In Australia, we're all over the outdoor room and how to make it work hard for year-round entertaining. It doesn't escape us to know that the rest of the world envies us our lifestyle. More constructive perhaps, is when they get on board with us to take things up a notch. In a recent cross-continental collaboration, one of the world's top 100 interior designers* has done just that.
It's not the first interior designer crush we've had on Martyn Lawrence Bullard. After taking a tour of The Sands Hotel & Spa in Indian Wells, California and the unveiling of Kylie Jenner's home in Hidden Hills - both of which he designed the interiors for -we were left wanting more. Our dreams have been answered.
In his latest collaboration, LA-based Martyn Lawrence Bullard (MLB) has found his way firmly into the hearts - and homes - of Australians with a stunning range of furniture in collaboration with Australian high-end furniture brand Harbour 1976.
With over 40 years experience and their collections popping up in top hotels, resorts and residential properties around the world, Harbour 1976 is no slouch in furniture design and it's this passion, together with the, "wonderfully engineered quality," of their furniture that lured MLB to the collaboration. Pooling their resources, founding family brothers Nicholas and Harrison Condos head up the design and production for Harbour 1976 and the eight-piece bespoke outdoor range shows a fine appreciation for the Australian way of life - with plenty of luxe details.
MLB says the first thing he wanted to bring to the range was, "Deep lounge chairs that look more like interior chairs you would see in a living room than a garden."
"For me, a mismatched pair of lounge chairs add that flair and provide real style to an outdoor experience."Martyn Lawrence Bullard
It's all about the very best outdoor experience - seating and tables for both dining and lounge are included in the MLB range, along with the newest must-have for pool owners - sun lounges.
The collection features new premium Harbour materials including chipped marble, travertine, Olefin fabric as well as Harbour's signature Indonesian A-Grade teak in natural and charcoal finishes.
We chatted to MLB about the inspiration behind the range, his approach to the design and his idea of the ultimate outdoor room.
How different is decorating an outdoor room to an interior space?
"I actually think an outdoor space should be looked at the same way you do an indoor space. I don’t think you should buy a matched set of furniture, that’s the expected and almost old fashioned way of designing your patio. I think it should be curated, using different pieces, for instance, a pair of teak armchairs that have a different shape to your sofa and even different colour cushions. A stone topped coffee table that’s more unexpected than the usual matching wood piece and side tables that are different again, vintage finds or in the case of my Harbour 1976 outdoor collection — natural wood stumps."
" I want to make the garden as design eclectic and interesting as a room you design in your house."Martyn Lawrence Bullard
We LOVE the idea of chipped marble! How did you go about choosing our materials?
"I choose materials that have texture. I believe texture creates the most interest in a setting, and in the case of my collection I have chosen honed marble with a chipped edge effect to create natural textural interest, and travertine which has a beautiful texture of its own that is indigenous to the stone."
How did you go about honouring Harbour’s history as a brand, while also creating your own designs?
"Harbour has a history of great quality and that is what attracted them to me to begin with. Simple yet stylish lines with an eye on comfort and easy living are their hallmarks and fall into exactly my own design ethos. I have added to their look with a more mid-century vibe, pieces that feel a little more eclectic, yet vibe well with their collections as either add-ons or conversation-based pieces. I honour the brand and hopefully have added to their easy living with high style brand integrity.
"I have added an extra layer of comfort with deeper scale and plushness, which is very important to me."Martyn Lawrence Bullard
Your favourite ever outdoor space?
"I have so many favourite outdoor spaces it would be hard to pin one down. From the rambling gardens of the Mamounia hotel in Marrakesh to the cushion filled terrace of The Villa TreVille in Positano, I love romantic spaces that ooze comfort and an invitation to lounge. A favourite is more about a mood, a feeling one gets in a place, and as I’m only human my moods change and so do my favourites. But comfort is always king and rules the final decision!"
You’ve designed interiors for several celebrities and A-list clients. How different is decorating a city townhouse or suburban home to a private commission?
"I undertake all my projects with the same passion and goal of making sure my clients homes, wherever they may be, and whoever they may be, are a window into their decorative souls and a personal sanctuary that’s completely customised to each individuals' passions and sense of place."
"Design is not about who you are or where you live, it’s about emotion and personal space."Martyn Lawrence Bullard
"In the end, each and every one of us wants our homes to be our special sanctuary where modern luxury equals unrivalled comfort both mentally and physically," says MLB.
*Named by Architectural Digest
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