When we heard that RuPaul Andre Charles had teamed up with Martyn Lawrence Bullard to redesign his home, we knew that we were in for a visual feast of color, extravagance, and opulence, and the final result far exceeded our exceptions. RuPaul, of course, is a revolutionary performer and a purveyor of glamor, while Martyn Lawrence Bullard is no stranger to modern eclecticism. In fact, it is what the celebrated designer does best.
When the Drag Race luminary and his husband, rancher Georges LeBar, acquired a Beverly Hills mansion in Los Angeles, they called on Bullard, to make it a home that truly reflected their penchant for maximalist decor.
Why Martyn Lawrence Bullard? A friend for nearly three decades, Bullard was the perfect choice for the couple. British-born, Los Angeles-based Martyn Lawrence Bullard is not only one of Hollywood’s favorite interior designers – much loved by the likes of the Jenner-Kardashians (Kim, Khloé, Kourtney, Kris, Kendall and Kylie), Grey’s Anatomy’s Ellen Pompeo, Cher, Tommy Hilfiger and Elton John – but a star in his own right with the Bravo TV series Million Dollar Decorators shown in more than 76 countries worldwide.
So while the entire house is a spectacle to marvel at, it is the exciting use of color combinations, with one color in particular, garnering much attention in the kitchen. Here's why this bold and vivacious color has stolen the spotlight for us...
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Draping his decorative talent over a grand but unadorned property built in the 1980s, Bullard transformed the kitchen into a Hollywood meets Regency-style fever dream, perfect for the high-spirited, larger-than-life personality of his client.
Working with architect Christopher Hatch McLean, Bullard recast the complexion of the kitchen by modifying any existing details that no longer served their purpose. But it is RuPaul's love for orange, believed to be his favorite color, that makes its presence known in this playful residence.
Nestled among a monochromatic kitchen, splashes of fiery orange, punctuate not only the kitchen but also the adjacent breakfast room to perfection.
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In the 1970s, orange was particularly popular for both flamboyant fashions as well as interiors. It was used in floor-to-ceiling schemes in bold geometrics and floral patterned designs and textures. While today burnt orange offers a more collaborative and perhaps less dominating presence, it does still share many of the same styling elements that were part of the 1970s look – especially when used as an accent color.
Vibrant and inviting, deep orange packs a decorative punch and is full of optimism and hope. Color will always look great when scaled and balanced correctly, which is why black-and-white is a wonderful canvas for loud colors.
Interior designer Emma Deterding, founder of Kelling Designs agrees: ‘For me, the home should be filled with bright colors and bold patterns as they add personality to a space. Orange shades are a great choice – they bring an uplifting feel during the day and can help create a cozy, relaxed atmosphere in the evening, showing how versatile this color is in a different light.'
However, if you are planning to decorate with orange in your home, you have to be brave and commit wholeheartedly. ‘Orange is a wonderfully optimistic color but it is not one for the cautious,’ says Helen Sanderson, creative director of Ian Sanderson.
Burnt orange has long added piquancy to cocktails and cuisine and now provides our homes, and RuPaul's, with a similarly exhilarating flavor.
In this lifestyle guide, RuPaul teaches you their tried-and-tested techniques to navigate through light and propel you from background player to shining star!
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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