It was a tad obvious that interior design ran through his blood. Starting at the age of twelve he began purchasing different antiques and silverware from Chislehurst Market in Kent then sell them on at Greenwich Market making himself a little Profit. I am talking about the amazingly talented interior designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.
After building up enough profit Martyn used this to his advantage and set his eyes on acting school, where he attended the renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film institute in New York. He then went on to Hollywood and had a few acting roles. But Interior design was always in his destiny, after a few lucky encounters with well-known people he had the chance to put his design ideas to work and word of mouth quickly spread that Martyn was the next thing in luxury interior design. Looking at his first real project below (Balinese Colonial Pavilion) , it’s clear to see why his reputation for exquisite design really took off;
Based in Los Angeles, his career quickly escalated and he began to build himself a catalogue of celebrity clients all aching for him to create the dream homes that they desired. Celebrities such as Cher (photo’s below), Elton John and Eva Mendes experienced his creative magic and as his portfolio grew so did his reputation.Colony Palms Hotel, Jimmy Choo stores and most recently Château Gutsch Hotel in Switzerland. His work has been in countless publications and earned him accreditations such as 2010 Andrew Martin International Interior designer of the year Award, named in the top 100 interior designers by Architectural Digest and appearing on TV shows such as Million Dollar Decorators and Hollywood Me.
As well as providing an interior design service he also provides a fantastic range of interior products to buy so you can have your very own piece of Martyn Lawrence-Bullard at Home. From Furniture, rugs and candles to luxurious fabrics and wallpapers the choice is endless, some of which are in his own home (photo’s below) . Known for his dramatic and luxurious designs his book live, love & decorate provides you with an insight to his imaginative creations.
I caught up with Martyn and asked him my #high5 questions regarding his fantastic interior design career on and off screen;
You have designed the homes of some of the biggest celebrities in the world, how is it dealing with this specific type of clientèle, has there been any unusual requests and has there been a specific celebrity that you really enjoyed working with?
Celebrities tend to be wonderful to work with because they are very creative and want to live out their decorative fantasies. It’s a wonderful thing to get inspiration from their personal creativity. They are no different from anyone else however in the usual process and each and every one of my clients gets personalised, custom service and interiors whoever they are or whatever they do.
Your career has taken you around the world to some amazing countries and in a few of your interviews you have stated that travel is a major inspiration for your designs, is there a specific place or country that has captivated you and how have you used this in your designs?
I adore Istanbul for all its exotic flavour and excitement. Rome is my city for romance, from the people to the art. Rajastan for colour and passionate artisans.
You have acquired a huge amount of achievements over the years. Looking back to when you were a young boy buying and selling antiques and silverware at Greenwich Flee Market, does it make you proud to have accomplished so much in your career? Is there any advice you have to be successful in this type of business?
I believe the best advice I can give designers is to trust yourself. Believe in your taste, don’t get influenced by what others tell you, but trust in your first decorative instincts Travel is also the best education you can ever have. Soak in all you see from new cultures , cities . Flavors , smells , tastes. Let it all inspire you and help build your decorative inspirations and education.
In life no path is easy , and if it is , then you haven’t challenged yourself enough. I believe hard work is the key to success. I have worked and work extremely hard in my career , success is a fleeting moment unless you commit to always better yourself , keep growing your knowledge and test your boundaries. As a designer to stay current means to keep abreast of the trends ,new inventions in design and technology of course. I strive to do that daily.
You have dabbled in acting and your interior design career has led you to feature frequently on television shows such as Million Dollar Decorators and Hollywood Me. Is it easy to balance working on camera while trying to create such incredible designs and has there ever been any disastrous moments?
My show has been a big hit and has very much opened an International following for me. However it was difficult to have cameras on me all the time. As it was reality I truly has to work and really be creative whilst still being filmed. It’s not easy , but it was fun and I was incredibly lucky my clients were so open to filming with me. We got some great story lines and very fun results.
And finally…..any new and exciting projects ahead?
Lots of exciting things, stay tuned!
Looking forward to it Martyn!!
I would like to thank Martyn for taking the time out of his busy schedule to take answer my questions for this blog post.