Mosey Loves

Mosey Loves: Megan McKean

Mosey Loves: Megan McKean

We recently sat down with Australian designer, illustrator, and author Megan McKean to talk all things career, design, and interiors.

A creative with 'permanently itchy feet', her work is focusses primarily on travel and depicting colourful cities around the world. Creating contemporary souvenirs under her eponymous design label McKean Studio and collaborating with global brands, her work spans digital, print and 3D forms, including her popular illustrated books.

She currently lives in Malmo, Sweden with her husband and pup in a beautiful apartment that is a perfect reflection of her design sensibility.

Read on to find out what makes this creative tick, and why Mosey loves Megan McKean.

1. What star sign are you? How do you feel it relates to your personality? 

I’m a Taurus, and I really am a Taurus through and through. I am very determined, and once I set my mind on something I have a really hard time letting go; my stubborn streak has to see things through. I’m also really particular about my home environment — I love the finer things in life and always want my home to feel like a cosy haven.

2. Where do you live and why do you call this place home? 

I currently live in Malmo, in southern Sweden, after moving here at the end of 2020. Moving in the middle of a pandemic was not for the faint of heart, but we are really glad to be here now. We moved for a career opportunity for my husband, and it’s been such a great change after living in Sydney for the decade before. I have really fallen in love with Malmo — it’s a small and very walkable city with lots of parks and nature right on our doorstep. It’s also just 30 minutes to Copenhagen, so anytime I need a ‘bigger city’ fix, it’s not far to go! 

image of breakfast on the balcony next to an image of Megan in her dining roomBreakfast on Megan's sunlit balcony with our Colourblock Placemats and napkins

3. How did you become an illustrator/designer? 

I studied Visual Communication at university and started working for myself as a designer and illustrator midway through my degree. I used to run my design label, McKean Studio, where I was creating contemporary souvenirs inspired by my travels but scaled back a few years ago to focus more on illustration and less on production. It was a great path to lead to bigger partnerships, more illustration opportunities and even the chance to get into publishing. 

4. Where do you draw inspiration from in your work, home and life in general?  

I am really inspired by travel — getting out of my normal day-to-day routine and seeing things that are new can be so motivating and sparks a lot of creativity. Museums, galleries, stores — even supermarkets in other countries are so exciting to me! I’m so lucky that my work, home and personal life is all so interconnected, so I find the things that inspire me translates across pretty much all the facets of my life.

Megan's bedroom features pale blue walls and Flowerbed Euro pillows on the bedThe pale blue accent walls add a sense of calm to the bedroom, which feature Flowerbed Euro Pillows

5. You are also now an author. Tell us a bit about how that came about 

I was approached at a design event by a publishing house based in Melbourne, with a quick chat in person about possibly working together, turning into book concepts and eventually my first book, Hello, Sydney!. The (surprise) success of Hello Sydney! led to expanding the series with other cities and countries, and it has been a really delightful addition to my illustration work. I love working in publishing now, connecting and researching and seeing an idea come to life on the page! Nothing beats the feeling of holding months of work in your hands in book form for the first time.  

6. Your home is SO beautiful. Tell us a bit about how you developed your interior style? 

People are always so kind and complimentary when talking about my home, which I really appreciate — but feel like I can’t take all the credit for.! The original details really do the heavy lifting; our apartment was built in 1900, so the original herringbone parquet floors, high ceilings and beautiful crown moulding really steal the show! I just got to come in and truss it up!  

Before living in Sweden, my husband and I were renting a tiny 36sqm apartment in Sydney… it was very beige and very small, so I think when we moved to Malmo there was a bit of an overcorrection; we’ve really made up for a decade worth of ‘rental beige’ wall paint with our bright home now. 

The interior choices I made felt really natural; I think coming from a design background meant I had a good sense of how the colours and textures will feel, and to also know myself and what I will and won’t tire of — pink walls might feel too much for some, but it’s honestly a neutral to me; I know I love it! 

7. Who makes up your home? And where do your family gravitate most to in the home? 

Home is made up of me, my husband Joshua, and our 2 year old Labrador, Saga. Saga is a guide-dog dropout (we were supposed to only raise her for a year before she would start her job!) but she failed her aptitude test — for being too friendly! We are thrilled to have her in our family forever though, and she really makes our apartment a home. We spend most of our time in the living room, catching up on TV shows, or FaceTiming with friends from the sofa.

Megan and dog Saga in the living room of their apartmentMegan and pup Saga relaxing in the living room. The mint-coloured walls provide a harmonious counterpoint to the pink couch and Clay linen cushion.

8. What does a typical day in your life look like at the moment? 

Every day starts with a dog walk; Saga and I head out for around 45 minutes each morning. I usually listen to a couple of podcasts or try to call friends and family in Australia to catch up.  

Once we’re home again I get into the email inbox — I try to do all my email admin first thing; most of my clients are based in Australia, so I can sometimes catch the end of their work day as mine starts up! Depending on the project currently on the go, I try to do my research in the mornings while my brain is a bit fresher and the coffee is kicking in. 

I take Saga out again around lunchtime for another long walk, and then we’ll have lunch at home, and I do a little training session with Saga — we’ve recently added ‘spin’ to her repertoire of party tricks. If I am working on an illustration project, I try to keep my afternoons free for that; an uninterrupted few hours to get into a flow state and just draw. It’s my not-so-guilty pleasure to be able to watch something trashy on Netflix and work away!  

9. What are the specific things you look for when purchasing pieces for your home? 

When we moved to Sweden we were starting from scratch with furnishing our apartment — we literally moved with just 2 suitcases! Having to make the decisions for everything coming into our home really taught me a lot about what I look for in a piece, what I value in my home and how it makes me feel.  

Our goal was for things to feel ‘fun & fancy’ which end up being a good guide for what we were buying; timeless pieces (a lot of Scandinavian design classics) and pieces with a bit of personality! I don’t buy much for our home now, but when I do I only ever buy when I know for sure where it will live in the apartment. 

10. And lastly, what is your favourite piece from the Mosey Me range & why? 

The raspberry stripe tablecloth is such a dream — it’s the most perfect pink that really elevates the table setting. It’s fun & fancy and every time I put it on the table it immediately makes me smile! 

Mosey Me Raspberry Stripe tablecloth in Megan's apartmentThe Raspberry Stripe Tablelcoth all set for a delicious meal in Megan's pink dining room.

Rapid Fire Round 
Sunrise or Sunset? Sunset 
Ocean or Country? Country 
Good Movie or Good Book? Movie; I love the visual details! 
Silver or Gold? Gold 
Salty or Sweet? Can I do a combo? I love salty-sweet anything! 
Pink or Purple? Pink forever! 

Follow Megan's colourful instagram here

Explore her body of work here

Reading next

The 4-1-1 on organic cotton
Behind the print: Meadow

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