Juan Montoya and Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Design Boston 2011 wrapped up last week at the Boston Design Center and in my previous post I shared wisdom from Candice Olson.  As promised, I wanted to share a little something from the other two Design Super Stars who also spoke; Juan Montoya and Martyn Lawrence Bullard. I will start with Juan Montoya. I can not believe I had actually never heard of him. I learned he is one of the most acclaimed Designers in the world and a true Icon. He shared images from a few of his recent projects as well as introduce his new furniture line for Century Furniture.


Juan Montoya


Based on his talk, he seems to design for gazillionaires. He showed slide after slide of jaw dropping  incredible homes. Many of his interiors have “not your average design elements” such as a “morning kitchen” off the master bedroom suite or sterling silver used as a design feature on the back of a door.


I do love the beautiful leather tiles on the wall in this library.


Don’t you just  love the hits of turquoise and red in this beautifully designed room below.




Martyn Lawrence Bullard was equally as fascinating. He is one of the stars of Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators. Although I have heard about the show,  we do not get Bravo so I unfortunately, I have never seen it. He told some great stories about his life, his travels, and his famous clients.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard


Bullard came to Los Angles from England not be a designer but to be an actor. It was a chance encounter with actress Cheryl Tiegs  at a wedding that launched his entire design career. To this day he credits her for every single job he has done. Recently Bullard  has partnered with Schumacher to design the most beautiful fabrics. The colors and patterns are incredible and many of the fabrics are hand embroidered in India and China. The price point is somewhat high ($98-$200+ a yard) but they really are exquisite.







This blue and white fabric below is one of the hand embroidered ones. Just Imagine the time and labor that goes into creating this.


Check out the combination of colors in this fabric below.



Bullard’s client list reads like a Who’s Who of major Hollywood stars so it’s no surprise to see such a bold use of colour and pattern.  Strong schemes for strong personalities. For the rest of us…we can still dream…and use the fabric.


As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on Juan Montoya, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, or the new fabric for Schumacher.


















Wisdom From Candice Olson

Every October the Boston Design Center hosts a wonderful event called Design Boston. It is 3 days jammed packed with back to back seminars, new product introductions, color forecasts, trends, and always a few Design celebrities. This year the organizers out did themselves and I had the thrill of attending talks by Juan Montoya, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, and the rock star (judging by the long lines to enter)  everyone came to see, Candice Olson.

Candice Olson

To answer the question everyone asked, yes…she is tall… 6’2″ to be exact (plus she was wearing heals). In person, she is JUST like she comes across on TV. She is funny, down to earth and very gracious. She showed lots of her interiors and told a few funny stories of getting started in the business. The big take away lesson is to treat every client the same no matter what their budget. Candice shared that she just signed the biggest contract of her career which came from a referral from one of her very first clients who had close to a zero budget for a kitchen redo. Candice ended up painting their kitchen cabinets herself , doing a little staging and the clients were thrilled. Today those same clients own 3 different homes all over the world and she has designed every one of them.

Candice said the most important element in all her room designs is lighting. In her words, she “hates, hates, hates, hates, hates, the single light fixture in the center of ceiling that all builders put into rooms.” When she designs, she focuses on lighting objects and things, not spaces. She likes scrims of lights running down drapery fabric, spot lights on tablescapes, hanging pendants above conversation areas, and scones on the wall. She stressed that without thoughtful lighting, rooms just don’t come to life and said that all her room lighting plans look like Swiss cheese.

Master bedroom by Candice Olson


Just look at all this different lighting in this master bedroom above; or in this basement make over below.


basement by Candice Olson

I have to laugh because in my own home most of the rooms don’t even have the center ceiling light. I always assumed our builder was too cheap to install lights but maybe he was just waiting for Candice :).

Lastly, I also give Candice extra props for patiently standing for several hours while all her fans took photos with her….somewhat embarrassed to admit…myself included.

I also have some great things to share from both Juan Montoya and Bravo TV star Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Stay tuned for post two later this week.

In the meantime, If you would like some help with choosing the right Color, Redesign or Staging, give me a call.

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