Since founding her company in 2009, Meg LeSueur Lonergan has become one of Houston’s most in-demand designers, known for creating sophisticated interiors that highlight homeowners’ sensibilities and personalities. Born in South Louisiana but uprooted at an early age, Meg lived abroad in Singapore, New Zealand, and France until she moved to Houston with her Kiwi husband. After receiving inquiries about smaller projects – one or two room jobs – Meg launched her online service, Mail by ML. Many clients ask for storage so they can hid items away, but a recent Mail by ML project turned that idea on its head. The client asked for a living room design that showcased a collection of African trading beads collected on her travels.
With the client’s goal of showcasing her jewelry collection, how did you balance creating a space for living versus a space for display?
My client came to me wanting to brainstorm ideas on how to be able to show guests her beautiful collection of African beads. We thought about different ways of hanging them, or displaying them so that people could touch them, but ultimately I came up with the idea to display them in shadowboxes categorized by style and type. We met with a very talented framer in Houston who worked with us in depth on the size of the boxes, how we were to lay them out, if we were to mat some and leave some un-matted, and then we found a beautiful linen to lay them on. Her home had the perfect 16 foot long wall in the entry that made the best backdrop for the installation. We did end up leaving some unframed in big wooden bowls on her coffee table so that people would be able to touch them and feel them and learn about them from her. They really are the talking points and focal point of her home now! It’s such a great way to add color and texture to your décor with a personal touch.
Travel has also been a large part of your life. Do you have any similar collections?
I am really drawn to ceramics and pottery and have a very large collection of pottery from a potter in New Zealand named Tony Sly who is based in a beach town called Ragland on the coast. I have a few other pieces from a ceramicist in Austin and some vintage pieces. I love the feel of pottery in your hands and how you can really understand how the artist made the piece by touching it. I also like to collect fabrics from my travels, like vintage Obis from Japan, batiks from Indonesia, kimonos from Japan, plaid Woolley Scottish blankets, vintage Fortuny scraps from Italy, and I have a lot of linens from France. Everything from grain sacks to antique hand embroidered monogrammed pieces.
See Meg’s creative solution for incorporating jewelry display into a living room in the slideshow!