Interview with Martyn Lawrence-Bullard : design elements


Interview with Martyn Lawrence-Bullard

categories Designer, Interviews    

“Follow your heart not fashion or public opinion… Don’t be scared to be an individual!”

Martyn Lawrence-Bullard

Do you know who won the Andrew Martin award in 2010 – the award described by the Times as “The Oscars for the interior design world”? The answer is Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.  Eclectic, luxurious, sophisticated, comfortable, fearless in mixing up different styles … all are words that come to mind when asked about Martyn’s designs. Martyn Lawrence-Bullard is one of the world’s top 100 interior designers by Architectural Digest. His work has appeared in over 700 publications worldwide. His clientele includes Tommy Hilfiger, Cher, Edward Norton, Aaron Sorkin, Christina Aguilera, Eva Mendes, Ellen Pompeo, Kid Rock and the Osbournes, among others. Martyn loves the earthy exotic furniture of Brazilian architect  Oscar Niemeyer and the color combinations of deep red and chocolate, and olive and eggplant. For more info on Martyn Lawrence-Bullard click here to read his profile on 1st Dibs. So let’s get on with it…

How would you describe your own style?

My style is totally eclectic. I love so many styles and periods, like Oscar Wilde said ” all beautiful things belong to the same age”…

When you were a child, did you want to become a designer?

As a child I wanted to follow in my fathers’ foot steps and become an actor, although I always loved interiors and would make my parents take me to visit the most beautiful stately homes, castles and museums around the world.

How did you get your first assignment?

I got my first job when a producer from a film I was in came to dinner at my then small home and loved it so he asked me to design his offices, the Hollywood film works. I did so for fun and ended up becoming my career.

Is there a designer that has influenced you?

I love the work of David Hicks… He has been an inspiration to me especially in the way he used color and mixed periods and styles. Also Renzo Mongiardino – his work was so chic and almost fantasy.

Are great designers born or made?

Great designer are born… It’s something innate not learned. A sense of style seems to me to be a gift you are born with, just like a singer, you are born with the tools and you refine them with age.

What do you enjoy most in your work?

I enjoy the joy my clients get from the finished product … making their decorative dreams come true!

Which project have you been most proud of?

I am always most proud of the last project I completed…. Currently that’s Sir Elton John’s home.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement has been the ability to stay so busy during this recession. My business has actually doubled. I’ve been very lucky.

What inspires your creativity?


What is your idea what a beautiful home should feel like?

A beautiful room is a comfortable room. Somewhere that you just want to curl up in.

You said: “The one rule I’ve always stuck to is to be honest. There’s no point in creating a decorative scheme on or around something you don’t believe in. To be a straight shooter is always the best policy.” Are you always a straight shooter?

I am always honest with my clients… Honesty is the only policy!

Favorite books?

The marchesa di cassati… Windsor style… The private lives of Yves St Laurent and Pierre Berge and Rooms to inspire by Annie Kelly.

What does success mean to you?

Success is happiness and contentment. To wake up every day and know you love what you do. That’s happiness!

What’s your advice to upcoming designers?

Follow your heart not fashion or public opinion… Don’t be scared to be an individual!

My signature Design Elements question – what are the most important design elements?

To me scale is the most important design element to a room. Perfect scale is actually very hard to achieve and is the signature of a seasoned decorator.

photo credit: Martyn Lawrence-Bullard Design


32 Kommentare zu “Interview with Martyn Lawrence-Bullard”

  1. Ingrid am 01.02.2011 um 09:01 Uhr 

    Great interview again! You are nailing it!

    Have a nice day!


  2. maureen lynne am 01.02.2011 um 14:02 Uhr 

    incredible variety of styles…
    and I love his advice to follow your heart not fashion..

  3. Style Maniac am 01.02.2011 um 14:39 Uhr 

    What a smart, talented guy. Wonderful advice, about honesty and following your heart. Love love love that kitchen, with artwork instead of cabinets. Such a great idea.

  4. Susan am 01.02.2011 um 14:54 Uhr 

    Wow! I love the living room in the third picture – I have a sectional sofa in my living room, so it’s always nice to see designers work with them – I can see that I will need to make more pillows for my sectional.

    Great interview!

  5. Luciane at am 01.02.2011 um 15:41 Uhr 

    Very interesting interview in so many levels!

    I really need to check his website! Loving these pictures!

    You did a fantastic job again, Maria.


    Luciane at
    Post of the day: An Elegant House by Canadian Interior Designer Scott Yetman.

  6. Chic 'n Cheap Living am 01.02.2011 um 16:12 Uhr 

    I love the eclectic style from the clean, high lines of the first room to the gorgeous wallpaper, feminine feel of the second one. I’ll definitely look for more of his work!

  7. Olya Nikol am 01.02.2011 um 19:48 Uhr 

    This is an absolutely very interesting interview and also a very inspirational talking! Thank you for sharing it – it was a pleasure to read it! ~ xoxo Diamond Cat

  8. Priscilla Joy am 01.02.2011 um 19:52 Uhr 

    Wow I love the kitchen!!!
    Very nice
    Thank you.

  9. Simone am 01.02.2011 um 20:01 Uhr 

    tolles Interview, die Bilder sind der Wahnsinn!!
    GGLG Simone

  10. George am 01.02.2011 um 20:04 Uhr 

    These interiors are absolutely beautiful. But I must tell you how much I like the quote you had at the beginning of your post. The advice is perfect for everyone, not just designers.

  11. isabel am 01.02.2011 um 22:05 Uhr 

    my favourite is the last photo. those huge windows and the space he created is beautiful!

    Isabel @ Walk of Fashion

  12. Amanda Teal am 02.02.2011 um 01:50 Uhr 

    Great interview! I love his work…so inspiring!

  13. pk @ Room Remix am 02.02.2011 um 04:07 Uhr 

    Great interview and I also like the advice to follow your heart!

  14. Carraol am 02.02.2011 um 06:48 Uhr 

    Excellent interview with a lot of thoughts to check. The room design of the last one look superb!

  15. Ann am 02.02.2011 um 09:58 Uhr 

    What wonderful quote from him…
    And his spaces looks really lovely.
    Love your interview!

  16. Helen am 02.02.2011 um 15:08 Uhr 

    What beautiful images! I love the large artwork resting on the bench in the kitchen, so unexpected… thanks for coming past our blog!

  17. Solveig am 02.02.2011 um 15:55 Uhr 

    Oh ja! Der Stilmix hier macht sich richtig gut! Und was für eine Aussicht! Tolles Interview!
    Viele liebe Grüße von mir

  18. mary jo am 02.02.2011 um 18:44 Uhr 

    What a wonderful interview Maria–that last image of his is just my ultimate living space–LOVE! And I adore his philosophy of a beautiful room being a comfy one.

    xoxo Mary Jo

  19. Tina am 02.02.2011 um 19:31 Uhr 

    I totally get why this man is a sucessfull one and I love the answers he gives on each and every question!
    Eclectic style I adore, especially the first pic. I feel so inspired by that one!!!
    Also, loved the house tour from Mallorca. I actually have a dream of having a place of my own there one day. Mallorca is one of my favourite spots in the world!
    And of course, the inspiring words from Tina Roth Eisenberg I had to print. Love these words of wisdom and I will truly do my best to follow each and every one of them from now on:)!
    Thanks for some really, really, really great inspiration!!!

  20. ahhhlala am 02.02.2011 um 20:46 Uhr 

    I love exotic furniture too, and I agree with him a beautifull room is a comfortable room.
    One more time, a great interview!!!.
    I was in Tanzania and Kenya two years ago and it was the best experiencie in my live, I,m sure your travel will be fantastic.

  21. Leslie am 02.02.2011 um 22:59 Uhr 

    That arched staircase is beautiful!

  22. design traveller am 02.02.2011 um 23:40 Uhr 

    hi Maria, great interview.

    He seems like a very versatile designer…
    I wish he said something more about the scale as a design element, I mean the answer to your signature question… scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.

    ps. where did you read about Lalanne?

  23. Stephie am 02.02.2011 um 23:52 Uhr 

    Thanks for this Maria.

    I am not sure about the “follow your heart, be an individual” quote though. Much and all as I would love to embrace this ethos fully, I find that it’s a very rare domestic client who wants to go out on a limb! Maybe I need to be more firm with them?!

    Talk soon,
    Stephie x

  24. Tereza am 03.02.2011 um 00:01 Uhr 

    Hi, Maria!
    Fantastic interview.
    He is so eclectic and talented!
    Love the first pic, just my style.

  25. iheartkiwi am 03.02.2011 um 05:33 Uhr 

    Such beautiful spaces… and what a wonderful interview!

    I love the Oscar Wilde quote.

  26. Splendid Willow am 03.02.2011 um 07:12 Uhr 

    What an interesting interview. I read every single word!

    I loved what Martyn said about scale and the importance of following your heart (not trends).

    And ONLY a very seasoned and good designer talks about comfort first. A room where you don’t dare to sit and relax is not good for the room’s energy or for a person’s heart!

    Great job, Maria!

    Warm hugs,


    P.S Love the kitchen with the b/w photograph.

  27. am 03.02.2011 um 21:24 Uhr 

    Very interesting. I signed up for your emails.

  28. Laguna Dirt am 04.02.2011 um 04:42 Uhr 

    no way!!! that’s so, so, so, nautical! great post!!

  29. Captivated by image am 04.02.2011 um 18:06 Uhr 

    Amazing, I’m very impressed! Feels like an epitome of imagination. Thank your for sharing this.

  30. geisslein am 17.02.2011 um 21:43 Uhr 

    Das ist soooo toll! Ich liebe solche kreativen Häuser! Viele Grüße aus Hessen und gute Nacht ;o)

  31. María am 18.02.2011 um 10:07 Uhr 

    Beautiful! i love this organical architecture. This home is impressive. thanks for the visit, so I could find you. added to my list, your blog is impressive!

  32. BarlowElnora29 am 29.11.2011 um 11:26 Uhr 

    Every one understands that men’s life seems to be very expensive, but some people require cash for various stuff and not every one gets big sums money. So to receive good personal loans and student loan will be good solution.

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