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Getting to know IDEA 2023 Residential Interior Curation winner Simone Haag

Getting to know IDEA 2023 Residential Interior Curation winner Simone Haag


Following her success at the Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), Simone Haag discusses Weeroona House, the winning project of the Residential Interior Curation category, with Australian Design Review (ADR). 

Simone Haag hardly needs an introduction. The Melbourne-based interior stylist and founder of her eponymous studio has spent over a decade helping spaces reach their full potential, from offices in Hawthorn to homes in Fitzroy.

Her accolades include sitting on the IDEA jury in 2020 and winning the Colour category in 2022 for The Whiskey Room.

The Whiskey Room
The Whiskey Room. Photo: Timothy Kaye

This year she was shortlisted in the Colour category again, but took home the IDEA Residential Interior Curation award for Weeroona House, a project jury member Jade Nottage describes as “a thoughtful curation of objects within a warm and decadent interior”.

“The objects feel deliberate and at home in their placement; it doesn’t feel like a gallery of pieces, but rather the final detailed ‘sprinkle’ on an already spectacular home,” says Nottage.

Weeroona House
Weeroona House. Photo: Tom Blachford

ADR asks Haag to share the secrets behind Weeroona House and the success of her work more generally.

ADR: What did it mean for you to win the IDEA Residential Interior Curation category?

Simone Haag: Oh gosh, so much. It is such an honour to be recognised by your peers. The competition is so fierce, every studio is taking their curation to the next level; this award means a lot to me.

Interestingly, as I reflected on [the win] it occurred to me that the award wasn’t just for Weeroona, but it was for the countless projects I have finished before, where I have honed my craft and achieved the knowledge that led to the decisions made at Weeroona.

Weeroona House. Photo: Tom Blachford
Tell us about your winning project. What was its inspiration and how did you achieve the outcome that you did?

First, a huge thanks to David Neil of Neil Architecture for inviting me to be part of the team. David and his team had created such a beautiful canvas – I was so lucky to have the opportunity to layer upon it. His choice of colours strongly informed the direction for the furniture, art and objects. We were also so lucky to have clients that were enthusiastic, trusting and seeking something unique, and we were so glad that we delivered.

Residential Interior Curation winner
Weeroona House. Photo: Tom Blachford
How would you describe 2023?

A blur! Our days are varied – between sourcing, shopping trips, client presentations, bump-in days and shoots are some interstate and international trips sprinkled in for good measure. The weeks fly by.

Overall, it has been a really successful year with a great synergy with the team and clients and producing some really beautiful work of which we are all so proud.

IDEA Residential Interior Curation
Weeroona House. Photo: Tom Blachford
What’s next for you? Can you share any upcoming or current projects you’re working on?

We have just photographed an apartment in Spring Street where collectible design was the focus. It is such a wonderful arrangement of pieces – we are all very excited to get that out there.

We are doing some work with Capella Hotel in Singapore, which is going to kick off quarter one of 2024 and there are numerous clients that we are in chats with about working alongside them in 2024. So I would say there is plenty happening that we can look forward to.

Weeroona House
Weeroona House. Photo: Tom Blachford
How do you plan to wrap up 2023?

By lying down in the foetal position, I feel. The end of the year is always such a crescendo. We have had three large bump-ins and seven photoshoots in November and December alone. I am ready to switch off and spend quality time at our shack on Phillip Island with the husband and kids.

There will be a changing of the guard with team members taking maternity leave and a smaller team recalibrating for the year to come.

Check out all the winners of IDEA 2023 here.


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