Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard has been one of my personal favorite "characters" to get to know this season, with his sassy attitude, wit and some of his celebrity clients actually agreeing to appear on the show.
We've watched him do rooms for Sharon Osbourne, Daisy Fuentes, Jimmy Choo boss lady Tamara Mellon and Girl Gone Wild mastermind Joe Francis; he's also revamped a Hollywood hotspot in the desert and shopped for other important clients like Elton John and David Furnish. Heard of them? Yeah, it's big time.
I caught up with Bullard to get the scoop on tonight's Season 1 finale (airs July 19, 10PM ET on Bravo), to hear all about the one person from the show he doesn't get along with and to find out which of his A-list clients we might see in Season 2. Somewhere in there, we attempted to start a media feud between him and his new pal, 'Flipping Out' star Jeff Lewis.
I love the show and everyone on it, but you've been the standout. Have you been getting that a lot lately?
Yes, I have! It's been crazy. I'm here in New York to shoot one of the breakfast TV shows, and I have literally been stopped on the street constantly. I couldn't even get to my table at dinner last night without five people asking me to take pictures with them. It's crazy. [Laughs]
So I assume Andy Cohen and the Bravo execs are happy with how the show has done?
I think so, yes. You know, they had nothing like this in their stable at Bravo. Obviously they have the Jeff Lewis 'Flipping Out' show, but it's such a different ballgame from where we are with a multiple-cast show that's very high-end. So for Bravo it's kind of become a really great new product.
That's the biggest question watching your show. You all seem to be, for the most part, in the same league. Is Jeff Lewis in another league?
Yeah, it's a whole different ballgame. For instance, I don't look at any project with less than a million dollar budget. But I think if you watch the Jeff Lewis show, he tends to do things for maybe $100,000 or $200,000. It's a very different end of the marketplace.
I kind of want to start a feud between you and Jeff now ...
He'd love it actually! I just met Jeff for the first time -- I was doing a show house for Veranda Magazine last week, and he came to the gala night. He came to hang out in my room, and he's so lovely and he's a huge fan of the show. But it's so funny -- both of his girls that work with him on the show were like, "Ohmygod please can we leave Jeff and come and work for you instead?" [Laughs] Very cute.
You and Kathryn are good pals on the show. Is there anyone that you don't get along with?
Kathryn's been a great mate of mine for 15 years ... literally, we've been on vacations together, and she's the most hilarious person I know. Kathryn and I have a great relationship. Nathan has been a friend of all of ours for a long time. His shop used to be next door to my offices ... and actually very soon will be next to my offices again because we're kind of doing a joint thing together. You're the first to know about that! I only met Mary properly about a year ago, and we've become great mates. She is so funny. You know, her portrayal on the show makes her come off like a bit of a bitch. But if you know her, that's really her personality -- she's very funny. She's a riot.
Jeffrey and Ross ... I've known Jeffrey for a while, just from sort of around. Ross is fairly new to the scene. I don't really know them or socialize with them that much. Everybody's really pretty friendly ... but obviously with Ross in the first episode, he throws my fabric aside in some mad moment of drama. But that's silly because they've ordered that fabric, and that fabric actually won Best Fabric of the Year and I won Fabric Designer of the Year because of it last year, so ... when the rest of the world's tastemakers vote it number one and he, who no one's ever heard of, throws it to one side, I don't think that's really gonna bother me.
If there's a Season 2,will more of your celebrity clients be on board to appear on the show?
I have got some unbelievable things in my back pocket for Season 2. A huge world magnate who I'm doing a castle for in Italy, a major A-list celebrity who I'm doing a vast, extraordinary Tuscan-style villa for in Hollywood, an Oscar winner who I'm creating a trophy room for, for his unbelievable amount of awards. So I've got some pretty wild things in my back pocket.
I just want to see what Elton John and David Furnish did with that tray you got them on your shopping trip to London. Work on that!
[Laughs] That's a good idea!
What can you tease about tonight's finale?
The season finale is amazing for me, actually. There's quite a lot of drama for poor Kathryn, and for Jeffrey and even for Mary. High tension, high drama. But I'm very fortunate that I win the International Interior Designer of the Year, so we have a wonderful party where Kelly Osbourne's my date, and all sorts of fabulous celebrities come out. It's really an extraordinary achievement to my career, and we were so lucky that happened while we were filming. And the mayor in Los Angeles created that day as the official Martyn Lawrence Bullard Day. So now for the rest of my life, I have my own day! [Laughs] Though all I think it means is I can park for free anywhere in Hollywood on that day. [Laughs]