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Design talk with QT Collaborator Shelley Indyk

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most stylish of them all?

Why that would have to be QT Collaborator, Shelley Indyk of Indyk Architects.

And what makes her the most chic you say? Just take a peek at any QT Hotel guest room and you’ll see the unique interior elegance of Shelley’s work. Armed with over thirty years’ experience, we took five with the QT Hotels Guest Room Designer and Stylist to get all the styling goss.

Shelley, you’ve been with QT since the beginning, how did we get so lucky?

Myself and the Indyk Architects team were working with EVENT Group across the cinema division at the time. We were working closely with the past CEO David Seargent who was creating and evolving the vision for the QT hotel brand, he suggested we design the bedrooms for QT Sydney and the rest as they say is history! David had such a strong design vision for the whole hotel – the opportunity was a designer’s dream.

QT Sydney exterior

Without playing favourites, which hotel in the group has been the most fun to work on and why?

I can’t do it! Each hotel has its own quirky personality and context. We always say you can tell when you’re inside a QT Hotel by the way it makes you feel.

QT Sydney is the flagship and was ground breaking at the time. Sydney had no designer hotels when we were first engaged to start work in 2010. We were converting two very different, beautiful old heritage buildings – the old Gowings Department Store and State Theatre Building – with two different functions into a completely new and unified function – a hotel.

QT Melbourne was exciting for its context; a design led city, a new building, the delight of being able to work within a modern concrete shell and the opportunity to create a fresh design language.

QT Perth was fascinating for me as I got to know the city during the design process – I had never visited prior to commencing work. The rooms are elaborate and opulent in their palette and like all QT properties, has its own unique character.

QT Wellington was another city I adored getting to know. Myself and the team worked on both front of house and guestrooms. The property was an existing hotel already famous for its quirky baroque character and artworks on all public area walls. We worked with local New Zealand artists to create an “ART room” level which has been one of the funnest and most inspirational projects to work on to date.

What’s the process behind selecting the colour palette and art pieces for the rooms?

The colour palettes have been inspired by the different city locations and the design concepts evolved by my team. I say it’s like being an artist but painting with colour, fabrics and textures – it’s one of my favourite parts of the job.

For example, in Perth the wine district and city was of great influence; grapes and vines literally created the purple and emerald palette and the greys and golds were the stones of the street and the gold of the warm light of Perth.

QT Perth

Could you share your favourite design quirk of QT Sydney?

That would have to be the stainless steel coloured glass cabinets that sit between the bathrooms and the room. We saw them as a magical coloured Lightbox that gave a transition to the open concept of room and bathroom. Every bathroom has this cabinet – in different positions – initially inspired by the simple backlit glass wall. It became a cabinet of curiosity- of crystals and transparent objects.

It was one of the unique elements designed for the rooms.

Shelley Indyk

If you could select one suite at QT Sydney to live in for the rest of your life, what suite would it be and why?

The State Suites at QT Sydney are fabulous. I’ll take either 1010 or 1022. They are spacious, fresh and oh so glamorous! They feature well-designed modern furniture, new art treatments on the walls and large opulent bathrooms with baths.

I also love the Corner Suites on the Gowings side of the building for their aspect, spaciousness, timber floor and the quality of light in the room which enters on every wall.

QT State Suite

A lot of guests often have a favourite “side” of the hotel. Are you a Gowings or State side gal?

I love Gowings for its old narrow tallowwood floors, the quality of light in the rooms, and their views of the wonderful Queen Victoria building.

I love State for its flamboyance, its rich textures, its corridors with their quirky elements and the newly designed State Suites on level 10.

I love my children equally!

Last question… Since we’re spending more time working from home, could you share a couple of useful tips to help make our at home work station more productive?

Of course! If possible, position your workspace near an open window to allow for fresh air and natural light, and place a flower or object of beauty nearby to bring a positive distraction. An ergonomic chair is a necessity, try find one that compliments the colour palate of your space. Clear the desk every second day to avoid clutter (of both the physical space and the mind).


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