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Curating a collection of homewares to tell the story of a life well travelled

By Janice Lopez
If life is a journey, a curated home is one that tells a story of that voyage. For prestige home owners, that tale is not only multilayered but global.
“In a well-travelled person’s house, international materials or pieces show a level of confidence and sophistication that adds distinction to a home,” says Melbourne-based interior decorator Simone Haag.
“It’s a way of connecting with and interacting with the space in a more personal manner and, like art, is an extension of a collection.”
While many owners of luxury homes collect smaller items from abroad, Haag specializes in sourcing historic and modern furniture, rugs and art on international buying trips and curating an entire interior.
“I bring pieces out of Instagram and into the real world,” says the uber-stylist, who reveals that clients often budget seven figures for a project.
The coffee table that features a map of Venice laid out in tiles takes pride of place in the living room. Photo: Tom Blatchford

Haag recently returned from Milan where she bought unique pieces for a home on Spring Street in the Melbourne CBD.

Among the treasured items is a Hannes Peer coffee table that features a map of Venice laid out in tiles and now sits in the main living room area.
  • “Because the coffee table isn’t a singular monolithic form, but a series of wedges, it can also shapeshift and interact differently with other pieces in the room.

The KINK Fantastico Onyx table lamps are a feature of the bedroom. Photo: Tom Blatchford

As those in both private and commercial residences invest more in location-scouting for projects, Haag also makes regular trips to Los Angeles where she finds mid-century modern collectable objects and art – including sculptures by Anthony Bianco.  

In Paris, her favorite finds have included a tapestry from Kolkhoze, side tables by Jean Frederic Bourdier and an Isac Elam Kaid console.
“Clients do need to have the appetite to invest in a piece sight-unseen, especially when it can be the price of a small car,” Haag says. “But it’s a contract of trust based on a curator’s portfolio.”
Of course, for those who prefer to do their own choosing, there are international collectors such as Patrizia Castorina and Ugo Cocchis of Castorina in Fitzroy, who import immaculately restored original 20th-century Italian designs.
They focus on exclusivity, innovation and workmanship, as does Haag, except that her eye is cast wide with a view to coordinating a collection of pieces across an entire home.
These mid-century modern sculptures by Anthony Bianco were sourced in Los Angeles. Photo: Tom Blatchford
Global flavor is, by its definition, sourced from around the world, so if you have a home outside Australian shores, it may well be provided by a growing list of internationally recognized makers close to home.
Flack Studio, also in Fitzroy, will use work by some of its stable of creatives for the new Los Angeles home of music star Troye Sivan.
Haag says that, as the world becomes smaller, sourcing pieces from an international market is what can truly set a residence apart. “It’s where the magic happens.”


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