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My Palm Springs: Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s client list reads like a who’s who of celebrities, legends, and starlets (Cher, Ellen Pompeo, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Tommy Hilfiger, various Jenner/Kardashians). His notable work in both the residential and commercial realms have made him one of the most sought-after designers in existence and also one of most acclaimed; he is a perennial member of Architectural Digest’s world’s top 100 interior designers and permanently on Elle Décor’s A-List.

Photo by Lu Tapp

Not surprisingly, his work has taken him all over the world—international designs include the Chateau Gutsch Hotel in Switzerland, and current residential and hotel projects in Istanbul and Ireland, not to mention the opening of his first showroom on L.A.’s Melrose Avenue. Yet, whenever possible, Bullard returns to Palm Springs, and the city he calls, “My sanctuary. It helps recharge both my battery and creative juices,” he says. “The energy of the city has a vibrant allure. The soothing mountain scape mingled with the desert air is intoxicating. Then you have the architecture, from early ‘20s Mediterranean and Moorish fantasies to mid-century iconic architecturals, it is a blend of great style and decades of glamour. From the legendary watering holes to the best vintage shopping, the city both inspires me and has certainly added color to my recent interiors worldwide.”

That is certainly true of his own Palm Springs home in the “iconic Movie Colony area of old Palm Springs that was “once the hub of Hollywood elites’ enclaves and has been revived as one of the hottest neighborhoods in the area,” he says. Built in 1963 by Hollywood set designer James McNaughton and reportedly once owned by both Hugh Hefner and James Bond’s Roger Moore, “The home has such a dramatic flair, with its colorful history, the grand, fanciful architecture, and its capture of light and views,” he says. “I designed the interior to be bold Palm Springs-inspired spaces with mid-century furniture by all the known masters and artists along with color pops guided by modern and contemporary art.”

Coldwell Banker Global Luxury caught up with Bullard as he prepared for his Keynote Presentation during Palm Springs Modernism Week on Saturday, Feb. 17 to get some insight into his presentation and a peek into the places and things that drive his love for Palm Springs. “This year, I will talk about the influence on style and design that Palm Springs has had on the world,” he says. “I will show my own work that has been inspired by the city as well as product and lifestyle choices that have been inspired and created from this movement. I find the city just keeps getting better, with new energy infusions, from fine dining to world-class vintage shopping. It also keeps surprising me with amazing discoveries of fantastical houses and treasures. The infusion of young Hollywood homeowners has also added to the vibrancy and decadence of the city.”

Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s Palm Springs 1963 hideaway. Photo by Tim Street Porter.

Johannes — 196 S Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262

One of my favorite restaurants is Johannes. It’s not new on the scene, but it has, without a doubt, the best and most consistent food. The specialty of the house is schnitzel, and it takes up an entire side of the menu. It might not be the first thought when weighing what to eat in Palm Springs, but, once you taste it…

My personal favorite is the lemon caper chicken schnitzel. It’s addictive.

Toucans Tiki Lounge — 2100 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262 

The tiki lounge is a wonderful, old-school bar, infused with masses of kitsch style expertly executed to give you that true Palm Springs experience, with delicious cocktails and locally invented house concoctions.

Truss & Twine — 800 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite F, Palm Springs, CA 92262 

Palm Springs’ latest wine bar is a venue that is both curated and stylish. It’s casual but with a sophisticated selection of both California and international wines and beers.

Seymour’s — 233 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264

This well-kept (until now), secret late-night watering hole is located at the back of Mr. Lyons Steakhouse. I love the old school, ‘rat pack’ vibe of the place and the unexpected mix of patrons that frequent the bar, from taste-making locals to international celebrities. It’s the place to see and be seen, in the most discrete way!

Cheeky’s — 622 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262

This is my favorite breakfast spot and coffeehouse, serving delicious and unusual culinary delights paired with gourmet coffees, home-brewed cold brews, and organic teas.

Palm Canyon Drive — Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA

My favorite place to hang out is really poolside at my own home or in my screening room, cuddled up with my dog, Daisy, and watching movies (my favorite pastime). However, I love to vintage shop and the stores that line Palm Canyon in old Palm Springs offer a great selection of cool vintage and antique finds. It’s my Saturday hangout spot to wander the street and shop my favorite stores.

Sands Hotel and Spa — 75188 US Highway 111, Indian Wells, CA 92210

My just-completed project, The Sands Hotel and Spa in Indian Wells, is, of course, my current favorite hotel in the area. A Moroccan ‘I Dream of Jeannie,’ mid-century vibe mixed with lush landscaping and an exclusive spa makes the desert-rose-colored hotel a new luxury standard for the area. Fine food and high design make for the perfect desert experience.

Trina Turk / Mr. Turk Boutique — 891 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262

The Trina Turk and Mr. Turk Boutique on Palm Canyon is my go-to Palm Springs style shop for updated, retro-inspired fashions in the most festive array of colors and designs, mixed with cool home accessories, great books, sexy sun shades, and irresistible pool floats. It’s everything you need for that ‘Palm Springs’ look in a one-stop-shop location.




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My Palm Springs: Martyn Lawrence Bullard

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