A Narrative to The Design Context - Nic Graham
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Designing spaces that go beyond merely a place to eat, sleep or stay by creating an all-encompassing experience takes more than great skill – it takes vision. So, it is no surprise that Nic Graham’s notable career in interiors began in Melbourne. Renowned for being at the forefront of design and architecture, Melbourne is the ideal breeding ground for a career in interiors such as Graham’s.
After cutting his teeth at Melbourne’s Inarc and Carr Design Group, Nic Graham started his own Sydney design studio in 1999. Nic has not only received accolades as an interior designer but also as a recognised Australian furniture designer, particularly with his collaboration with brand Stellar Works, led by architects Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu. Stellar Works is committed to producing quality, sustainable and original designed products from a host of designers internationally including Space Copenhagen, David Rockwell, and Carlo Forcolini. Nic’s QT furniture collection is available at Living Edge nationally.
Nic’s commercial furniture collection with Stellar Works offers a contemporary take on vintage style. Nic sums up his design philosophy by saying ‘I always look back in order to look forward.’ Emulating his own personal style of mixing the old and new, the nod to retro design is evident, but the soft and subtle elements of his furniture pieces ensure that the sentiment is warm and inviting.
It has been a busy year for the studio, completing two major hotel projects here in Australia – the first, the newest addition to the QT Hotel brand, ideally situated in the heart of bustling Perth. True to Nic’s design style, the QT Perth is an extravagant and luxurious urban retreat. Nic and his team have pushed through the ordinary to create a bold, quirky and memorable experience within each area of the hotel.
Nic confesses he is as hands-on as you can get when it comes to projects, personally responsible for everything from sketching initial drawings to designing the furniture pieces, selecting and installing art, and styling his projects. His passionate dedication to personally attending to all these aspects is evident from the results.
You only have to step into any one of the QT hotels for this to be apparent. ‘Whether the historical, social or cultural aspects inspire us, there is always a narrative to the design context, a sense of place’, he says. It is Nic’s ability to translate the local scene, giving the hotel guests a whimsical and captivating experience with all the luxury fittings, that defines the QT’s brand in essence.
Designing does not come without its challenges, but Nic does not let tight time-frames and tighter budgets stop him from doing what he does best. ‘The best design often comes from the biggest challenges. As with anything, when you are forced to make decisions or have a limited budget, you are much more creative’, Nic explains. That is not to say he invites an unrealistic budget – in fact, he is well aware of the pressure these kinds of restraints put on the successful outcome of a project.
Finding happiness in simplicity – family, the smell of freshly ground coffee, good food and good friends, Nic’s easy-going and friendly nature offset the clear commitment to his craft. ‘I love what I do, especially the first and last stages of every project – working on the concept, then seeing it all come together’, he confides.
With a strong sense for playful details and fanciful inclination to encapsulate the environment in his projects, Nic creates places that an enviable destination for all. Extravagant in its atmosphere and bold in its details, QT Perth is the latest embodiment of the essence of Nic Graham interior design.