Posted on by Land of Meow

Sarah Shinners is the Design Manager at Simone Haag, known as the ‘go to’ business for designing interior spaces that reflect the personality and style of their clients. A graduate of the prestigious Mercer School of Interior Design, we chat with Sarah about her approach to interior styling combined with the practical needs of owning a pet.

 Hi Sarah. Firstly, we absolutely love your Instagram, you have such a great way of creating warm and inviting spaces that look amazing but also invite rainy day popcorn and Netflix sessions. Heaven!

Thank you!

It’s really important to me that my home puts people at ease when they visit - that they feel relaxed enough to grab a cup from the shelf, make themselves a cuppa and choose a comfy chair to enjoy it in. Unpretentious and honest.



What part of helping a client design their interior space appeals to you the most?

The transformation and the client's reaction to the big reveal is such a great feeling - and knowing it will bring them joy daily for years to come.

With property prices in Australia shifting the idea of home ‘ownership’ to a more European model of ‘long term renting’ how did you approach a space that had boundaries on what you could alter.

I love the idea of long term renting - we are lucky to have a very open landlord who was agreeable to us painting (at our own expense) and splitting the cost of replacing the curtains in the bedrooms. It’s a balance you have to strike with your landlord - lease length vs. investment cost. The longer the lease period the more likely a tenant is to invest time and money into making the home beautiful, which is a win for both parties in my opinion.

Other than those two fixed improvements, the rest of the home has been transformed with the power of decoration alone - furniture, art and styling are our strengths so I definitely play to those when creating interior spaces.

The strong bonds that humans have with their pets is acknowledged around the world, but the aesthetic design of cat litter boxes, scratching posts and beds etc usually clashes with our interior design choices. How do you choose cat accessories that compliment your personal style and also create a pet nook that will keep your cat happy?

I’m generally a form over function kinda gal, so I’m very glad to see companies like Land of Meow creating beautiful products that work with stylish interiors that also function well for our furry friends. If it isn’t beautiful it’s not likely to find a place in my home, yes even the litter tray!

How did Ellie come into your life and how have her needs changed your own when it comes to creating a space.

Ellie was adopted as a kitten from the RSPCA in Noosa when we lived in Brisbane 9 years ago (yes we drove from Brisbane to Noosa to pick her up, she was worth it).

She’s an indoor only cat to keep her and the local wildlife safe so we now have screen doors and windows for airflow, a “second story” cat shelf so she can access sunny spots and a pet nest that migrates around to her favourite spots in the house. She’s a true Queenslander - loves the sun so we give her as much access to it as possible whilst still maintaining our homes aesthetic.

COVID-19 has really driven home just how important your home environment is as a sanctuary for family, friends and mental wellbeing. What is the one piece of advice you would give people when designing a co-living space.

A home isn’t something you can buy in a shop - it’s a curated collection of a lifetime's worth of pieces which, when brought together represent you as a person and carry special memories. When you surround yourself with pieces you love it lifts your mood, calms you and brings joy to your day to day.


Thanks for your time today Sarah. We look forward to purring over future Instagram posts and watching Ellie star in them from the back ground.

Thank you x