinced me not to use black japan so we have used the porters product Palm Beach black and sealed with clear cote but on the older original floorboards (which are more like packing boards) under stools and chairs it has unfortunately cracked and peeled away. Currently leaving the ‘rough’ look but will have to see how much further it declines.
    The colour on this product though with two coats is FABULOUS! would be great on newer floorboards although with the sealer is a tad slippery when sneaking around the house in socks :-)
    With three black dogs – black floors are definately the way to go :-)
    So excited about the guest blog this week. Love love love your work Megan.

  • Belinda 3 years ago

    MM will you be my best friend?

  • line x shape x colour 3 years ago

    what a way to start my monday – so inspiring. very excited for the week ahead! thanks Megan!!

  • Monique Germon 3 years ago

    What Auralie said! Xx

  • Em Collins 3 years ago

    Very excited to read more from you MM. Very inspiring.
    I’m 25 and ready for a career change! What do I need to do to be doing what your doing?! Seriously.

  • Ahhhhhhhh. Thank you lovely Lucy for giving us this opportunity to learn from and by inspired by the awesome MM!
    Megan, I already think of you as a mentor – but to read how sweet you are and that you are willing to share all that you know shows that you an absolute ray of sunshine!
    I’m super excited for the week ahead.

  • emi 3 years ago

    i looooove lauras board that acid yellow with that divine gilt and a hint of copper – perfect

  • Oooops and thank you JENNY!!!

  • Amanda 3 years ago

    When you put it so well Megan, it all makes perfect sense. And I thank you for being so willing to share everything as you do. So looking forward to all your posts this week. I still miss your blog, but can see that things are…ahem, just a little busy and exciting for you right now. Great to hear there is a new book too!

  • Lucy 3 years ago

    Thanks ladies for your ace comments… not surprised MM has won your hearts… this has got to be a record for comments on the Guest Blog day one! SO thrilled you’re loving it!
    xx

  • fiona 3 years ago

    i am really looking forward to this week. thanks for sharing. love Renaes key!

  • margie 3 years ago

    Thanks Megan, just came back and read your reply to my post. Attention to detail is MOST impressive!

  • Megan 3 years ago

    To Belinda, the answer is Yes, yes I will!

  • Belinda 3 years ago

    Joy! Oh joy! This could be the happiest day of my life (all future days included!).

  • Belinda 3 years ago

    PS. When can you come over for champagne, bestie?

  • melanie 3 years ago

    thanks for sharing! love the post, and particularly Renee’s moodboard – nice touch with the old key

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