Martin Brudnizki is the interior designer behind the look and feel of many of London’s handsomest clubs, houses and restaurants, from Annabel’s and the Club at the Ivy to Hix and Dean Street Townhouse. He talks to Editer about functionality, lighting, colour, and how you can maximise small spaces – as he has in his elegant West London home.
‘My philosophy is my process – not a look or a trend. The first thing I do is look at the building. There are always stories in the architecture, the street and the city. Then I think about how the space needs to function and how to make it comfortable. I believe that the old and the new should feel as though they know one another.’
Martin’s top tips
- ‘Don’t be afraid to develop an eclectic interior just because it’s a small space. The things in your home aren’t supposed to match; an apartment should show your journey through life. And with colours, the size of the room shouldn’t dictate which ones you use, though neutral colours tend to work well, used alongside bright accents in rugs, cushions or artworks. Strong colour in a small space can be overwhelming.
- Place lighting according to task: a lamp over the desk, wall lights over the bed. This means you can easily change the way the space functions and feels. Try to avoid using recessed downlights to provide general lighting and, instead, opt for a more flexible ‘layering’ of fitted lights and lamps.
- With small spaces, I start with the interior architecture, and make structural changes to optimise the efficiency of the space. Partition walls that dissect spaces without splitting off rooms are very effective. Here, I built a wall to create a hallway; the wall also doubles as a floor to ceiling cupboard space.
- All the furniture in a small space should have a precise function. Bespoke pieces designed to fit the space are worth investing in. This bed has been built to fit the recess and has storage underneath.
- Do remember that you can do without separate spaces. An intelligently set up room can function in different capacities at different times, from dining room to bedroom. I also don’t think you need a microwave. Home-cooked food is much better. And eating out is better still…’