January 27, 2022


Home Improvement

Martin Brudnizki’s gifts for home and garden

I grew up in Stockholm and my mother who is German used to create these spectacular textbook Christmases.

The snow usually disappears in December and comes back in January, but occasionally you would have a white Christmas.

While it gets dark early the snow acts as a reflector and everything seems lighter. It’s quite magical.

The plan is for my partner Jonathan and I to stay with his parents in the Peak District; if that’s not allowed we will spend Christmas in our place in West Sussex.

Carrier Company men’s dungarees, £95, carriercompany.co.uk
Malaika pomegranate candle holder, €30-€38, malaikalinens.com

I will drape the fireplace with greenery and ribbons. I also have a beautiful candlestick by Josef Frank with two angels and a brass wishing tree which is dressed with lots of little baubles. I pimp the things I already have, adding bows to candlesticks or plants, the ribbon I use is striped white and red so it’s instant Christmas. You can never go overboard. 

Lock & Co cashmere Gill flat cap, £215, lockhatters.com
Svenskt Tenn Baranquilla placemat, 360SEK (£32), svenskttenn.se

I think my interiors for Annabel’s [struck a chord] because they are maximalist but done at a very high level. I wanted it to feel like you are coming to someone’s house for the best party of the season. During my career I have done minimalism, maximalism, modernism, classicism. Now I take all of this and mix it up. I want to have fun; it’s not about being precious. I usually travel a lot and go to National Trust properties for inspiration. Now, we are all feeling, as André Leon Talley said, “It’s a famine of beauty.”

‘An Affair of Love’ by Kay Dick, £295, pallantbookshop.com
D.S & Durga Cowboy Grass, $175, dsanddurga .com

A good gift for the home all depends on who it’s for. Svenskt Tenn do the most beautiful placemats. My friend Gavin Houghton does these very naughty ceramics for a friend who is a bit naughty. I have a lot of friends who started gardening in the pandemic so you could buy them an apron from Carrier Company. And since I live in the country, there is always someone I know who needs a flat cap. I like Lock & Co. 

© Interior details of Brudnizki’s home photographed for the FT by Max Miechowski
© Max Miechowski

In previous years my partner and I normally do two things before Christmas: we go to Venice with Duncan Campbell and Luke Edward Hall and have lunch at The Ritz, in that main dining room with the garland chandelier.

A gift has to be beautiful, but it’s good if it has a purpose too. For Duncan we gave him roses to plant, and Luke a book about Rex Whistler. Something produced in your local area by an independent artisan or maker will do so much good. It’s so important that they continue to exist, and there is a lovely shop in West Sussex called Hector and the Fox where they make delicious cider, cakes and jams.

Missoni zigzag-jacquard socks, £45, matchesfashion.com
Sandra Blow ‘Wave Impact’, 1996, oil on canvas 249 x 249cm, POA, 8hollandstreet.com

Gavin Houghton Striped Boy plate, £65, gavinhoughton.co.uk
Drake’s primary colour-blocked brushed lambswool jumper, £395, drakes.com

The best gift I have ever received is a vintage Breguet watch that my boyfriend gave me a couple of years ago. He got up early one morning and wouldn’t tell me where he was going so I knew there was something fishy going on and he flew to Rome to buy it.

This year I think my partner will give me a painting that he wants to look at too. To be honest I’m not that fussed about receiving gifts. I prefer giving them.

Martin Brudnizki founded his eponymous design studio in 2000 and is behind acclaimed interiors such as Annabel’s nightclub and Scott’s restaurant in London, and the Astir Palace in Athens

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