Show­cased in restau­rants, clubs, shops and ho­tels, from Toronto to am­man, this hip de­signer’s sig­na­ture style has a time­less, op­u­lent vibe

Living Etc - - CONTENTS / ETC -

Show­cased in the world’s hippest ho­tels and restau­rants, Martin Brud­nizki’s in­te­ri­ors are clas­sic style re­de­fined

Swedish-born in­te­rior de­sign maven Martin Brud­nizki is ar­guably one of the best restau­rant and ho­tel de­sign­ers of our gen­er­a­tion, set­ting up his own stu­dio in 2000 (now with of­fices in Lon­don and New York) and es­tab­lish­ing And Ob­jects in 2015 with friend Ni­cholas Jeanes for de­sign­ing fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories. Martin cre­ates sump­tu­ous, el­e­gant in­te­ri­ors for the hottest places to see and be seen in, from The Ivy and Sexy Fish in Lon­don to Soho Beach House in Mi­ami and Cec­coni’s West Hol­ly­wood. His re­cent projects in­clude New York’s The Beek­man ho­tel and the new Berke­ley Square home of Annabel’s night­club (open­ing in Novem­ber). Here, he shares his de­sign se­crets.

When did you first fall in love with de­sign?

I grew up in Stock­holm where my fa­ther was a civil en­gi­neer and my mother a vis­ual mer­chan­diser – she was an in­cred­i­bly stylish woman and our home was very vis­ual, sur­rounded by el­e­gant things and my fa­ther’s draw­ings.

How did you get your big break?

I’d stud­ied busi­ness at univer­sity and then did mod­el­ling, but it wasn’t un­til a friend study­ing in­te­rior de­sign showed me what he was do­ing that I thought, ‘I could do that’. I moved to Lon­don at 23 to study in­te­rior de­sign at what’s now The

Amer­i­can­in­flu­ence in Univer­si­ty­what we learntin Lon­don– and – II got liked my the first ar­chi­tec­turaljob work­ing with one of my for­mer teach­ers, Philip Michael Wolf­son.

What’s your de­sign ethos?

I start by look­ing at the build­ing, the neigh­bour­hood and the way we want peo­ple to feel in the space – from this, I gather to­gether ideas and then think about how we can do it dif­fer­ently. It’s about bal­anc­ing tra­di­tion and moder­nity in a su­per-lay­ered, yet pulled-back way, cre­at­ing some­thing that feels fa­mil­iar. I like it when some­one says my in­te­ri­ors feel like they ‘be­long’.

How do you achieve this?

At The Beek­man ho­tel in New York, the ex­tra­or­di­nary build­ing re­ally helped us to tell the story – we used all its quirky de­tails and re­pro­duced them, with a mix of Vic­to­rian lamps, Six­ties desks and Thirties so­fas, so they look like they’ve al­ways been there, but not in a pas­tiche way. We took it all as in­spi­ra­tion, but moved it into the 21st cen­tury.

Do your in­te­ri­ors ooze a par­tic­u­lar mood?

The fur­ni­ture and fab­rics might be dif­fer­ent with each project, but there’s al­ways a sense of warmth and colour and a re­laxed and nur­tured feel­ing. For me, th­ese things never change. I like lay­ers – first cre­at­ing the room, then look­ing at the fur­ni­ture, fab­rics and cush­ions, then ob­jects and fi­nally art.

What’s your start­ing point?

How a space flows is key, be­cause it in­forms the soft­ness of lay­er­ing and light­ing – so the lay­out of a room rather than the style comes first. When we de­signed Dean Street Town­house, we in­ten­tion­ally made en­ter­ing the restau­rant awk­ward, so that as you come through the door, you have to bunch up to­gether and then you step into the main space and it re­veals it­self. It was about be­ing packed, fun and noisy.

How have your Scandi roots in­flu­enced your de­signs? For the Nordic restau­rant Aqua­vit in Lon­don’s St James’s,

I wanted to prove that Scandi can be glam­orous and chic. I played with Kolmår­den mar­ble, pale oak and pol­ished brass – all ma­te­ri­als I grew up with. When I went shop­ping with my mother at Sven­skt Tenn, it mixed mod­ern and clas­sic to­gether in a way that wasn’t too hard or un­feel­ing.

What does home mean to you?

Home is in­ti­mate and con­stant, much harder to de­sign than a restau­rant be­cause it’s so per­sonal. I think homes should show your his­tory, so don’t go and buy ev­ery­thing all at once – books should be ones you’ll read and de­tails should feel per­sonal and cu­rated over time. I want a home to feel full of life.

What’s your own home like?

When I ren­o­vated my flat, I made sure ev­ery square inch worked – ev­ery room gets used ev­ery sin­gle day and there’s a place for ev­ery­thing. It’s lay­ered with books, art and ob­jects – there’s a kitchen is­land where we can cook and eat, a wardrobe in the hall for all our coats and a ta­ble to put our keys. I don’t be­lieve a bed­room should have any­thing more than a bed and bed­side ta­ble – I’ve turned the sec­ond bed­room into a study­cum-dress­ing room with a vin­tage ta­ble from Fiona Mcdon­ald, arm­chairs for sit­ting in and a chaise for lay­ing out clothes. The whole flat flows.

How do you de­fine your colour pal­ette?

I like to re­strict my­self – it can be as sim­ple as shades of blue, but for neu­trals, I’d never do beige: I might work with a white, pale grey or sil­ver. I’ve just launched a range of fab­rics with Christo­pher Farr Cloth that re­flect my favourite hues – they’re rich and so­phis­ti­cated, al­low­ing me to team yel­low with green or bur­gundy, blue with coral and pink with green, but in tones that are pulled-back slightly, so they mix har­mo­niously.

How about light­ing?

Light­ing is ev­ery­thing – we can de­sign a cute, sexy red bar, but a harsh white light won’t do it jus­tice. We like to use Seg­ula LED bulbs, which get warmer when dimmed. I like light­ing

at all lev­els – from a glam chan­de­lier to il­lu­mi­nat­ing a dado rail. Even a lit­tle lamp on the floor can shed a fan­tas­tic pool of light across a hard­wood floor. The only thing I don’t do is re­cessed down­light­ing – that’s a to­tal no-no!

What about wall lights?

For And Ob­jects, we de­signed the Wherewell wall light for The Ivy – the shape of the glass and the way light goes through it give a lovely, glam­orous glow, even when it’s not lit.

Do you have any favourite ma­te­ri­als?

For floor­ing,i like Schot­ten & Hansen. For fab­rics, Jim Thomp­son has the best slubby silks and Robert Allen pat­terns and weaves. I also love Fox Lin­ton’s glam­orous mo­hair vel­vets.

How do you work with pat­tern?

For the new four-storey Annabel’s, ev­ery floor will have a dif­fer­ent feel, play­ing with the themes of flora and fauna. I’m mix­ing lots of plush geo­met­rics and flo­rals along­side an­i­mal prints, de Gour­nay pan­els and Lalique glass. Fring­ing, tas­sels or piping from Sa­muel & Sons will help break up this eclec­tic mix of ma­te­ri­als.

What else is big news at the prac­tice?

I’ve re­cently de­signed a range of lamps for Porta Ro­mana and a cap­sule fur­ni­ture col­lec­tion for Ge­orge Smith. The Wig­more at The Lang­ham ho­tel has just opened – tak­ing gas­tro-pub luxe to new heights – and the Bul­lion restau­rant for chef Bruno Davail­lon in Dal­las is open­ing soon.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Martin Brud­nizki De­sign Stu­dio, visit

CLOCK­WISE from far left Ve­lay tas­sel tieback, £286, Sa­muel & Sons; Martin’s de­sign for Soho House Mi­ami; an apart­ment con­ceived by Martin Brud­nizki De­sign Stu­dio for the pal­la­dio de­vel­op­ment; a fresh take on bar life at Cec­coni’s Mi­ami Beach; Hog­a­rth...

CLOCK­WISE from RIGHT Martin Brud­nizki De­sign Stu­dio’s crafted in­te­rior at The Wig­more bar at The lang­ham ho­tel; a chic, draw­ingroom feel was Martin’s in­spi­ra­tion for Scar­fes Bar at the rose­wood ho­tel in lon­don; and the Al­mack arm­chair, one of Martin’s...

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