Cover Interior designer Linda Boronkay

Formerly the design director of the private members’ club Soho House, Linda Boronkay now leads her own studio—she believes in an authentic approach when creating immersive spaces that tell a unique story

“I have always been surrounded by art, design, and architecture,” says Linda Boronkay, whose artistic upbringing was shaped by her architect father and magazine editor mother. The Budapest-born and London-based designer initially trained as a fashion designer in Paris before switching to a career in interior design, working for brands and design studios including Tom Dixon, Martin Brudnizki, and Woods Bagot.

As the former design director of the private members’ club Soho House, Boronkay masterminded the exuberant interiors of the club in cities such as Amsterdam and Hong Kong; she branched out to launch Linda Boronkay Design Studio in 2020.

Don’t miss: 7 Stylish Hotels That Will Impress The Design Snob

“I became a mother, so my outlook on life and what I wanted from it shifted completely,” she recalls. “Then, the pandemic hit so all my projects at Soho House were either delayed or on hold indefinitely; at the same time, I started to get some amazing opportunities for private projects. Everything pushed me toward the same direction, so I went for it.” 
 
Boronkay’s eponymous design studio aims to create transportive interiors by layering objects, colour, textiles, and lighting “with imagination, instinct and sometimes restraint”. For the designer, the key to a successful interior is to blend modern aesthetics with emotion and functionality. “The space should generate a positive emotional reaction, while every element within needs to function effectively,” she notes. 

In case you missed it: What Will Be The Food And Drink Offerings At Soho House Hong Kong?

The firm’s most recent project attests to this. Osborn House, a five-star boutique hotel near Sydney in the Southern Highlands, is dressed with a combination of reclaimed materials paired with rich fabrics and personal touches to create a welcoming sanctuary for guests. The design team deftly blended the hotel’s historic roots—the property is a former health retreat established in the early 1980s—with an authentic approach in order to create an inviting atmosphere that evokes an emotional impact.  

Here, she tells us more about her creative philosophy and recent projects.

What is your first memory of good design? 
Linda Boronkay (LB) My first memories related to design were of my mother dragging me around all the vintage markets in Hungary and Austria, which I only appreciate in hindsight. 
 
Where do you seek design inspiration from? 
LB I like to draw inspiration from art, fashion, literature, music, cinema, architecture and craft, but travelling is something that fills me with the most creative ideas. 

How did your time at Soho House shape your design style? 
LB Working at Soho House was an incredible experience, and it has certainly had an impact on my approach to creating immersive spaces that tell unique stories with cinematic moments. I approach each project like a director on a film set; the process of defining the elements of a truly dynamic interior begins with imagination and ends with a reality that is powerful and authentic.   

Pattern play: yes or no?  
LB Yes, definitely! I love patterns and colours in general; I’m drawn to drama in design, defined through form, shape, scale, material and lots of colour. In a way my style is classic in terms of approach, where I like a warm and residential atmosphere regardless of the typology of our projects, be it a hotel, restaurant or someone’s home.  
 
I absolutely adore the fabrics Pierre Frey is making. This is a brand I’ve been using for years and return to over and over again because of their diversity, amazing pattern and colours and high quality; we used many of their products in Osborn House, a hotel we recently worked on in the Southern Highlands in Australia. 
 
Complete the sentence: You’ll never see____ in my home. 
LB You’ll never see any white or neutral upholstery in my home. 

What do you appreciate the most in your own home? 
LB
I love my artworks, vintage pieces, family albums, fresh flowers, and all the things I have collected over the years of my life that remind me of happy memories of my travels and my loved ones. I like my home to be the collection of my memories, I like it clean, but not orderly with traces of life such as my son’s toys scattered around. 
 
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? 
LB
I consider myself extremely lucky, because all our projects are extremely exciting and rewarding. We are a boutique firm, and we work around the world, currently across seven countries and four continents, and we embark on projects which we feel we can add the most value to.

Everything we do is highly bespoke—from larger interior architectural elements to bespoke furniture, lighting, and ironmongery. We are working on projects with incredible clients who are creative, inspiring and knowledgeable with a strong vision, so the journey, as well as the outcome, is extremely gratifying.

What are some exciting projects that you currently have in the pipeline? 
LB We are working on a private members’ club in Vienna, Austria; a private club in Madrid, Spain; a luxury 5-bedroom private residence in London; and a spectacular 6-bedroom property in the Us, in Bel Air, Los Angeles. 

  • PhotographyAlan Jensen (Osborne House) and Wanda Martin (portraity)
© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.