10/05/2011 08:49 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Martyn Lawrence-Bullard On Life As A Million Dollar Decorator, Ellen Pompeo's House (PHOTOS)

By now Bravo has made Martyn Lawrence-Bullard a recognized face, and name, in the world of interior design and beyond through its reality TV series Million Dollar Decorators. Martyn is one of five star decorators on the show, and is charged with different decorating challenges for high-powered clients in each episode.

We've had an eye on Martyn's stellar design work for awhile now, even before the show aired. And with his newly released book, "Live, Love, and Decorate" (Rizzoli, $50), we decided to see what else is going on with Martyn outside of million dollar decorating projects. Scroll down to see our chat with Martyn about reality TV, one of our favorite homes he designed for an actress, and more.

How has it been adding Million Dollar Decorator to your list of accomplishments?
It's been a very interesting thing to do reality TV. It certainly has opened up a lot of new and different people to my work and has brought interest to me from around the world. It was a lot of hard work and sometimes I wasn't portrayed the way I wanted to be. But, of course, that's all in the edit!

What's been your favorite moment so far?
My favorite moment in my career has been all the wonderful product design I've had the great fortune to be involved with. The fabric collections for both myself and Schumacher. The candles, furniture, fine flooring, rugs for the Rug Company and my eco-cleaning products.

We loved the home you designed for actress Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy), did you have a favorite room when you were decorating the house?
Ellen's house is a magnificent Mediterranean villa that has splendid architectural rooms. My favorite has to be the living room because of the 16-feet-high windows and beautiful vaulted ceilings that I kept very simply decorated to let the architecture shine through.

Scroll down to continue reading the Q&A. All images of Ellen's home courtesy of Elle Decor.


We also love that you met Ellen and her husband when you went to a Christian Dior fashion show. What did you say to strike up conversation with her?
I actually didn't know who Ellen was when I met her. It took me a while to recognize her by which time we were in full conversation over the rather beautiful Dior outfit she was wearing.

Have you been back to Ellen's house since?
I go to Ellen's house pretty frequently actually as she has become a dear friend and is currently my neighbor. We often will have dinner together and I get to play with her gorgeous daughter. We are also in the throes of decorating a new home for her that will be finished very soon.

You can definitely do million dollar decorating...but what was the lowest budget you've worked with?
I can work with any budget. Decorating isn't about the amount of money you spend, it is about the creativity of a project. I can decorate on a dime if I feel inspired by what I see and find.

What's next on your to-do list?
I have projects around the world including a castle in Umbria, a hotel in Jakarta, villas in Malibu and many wonderful projects on both the east and west coasts. I am continuing to enlarge my product collections and expand out into more fields including ceramic and concrete tile collections, bedding and jewelry. I love product and find it a truly fun way to express my creativity.