Smart Dining Room Design Ideas From the Restaurant Industry's Finest

Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, with offices in New York and London, is blowing us away recently with their thoughtful, colorful, and stunning restaurant and bar designs. Masters of creating warm spaces that make us want to linger for hours, we looked to our favorite interiors for inspiration and asked Brudnizki for advice on bringing the same sense of sophisticated style to your own dining area.


martin-05 Setting a traditional tone doesn't necessarily mean you have to go dark. "Colour injects life into a room and makes people feel good," Brudnizki says. Add color into your space through upholstery, unexpected paint colors, and unique lighting. Prism Stud Chandelier, $3998, Anthropologie


martin-03 "Lighting is essential for illuminating design, whilst also setting the right kind of tone and mood," Brudnizki says. "In the Rosewood Bar we wanted the large rustic lanterns to provide soft lighting, so that the guests can enjoy the intimacy of the space." Adding in sconces, table lamps on consoles or the buffet, and even floor lamps, creates a warming glow and an atmosphere of relaxation. Vendome Triple Sconce, $315, Circa Lighting


martin-09 Seen in Toronto's Drake One Fifty, an unexpected cork ceiling treatment and use of chalkboard paint create a playful atmosphere, but stills feel sophisticated with the more traditional tufted seating and leather upholstery. Valspar Quart Interior Matte Black Chalkboard Paint, $10, Lowe's


martin-01 Though the courtyard space at Cecconi's in Miami may be hard for our cold-weather friends to replicate, we love the thought of introducing organic elements, such as indoor plants, herbs, and potted trees into your dining spaces to create an al fresco feel. Lemon Cypress Topiary, $68, Terrain


martin-010 "Fusing together contrasting elements of design helps to make a room more interesting," Brudnizki advises. "This can be achieved by mixing timeless pieces with more quirky or unique features." We love how the traditional wallpaper at Dean Street Townhouse, inspired by the building's Georgian roots, gets a modern makeover with layered gallery walls and contemporary sconces. An easy update with high-impact results, we suggest keeping the framing streamlined to better contrast, and not compete, with patterned wallpaper. Cole & Son Wallpaper #91/11049, $92, Decorators Best


martin-04 If your dining space adjoins the kitchen and the floor treatment carries through, don't fight it, embrace it. "If it suits the project and the client we like to ensure that the floor is also a statement feature within the space," says Brudnizki. Not just for the kitchen, many of Brudnizki's designs incorporate creative floor treatments from patterned cement tiles to striped marble. Handmade Encaustic Cement Tile, Price Upon Request, Clè Tile


martin-02 Consider mixing and matching the seating at your own table to create visual tension. For a more traditional route, keep the majority of your dining chairs uniform, and add in some larger scale or more impressive head chairs. Tuft Host Slate Velvet Chair, $550, HD Buttercup


martin-06 "Whether they are aged or contemporary, mirrors in different shapes and sizes can make a statement within any room," notes the designer. "In large spaces, they add a different dimension, and can be used to draw attention to the different furnishings." Not only do mirrors help visually enlarge your space, but they also help to reflect candle and ambient light increasing the coziness factor. If antique mirrored panels aren't in your budget, several large mirrors hung vertically can help convey the same feeling. Art Deco Mirror, $299, Wisteria


martin-08 Throw pillows in fun fabrics and textures are a common theme in the seating areas in Martin Brudnizki's work. "By mixing throw pillows in a variety of colours, fabrics, and prints, you can add texture and warmth to a room," the designer says. Not only do they inject a new element into your space but they encourage that sense of comfort and lingering we're so into right now. Thani Pillow Pair, $225, Furbish Studio


martin-07 Conventional wisdom tells us that window treatments in dining rooms should be formal, full, statement makers. But in London's Pizza East Portabello, Budnizki's studio opted for a more casual roman shade in a ticking stripe. Totally unexpected especially when paired with warm woods, crystal table lamps, and vintage china, the effect is sophisticated and fresh. Mini Stripe Cordless Roman Shade, $141, Pottery Barn
Photographs: James McDonald