Judy Henderson, Principal of Inside Design Studios, is helping Kwa’lilas Hotel achieve its vision of marrying traditional culture with modern décor. She has a Bachelor of Interior Design from University of Manitoba and is a Registered Interior Designer accredited through the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. Her education is complemented by 20 years of design experience after starting Inside Design Studio Inc. from scratch in 1997.
In keeping with traditional elements, she chose to draw from the Nation’s colour palette of white, grey, black and red. After looking at the landscape of the territory, Judy developed a design that displays a warm, natural palette, using simple materials from the area such as wood and stone, which are known for their longevity. The design also uses copper, which will be largely displayed in the lobby, and incorporated subtly into other parts of the hotel such as room signage. The combination of colours and materials creates a backdrop for the local artwork that will make the place shine!
For Judy, it was important to use modern elements to showcase the modernity of First Nations culture and how the Gwa’sala Nakwaxda’xw people continue to make strides as they move forward. Rather than replicating traditional designs, she wants to introduce guests to a strong history with a great art form. The hotel design is warm, welcoming, modern and progressive, and although it is a contemporary setting, the local artwork remains perfectly in balance.
With a daughter of First Nations descent, the project holds a special place in Judy’s heart. She is overjoyed to be a part of such a dynamic team, and to learn how different groups can work together to achieve outstanding results. She believes there is something truly special about bringing together diverse groups of people for great results, and is excited to see the final result of the amazing collaborative effort by local artists, designers, and the entire Kwa’lilas Hotel team!