Now, three decades after the once-aspiring actor stumbled into interior design when supermodel Cheryl Tiegs asked him to decorate her LA home, the A-list are still running the 56-year-old off his feet.
“I’ve been working all day with [American rapper] Machine Gun Kelly,” says Bullard when we meet at a rooftop bar near his West Hollywood office. “I’m doing a very wild house for him right now – and a new beach house for Ellen Pompeo. I’m also doing an amazing house for Sylvester Stallone, a plane for Gwen Stefani – with a zebra-clad interior, as one does – and then I’m doing a ranch and winery for Pink.”
The London-born, West Hollywood-based designer stands apart due to influencing more celebrity homes than any other, the famous owners drawn like moths to the flame of Bullard’s inimitable, eclectic and always flamboyant take on classic Hollywood Regency-style elegance.
Bullard’s latest book, Star Style, grants the rest of us a peek into the private worlds of his highest-profile celebrity clients, including the most attention-grabbing to date – the spectacular California mansion that Bullard transformed for cosmetics queen and world’s youngest self-made billionaire Kylie Jenner.
“It’s quite fun to work for a [then-]21-year-old billionaire,” Bullard quips cheekily as he describes how he personalised spaces to capture Jenner’s young, vibrant energy while subtly incorporating aspects of her eponymous brand. “[To achieve this] we did crazy things – like with her dining chairs, I took all her favourite pinks from her lipstick collection and custom-dyed leather to match each different shade so that she can sit in a different chair to match the lipstick she’s wearing, so, you know, super fun.”
Bullard’s brief was boundless. Luxury touches range from pink and rose gold-dusted wallpaper to Andy Warhol original iconic Marilyn Monroe images and professional makeup bulbs in Jenner’s “glam room” that change colour according to the desired temperature.
So sizeable was Jenner’s modern home in the exclusive Hidden Hills gated community north of Los Angeles that Bullard created a specific room solely for her hundreds of designer bags (pictured below). The astounding collection includes some of the world’s rarest Hermès Birkin, all perched on custom-lacquered shelving surrounded by mirrored walls and ceiling. Jenner’s VIP dressing room has her most iconic outfits on permanent display in floating Lucite wardrobes; her shoes in stands of glass, suede and chrome.
“I wanted to go to the next level of fun and colour with this house,” Jenner says in Star Style. “A new expression of myself.”
As for the other Kardashian-Jenners, Bullard says “each definitely has a different signature”. But the one thing they do share is “a love of luxury and comfort very much instilled by their mum [Kris Jenner]”.
Kim Kardashian is now “very particular” about establishing her individual look, Bullard reveals, adding that is mainly because “the past few years her style was very much shaped around what [ex-husband] Kanye [West] wanted, which was a very stark, simple thing”.
“But Kourtney is the one that is truly passionate about design,” Bullard enthuses. “She’s a big collector who loves mid-century furniture. Kourtney loves really understanding the quality and provenance of things – she doesn’t want to just buy something because it looks good. She wants to buy it because it’s good design because of where it came from, because the design behind it is something she admires. She is very involved in her interior look and feel.
“Kris is more of a traditionalist, so she likes to mix old and new. She’s a shopper and likes to buy lots of things, so her homes are always very eclectic because of that”
Buy Star Style: Interiors of Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Here.