The Inside Word with Simone Haag


Have you ever wondered how you can take your love of interiors and turn it into a thriving business? While all journeys are different, it’s always fascinating to get a look behind the scenes of someone who has carved out a niche for themselves as an industry leader, even though they didn’t go to design school. Come & read about how Simone Haag has built a career on the back of her belief in herself, and her desire to create exceptional experiences for her clients.

Listen to the full interview here.

Which 5 words best describe you?
Enthusiastic, curious, interested, kind and driven.

What’s the best life or career lesson you’ve learned?
Humility — when things don't go to plan, people can forgive anything if you approach it with humility. And there's been times where I've had things arrive at jobs where I may have made a mistake or they've been dropped by a delivery person that I recommended and that’s never fun. And I think as soon as you can say “I agree with you, I apologize, it's not perfect, it's not what you paid for and we are going to fix this”. People will understand. I think that's a really good skill. I think it's most important. Anyone can be creative but I think you have to have that quality to be here for the long haul because no one wants a diva <laugh>.

What's your proudest career achievement?
I've recently been nominated for Interior Designer of the Year at the Idea Awards. And I recently flew to Brisbane to do a talk, I'm one of six and I'm up against some pretty incredible company. So even the nomination itself would be a career highlight for sure.

What’s been your best decision?
Certainly over the last six months, having a business coach has been amazing because sometimes what you see looking out is very different to what people see looking in and you can't be expected to be able to see through both lenses. So having that insight has been hugely helpful.

Who inspires you?
You've gotta inspire yourself. <laugh> I mean, obviously I'm inspired by lots of designers, but I think you've gotta be really careful getting too inspired by your peers because you see they've picked that, they've done that and then all of a sudden you start to question yourself. So I think you've got to actually look within and know that what you are doing is the best that you can do…I think you have to be able to have that inspiration flame inside or at some point you'll wane so I think you’ve got to keep that alive.

What are you passionate about? 
I'm passionate about making people happy and that's either through the journey that we've taken them on or happy with how they live or where they live or happy about how they've been treated as a client in the studio or happy about how we've come at a time when they've recently got divorced and are now on their own and we've provided a bit of joy for them…Yes, it's about running a business and creating a lifestyle but at the end of the day, the most satisfaction I get is when I've made a client happy.

What dream do you still want to fulfil?
To work on the house we've just moved into that my husband and I chased off market for close to 18 months. It's our dream home and I've only been here for about two or three nights. My dream at the moment is to slowly but surely preserve it, and to bring our personal touch to it.

What are you reading at the moment?
Atomic Habits by James Clear and listening to audiobooks Your Own Kind of Girl by Claire Bowditch and Chiffon Trenches by André Leon Talley.

What are you listening to? 
It'll be a little bit ad hoc where I'll be on a drive down the coast. I used to love the birthing podcasts when I was in sort of baby land and I listened to some design ones but funnily enough that the one that really got me hooked, which has nothing to do with design at all was Elements, Stuart Divers podcast. He was the gentleman that was in the Thredbo disaster and it’s all about natural disasters.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
It’s a bit boring but I definitely think when I was in highschool, I was quite driven and it was all about “what am I going to get? what am I going to study?” and I just think life is such a journey to be enjoyed and that anything you want to do, you can, and, that you don't need that credibility or that certificate or that endorsement to be able to do it. And I think that's been a big part of my story is that I never studied design but I found my feet and created a business. So to my younger self just have the knowing that if you've got the enthusiasm, you can get there and that good things will happen to those that work hard.


Learn the art & science of styling using a proven step-by-step system.

This is your chance to not only transform your interiors – but also reconnect with your creativity in a powerful way.