Martin Brudnizki is transforming London’s restaurant scene as we know it. Thanks to his interior design studio, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, creating the lavish schemes for hot spots such as Dean Street Townhouse and Sexy Fish, eating out has once again become as much about the setting as it is about the food. The Swedish-born designer splits his time between studios in London and New York and his agenda sees no sign of slowing down. Martin talks about his upcoming projects and how the art of designing is in his blood…
Growing up did you always know you wanted to work in the design industry? My mother was a stylist and so our home was always beautifully accessorized. My father was an engineer and so I was always surrounded by architectural drawings. The combination of my mother’s aesthetics and father’s functionality laid the foundations for my interest in interior design.
Do you have a favorite project or a most memorable one? It’s impossible to choose. Milestones for me have included the Studio’s first hotel, Villa Kennedy in Frankfurt; our first hotel in the US, Soho Beach House Miami; working in London on Scott’s, The Ivy, Annabel’s, Dean Street Townhouse and with the Royal Academy of Arts on The Academicians’ Room. As well as our designs around the world, including Cecconi’s West Hollywood, Sessanta in New York, Matsuhisa in St Moritz and Café Boulud in Toronto. As I said, it is impossible to choose!
Many fashion designers have moved into the interior space and created a home line, from Ralph Lauren to Versace, would you ever consider doing the opposite and moving into fashion?
I don’t think I’ll ever move into fashion, however I have recently moved into product design with the launch of my new product design studio And Objects. So often I have found when designing interiors that pieces of furniture or lighting might be three inches too long or short so I thought, why not create my own line of furnishings? Working alongside my old friend and business partner, Nick Jeanes, we have designed a range of lighting with The Urban Electric Company and a beautiful bathroom line with Drummonds. Nick and I have also designed our own objects too, in a range named Other Objects, many of which already feature in my flat and MBDS designed interiors.
If you could have designed the interior of any space in the world where would it be and why?
I’ve always liked the idea of going back to my Swedish roots and creating an interior that reflects the earthy landscape.
As an interior designer what do you think is the most important personality trait to possess and why?
Your client should be at the forefront of your mind at all time; you’re creating an interior that works for them and their product, so it’s so important you communicate throughout the entire process. It can be so easy just going ahead with what you think is best, but actually your client is likely to have some ideas and opinions too. I am in constant conversation with my clients, from inception to completion because I want them to feel as much a part of the interior’s creation as I am.
How would you spend your perfect day off?
I spend a lot of time traveling to my studio in New York or visiting projects across the world but I try to be in London most weekends. I live in Parsons Green; it has a real village feel to it with great local shops, delicatessens and pubs. I often spend weekends in the locality so I might pop to Hally’s on the New King’s Road for brunch with friends and then head to an exhibition or my favorite bookshop Heywood Hill in Mayfair. To finish my day I like to go to The Harwood Arms in Fulham or the Pig’s Ear in Chelsea, they cook brilliant British food that’s simple and fresh, the best kind of food I think.
What are your top three tips to creating a timelessly stylish interior?
Look at the context of your space, the street and finally the surrounding area
Don’t be afraid to mix different styles, materials etc. – a layered interior creates a sense of depth and alludes to the history behind the space
Invest in materiality and take care of materials – a timeless interior needs to last forever!
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
‘Focus on the here and now and the future will be part of the journey.’ – my Father
What does the rest of 2016 hold for you?
2016 is an exciting year for MBDS as we have been working on a number of projects outside of the UK; The Beekman in New York, a beautiful historic hotel in energetic Downtown as well as a Rocco Forte Hotel in Jeddah, the Assila Jeddah, which will open in the late spring. UK wise, we are working on a plethora of projects including a restaurant in Mayfair and a select number of residential projects. It’s going to be a busy and exciting year!