Yesterday I went along to stylist Megan’s free workshop at Moore Park SupaCenta in Sydney and picked up some real gems, which I wanted to share with you all. First off, I love the concept of putting love in your home and giving it a really personal touch. We shouldn’t be living in show homes, after all. Homes are to live in, not just to look at, and I’m a great believer that while some trends are fabulous, following them too closely or for the sake of being on-trend can be a big mistake.
“These days there’s so much choice out there, it can be a bit paralysing and confusing for people,” said Megan. “We live in such a visual world (I wake up and I’m checking Instagram) but when it comes to doing something in the real world it gets hard.” Overstimulation right?
Megan, who wrote the bestseller Home Love, took us through photographs of four homes which really captured the essence of the homeowner. Last but not least was her own home, which you can find in the current issue of Vogue Living. Check it out. Not only is a beautiful home, it’s a rare treat to see inside a stylist or interior designer’s home as they are usually kept private. In fact, Megan was only ready to share the photographs of this home, which she worked on for years, when she sold it recently. “When I took the photos I really fell in love with it,” says Megan, who admits she did hesitate about going through with the sale when moving out became a reality.
“We have all these beautiful rooms and beautiful moments in our homes but they are never really done or finished,” says Megan. I think this one of the key things I took away from this workshop. “The conversation keeps going with your home until you actually move out. Until it was all packed up in boxes I was still shopping for that home,” says Megan.
Those last finishing touches can be the hardest and the things that take the longest. Megan says she and her team often do ‘correction’ jobs for clients who have got their accessorising all wrong. Maybe they got the bones right then went on holiday and thought they could buy all the themed nick-nacks for their home in one fell swoop.
Another lightbulb moment for me was when Megan said if you’re wondering why a room isn’t quite working it might be because you’re missing a circle in the mix. Think about it: rectangular room, rectangular coffee table, rug, windows, furniture. “Maybe you need a softener like a round ottoman,” she said. As I mentioned yesterday, the circle I’ll be adding to my living space is a juju feather hat on the wall. Yes, it’s a trend, but I love it and I think you can never go wrong with something from nature.
Don’t get too hung up on those perfect pictures you see in interiors magazines either. “The job of a stylist is to protect the readers from all the mess that happens. Either side of the shot it’s carnage,” says Megan. “The first thing I ask when I walk into a job is where’s your messy cupboard? Everyone has one! It literally explodes on you when you open it!” (Yup, I’m hearing you, Megan…) “In magazines you’re really looking at a very different set of scenarios. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes.’”
More fabulous takeaways from Megan’s workshop:
- Be yourself and your house will follow.
- No amount of dollars or hiring a stylist can force a house to be finished or done.
- You can’t always finish a house. Sometimes it’s just a continual conversation. You really do have to work on it.
- Powder blue is a very modern colour to put older, dark timber furniture against. In the days when this furniture was around they never had white walls.
- White is the hardest colour of all for a room to take. Unless your room is perfect, don’t do it, as it will show up every imperfection. Don’t ever think it’s the safest colour.
- It’s really important to remember that just because a magazine says something is ‘in’ if you don’t like it, it won’t mean anything to you.
- You should always pull your sofa out from the wall a little bit!
- Why not try flowers on your walls, so you can see them eye height, by attaching vessels to them with hooks (just be careful!).
Check out some of MM’s beautiful work on her website or why not attend one of the fabulous creative classes at her latest project The School (which just happens to be in between the gorgeous Koskela showroom and the Kitchen by Mike restaurant) in Rosebery?
And click here for my interview with her from earlier this year for more great insights into what makes a home. Megan’s second book, Things I Love, is out in November.
Jen, sounds like such an inspiring and HONEST workshop. I could not agree more with Megan. The glossy pics that we often see in mags and in real estate from experience I know are heavily styled and certainly have do not resemble my house after a busy week or weekend with kids running from room to room. Live in your home and love it. For me to actually finish my home would mean that I am ready to go. Top Read! Thanks
Glad you enjoyed the read! It was a really great session and you’re right, very honest!