by Marisa Marcantonio

Knowing the international man of glamour Martyn Lawrence-Bullard was headed to Venice in May for the Design Leadership Summit, the by invitation gathering of architects and designers, I tapped him as my eyes and ears, to cover every fun filled moment. He proved to be the perfect designer to capture the glam series of events, lectures, dinners and tours. Read on for the full Venice report....
Water taxi gondoliers at the ready
In transit with molto bags

Martyn and Steven Gambrel, the guys in grey

Martyn and Windsor Smith enjoy a boat ride to the islands

A Bernini sculpture against a perfect blue sky

A shot inside the Fortuny Museum

Stephen Drucker, now editor in chief of Town and Country, Kathryn M. Ireland and Windsor Smith

When Keith Granet , the branding wizard who puts designers and manufacturers together, called me to ask what I thought about the next design summit being in Venice I think I literally squealed with delight. "Of course you must do it in Venice , it's perfect" I announced, almost breathless with anticipation. Venice is one of my favorite places on this earth and the idea of spending time there amongst some of my favorite designer friends and partners in crime (namely the divine and delicious Kathryn Ireland and wickedly funny Windsor Smith) was just too exciting. The Design Leadership Conference itself is an extraordinary experience alone, the brainchild of the Design Investors team made up of Waterworks, Rose Tarlow Melrose House and Twill's Peter Sallick, their CEO Meg Touborg and Keith Granet, is an unbelievably valuable think tank that helps you keep your finger on the pulse of all things design. Covering business advice, operational trends, marketing and design awareness, the gathering is a truly inspiring show where industry legends get to meet and greet.

This year the Keynote address was given by Nicky Haslam , the legendary English decorator , gossip columnist, author and general bon vivant. Nicky was so funny , delightfully eccentric and gave the most personal lecture on his distinguished and colorful career. Another legend , Axel Vervoordt , dazzled us with his impact- filled spare designs and philosophy of less is more. He is one of the worlds most interesting designers whose taste has re- shaped design as we know it. We feel his influence in larger brands from the new Restoration hardware to Pottery Barn.

One evening, dinner was hosted by the new owners of the legendary Italian fabric house Fortuny. We had the great pleasure of visiting the Fortuny Museum and got to experience more of Axel's work in his curated exhibition of Fortuny fabrics along with a truly incredible exhibit he put together of Samari warriors armor. It can only be described as breathtaking! I'm sure your going to see many Samari - inspired fabric and furniture collections from designers in attendance....

Not only did we get to learn and become inspired during the daytime lectures at the conference and afternoon guided tours of the best sights the city has to offer , we, of course, got to play at night. My dearest friend Kathryn arranged the first evening. The rarest treat to include a private dinner cooked for us by a genuine Venetian Countess in her Grand Canal Palazzo which had been in her family for 500 years. A delicious experience for all the senses!! And after such a cultural delight we somehow found ourselves in the Bauer Hotel night club where we were over served local wines by the chic countess. We danced till the wee hours so needless to say there were a few late attendees at the first event the following morning!

Another memorable evening was arranged by our lovely New York friend and designer, the talented Steven Gambrel, who convinced his great friend Boris to hijack his dad, the unsuspecting Axel Vervoordt, to host a dinner for 12 of us in their palazzo. I have to say the glamour of that evening will go down in my memory forever. The palazzo itself, a 17th century pile, was decorated in Axel's inimitably chic style, showing a connoisseur's eye in the editing of all the objects and art. Fine Venetian antiques mix with Lucio Fontana art works, 18th century rock crystal chandeliers lit by only candles, and signature tight slip - covered linen sofas sat quietly on intricate terazzo floors. Once again after dinner we danced, but this time in Vervoordt's ballroom.

Yes , I can honestly tell you that great fun was had by all. You could not help but be inspired by the beauty of Venice. It always takes my breath away. The forums and advice you take away from the design conference is so very valuable, as is the quality time we all got to spend amongst our peers, forging new friendships and sometimes future partnerships. This whole adventure for me was very special. I met special people, including Suzzane Kassler, the most delicious person, and the beyond charming Stephen Drucker, the new editor of Town and Country, got to see great friends and bond with industry insiders. The conference location next year will have a lot to live up to, as Venice was an iconic and memorable spot, However, wherever you decide on guys, I will be there.


by Marisa Marcantonio

I have a soft spot for adorable dogs and how their personalities come across when a camera is present. Here is a round up of designer's dogs, showing how they love to sit on gorgeous upholstery and live the good life.

They love the ottoman, my mom's darling Westie's Lilly and Daisy, even with plenty of dog beds to choose from. Still, they prefer the ottoman.

Matthew White's new book, Italy of my Dreams, shows Holden sitting on his favorite 18th century Venetian chair. Thank you for the darling photo Frank.

Photo by Tim Street Porter
Peter Dunham's brood

Lucy, Bunny Williams canine cutie

Bunny LOVES her dogs and tries to select fabrics that are dog proof. She puts pretty quilts and throws over her sofas so the dogs are always welcome.

Noodles, Katie Leede's dog, sits daydreaming in a chair covered in Katie's bird fabric

Beth Greene from Kravet's Wheaton terrier Murphy ignoring the alarm clock

Patricia Shackelford aka Mrs. Blandings Rosie naps on the window seat

Tricky, approving the new rugs at Schuyler Samperton's. Her neighbor found him in the bushes of a Ralph's grocery store in the valley in LA, and she has had him since he was 4 months old.

Martyn Lawrence- Bullard's Diva on a custom bed in Madeline Weinrib fabric

Rufus, a mini labradoodle belonging to food writer Carolynn Carreño

Oakley a Norwich napping with his master James Anderson

Oakley and Dash, Steven Gambrel's Labradoodle, sharing the duvet

Grant Gibson's Westie's, Campbell and Wallace

Wallace snuggling on a Fortuny pillow

If your dog loves to do this too, send me snaps!


by Marisa Marcantonio

Vivid color, bold accessories and a dash of global glamour make the LA- based designer Martyn Lawrence- Bullard's interiors distinctly unique. This same verve comes across in his sophisticated, intensely colored fabric line. The latest additions have that "just back from Turkey, Italy and Greek Islands" feel and integrate well in many settings. The Kaba Kaba can cozy up a library and Majorelle's zig zag can transform a larger space into a graphic, scene- stealing moment. If you visit Hollywood at Home, check out the darling room dedicated to his textiles. It is amazing. They are available through Peter Dunham's Hollywood at Home in LA and Holly Hunt in NYC. Be on the lookout for Martyn's casbah - creating talent when he designs the entry tent for the LA Antique Show in May.

Marrakech in the original colorway (a favorite)

Marrakech in Playa

Marrakech in Grisail

Marrakech in Oasis

Kaba Kaba in Red

Kaba Kaba in yellow

Kaba Kaba in Blue

Majorelle in Original Colorway

Majorelle in Baltic

Majorelle in Azure


by Marisa Marcantonio

Hollywood at Home has a new home! Since 2007, the shop has led the way in California traditional design. Interior designer and Brit Peter Dunham came to LA in 1998, changing the design landscape with his eclectic mix and bohemian vibe. He recently moved his shop from Almont Yard to the bustling La Cienega antique shop row. His new shop oozes charm and livable design, with textiles from Lisa Fine, Carolina Irving, designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Jed Johnson Home and his own line, Peter Dunham Textiles. Furniture from his Hollywood at Home line is comfortable, well-designed and provides a sense of history in an interior. The final touches comes from well-edited antiques, vintage textiles, and accessories placed throughout shop--the home you never want to leave!

A red awning and door set an upbeat tone, welcoming visitors. Dunham red has become a trademark in his work, and it can be seen in the distance at 724 N. La Cienega Blvd.

Upon entering the space, you are transported to a casual chic environs, filled with antiques, chic finds and furniture and accessories of Dunham's own design. A large scale framed print by Peter Dunham for Natural Curiosities hangs to the right of the front desk.

The scene is set. White walls are the perfect backdrop for the printed fabrics.

Fabrics are hung on hooks that extend along the wall, showcasing the spectrum available in full lengths.

By creating a homey setting, shoppers are encouraged to hang out and scheme rooms. Natural light streaming in the windows makes for accurate color matching.

Hydrangeas in an antique vase sit in the center of the table stacked with vintage books and a Martyn Lawrence-Bullard exotic scented candle.

A 19th Century Hudson Table by Hollywood at Home is available in custom sizes and finishes with leaf extensions. Everywhere you turn, there is another great fabric to look at.

Amazingly, the numerous fabric collections all work together. Their bohemian style and rich colors go together well.

The Bobbin Chair, based on a 1910 Austrian chair, is made of hand-turned walnut and hand-woven rush, adds a rustic element to a room. Panels made of Martyn Lawrence Bullard's Majorelle fabric hang in the windows and a sofa is upholstered in his Moorish- inspired print, Marrakech. The rich Italian and ethnic colors and patterns look great en suite.

A bedroom set up in the large room is dominated by a 4 poster bed with bed hangings in Carolina Irving's Patmos stripe in Lake. Walls are upholstered in her Calico print in blue. A cozy seating area sits next to shelves with pillows.

A bedroom is not complete without a cozy reading chair. The Gibbs Chair, with a deep seat and tufting, is based on a late 19th century English model. It is on brass casters so it can easily be moved. Blown glass jugs have been made into gorgeous lamps by Dunham.

An antique 20th Century Tanzou lacquered chest holds photos and books, along with a mid-century turquoise crackle lamp on white bases, creating a lived- in home ambiance. A Hollywood at Home Moorish mirror in a black crackle finish hangs above it. The rush How to Marry a Millionaire Chair is a big success for H at H for its comfort and modernist lines.