Martyn Lawrence Bullard
Designer and Owner, Martyn Lawrence Bullard
The first thing you’ll notice in Martyn Lawrence Bullard‘s new atelier is the punchy patterns, then the striking colors, and finally, you’ll spot the whimsical light fixtures floating overhead. It’s a lot to take in, and that’s by design. After all, this 2,100-square-foot-space on Melrose Avenue is meant to personify the celebrity designer’s eclectic-glam aesthetic. “It’s a whole Martyn Lawrence Bullard world,” he says of his first-ever showroom. “L.A. is filled with life–people here are not scared of color, or of genres or of being avant-garde. I hope my space is a mirror image of that.” Here, the designer speaks about his travels, upcoming projects and decorating with color.
Tell us about your vision for the atelier. It’s a melting pot of all the styles in my own lines and fabric collections. It’s an emporium. There’s pattern on pattern on pattern. That’s something I love in my work, but it also demonstrates how you can shake things up and mix periods.
How is the space configured? It has these amazing large windows that look out onto Melrose Avenue. I covered the ceilings in a silver Mylar that bounces light throughout the space. Using my wallpapers, I divided it into sections for showcasing furniture, accessories and art, and I created a separate wallpaper and fabric gallery featuring my collection with Schumacher, as well as pieces from Candice Held in Palm Springs and collections from South Africa and London.
What’s on the floor? I recently picked up a beautiful 1970s sculpture and some cerulean-inlaid tables while in London. I also found a collection of ’60s and ’70s Murano glass bottles and sculptures. I just got a Portuguese bed and console that I updated by lacquering the bed in a high-gloss white and the console in a powerful emerald green–I’ve taken these traditional elements and transformed them using colorful palettes.
You’re definitely not shy of color. I love color, and I’m not scared to use it. Color is making a big comeback–the days of cream-on-cream and all beige are gone. I’m seeing the design trends move toward including pops of color and statement pieces in the mix, such as lacquered furniture or a great work of art.
Speaking of art, what works do you feature in the showroom? I’m representing some wonderful photographic artists, such as artist Cheyenne Randall, who takes iconic imagery and hand-paints tattoos onto it. Then, there’s Ruven Afanador, a fashion and portrait photographer who did a collection of beautiful gypsy flamenco dancers. They’re slightly esoteric and mix well with Pop art.
What’s next? I have a collection launching with Frontgate in September, and another wallpaper line on the horizon with Cole & Son. Between now and into early 2018, I’ll be working on a variety of hospitality projects: Tommy Hilfiger‘s legendary Raleigh hotel in Miami, the Four Seasons Residences in L.A., and Kimpton’s The Residences at Seafire on Grand Cayman. And, to top it all off, I have a new TV show in the mix.