Get Decorating Tips From Celebrity Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard
Los Angeles designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard is best known for creating gorgeous homes for A-list clients like Kendall Jenner, the Kardashians and Tommy Hilfiger, but his flair for fabulousness has turned everything from tiles, fabric and wallpaper into touchstones for the glamorous life. Click through for his decorating secrets.
“I get inspiration from everywhere, everyday! I never close myself down. I believe that we should learn and keep learning everyday. Recently, I was in Palm Springs and I saw some leaves that I’ve never seen before. I thought, I want these in my next fabric collection! I was there looking at a new house for Tommy Hilfiger, and it was the bush outside of his house.”
“I’ve done a few homes for Tommy now, from a Miami house (pictured) to a very grand English-style manor in Connecticut, and now we’re working on the art deco Raleigh hotel in Miami Beach. He’s open to everything and wants to experience different things, which, for me, is exciting. I really love working with other people that are creative. I’ve worked with a few fashion designers along the way and they’re passionate about materials. It’s not just pulling together colors and shapes, they also want to feel it. They’re very tactile – it’s a real hands-on experience.”
Martyn famously designs homes for the Kardashians. Pictured is Kourtney’s living room. “I work with a lot of celebrities, and their homes really are their sanctuaries. If you think of the Kardashians, their lives are so, so public – they’re even filmed in their houses. So when the doors are closed, it’s important to make their homes their special place.”
“I have three homes, but the one I go to most is in LA. There’s nothing I’d rather do any more than be at home with my dog in my little screening room, watching a movie. That’s the way I chill out.”
Martyn’s showroom and store on Melrose Avenue in LA, MLB Atelier, is filled bold pattern and color (pictured). “I think people should paint a room the color they look best in. My mom loves lilac. She’s 88. I recently redid her bedroom for her and I did the whole room in lilac. She loves it. She looks so good in it! Think about what you look good in, and bring it into your house. If you look great in blue, you’re going to look good surrounded by it. But I don’t mean black, even though black rooms can look amazing.”
“Wallpaper. People are embracing it more and more, and as a designer, you can create unbelievable experiences with wallpaper. For years it was thought to be so old fashioned, but now it’s back in a very big way. And there are accessories to wallpaper, like borders, and so many great uses for wallpaper — not for just walls, you can put it on the ceiling, too. Don’t forget the ceiling! And I’ve seen it used on furniture. People are wallpapering old chests of drawers they get at flea markets or they’re putting it in panels to update wardrobes. There’s a lot of uses for it and it’s a relatively inexpensive way to get a massive look.” Martyn designed a line of wallpaper for Cole & Son (pictured), available at Lee Jofa in April.
“Beautiful bedding. A good set of sheets can be $3,000. I like slightly sateen, really fine sheets. And I have my bed changed every day. I like to get into crisp sheets. I have sets of linens that are rotated, but every year I buy completely new sets. It’s kind of like living in a luxury hotel. I know it’s probably not good for the environment, but it is my one big luxury.” Martyn recently designed Hotel Californian (pictured) in Santa Barbara, California, and used his signature white sheets in the suites.
“I’ve never had any training, but the truth in decorating is to really believe in yourself and really go for it. If you’re too scared to go for it, you’ll never be creative. And that’s what creativity is all about – to share your passion.”