5 things I’ve learnt from…


Good Morning. The week feels like it’s flown hasn’t it? The Novice household has spent the week getting back to normal after 3 weeks of doing absolutely nothing and it’s been quite a struggle. Perhaps a relaxing weekend will help? I’m really hoping so.

Previously on a Friday I wrote a column that highlighted 5 tips on a particular subject. However, over the festive season I’ve done a little housekeeping on this dear blog and have decided to change tact. Don’t worry, I will continue to provide tips, but it will take on a new form through a new column called 5 things I’ve learnt. I’ve been to so many seminars, workshops and talks about design over the last couple of years that I have multiple journals crammed full of information from inspirational people that I am just dying to share with you. So here goes…

I’ve been watching an American reality show called “Million Dollar Decorators” – thanks to a tip off from Ms Abigail Ahern. It’s a show that features 4 of the worlds top Interior Designers (Jeffrey Alan Marks, Kathryn Ireland, Mary McDonald, Martin Lawrence Bullard) and their high profile clients. You can find out more about the show here. While I was watching one of the episodes of what Big J calls my version of Interior Porn, I remembered attending Decorex 2011 where I saw Martin Lawrence Bullard speak as part of the launch of his new book called  “Live, Love and Decorate”.

Martyn is an extremly talented Interior Designer.He’s won multiple awards and his work has been featured in over 4000 publications globally. His clients include numerous A-List Stars from Elton John to Cher to Tamara Mellon (Founder of Jimmy Choo). His designs are a fusion of global influences and his ability to design in any style yet keep the look timeless is what makes him a designer at the top of his profession. And yes, he is as charasmatic in real life as he is on tv (I just had to add that one).

So, here are 5 things that I learnt from Martin from the Decorex talk I attended:

  1. When you design an interior, always have the client in mind. All of his interiors have a different style and feel, but they are influenced with his own aesthetic also. For example, his love of photography is prominent in his work as well as influences from his global travels.
  2. His first client was Cheryl Tiegs where he brought along a stack of interior design books and they sat on the floor of the house and brainstormed idea’s together. I now do this when I am asked to design a scheme for a friend or acquaintance.
  3. Always be honest with your clients. If you don’t agree with an idea then don’t go along with it. Go with your gut, if it doesn’t feel right then walk away.
  4. Include unexpected modern twists through accessories. For example, a traditional setting can be brought back up to date through a modern photograph or piece of furniture from a more up to date period.
  5. Use large pieces of art and rugs to ground a space.

His portfolio is so big and varied that you could spend hours going through it, so I’ve just included some images from a couple of African inspired ranches as a taster. If you want to read more you can check out his website here (the images are also from here).

So, did you enjoy my first installment of 5 Thing’s I’ve Learnt? What do you think of Martin’s designs? Do you like them? I’d love to know. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. And on Monday, another Interior Style awaits. Till then….  xD


Image source – Photo of Martin by Kevin Scanlon


6 responses to “5 things I’ve learnt from…

  • littlebigbell

    Hi Doris, lovely meeting you this weekend. Love this feature, completely agree with the walking away thing- no point forcing an idea when it doesn’t feel right for a client as they may end up dissatisfied. I’m talking about this from my perspective as a client with strong design ideas and my interaction with my architect. In my case, sad to say the architect kept persisting but I did not give in and glad of it too xx

    • interiornovice

      Hi Geraldine, I’m so glad that you didn’t give in and got what you wanted. After all, you are the customer. It’s also good to see that the advice given in this instance can relate back to a real life situation. Take Care, xD

  • tina @colourliving

    So you guys have met? Great. Next, it’s my turn.

    First off, thank you for choosing my blog amongst such superstars. I was truly touched:)

    I love this feature. It’s a great way for people to learn and get inspired. Keep this up.

    I’m going to check out the TV program. Sounds fab and a little overwhelming:) x

    • interiornovice

      Thanks Tina, of course you belong with the superstars, your blog is fab! I chose the 3 blogs because I get something different from each. Do watch the program, it’s great and very addictive. No I haven’t met Martin in hindsight I should have just walked up to him and introduced myself but I was just too starstruck and shy to do it. Talk soon, xD

  • Lena

    Thanks for the tip about the TV program – another thing I can do while I should actually get some work done.. Looking forward to your new column at to meeting you in Person (I still have to answer your email, I will soon!) xLena

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: