Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Live, Love & Decorate with Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Last Tuesday, the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, ADAC, had a very special guest speaker. For those of you that watched Million Dollar Decorator last summer, you would have immediately recognized Martyn Lawrence Bullard, MLB.

MLB on the right

MLB has a new fabric line for F. Schumacher and was at ADAC to talk about the launch of this new line and his new book Live, Love and Decorate.

Martyn was joined on the panel, in the ADAC seminar room, by Clinton Smith, the editor of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle Magazine, and Susan North who is the creative director of F. Schumacher.

Clinton Smith on the left and Susan North on the right

The presentation room was standing room only as the designers turned out to hear the  "designer to the celebrities." Martyn said his inspiration for the fabric collection came from his travels. His father was an opera singer and the family traveled with him. MLB was inspired by the varied colors, food, music and smells of the exotic places he went.  He attended the Royal Academy of Arts in London. While there, he spent time prowling the stalls at the Greenwich Antiques Market in south London for unique items and then resaleing them. He also did a turn on the catwalk as a runway model. After saving up enough money, he headed to Hollywood to become a "star." He got a role in a movie and became friends with the producer, who after seeing Martyn's rental house, asked him to help him with his offices. From there he got a job with Liz Heller decorating her office and home. He was seated next to Cheryl Tiegs at Liz's wedding and she asked him to help her with  her new home a 1950's bungalow. A star was born, but not exactly the star he had planned, from that point on he never looked back!

Cheyl Tiegs
He went on to design for celebrities such as Cher, Elton John , Eva Mendez, Ozzie and Sharon Osbourne. Keenan Ivory Wayans and Kid Rock to name a few.

Elton John


Ozzie & Sharon Osbourne

Ozzie & Sharon Osbourne

Kid Rock

When asked about how he began to design a new fabric line, MLB said he always starts with a signature piece and then adds the supporting cast. He pulls from many cultures. The tree of life is from India. The ikats are from Pakastain and greek key from Greece.

The tree of life is the signature piece.

Adras Ikat


the collection

In this line he had a beautiful paisley that was inspired from antique shawls. He wanted an aged feeling to the line. He desire to give an old classic a new fresh look. This fabric is very versitle in that it can be used by cutting the borders off for beautiful drapery banding and then using the center for pillows.

center of paisley

One of the questions Clinton Smith asked MLB was "What were some of the challenges in designing the fabric line? He replied that the big challenge was the way they tried to make it layer together without it being an exact match. Because it wasn't matchy matchy, it had more interest. He wanted a lot of color in the collection, but as it developed he also included a more neutral group of taupes and grays.

Both MLB and Schumacher had the same point of view for the collection. To take something rooted in the past and see it with new eyes. A desire to explore it with a modern interpretation.

Martyn has new products coming out from tile, flooring and lighting to a line of eco friendly cleaning products. He wants to associate himself with eco friendly products. He discussed this in an article with the Buzz:

I believe the use of natural fibers such as linen, cotton, and raw silk always lends itself to a tasteful interior. It’s also eco-friendly, which is of great importance to me now. My project with Keenan Wayans is a huge learning curve for me. It is imperative for the planet that we all start to think in an eco friendly and sustainable manor. Reclaimed materials, local products, energy saving appliances and solar panel heating are major elements in this movement…and of course the use of antiques is ultimately the greenest.
You can read the interview here:

He has been asked to do many endoresements and will be the new face of Jaquar. He also was asked to be the new face for "men's Spanxs," but he turned that one down!

After the program, Schumacher welcomed the design community to their showroom for a champagne reception, to view the new line and  book signing for Martyn's book. I was able to get him to sign a copy for me and also to chat with him. He has the most beautiful english accent! Quite elegant!

 Martyn's philosophy is "In anything you do in life, don't do it unless you are going to do it 100%." And he certainly has!

Source: ADAC, Schumacher and Live, Love and Decorate.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Debbie Jacobs Designs....the House of the Future

IFDA's "Vision for the Future" is a survey by the International Furnishings and Design Associate. It was published in a recent *trade magazine. The survey found the following:

Americans will be living in smaller spaces with fewer rooms by the year 2020 according to 70% of the members surveyed.




(Let's hope not this small!)

Formal Living Rooms are going extinct, according to 64%


Enchanted Home Blog

71% Doubt that there will be a separate formal dining room in most homes by 2020.

Alexa Hampton

Cathy Kincad

Enchanted Home Blog

Ralph Lauren

Separate rooms are disappearing; they are blending into spaces that serve many different purposes.


Home Bunch


Eat-in Kitchens will replace dining rooms say more than half, and nearly 65% believe future kitchens will grow larger.

Home Bunch

Home Bunch

Shannon Bowers

The Master Suite will stay about the same size, say about 52.2% but it will share space with home office, media center and exercise room.

Home Bunch



More than three quarters say a home office is a given, and 37.3% see more than one!



36.2% Think outdoor living spaces will expand.

Home Bunch

Enchanted Home Blog

Home Bunch

Home Bunch

Enchanted Home Blog

What changes do you think will take place in the Home of the Future?

I want to put in a good word for fabulous SouthernFlorals. If sending flowers to someone is in your future, be sure to call on Lucy & Sharon. Here is a beautiful European Garden that the two sent me on my birthday this year.

 You can't go wrong with Southern Florals from small arrangements to weddings. They are the go to place for all your floral needs!

*gifts and decorative accessories

Friday, October 7, 2011

Kitchen Design Tour welcomes Fall in Highlands

Fall had most definitely arrived in Highlands, North Carolina on Saturday, September 24th. We headed out early to travel up the curvy roads into North Carolina for the First Kitchen Tour sponsored by the Laurel Garden Club of Highlands. After having a relaxing lunch in the Wine Garden (outside) at the Old Edwards Inn, we were ready to begin.

The first part of our tour were three cottages that formed a family compound. They were very close together and housed so many beautiful things! Unfortunately we were asked not to take pictures inside of the homes, but nothing could compare to the outside views and the homeowners had created beautiful outside areas for us to enjoy. The owner of the first cottage was present and she was just a delight to talk to about the three cottages and her family. You could tell these homes were well loved!

Since this was the first year they had done the Kitchen Tour, you would expect some mishaps or things not to run smoothly. That was not the case.  From the personally driven cars that took us to each home, to our goodie bags we received with our ticket purchase,the committee did an excellent job of keeping everything moving along. They even offered shaded areas to stop and have a glass of lemon flavored water. This garden was the perfect place to pause!

We were not supposed to take inside pictures, but the hostess let me snap this simple fall arrangement. How easy to make, but quite an eye pleaser!

The committee used these kitchen inspired signs to show the way to each home on the tour.

There were beautiful blooming flowers everywhere you looked, from window boxes to
elegant cutting gardens.

This is the exterior of the fourth home and it was here that author, Pat Conroy was signing copies of his new book. The Pat Conroy Cookbook Recipes and Stories of My Life.

I just love this unusual pattern on the gate at this home. They were cooking up lots of good things for us to nibble on here.

The committee members had begged, threatened or whatever it took to rope some of their husbands into being drivers for the tour. They were quite the characters from being highly entertaining with their good sense of humor, to telling us history of how the Highlands  area was founded. This home was in a private gated area and we got a little side tour to see some very breath taking views along with our history lesson.

On the drive to the last house we got an "insider tip" to step off the main walk and take a secluded path that led us to this pond and gazebo area.

At the last house on our tour we had another culinary treat from Sheri Castle who gave us samples of her recipes  and signed our copies of her new cookbook, the New Southern Garden CookbookThe big fella  peering in the window was so jealous of all the goodies we were getting to enjoy!

We ended up our days adventure on the bistro patio at the Main Street Inn relaxing at their outside tables with a beverage. As the sun was going down we had fun people watching and enjoying the laid back pace of Highlands. It is easy to see why so many
enjoy this beautiful mountain getaway town.