Five Minutes with Linda Boronkay

Words by
Melanie Rickey & Linda Boronkay

2nd August 2023

London, Bel Air, Budapest, Bundadoon, the world. We take five minutes with Linda Boronkay, the multi-award winning designer who shares her cultural life, and latest design work with SPHERE.

With her dark bob and gamine beauty, Linda Boronkay looks like a silent-movie star from the 1920s. So it is utterly fitting that she worked as a fashion designer and model before switching careers to interior design, a space to which she brings a uniquely noirish glamour and extravagance. After working with maximalist Martin Brudnizki (Annabels and Nubeluz at New York's Ritz Carlton) Linda headed up interiors for Soho House during its most expansive five years, bringing her magic to its hospitality spaces across the globe.

During the pandemic, and following the brith of her first child, Linda launched Linda Boronkay Design, an interior and architectural design practise based in London. She is now fast becoming one of the world’s most in demand independent practitioners, famed for creating uncompromising fabulousness everywhere she goes. Here, Linda generously shares the key design inspirations behind her work, and her go-to list of designers and artisans. Closer to home, we discover her local haunts in Belsize Park, London.

Five Minutes with Linda Boronkay
Linda Boronkay photographed by Wanda Martin

Five Minutes with Linda Boronkay 

I describe my style as… Sensual and cinematic. Atmosphere is my style.

I studied fashion design in Paris and actually went on to work as a fashion model for years after graduating, travelling all across the globe… Truthfully I was slightly tired of the fashion world and always felt as though my heart belonged with interiors.

What attracts me to this work is the ability to… create fantasies and unforgettable experiences. 

My four years as design director at Soho House taught me how to… approach projects from a customers’ perspective. It’s a real-time feeling you are seeking to create, not an Instagram post so consideration must be holistic with operations, food, music, scents, flow, comfort and visual impact. Your project is a movie, you are building the set and also are the director. 

My interior design icons are… Too many to name! A few of my favourites would be Jean-Michel Frank, Piero Portaluppi, Dagobert Peche, David Hicks, Pierre Chareau and Eileen Gray

Five Minutes with Linda Boronkay 
Images of Rockefeller's salon designed by one of Linda Boroknay's design icons, Jean-Michel Frank, showing the Léger mural and Giacometti andirons (Courtesy of Rockefeller Foundation)

My first independent commission was… a creative university and a multi-residential project in a beautiful historical building in Budapest. I was still a second year student in London, but I won Britain’s Best Emerging Interior Designer Award and got a huge exposure with that, so it led me to some projects  on my own. After that I decided I wanted to join a studio and learn in a team environment so I joined Tom Dixon, then went on to Martin Brudnizki and a few other places around the world. My next independent commission was with my current studio, Linda Boronkay, and it was a stunning, enchanted site in Australia, where we designed a five star luxury hotel called Osborn House.

Five Minutes with Linda Boronkay 
Osborn House is one of Linda Boronkay Design's most recent projects.

The projects I have coming up include… We are excited to be working on two five star hotels in Rome and Prague, a restaurant and art gallery in Beirut, a brasserie in Paris for the Costes brothers and private homes in Sydney, London, Switzerland and the British countryside. We also just completed a sprawling Bel Air residence - it's a total jewel box, taking its cues from Hollywood Regency glamour and the design vernacular of the Golden Age of cinema.

Five Minutes with Linda Boronkay 
Pierre Frey

If you’re looking to create a spectacular room at home, my first advice would be to… Consider the lighting. Atmosphere is everything.

Don’t be afraid of… colour and embracing different styles and eras in a space.

My design inspiration most commonly comes from… If I had to reference an era I most commonly return to for inspiration it would be the 1930s in Milan and Paris.

The craftsmen and ateliers I return to time after time include… Charlotte Kingsnorth, Ruan Hoffmann, Joe Armitage, Freyja Lee, Froyles Ceramics, Fred Rigby, Galvin Brothers, Partnership Editions for up and coming artists.

The last thing I bought and loved is… An aged brass incense holder from Apparatus - I’m totally obsessed!

My most treasured possession is… I think it would have to be my antique jewellery collection that I inherited from my wonderful mom.

I live in London in Belsize Park… a perfect day spent there includes a morning jog (or a walk) on Hampstead Heath followed by a spot of lunch at Cinder on Belsize Lane and then off to the Camden Arts Centre for some art!

This summer I will be in… Hungary, once a year we spend a few weeks there during summer to meet with family and friends and for my son to practise Hungarian. We go to the countryside, ride a horse, sail, drink wine and eat loads!

The best meal I’ve ever eaten in London… I love Brat, The Smoking Goat in Shoreditch… I also really enjoy Kol in Marylebone. Morito, Quality Chophouse, St. John and Brutto near our studio in Clerkenwell never disappoint.

Five Minutes with Linda Boronkay 
Aged brass incense holder, by Apparatus.

My favourite room in the world is… The Boom Boom Room at the Standard High Line in New York. It feels as though you have immediately been transported into a different world, a parallel universe - that’s the magic of design.

 The podcast/music/book I last downloaded/read… I just reread Atmospheres by Peter Zumthor. I'm starting Setting the Table by Danny Meyer. I’ve been listening to “All There Is” a podcast by Anderson Cooper and I always enjoy the “Diary Of A Ceo” by Steven Bartlett.

Five Minutes with Linda Boronkay 
The Boom Boom Room at the Standard High Line Hotel in New York. "It feels as though you have immediately been transported into a different world, a parallel universe - that’s the magic of design."

I have a collection of… artworks, tribal masks, dessert spoons (don’t ask why).

My guiltiest pleasure is… very spicy margaritas and sweet treats! 

The next question on my mind is… when will I get some proper sleep?

Linda Boronkay