Design has been in Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s blood for as long as he can remember. “My mother says I used to draw houses on a chalkboard and add stick furniture to the inside of the rooms,” he says. “I realize now this must have been my decorator gene rearing its head.”

Fast-forward 40 years and that fledgling designer is now one of the world’s best known and most sought- after interiors experts, celebrated for his trailblazing designs for luxury resorts, high-end boutiques and lavish residential projects.

A star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators and a fixture on Architectural Digest’s AD100 list of top designers every year since 2005, Bullard and his works have been featured in countless magazines and 10 glossy coffee table books.

Born in England and now based in Los Angeles, Bullard boasts a client list that includes Cher, Tommy Hilfiger and Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, among others. His first book, Live, Love & Decorate, offers a window to his dramatic spaces and exacting eye for detail.

The star designer also has his own collection of indoor and outdoor fabrics, wallpaper, candles and home furnishings through MLB Design; indoor fabrics for Schumacher, a tile line with Ann Sacks; and a collection of rugs with The Rug Company.

While Bullard will tackle a design project in any setting, he especially loves the freedom of coastal homes. “Oceanfront homes always have a spirit that we rarely find in a city or inland town. The casual use of color and softer fabrics is so seductive and conjures up visions of romance and vacations,” he says.

“For me, design is always first and foremost about comfort. In a coastal home setting, comfort is not only the key to a successful space, but the ultimate moment of luxury.

“I love creating spaces with lounge-y sofas and amply scaled club chairs. The mixture of natural fibers, such as linen and cotton, offer a sense of easy living, while moments of bold color become jewel-like expressions in my designs.”

Bullard insists coastal colors are not limited to traditional blues and whites. “More exotic colors and hues are appearing everywhere,” he adds. “In my own collections designed for beach living, I’ll infuse indigo with saffron and burnt umber, and pale grays with emerald and ottoman red.”

His latest Nomad collection is a prime example. “Blending tropical patterns from the South Seas with Indonesian batiks and African kuba cloth can create a surprising yet harmonious coastal interior that works year round and enhances any architectural style,” he says.

“But the biggest color trend must always be your personal favorites. If you love olive green and eggplant, then decorate with them. Always make trends; never follow them.”

Image Credits: Photo courtesy of Martyn Lawrence Bullard Design .