Spotlight on…freelance homes writer, editor and stylist Jennifer Morgan

Former interiors magazine editor, Jennifer Morgan, tells Homestyle PR about her new freelance life and why she has two of the best jobs in the world…

Freelance interiors writer Jane Morgan

You recently swapped life at Time Inc for freelancing after 16 years of working on some of the UK’s leading home interest titles, what made you take the leap?

I love homes and I’m so thrilled to do something I love everyday. I have never not wanted to go to work, which I know makes me incredibly lucky. I’d been at Time Inc for 11 years, having joined as interiors editor on Ideal Home, before making deputy working under the inspirational Isobel McKenzie-Price.

I was then offered the chance to launch Style at Home magazine to meet a gap in the homes market for a magazine that offered affordable style. Copy sales were big, topping at over the 100,000-figure and I loved it, but after I took a year out to have my daughter, I felt ready for a new challenge. This saw me setting up The Craft Network (another of my passions) and launching four magazines and a pile of craft kitazines, still for Time Inc. But I missed homes too much, and when the chance came to take redundancy, I took it, so I could freelance and hopefully spend more time being a mum!

Titles Jennifer Morgan has worked on

So you’ve been freelancing since the start of the year, how’s it going?

Really well – I love the variety and flexibility it gives me. From bathroom features for House Beautiful to style features for Modern Gardens; editing the new-look Ideal Home Show Souvenir Guide 2017 to meeting some amazing homeowners and shooting their homes, no day is the same. I’m also around more to pick my daughter up from nursery, logging on when she’s in bed most nights. There’s a great freelance world of us parents that are doing just that…we’re lucky that we can do it in this industry and lots can be done remotely, which really helps.

Freelance writer Jennifer Morgan

What inspired you to become a journalist?

Growing up I was always surrounded by magazines – a Friday-night treat was to go to the local newsagents with my dad and buy my mum some magazines, and my sister and I comics! At uni, I think I spent more time on the student newspaper than with my head in Chaucer or Jane Austen (I studied English Literature). I went on to do a PGDip in Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University. My first job was on Home magazine, just as the boom in interiors magazines really took off in the late nineties. Think back to Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Changing Rooms days!

Jennifer Morgan's home

So what’s your own home like? Any Changing Rooms -style decorating disasters?

We bought our current home off-plan and moved in a week before my daughter arrived! It’s still very much a work-in -progress. We’ ve kept the walls white. It’s quite modern/Scandi in style, with splashes of colour introduced through accessories and patterns such as Sanderson’s Dandelion Clocks fabric, which we’ve used for blinds in the living room. We’ve done things like adding a glass splashback in our kitchen and wallpapering too.

I love making things, so there are plenty of cushions, modern patchwork quilts and fabric everywhere! Until recently, our kitchen-family room was also home to my crafting, but slowly my workspace is growing and threatening to take over! So far, no disasters…I think the blank canvas helps disguise them anyway! I wanted to create a fun house for my daughter that works for us too. My husband also works from home, so we’ve fitted lots of storage and worked with the room shapes – our home is a corner plot so lots of the rooms are quirky in shape, which has presented a few challenges!

Jennifer Morgan's home

Where do you get your inspiration?

I love Instagram and regularly stalk people on it! When I was interiors editor on Ideal Home, it never ceased to amaze me how creative readers were, and now with social media, it’s so much easier to share this creativity. I go to the big trade shows when I can, as I love meeting the names behind the brands too. I’ve always appreciated that I have my dream job – I mean actually getting paid to look at new product and fabric samples! But now I’m teaming it with being a mummy…life doesn’t get better than that!