A stylist’s creative city sanctuary

‘A friend once said my home is like a bohemian lodge,’ says interior designer and photographer Ingrid. ‘Somewhere they can kick off their shoes and check out what’s in the fridge.’ She invites us inside her converted cottage in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, where the walls of picture displays, textiles and collections reflect her passion for travel, the outdoors and art, while creating a welcoming feel. ‘For me, home is a mood more than anything,’ says Ingrid. Step inside…

Display pictures, plants and objects to give your home a relaxed, welcoming feel.

Ingrid’s home truths

I live in… an 80m2 converted cottage with a central courtyard in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. From the moment I opened the gate, I felt a deep sense of attachment to it. 

My housemates are… a sociable cat and a dear little budgie called Sunny, who likes to ride around on my shoulder. 

My home is… magical, ever-changing and comfortable.

A kitchen with everything in easy reach

‘I have a small galley kitchen where I enjoy making healthy meals and my own granola, so I have glass jars of nuts, fruits and grains out. I also attached a sheet of metal to the wall and painted it white to put the spice containers up and in view. Having things to hand helps with planning and cooking, plus I like the look of it.’

Use modern design to refresh a vintage mix

‘My home has a mid-century modern feel – airy and open. It’s interesting what an injection of IKEA can do to lift the vintage look; it makes everything brighter and happier. I like popping into store regularly, especially when I’m working on sets and interiors. It’s a great place to browse and I really love discovering the designs in natural materials.’ 

Set up a creative workspace

‘Working from home, the challenge is separating the personal and professional. I have a dedicated desk for projects behind my sofa – I painted the walls dark, partly to differentiate it as a work zone, but I prefer to sit facing out towards the room and courtyard than towards the wall. An inspiring view always helps when I’m developing ideas.’

Tell a visual story

‘I like to combine photography, painting and objects. The wall above my bookshelf features my grandmother during her modelling days, and vintage pictures. I put the strongest picture in the middle and build from there. Once the pictures are up I don’t change them, though I do change what’s on the shelf below.’

Weave in texture with textiles

‘I love to layer textiles at home – they have a magic of their own. I display handmade pieces – like the embroidered vintage fabric at my bedroom window – alongside new ones. The idea of Japanese boro folk fabric is very inspiring. I believe it translates as “too good to waste” and refers to the art of repairing and repurposing.’

Create areas for rest and contemplation

‘Having areas where I can tune out, like a cosy corner, is important to me. The garden designer Nicole de Vésian believed that gardens need spots for people to sit and absorb them. I think that’s true of a house too – that’s when the good ideas bubble up.’

Set the mood for leisurely meals

‘In summer, the courtyard exerts a gravitational pull for gatherings with friends. I like to bring out cushions and pile up soft textiles outside, light lanterns and put music on. I really noticed the difference in comfort levels, having chairs with arms and cushions – it’s much nicer to linger over a meal. I prefer the interaction you get eating together at home – it’s different from a restaurant. There’s more intimacy in the conversation.’

An urban sanctuary

‘I’m very influenced by the architecture of a house. Even though mine is in the city, it feels calm because it looks inwards on to a central courtyard in the Spanish or Arabic tradition. It also feels bigger than 80m2 because the outdoor space is like an extra room.’

Made by

Photography: Chris Court 
Styling: Ingrid Weir
Follow Ingrid at ingridweir.com.au