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
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...
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.
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!
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