QT Newcastle hotel design

Hotel design creates a whole new level of boutique experience when the designer works a meticulously thought-out brief with custom pieces, all speaking to a local narrative.

With the launch of the incredible QT Newcastle we posed questions to Interior Designer Nic Graham & Associates about his hotel design expertise. Here’s an insight into his philosophy and unique style…

Tell us a little about Nic Graham & Associates and what sets you apart?

Our aesthetic stands out as eclectic, colourful and bold with a strong influence of art. We always look at how we can tell a story through design and how it can be experienced by guests: we consider the natural light, the architectural volume, and the character of the existing building and location.

We use the same design formula to marry the architecture to the interiors and understand and design to enhance the customer journey. We like to create a design that is slowly revealed, with unexpected moments in lifts, bathrooms and corridors, which are often forgotten.

QT Newcastle


We also find great pleasure in sourcing vintage over new and creating memorable spaces that celebrate a kind of diversity in design contrasting modern with old, raw with polished, masculine versus feminine.

How many QT’s have you designed?

We designed our first QT property in the Gold Coast in 2016, and since then Canberra, Queenstown, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Bondi, Auckland and Newcastle. There were two more properties, Falls Creek and Port Douglas, that are under a different brand name now.

custom hotel fabric cushions
hotel design custom cushion
Custom cushions designed by Nic Graham, developed by the Materialised in-house team and printed onto Arizona, with custom blockout drapery

What are the benefits of hotel owners engaging an Interior Designer?

The benefits of professional expertise, a history of knowledge on products, materiality and design tools that can add enormous value for the owner and enhance the guest experience.

What are the latest trends for hotel design?

We prefer not to follow trends per se, but we do spend time developing bespoke design, graphics using local artists and graphic designers’ skills to produce digital print wallpapers and fabrics that no one has seen before. This is our way of responding to a design narrative in a personal way without having to refer to a trend.

custom curtains QT Newcastle hotel design
Custom ombre printed on Bruge for privacy curtain

Tell us more about why you incorporate custom design…

Anything that is custom designed or bespoke makes for a unique solution. We aspire to never replicate from project to project. We may borrow similar elements and mix in different ways to create a different effect. We also believe with art or window treatments that a wow-moment can be the best marketing tool for any property.

See how the custom bed runner was printed at Materialised for Nic Graham / QT Newcastle

When choosing fabrics what are the most important things to consider?

In a hotel the most important things to consider are durability, the ability to handle staining, day-to-day use and even direct sunlight. Our signature style is always to use something bold and bright to give life to a space.

Read More – learn more about the brief, design narrative and colour palette developed by Nic Graham

hotel design
QT newcastle custom hotel fabric

What does the future hold for hotel design requirements?

Perhaps there is a return to smaller spaces that utilise quality long lasting materials. Guests love a story, they enjoy engaging with the staff about where ideas came from, where things are made and what they are made of. The future is for more informed design influenced by local experience. It’s all about material origin, longevity, sustainability, engaging local artists and manufacturers.

What can people look forward to from you in 2022 and beyond?

We are working on some exciting commercial and high-end residential projects in Australia and overseas, including some more work with QT hotels – a new concept that will be revealed soon. We will keep you posted!


CREDITS: Photography, QT Newcastle.

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