INSPIRATION: As COVID restrictions begin to ease again in 2021 and interstate borders reopen, it’s time to plan an Australian trip which also provides delicious lashings of design inspiration.

These three stunning destinations are all designed by leading Australian firms. In the immortal words of Diana Vreeland…the eye must travel!

The Urban Oasis | Paramount House Hotel, Surry Hills

Reception, Paramount House Hotel. Image: Paramount House Hotel

Get a taste of Palm Springs at the Paramount House Hotel in Sydney’s fashionable Surry Hills, set in a 1930s brick warehouse that emits a cool, insouciant vibe and a slow but constant waft of local hipsters.

The self-described ‘neighbourhood hotel’ is based in the old Paramount Picture Studios building. Other tenants include the Golden Age Cinema, Paramount Coffee Project, The Office Space and Paramount Recreation Club.

Designed by Breathe Architecture, the rooms of the hotel are a paean to the building’s heritage, while still serving up décor as fresh as it comes. Each of Paramount House Hotel’s 29 rooms is unique, incorporating existing imperfections and remnants from the past to create spaces full of character and élan.

Some rooms have columns, some patinated brickwork and parapet and gable ends, while others feature the remnants of old stairwells. The lush metalwork, flowing greenery and timber touches make the rooms feel like urban oases. Pakistani kilim rugs and bespoke couches by Jardan are juxtaposed against the requisite industrial feel of cement ceilings and exposed pipes, while exposed copper pipes and terrazzo tiles in the bathroom are as cool as a SoCal breeze, as is the rooftop terrace dotted with cacti and succulents.

The Ultimate Beach Retreat | Qualia, Hamilton Island, Whitsundays

If you feel fettered by the thought of no international travel until 2022, here’s some golden Australian inspiration: Qualia

A pavilion at Qualia, Hamilton Island. Image: Australian Traveller

Set on the Northern tip of the exclusive Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays, Conde Nast Traveller has called Qualia ‘one of the world’s most romantic resorts’ and it consistently wins awards for excellence.

Island-inspired architectural sculptures in timbers, sandstone and glass complement the landscape of Australian Eucalyptus trees and highlight the spectacular Coral Sea. The elegant resort has 60 individually designed pavilions with private sun decks and infinity plunge pools, overlooking the sea.

Designed by Whitsunday architect Chris Beckingham to appeal to every sense and nourish the soul, the design of Qualia effortlessly creates a symbiosis between nature and man.

The Wine Country Haven|  The Voco Kirkton Park, Hunter Valley

The Voco Kirkton Park, Hunter Valley. Image: Voco Kirkton Park

Who needs the Bordeaux region when Australia boasts wine regions such as the Yarra, Barossa and Hunter Valleys? The latter is home to The Voco Kirkton Park, a luxurious Grande Dame of a hotel which does justice to the natural beauty of its surroundings.

Recently updated by renowned Sydney interior designer Greg Natale, the maestro has brought his signature style to the interiors. A master in patterns and colours, Natale has added a sense of luxury and occasion to every corner of the establishment, from the moment you walk into the entrance hall. The light-filled atrium has a custom-built circular bench, with smaller seating areas for intimacy.

Natale’s touch is also unmistakable in the colour palette, with Atlantic Pearl the star. The sophisticated blue hue weaves throughout the entire hotel and is offset by monochrome and gilt. The patterned carpets in the split-level bar add decadence to the sunken lounge and radiating fireplace. Sultry dark timber floors and chic whites give the entire property an ambiance of polished comfort.

Looking for more inspiration? Plan your trip to the 18th edition of Decor + Design, Australia’s No.1 Interiors Trade Event. It will take place in 2021 from 15 – 18 July at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, with exhibitors showing their latest collections from across indoor and outdoor furniture, art, textiles, lighting, soft furnishings and more.

Entry is free but restricted to trade visitors. Subscribe now to be notified when visitor registration opens. Go here for information on exhibiting.