Skip to main content

150E58 Magazine. The Magazine of the Architects and Designers Building

Profiles

Martyn Lawrence Bullard

A designer with impeccable style and a global perspective on his creative inspiration.

left to right: Bullard’s favorite projects include Tommy Hilfiger’s home; Cher’s Malibu palazzo; and El Faro, a home in Cabo. Photography courtesy of Douglas Friedman (Hilfiger and El Faro); Tim Street Porter (Cher).

AROUND THE WORLD

My personal style is eclectic, a word used too freely really but it certainly describes my taste. I love to mix and match periods and styles, shape, and form. For me there are no rules in decorating. Never expect the expected and always be ready for surprises. As Oscar Wilde once said, “all beautiful things belong to the same age,” and with that in mind it’s how I decorate for myself, if I love it, I don’t care about age, provenance, origin, or value. Travel is my everything. It has always informed my life and work. My design education was fine-tuned by traveling the world. It’s not just the countries and cities that inform style, it’s the people, the food, the culture, and even the fashion. There is no better education.

ALL IN THE FAMILY

I love all my projects in different ways, they are like children. Cher’s Malibu palazzo is an all-time favorite, for the experience and the dramatic interiors. Red O Restaurant for Chef Rick Bayless was also a favorite. Taking direc- tion from food rather than architecture allowed me to create fantasy interiors that are the perfect accompaniment to his culinary creations. A recently completed project in Cabo, Mexico, is a current favorite as we created one-of-a-kind items with local artisans and small workshops such as Voila Creative Studio.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Martyn Lawrence Bullard

ENQUIRING MINDS

I always ask clients a series of questions that help me
pull the threads of their personal tapestry. I ask what they love and dislike about their home, where they vacation, their favorite restaurant, hotel, shop. These personal questions give an insight into the type of interior the client feels good in, as well as what makes them feel comfortable, welcomed, and enchanted. It’s amazing how quickly the client’s personality is revealed.

IT’S A PROCESS

We hand sketch some things but mostly we use CAD drawings, and for more serious interior views we create 3D presentations where you can walk through the spaces virtually. I also do electronic sample boards and accompany them with physical samples, as touch is such an important part of the process. We have three interior architects who handle all the views, drawings, and floor plans, which really helps the clients, and oftentimes the clients’ architects also.

TREND ALERT

I love the revival of wallpaper. It’s such a brilliant way of creating instant drama in a space. I am also excited and intrigued with the ‘granny millennial’ vibe, a sort of Victorian, Art Nouveau, William Morris boho look, mixed with more con- temporary furnishings, art, and the odd antique. It’s an evolution back to joyous, inviting interiors that embrace you. I also love French Art Deco. It adds luxury and glamour with exotic materials, intricate inlays, bold geometry and strong lines.

IF I WERE A CHAIR

I would be a Klismos chair, elegant but casual at the same time. A design classic whose lines have been copied over many centuries but always appears fresh and strong, making a state- ment wherever it sits.

I WISH I KNEW

Languages are so exciting and fulfilling when you conquer them. To understand a language is both beautiful and empowering. I have a few down, but wish I understood more, giving me not only language skills but also more design knowledge from the words used to describe the styles and influences of different cultures.