ML Lonergan

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CHIC MEETS CHEAP

Designer Meg Lonergan mixes it up for a fresh, traditional look.

By Sarah Egge | Photos by Kim Cornelison

Styling by Char Hatch Langos | Produced by Susan Fox

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Show your true self. Up-and-coming designer Meg Lonergan finds it easy to express her personality at home, which is also the base of her company, LeSueur Interiors. “I was not sure if people would embrace my aesthetic,” she says. “But I stayed true to what I like.” She covers chairs from a Dumpster in designer fabric and puts IKEA bookshelves in the same room as a French antique armoire. “Less expensive things work when balanced with something of quality.”

Meg invests in classic pieces made to last, such as the sofa, and loosens up with found accents, above. She refreshed the junk chairs in a bold ikat fabric. The side tables were $20 bargain buys, freshened up with glossy black paint.

Throughout the 1910 bungalow, right, that she shares with husband Tim in Houston, Meg blends her influences: a childhood in the Louisiana bayou, time spent living in Singapore, and apprenticing in a design showroom.

Embrace the unexpected. Meg spied a cast-iron column in the weeds at a flea market in Round Top, Texas, and had it cut down to be the base for her dining table. A craftsman made the top from reclaimed cypress. She pairs the hefty piece with acrylic chairs. The modern icons don’t encumber the small room, and, most important, they add to the mix of elements Meg prefers. “I like something to surprise you,” she says. “Because then it feels like a real home.”

Decorate with meaning. In a dusty corner of a thrift store, Meg spotted two prints of Louisiana lake herons in “really awful” frames. When she looked closer, she realized they were signed and numbered. “You can get good quality art for good prices at auctions, estate sales, and from up-and-coming artists,” she says. “Put them in a good frame, and it makes all the difference.” Meg had individual monogrammed shams made for her and Tim. Adding personal items takes an otherwise neutral bedroom in a fun direction. “Let your room tell your story,” she says.

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