Inside The Color-Filled Life And Home Of Artist Morag Myerscough

Some of us lack the gene for putting things together, whether that’s a restaurant-worthy meal or a wardrobe that makes us look our best. We envy the sister-in-law whose vinaigrette we’ve never been able to duplicate, or the guy in the corner office who transforms his pocket square into an origami-like wonder. The design-challenged suffer too. Seemingly incapable of knowing what to put where, or why, they can only marvel at those blessed with an eye for proportion, scale, and style. But even those of us who know our way around a room are humbled by individuals who not only never put a stick of furniture wrong but also seem to break the rules and get away with it.

London-based artist Morag Myerscough is known for boldly reimagining public spaces with fantastical shapes and a riot of color, from a parking garage in Australia to the lobby of the Bulgari Hotel Knightsbridge where she installed a psychedelic swing set. While there is often a social consciousness at work beneath the funhouse flair, it’s the sheer visual exuberance of her work that leads people to engage with the world in a new way. And Myerscough doesn’t leave that retina-busting penchant at the office but brings it home to the converted commercial building she shares with her partner, fellow artist, Luke Morgan.

Once a pub, Myerscough’s home is her idea of heaven, its 4,500 square feet offering not only a place to lay her head but also plenty of room for a studio and gallery. The property had been converted by the time she purchased it, so the biggest big change she made to it was creating a bedroom on the top floor. “As I had spent so much time and money on my old house, I was relieved to see that this building was pretty good,” she shares. “It was painted hideous colors, so when I moved in, I just painted the building white from top to bottom.”

Those white walls form a kind of armature from which the artist has deployed her uncompromising palette of rich color and fearless graphics. In the kitchen, canary-yellow cabinets pop above a black countertop. A boxy sideboard with Queen Anne legs is painted white and inscribed with the word “BASTARD.” In the library, floor-to-ceiling bookcases, done up in a spectrum that ranges from red to yellow, surround a fireplace she has transformed with a geometric pattern in shades of pink, green, blue and black. A pink-and-green sitting area, complete with a roomy banquette tucked under the slope of the roof, leads to a rooftop terrace. And Myerscough’s love of color is not limited to wall treatments. The living room sports a multi-hued rug in a kind of crazy-quilt pattern, a midcentury-style sofa upholstered in yellow fabric and a floor lamp topped with an orange shade. Shiny orange open globes cover the pendant light fixtures in the kitchen, and the dining table on the terrace is pink and yellow.

Struggling over the piping on a pillow or the shape of a sofa leg seems pretty silly when one sees how intrepidly Myerscough has gone about fashioning her home. But while her choices are clearly daring, there’s nothing foolhardy about her methods. Idiosyncratic as these rooms may be, they are built on a sure sense of composition, a skillful play of contrast and most importantly, one woman’s deep understanding of herself and how she likes to live.

Photography by Bénédict Drummond.

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