Thank you Megan Morton

November 23, 2015

“Successful styling is when you make the viewer forget the name of the thing they are seeing.” Sophie The, Stylist.

This year has been a very tumultuous one for me, both personally and professionally. As a result, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection and soul searching to help me map out a path for my future (waaahhh…first world problems and all that). Some time ago, I had the opportunity to hear Megan Morton speak at a DIA (Design Institute of Australia) breakfast, and was so inspired by what she had to say that when my career veered off course and the opportunity arose to attend The Science of Styling workshop at The School I didn’t hesitate.

I wasn’t sure going in to this workshop that I wanted to be a Stylist and I’m still not sure if this is the field for me, however the experience of the day and in particular the quote from Stylist, Sophie The (above) has continued to resonate with me long after the conclusion of the workshop, as this statement is how I want to approach every space that I now design or decorate.

As an interior designer, I’ve been trained to apply the elements and principles of design in both two and three dimensional spaces to create visually balanced layouts, as well as how to plan and position furniture and fixtures in a room so that those who will be using it will be able to move freely. There’s also a strong emphasis on what can and can’t be done from an ergonomics, construction and regulations point of view when working in the interior design industry (+ documentation…lots and lots of documentation).

Until I undertook Megan’s workshop I didn’t fully appreciate that the training I’d received (and have been applying to my work) was really just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to designing and decorating an interior space. What Megan showed me was a different way of seeing, not just in interiors but everything that I encounter every day. I now feel like I’m seeing everything completely differently. My appreciation of the world around me has shifted and I love it!

As homework we were encouraged to choose 5 images from our Pinterest pages. These five images needed to be images that we have a strong connection to. The next step was to identify the thread that ties these images together. My five images are below:

1

The common threads flowing through these images are a strong sense of nostalgia, innocence, muted colours, sheer textures, fluid lines, shapes and movement as well as beauty that is immured. There’s also a strong feeling of sadness or loss and a connection to the past or perhaps to things that are no more.

When I thought a little more deeply about these images, I realised that the connection is my Grandmother. She was hugely influential throughout my life from the time I was born. She’s now passed, but her influence over the way I feel and interact with the world around me is still very present. She was obsessed with spirits and ghosts and talked about the past frequently, and loved to share stories of people and places from her past. Of course when we reflect back upon our lives, our memories are never linear they meander and wander. They are also very subjective and we may all remember a shared event very differently, based upon our experiences, emotions, age etc. and so the stories that she recalled were as she remembered them (or as she wanted to remember them) and these memories somehow were imprinted on me. As I now remember them though may not actually be as they were, they’re simply my interpretation of events (there’s a wonderful novel by Clive James called ‘Unreliable Memoirs’ and to me this book title sums up perfectly how we remember the world around us). This understanding of ‘what makes me tick’ has been so helpful to me in developing an appreciation of how I see the world around me and how I like to be within it. It explains so much.

You’re probably asking, ‘how on earth does this revelation apply to anything interior design-related?’ The answer is this technique can be used to gain a deeper understanding of your client’s needs. For example, if I was your client and we had a chat and I told you that I’d like you to create a space that’s relaxed, low maintenance and uncluttered (which I would) and you designed a space for me that was colourful with lots of geometric shapes and clean lines I wouldn’t connect with that space at all (and I might not fully understand or be able to explain why this is the case). That’s because you only had part of the story to work with. The information contained in those five images is very powerful and can help you design an interior space that your clients really connect with. How you choose to obtain the information contained in those images from your client is completely up to you, but it can elevate your designs from good into something great – it can make your viewer overlook the parts of what you’re showing them and help them to experience and ‘become one’ with the whole.

Thank you Megan Morton.

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: