Here’s something you can do if you find yourself needing a little break from turkey and family! We recently interviewed L.A. interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard on The Skirted Roundtable and the show is now up on the web site to listen to. Martyn just completed his stint on the television series “Million Dollar Decorators” – the design show on Bravo that was a runaway success. According to Martyn, he has received many offers for advertising promotions and design jobs that came directly from the Bravo show. Most exciting, he is now the face of Jaguar – they even sent him a brand new car! You have to listen to him explain how they first sent him a color he didn’t like and had to refuse it. Only Martyn. While Bravo hasn’t yet confirmed it, The Hollywood Reporter is saying the series will be back for a second time – with all the same designers. I hope so! The show was probably my all time favorite TV series after Thirtysomething (I am really aging myself here) and my 2nd favorite right now would have to be Hoarders, shudders.
Linda, Megan and I were surprised at how easy it was to convince Martyn to sit for an interview, he was a true gentleman and didn’t make us beg, though we were prepared to. This was one interview that I was nervous about. “Darling,” I really was! But, Martyn put us all at ease with his over the top personality and great sense of humor. He is quite the charmer!!! The man with the velvet voice tells us all about how he got where he is today –which is at the very top of design – and spills the beans on lots of Million Dollar Decorators gossip.
So, this weekend, when you have had it up to here with leftovers, walk away from the table and give a listen to The Skirted Roundtable. It’s a very special hour. As usual, please forgive my horribly nasal, whiny, obnoxious voice. And if I say “I believe it!!” one time, I said it a million. What can I say? I’m not a professional radio personality!
Martyn has just written a book, Live Love & Decorate, a beautiful pictorial resume that shows some of his most popular jobs. Several of the houses are homes to the most famous people there are – Elton John, Cheryl Tiegs, Cher, Kid Rock and Ozzie Osbourne – to name a few. Wow. One of my favorite houses featured is Damon Dash’s – a “rap mogul.” The house is very far away from what one thinks of as rap – there is no black leather or flashy décor, instead it’s a beautiful nod to Morocco. It’s hard to believe the house is in L.A. and is not some Riad located deep in the Medina.
Damon Dash’s house features Moroccan elements throughout. Bullard said he used every Moorish trick he knew to design Dash’s house: tented ceilings, striped walls, lanterns, and antiques from Tangier. Suzani fabrics are everywhere. Here, the columns in the stair hall are painted to resemble antique tiles.
The entry hall is tented in muslin with a large, antique Moroccan lantern hanging from it.
Mashrabiya screens were used to make a banquette that sits in front of the double stairwell. To the right is the living room and straight ahead is the dining room.
In the living room, Martyn used a printed Robert Kime fabric on the sofa. The edge of the fabric was used as trim on the sofa and on the curtains. The antique table was from Fez. Past the painted columns is the stair hall and to the left of it is the entry hall.
In the living room antique doors are used as works of art.
Red decorative iron straps were added to the fireplace in the living room.
The Robert Kime fabric was also used as the inspiration for the stenciled pattern that is found on the hall walls and in the dining room. The decorative painter took over a month to complete the job.
The dining room has a fireplace and stenciled walls in the Robert Kime fabric pattern.
On one wall in the dining room, Martyn placed an antiqued mirror with hanging lanterns above a built in console.
In the media room, you can see Martyn painted the wall a warm orange beneath the chair rail. This is a decorating trick he often0 uses to introduce color to a room – which is also a great way to get fabulous design without a high cost. He used the same exact two colors on the curtains so they blend into the walls.
The bed was inspired by one Martyn had seen in a Riad in Morocco. He bought the antique suzanis in Ishmir. Note, here the walls are painted green beneath the chair rail – paired with a black ribbon of color.
Finally, the open air porch features a day bed with Moroccan design elements and suzanis paired with pillows in ticking fabrics.
To listen to the interview with Martyn Lawrence Bullard, please go HERE.
Martyn’s new book, Live, Love & Decorate is available on Amazon HERE.
I would like to take this time to wish you and yours a most happy Thanksgiving! As always this is a time to reflect upon what we are thankful for in our lives. I am most thankful for my family – my own and my extended one. I am thankful for my daughter’s happiness and good health and the addition of the sweetest and most beautiful little puppy to our lives! I’m thankful for my husband’s love and support. And, I’m thankful for you, the reader, who has welcomed me into your lives with all your comments and emails!!!
Posted by Joni Webb