From RuPaul to Kylie Jenner, This Expert Welcomes Stars HomeWords by Martyn Lawrence Bullard
My journey has been what I can only call the Hollywood dream, having been founded, created, and allowed to flourish in Los Angeles.
From a flailing acting career to the world of high design, my life has been filled with the magic of an array of clients who have inspired me and allowed me to create for them, and with them, beautiful homes, spaces, hotels, restaurants, yachts, planes, and a kaleidoscopic range of products. I would be nowhere without my clients. I am eternally grateful for their trust in allowing me to create their personal sanctuaries.
I have called this book Star Style because it not only shows the homes of some of the world’s most talented and recognizable names I have had the greatest pleasure to work with, but also highlights how my decorating is devised to show the clients’ personalities—their own style, in fact—and not just my tastes and decorating tricks. I believe each and every home I design, whoever it may be for, is designed exclusively for them and about them, capturing their spirit and decorative soul, and creating spaces that wrap them in the comfort and safety of well-being.
RuPaul’s Personal Palace
His home, a vast mansion in Beverly Hills, has been carefully transformed into his main stage. This Hollywood Regency–inspired villa has a staircase so glamorous it would make Florenz Ziegfeld weep, a ballroom fit to rival any Studio 54 moment you could imagine, a primary bedroom that lives out all of design diva Dorothy Draper’s directives—and a spectacular array of closets housing outfits, accessories, hats, and wigs collected over a forty-year career on stage and screen.
Kylie Jenner’s Empire Estate
The first order of the design was to personalize the spaces in a way that related to the young, vibrant energy of Kylie herself, but also subtly incorporated her brand into the mix. I had leather custom-dyed to upholster her dining chairs in graduated shades of pink that matched the tones of lipsticks in her cosmetic lip kits. Bronze consoles were sculpted to look like giant molten drips of gold, again a nod to the packaging of her products.
Kourtney Kardashian’s Mid-Century Museum
Kourtney had worked with a couple of designers on previous homes, but this time she wanted to really upgrade her style, reflecting her lifestyle now as not only a reality TV star but a mature businesswoman and dedicated mother. Comfort, as always, was vital for her and the family, and a love of mid-century furniture and contemporary art was to be encouraged and incorporated. Important pieces were brought together from auctions, galleries, and dealers around the world, and worked into the design in a sophisticated way so that they all could breathe and sparkle.
Tommy and Dee Hilfiger’s Coastal Chateau
Paying homage to the home’s Mediterranean architecture and its location—it sits in a beautiful intercoastal area, surrounded by palm trees and bougainvillea—I decided to use lots of wicker and rattan that felt very Palm Beach and helped relax the building’s coral-stone colonnades. I teamed white linen upholstery with sheer drapery from my Shade Store collections as the body of the design choices, and mixed in touches of Moroccan and Syrian furniture, adding their special sex appeal to the spaces along with vintage pottery and signature contemporary art to keep it fresh and modern.
Winnie Harlow’s Restful Refuge
With such an “on the go” lifestyle, Winnie’s home has to be her sanctuary, a place for her to rejuvenate and regenerate. This house—her first, in fact—is a charming residence, perfectly scaled for her to entertain in as well as giving her personal space. An open-plan kitchen flowing into the family room has become the heartbeat of the house, with a TV lounging area, bar, and kitchen island that oftentimes doubles as a glam area. Even though we created a dedicated glam room, Winnie loves being at the center of the action, with her infectious laughter and joyous spirit.
Ellen Pompeo’s Seaside Sanctuary
We have become very close over the decade or so that we have been working together on her homes, the latest of which is this rather magically positioned beach house that Ellen, her husband Chris, and their three children call their weekend sanctuary. Situated on a Malibu bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and a tantalizingly romantic beach, the house is an architecturally important structure by famed LA Modernist architects Buff & Hensman. It boasts all the must-have features of a mid-century home, beloved the world over as the signature of the Californian lifestyle.