Martyn Lawrence Bullard Crafts A Chic Venice Bachelor Pad

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Celebrity interior designer Martyn Lawrence...

Celebrity interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard conceived an art-filled Venice pied-a-terre for his client. A vintage leather swing chair from Blackman Cruz stands in the living room.

We captured his personality," says...

We captured his personality," says Bullard of the home. The outdoor screening room features custom teak furnishings upholstered in Perennials fabrics from David Sutherland. Situated in the seating area are a table from Primary Source and a fire pit by Zeolla. The pillow print is from the designer's own outdoor collection; the solid navy pillow fabric is from Holly Hunt. Interior Specialties fabricated the awning. Landscape designer Stephen Block conceived a playful succulent wall. The designer brought in Zuma Entertainment to create the entertainment system.

Bullard customized his Malibu sofa...

Bullard customized his Malibu sofa for the living room, covering it in a fabric from his own line. The coffee table is a vintage gym bench from Lucca Antiques, reupholstered in Edelman leather. The designer discovered the French iron and oak fireside shelving at Orange Furniture. Resting against it is a Tim Bessell x Andy Warhol surfboard from Guy Hepner. The custom rug is from Woven.

The dining table is from...

The dining table is from Martyn Lawrence Bullard Atelier while the vintage Italian chairs from Wyeth are in Ashbury Hides leather. Against the Holland & Sherry wallcovering are shelving from Blend Interiors and a Serge Mouille sconce. The rug is from Woven. On the upper wall, African shields from Primary Source overlook the space. The pair of Leroy Grannis photographs hints at the abode's beachy locale.

Bullard kept the adjacent kitchen's...

Bullard kept the adjacent kitchen's palette light and bright with statuary marble from TriStone & Tile. He spotted the four blackened-steel barstools at Lawson-Fenning and upholstered them in a cognac-colored leather from Ashbury Hides. At rear is a Wolfgang Tillmans work from David Zwirner in New York.

A teak and aluminum table...

A teak and aluminum table is paired with teak director's chairs, all from Harbour, in the alfresco dining area. The rattan light fixtures from Inner Gardens "provide texture and a soft glow at night," says Block, who also placed the Willy Guhl cement planters there. The hand-forged shields are by Anthony James.

The master bedroom is a...

The master bedroom is a cozy retreat with a woven Omexco wallcovering and drapery fabric from the designer's collection. The Sergio Rodrigues chairs from Orange are paired with an African table from J.F. Chen. Joining the grouping is a Richard Prince work from Almine Rech in Brussels. Flanking the custom bed, upholstered in fabric from Nicky Rising and laid with Frette linens, are nightstands from Hollywood at Home topped with Ryan Mennealy lamps from Harbinger. Above is a Thilo Heinzmann work from Heinrich Ehrhardt in Madrid. The 1950s bench is from Lucca Antiques.

I always like to make...

I always like to make guest rooms exciting, so we went wild with a big pop of red," says Bullard. The custom bed is upholstered in Rogers & Goffigon linen and is dressed with Scandia Home linens. The vintage Moroccan pillows are from Pat McGann. Against a wallcovering from Kneedler-Fauchere are a work by Louise Nevelson, a piece by Secundino Hernandez from Victoria Miro in London and a work on paper by Goncalo Sena from Heinrich Ehrhardt.

Book-matched statuary marble from Stoneland...

Book-matched statuary marble from Stoneland covers the walls and vanity in the master bath. The sinks and faucets are by Waterworks. On the floor is marble mosaic Ann Sacks tile. Bullard found the Pedro Friedeberg chair at Orange. The indigo-dyed linen panel is by Mineral Workshop.

Pristine artists’ communities line the California coast but Venice is something of an anomaly, and residents old and new wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s the freethinking, bohemian energy preserved by longtime locals that has lured the tech companies that trade on pioneering spirit. It’s a mix of grit and sophistication; an edgy, urban destination that’s second only to Disneyland in attracting tourists to Southern California. People, as interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard will tell you, will always want “a fun play spot.” And that’s precisely what he crafted for a client’s bachelor pad right in the heart of town.

“This is his pied-a-terre,” says Bullard, who also designed the owner’s main home in Malibu and vacation home in Hawaii. “He’s here for work and likes to spend a couple nights a week, so he wanted it to be a place that was hip and relaxed.” It also needed to show off a growing art collection that includes works by Richard Prince, Nate Lowman and Wolfgang Tillmans, assembled with the guidance of contemporary art specialist Andrea Guttag of Nine Acres Art Services. But even more essential was the ability to easily host friends. “He loves to entertain,” says Bullard, “so we created a couple of different places for him to do so.”

The loft-like space is arranged around an inner courtyard that provided the perfect spot for a casual dining area “with a Zen garden feel,” shares Bullard. Open to the sky, it floods the interior spaces with fresh air and sunshine-important elements to the owner, an avid surfer. To imbue the home with a coastal vibe, the designer chose a traditional blue and white palette but weighted it with shades of black and gray. “It’s the flavor of the beach but more sophisticated,” he says, pointing to the layering of neutral tones like the Hermes saddle-colored leather and the bleached-out woods in the living room. Wrapping the space’s fireplace wall with steel upped the industrial feel, which the designer balanced on the facing dining room wall with a moody, textured wallpaper, the perfect backdrop to works by Leroy Grannis. “Touches of brass add a masculine edge,” notes the designer, as do the antique African shields adorning the upper wall. “I loved the idea of grouping them like an installation. It makes the art in the home more eclectic.”

Just off the living area is another outdoor entertaining spot (and a first for the designer): an alfresco home theater nestled within the balcony. “It’s all very Venice Beach-hip but it had to really work! You had to be able to push a button and make it all go,” says Bullard, paying homage to the AV know-how of Zuma Entertainment. “Everything had to be weatherproof, of course, and able to combat the sun,” says Bullard of the furnishings, “but it also needed to be inviting. The client likes loungy pieces.”

The “loungy” feel continues in the master bedroom, where Bullard appointed a cozy sitting area with vintage armchairs by Brazilian designer Sergio Rodrigues. “We made it feel more ethnic with Balinese fabrics and the grass-cloth wallcovering.” To counter the sunlight, the designer took the wallcovering to the upper reaches of the ceiling. “When my client closes off the room, it’s a dark cocoon. It’s his sanctuary.”

Reflecting on the project, the designer describes the abode’s style as a “crisp, masculine experience but with some yin-yang, too.” Working with landscape designer Stephen Block, Bullard brought greenery to the rooms. “They’re a real moment,” Bullard says of the plants, explaining that he likes how their sculptural shapes juxtapose the artworks. “We were going for clean, modern planters with unique, architectural plantings,” adds Block, who filled Willy Guhl-designed vessels with Beaucarnea recurvata, Dracaena draco, gnarly aloes and agaves. “Leafy and shrubby wasn’t the goal. We wanted it all to have an edge!”

For Bullard, conceiving a hidden world in the midst of a city was tremendously appealing. “To find this really cool, residential vibe here is so surprising. It’s a very urban situation, yet we’ve carved out a little piece of paradise right in the middle of a bustling hang out,” he explains. “It’s got a very special essence that captures you with a feeling of surprise. You don’t expect to find this amid an office complex!” The proof, of course, is in the using. And while the owner has several homes from which to choose, “He really loves this one,” says Bullard. “It does the trick. The whole thing feels like a giant hotel suite. A very cool hotel suite.”

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