No matter the size of your space, the same formula applies: Form plus function equals one relaxing retreat. We asked Martin Brudnizki—who recently designed Miami's Soho Beach House—for his top 10 tips, using his 300-square-foot London studio as inspiration. His mantra? "You need only one room to live in luxury." Amy Prince
Put Walls to Work
A queen bed fills the entire sleeping alcove, so Brudnizki installed a pair of handmade plaster sconces and framed the bed with an L-shaped wood headboard. It features a nook that serves as a nightstand, holding a glass of water, a reading lamp, and books.
Get Sneaky With Storage
Stowing possessions under the bed is an old bachelor-pad trick, but it can be done tastefully. Through the magic of a hydraulic bed frame (thestoragebed.co.uk), Brudnizki's mattress lifts up to reveal 43 cubic feet of discreet and easily accessed space—essentially a second closet.
Make Knickknacks Do Double Duty
Decorative items should be both utilitarian and attractive, like the ceramic vase and leather ashtray on Brudnizki's shelves. Similarly, he employs a lacquered-wood box to store photos and a pewter bowl for his iPod.
Merge Your Media
Brudnizki started by consolidating all his books and DVDs into three free-floating shelves that take advantage of the 10-foot ceiling and in a small, custom credenza that hides all the cord clutter.
Integrate Your Art
"Some of it may be great art, and some of it might not be, but it's all important to me," Brudnizki says of his collection of oils, watercolors, and charcoals. He clustered the various-size pieces on the studio's longest wall, visually linking the foyer and living room.
Let Textures Do the Talking
Square footage isn't the only way to create a sense of refinement. Brudnizki utilizes an array of opulent finishes and materials: seagrass wallpaper, silk chair upholstery, velvet couch fabric, an alpaca throw.
As a foil to a colorful, pattern-filled living area, the bathroom is a study in minimalism: a single-lever faucet, a pedestal-less sink, and pale-gray floor-to-ceiling tiles.
Connect the Visual Dots
The sink and shelf are made of Carrera marble, the same material used for the kitchen counters, while the shelf's recessed design is meant to echo the bedside nook.
Choose Expandable Furniture
Brudnizki uses a set of Danish nesting tables from the 1930s, which he spreads out for coffee meetings and cocktail hour. Similarly, his compact 1950s Danish dining table (in the same rosewood finish) can seat six when its leaf is extended.
Keep the Accents Consistent
The doors, window frames, ceilings, and striking, foot-tall baseboards are all the same shade of white, creating a thread of continuity throughout the apartment.