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In Conversation: Shelley Indyk

Oct 11, 2017  ·  4 min read

We’re letting you in on a chat with one of those minds, Sydney based interior designer Shelley Indyk. The namesake of Indyk Architects, Shelley is one fierce lady with style to boot and the creative mind behind the design of Hot Sauce.

CL: How would you describe the look that’s been created for Hot Sauce, what do you want guests to feel as soon as they walk through the door?
SI: Atmospheric, intriguing, lazy lounging!

CL: Hot Sauce’s cuisine has a distinct Asian influence, is this Asian influence evident in the interior design?
SI: With the interior, Asian influences have fused with modern design. There are definitely some Asian elements, which pop as the guests first walk in. The wall of waving cats and bamboo steamers are distinct and set the atmosphere straight away. The intent was to create an overall ceiling lighting feature – a ‘monolithic’ adventure – the dumpling steamer was an obvious Asian element – initially seen as too obvious.
However, the possibilities of dappled and patterned mysterious light falling through the steamers have created a unique atmosphere. The steamers are hung by keeping to a geometric grid system. The modern fit out and vibrant, locally sourced, furnishings balance the quirky, quintessentially Asian elements so they aren’t cliché but fresh and original. The colours are inspired by the ‘Hot Sauce’ branding created by QT collaborator, Fabio.

CL: Are there any elements of the design that you’re particularly excited about – apart from the unmissable displays of Maneki-Neko cats?
SI: There are many unique items in the space, but in the end, it is always the whole experience and atmosphere that is critical.
We designed three special rugs for Hot Sauce. The rugs are an expression of my frustrated ‘painting’ career that is overwhelmed by architectural responsibilities – something very personal to me. These rugs are abstract paintings and colour explorations. The three large rugs vary from intense reds and pinks to a fusion of deep charcoal black with red highlights.
There is an automobile design connection that is subtle running through the furniture, complementing the Japanese link. This is seen in the plush upholstered ‘distressed’ leather lounge chairs and their angle of recline. This is also replicated in the black wood designer stools.
The bar is a central island in the space, where the tiles are special. They reflect and have a variation that enhances the shadowing dappled nature of the lighting.
The concrete bar top, made in a factory out of Perth, is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, with the dark colouring matched to the concrete coloured concrete floor. There is a connection in the design to the flash of a red Ferrari rushing past – a ghost of the former carpark. For Indyk Architects a good work is the sum of all its particular’ excellent’ parts.
Overall, comfortable, fabulous, and intriguing.

CL: Lastly, for us, budding restaurateurs and design fanatics, what do you think are the most important trends in restaurant design today?
SI: A willingness to experiment and explore. Hot Sauce has been designed as a bar lounge first, then we ended up creating an extraordinary background for a unique dining offering. The world of design is so open and never inhibited to any one influence. Going against the trend or ignoring the ‘trend’ is almost impossible in this day of the Internet, one is always searching without even realising. We think good design goes well beyond a trend, it needs to be timeless.

There you go folks, go forth and begin building or decorating the next Taj Mahal, Lourve or QT Hotel?

interview by chris lee

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