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The School with Megan Morton - Keep the Cockroaches Away

23rd March, 2012
Jenny Butler
Friday 23rd March 2012

This week has absolutely flown by and sadly we have reached our last day with the incredible Megan Morton. THANK YOU Megan for Guest Blogging with us this week, for being so generous with your knowledge and answering everyone's questions in the comments.  Megan has launched her brand new website today - you should all go visit!  Congratulations MM and thank you again! - Jenny x

MUSIC TO LISTEN TO AFTER READING TODAY'S POST!:  Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk. 'I love this song for its get-up-and-go-faster-ness. As we suggest in today's post, I recommend playing removalists frequently, and I play this song when inspiration for re-arranging my own house hits - and bang, job done.' - Megan
Photograph by Jason Busch, styled by Megan Morton / Room Images.

I know, it's the last post and you think I have lost it on a pragmatic pest control issue. What I want to leave you with is a concept for keeping your space, no matter how big or small, how expensive or affordable it is, fresh. Please believe me when I say that 'fresh’ is really important. In fact, to me, it is a home's true currency. You see 'freshness’ is the elusive characteristic of all great homes. Not every house has it, and you can’t necessarily buy up on it. 'Newness’ only lasts a couple of months or so, (maybe a bit longer if your brain doesn’t get much stimulation), and after that the feeling of emptiness creeps in. (I know this because some of the most expensive homes are owned by the unhappiest of people. I know, it’s real estate irony at its cruelest).

Let’s take a step back and look at a spaces’ freshness. Basically, old people, no matter how neat as a pin and tidy they are, are still prone to cockroaches. It’s why pest control companies always have mature, rested looking people in their marketing. Why is this? And how totally unfair that firstly you get old and then have to spend your retiring years actually watching the cheeky things escape you because you are not quick enough off the mark to get them. Cockroaches, it seems, are calculating - a bit lazy but TOTAL super brains. A dangerous combination!

Photograph by Jason Busch, styled by Megan Morton / Room Images for Arent and Pyke

You see, cockroaches can detect movement and change. So an older person is less likely to be moving their stuff around, changing room flows, direction of furniture and the like. This pleases the cockroaches - and the last thing you want to be doing is pleasing a cockroach.  So no matter how spick and span the place is, the pests really like it because they know where everything is, because it's been in the same place for the last two years and there is very little chance of it moving. Ever.

It pays to think fresh – change your bed position around, move your furniture away from walls. Reconfigure rooms. Swap set ups. Literally play opposites day and move your conversation pit around. Go home and move your bed to the other wall.

At my old house, I achieved new levels of summer fresh by deadlocking the front door shut and opening the front french doors. (We live in suburbia with little security threats and an over anxious Schnauzer for guard).  Crazy talk I know, but not only will you get new fresh perspectives on your space, you will see different angles and appreciate the new combinations, just like you do when you buy a new belt that suddenly sparks up your best black pants. Not just thinking of new ideas, or necessarily buying new things, but reassigning what you already have could be the key to temporary decorative happiness. As well as zero cockroaches.

I have loved being a guest blogger. Thanks Lucy and Jenny. It has reignited my own quick-fix say-it-while-you-think-of-it-mind. I will be instagramming (here) and FB’ing (here) and would love to meet you in the real world at one of our The School classes really soon. Or if you like props and stuff, just come over to unit 2/85 Dunning Ave, Rosebery.  The Propery and The Studio (which is the classroom to The School) is next door to Koskela and delicious Kitchen by Mike.  Come, but I swear don't come hungry.

-Megan x

P.S. Music really inspires me. When I get pulled over for driving faster than allowed, I wish I could say 'Hey you try driving this stretch with Queen on volume and the sun shining?!’.

For five years my website was empty of pictures but played a song. My thinking was while I was sorting it all out, if people liked the song, there was a good chance they would like my work.  So a very big thank you to that charming song for carrying me this far. Today, of ALL days, is when my real website goes live. This time with pictures and no music. (Although I wish I could have a play list for each pairing). I have edited the shots so they present in pairs. Most pairs are from different shoots, so to couple them has been deeply satisfying - there are over 50 pairs in the 'things' section alone.

When I was compiling my songs-to-read-blog-to I had to really cull.  So here are other songs that I put on now and then to do housey things to. Do you have any great songs you love to do things to?  Leave a comment if you’ve got any favourites...

Je T'aime by Serge G - ideal background music for when you are back from the flower markets/florists, life is beautiful and you are arranging your flowers around the house high fiv’ing yourself.

You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall & Oates - ideal for getting the house ready pre people coming over for dinner. (Turn it off before guests come, it can be a little perky).

I've never Been to Spain by Henry Wagons - ideal for that 20 minutes you need to stand and stir risotto and wish you didn’t pick those tiles for the splash back.

Light All My Lights by Seeker Lover Keeper - to keep you smiling when you are sorting out multiple loads of washing to and from line. There is something in this song's wonderful rhythmic melody that makes you feel floaty when dealing with the domestic humdrum.

Minuet in G by Beethoven - speaking of domesticity, perfect folding the washing and making smart little piles. Beethoven's ebbs and flows make it 'music to be dilligent to'

You've Got the Love by Florence and The Machine - this song doesn’t really have an 'action' to match, more of a room inspiration, because when I hear this song, it reminds me of a beautifully rich living room that I want to be in. Listen to it and tell me its not THE most beautiful room.

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