In A Room with Ingrid Weir



In a Room is a conversation series where we ask our friends to share their favourite domestic spaces. This week we’re joined by interior designer, photographer, and author Ingrid Weir.

With a background as a production designer and costume designer, she has worked in film, television and theatre.  She has designed interiors for Macquarie Bank, The National Art School, AFTRS and Australians in Film in Los Angeles.  Her most recent book, New Coastal, chronicles coastal design and lifestyles in both Australia and the US.  


Which room are you in today? 

My studio. It’s up amidst the trees, windows on all four sides to catch the breeze. It was a gambling den in the 1920s. It feels like it was built by a shipwright. I photographed it for my book New Coastal, styling it as a surf shack and painted some palm trees on one of the walls. It’s a creative space that feels free.

Which room is the most active in your house?

My house is open plan. It is small, u-shaped around a courtyard and there is something comforting in this design. I have defined different areas with rugs, lighting and seating. 

Which room gets the least amount of use?

As an interior designer, I try to give each room a reason, so that the whole space is used. It makes your home feel bigger if it is well used.  If an area is a bit formless, I might make it into a little nook with an inviting comfortable chair.

Which is your work-from-home room of choice?

I work in my living room, sometimes at the table, sometimes on the sofa. I  like looking out onto the courtyard, it rests my mind between thinking and doing. 

What for you defines a great room?

Well, architecture. Soaring ceilings. Some arches maybe. Good lighting – lanterns, candles. A cosy element – a fireplace, cushions, rugs. Some history, you can always sense if people have loved a space.  And more than anything the people who occupy it – a certain spirit, a common goal. A feeling of warmth.

What is your personal favourite type of room, and why?

A room with a view.  When I was studying architecture, a lecturer told me that humans are very comfortable being in a cave looking down onto a plain.  Some ancient part of our brain responds. I use this principle in my design practice. An example would be booth seating. It entices people into an empty room. And then once there are some people in the café, others come.

Tell us about your all-time favourite room. 

Two rooms spring to mind.

One from fiction – in Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. It was a room by the sea, with a large window on one side. Bookcases on the other three walls, the sea view reflected in their glass doors. So, the whole room felt like a watery, otherworldly space.

The second – the living room of the great writer Patrick Leigh Fermor’s house in Greece. It’s a generous gathering space and everything is made of natural materials. There are bookshelves, arched windows looking out onto the countryside and a huge built-in sofa. I hope to visit it one day. 

thumbnail_I W Palm Desk. From New Coastal

Photo by Ingrid Weir from her new book New Coastal published by Hardie Grant Books

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