Interior designer Martin Brudnizki on simple home updates

We discover Martin Brudnizki's tips on how to make the most out of your home

decorative wall hanging behind chunky sideboard and ceramic table lamp
(Image credit: Martin Brudnizki | Nicole Franzen)

In our art of interior design series, we catch up with some of our favorite designers to discover their practical advice on how to give your home an effortless but well-crafted look. 

If you're embarking on a room remodel or just need some insights into how the professionals approach certain elements of interior design then this could be the series for you.  

This month, we spoke with interior designer Martin Brudnizki to gain his advice on creating a home with layers and interest.

decorative living room with scalloped blinds and large wall hanging

(Image credit: Martin Brudnizki | Nicole Franzen)

5 simple ways to give your home an update 

As our home ideas evolve over time – in fact, some argue it never gets to a stage of full maturity – and yet I am often asked how you can quickly and cheaply inject a bit of new life. Sometimes you don’t want to play the long game and look for easy wins that help make your house feel more like a home. Here are some of mine.

1. Start with the basics

While I will take my time on certain aspects of my home, and focus money and resources on particular stages, I believe there are a number of ways to instantly get an amazing look. Every object and every space should make a contribution to the home. When it comes to buying art, even a single piece can make a big and immediate difference.' 

2. Bring the outside in

'The first cheat that comes to mind is plants and bringing the outdoors in. House plants have never been so accessible: a quick visit to your local garden center and you can pick up a whole jungle of greenery that will instantly bring life into a drab corner. Pot up all manner of vessels with bulbs or, if this isn’t for you, simply treat yourself to some seasonal fresh flowers in a pretty vase or jug.'

3. Focus on the details

'Introduce pillows and throws to your seating – and why not add a tassel trim or fringe detail to create a more ‘bespoke’ finish? You can source beautiful tassels and trims from Samuel & Sons or Watts of Westminster but if your budget is a little tighter I recommend VV Rouleaux in central London. They have an incredible selection of velvet ribbons, bullion trims and corded edging.' 

4. Get creative

'Equally, get creative and upgrade your lampshades for something a bit more adventurous. I suppose millinery would be an apt comparison as shades are like hats for lamps. Whether you choose a pagoda, bell, scallop or empire-shaped shade, never forget the inside is almost as important as the outside as we often look up into lamps, and the cord should always be fabric lined. Those small details can really make the difference.'  

5. Go bespoke

'One of my greatest cheats for elevating a main street purchase is in the kitchen. In my London flat I have Ikea cabinetry in the kitchen, however, I have added bespoke handles and a custom work surface so it feels unique and a touch more glamorous.

'For kitchen countertops I always go for marble and usually sourced from a local marble merchant. It’s an investment but if you look after it well it will last for years. Don’t leave coffee rings or anything wet on the surface as it is porous and will stain. Treat it with kindness and it will treat you well in return.'

Kate Burnett
Contributing Editor

Kate Burnett is a journalist and editor who has been writing about residential design and architecture for nearly 20 years. A former acting executive editor of Homes & Gardens and Livingetc, she has written for national newspapers and magazines including the Financial Times, Evening Standard and Sunday Times. A trained designer, she has also worked with leading architecture and design practices including dRMM and Keechdesign.