Bravo recently premiered Million Dollar Decorators, a new show that follows five of L.A.’s most sought-after interior decorators work and personal lives. Poised to satisfy both design and drama enthusiasts alike, it will give viewers an all-access pass inside some of the most stunning homes in the world. As the series (and the drama) unfolds over the next few weeks, SheKnows will be interviewing each of the designers to give you a closer look at what drives and inspires each of them.
First on deck is Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, an award-winning interior designer known for his glamorous and worldly interiors. His impressive celebrity client list includes Cher, Sir Elton John, Christina Aguilera, Eva Mendes, Ellen Pompeo, and Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne.
Get a peek at Sharon Osbourne's house >>
(We've included photos of Lawrence-Bullard's design work for Sir Elton John's plush and colorful residence.)
SheKnows: What inspires your design process?
Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: My design process is inspired primarily by my clients' decorative dreams. I like to find out what they love about their homes, what they hate, where they love to vacation, what hotels they love to stay in, what country is their favorite. Once I have this knowledge I start to build the picture for them and draw from my travels and experiences, adding all their information and desires into the mix.
SheKnows: How would you describe your personal design style?
Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: My personal style is very eclectic. I love mixing things from different places, eras and periods. I believe that if an object or piece of furniture is beautiful to you then you can happily mix it with a different beautiful object and together -- no matter if one is from yesterday and the other from the 18th century -- they will not only work together but enhance each other's beauty.
SheKnows: Which of your celebrity client's design style matches your own personal style the most?
Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: I love the look I created for Sir Elton John. That reflects my personal taste currently ... although that could change by next week!
SheKnows: Is there a certain celebrity you would love to work with, and why?
Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: I would love to work with Lady Gaga. I think her style, her incredible original, personal flair in the way she dresses and performs is amazing and she would be such fun to create a home to reflect her personality and individualism. An incredible talent. That's the kind of energy and creativity that inspire me.
SheKnows: For those of us working with more modest budgets, what design elements are worth splurging on?
Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: Good accessories for the home are always wonderful ways to change the look of your house, even seasonally -- swap out your pillows on sofas and chairs to fun colorful prints in summer and lush, tactile velvets and faux fur in the winter. If you're going to make a personal investment into your interior, do so with art. A photograph or oil painting, drawing or lithograph is a great expression of your personal taste and becomes a precious heirloom over time. A good piece of art can ground a room, create an ambiance and even influence the entire interior decoration.
SheKnows: And what elements do you think we can save on?
Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: You can save on expensive architectural details like wainscoting or planking by painting a chair rail in a complimentary color to your interior. This will add unbelievable impact to a room for very little expense. Just a pot of paint and some blue tape.
SheKnows: What design trends do you wish would go away?
Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: I wish that the bad reproduction French-style furniture look would go away. There are such cheap-looking reproductions on the market that they have ruined the sophistication of the originals. I love good French furniture and fun vintage French pieces, but those badly carved, horribly proportioned Chinese and Indian reproductions need to be burned!
SheKnows: What new design trends can we expect to see come out on Million Dollar Decorators?
Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: I think that you will see a bigger use of color in people's homes come out of Million Dollar Decorators. We all use so much color, be it fabric or paint, wallpaper or rugs, so I think our viewers will be much less scared to experiment with color in their own homes.
SheKnows: Which castmate's portfolio do you admire the most?
Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: I love Kathryn Ireland's use of color and her casual, easy living look that oozes style -- however, I think Mary McDonald's look is glamorous and exciting. Her Hollywood Regency inspiration is so fun and her book is a decorator's must-have.
SheKnows: Can we expect to see some competition among the designers?
Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: I think we all have such different styles and such different clients that there's really not a competition here ... well, certainly I'm not worried about the competition! I'm very lucky with my loyal and chic clientele.
Photo credit: Tim Street-Porter
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