It’s possible Martyn Lawrence Bullard spends as many days of the calendar year traveling outside of his storied West Hollywood home as he does dwelling within it. It’s all in the name of research for the AD100 designer, who finds most of the inspiration for his interior projects and product launches—all 12 and counting of them—in faraway locales. His latest debut of six exclusive fabric designs for The Shade Store, launching this week, is no different.
But this latest project did have one hiccup: Pandemic lockdowns crossed out all plans of travel, leaving Bullard having to develop the collection not only on domestic soil, but quite literally from inside his own home. Conveniently, Bullard tells AD PRO, “the great thing about travel is that the memories stay with you forever, so they’re always a constant source of inspiration for me.”
Past trips to Northern Africa, along with gathered souvenirs, lent artistic insight to several of the new designs. The Nomad Stripe, for instance, draws its striped pattern from the hand carvings seen on African wood shields, while handwoven Moroccan textiles, masterfully warped and wefted to form a basketweave texture, influenced the Tangier Weave fabric.
The pandemic’s resurgence of craft and an appreciation of time-spent hobbies made an impression as well. “During that period, we got to take a breath and look back on things that have more time and thought put into them rather than the rush of everyday life,” Bullard says.
Shifting that perspective to today’s mainstream fabric and furniture industries, he continues, “it’s all done in a rushed manner because people want things immediately. But for me, I wanted our product to look like time has been spent, that we’ve put a lot of time and experience and love and passion into creating these things that have these beautiful textures.”