A few weeks ago when I visited Palm Springs we spent our first night at The Colony Palms which is a beautiful old Spanish style hotel with a storied history. In the 1930s the property was owned by an alleged member of the mob and was equipped with a basement casino, a speakeasy and a brothel! It was Hollywood’s golden area the hotel, called The Colonial House back then, was a glamorous retreat frequented by legendary stars like Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Carol Lombard and many more. Over the next several decades the hotel changed hands a few times before reopening in 2007 after a 3-year $16million renovation which included stunning interiors designed by “million dollar decorator” Martyn Lawrence Bullard. The decor infuses Moroccan, Spanish and Mediterranean influences with classic colonial style, old Hollywood glamour and a touch of the exotic. The property is lush with palm trees, fountains and beautiful gardens which create a laid back and sophisticated ambiance. Here is a peek at some photos I shot during my stay…
This is the elegantly appointed lobby that greets you when you check in. I loved the presence of the framed suzani on the wall behind the desk which creates a beautiful focal point. Framing delicate antique textiles is a great trick for allowing you to beautifully showcase them while still keeping them in tact.
Framed black and white photography with fashion and old Hollywood imagery adorn the walls. There are also more suzanis everywhere…
I loved the addition of subtle contrast welting, nailheads and fringe detail on the plush velvet sofas in the lobby. I always say that good design is in the details!
All throughout the property you’ll find beautiful old Spanish tiles like this covering the floors…
This is the hotel’s amazing restaurant, The Purple Palm, which is situated right by the pool. The food is Mediterranean inspired and totally amazing. Our dinner there the night we checked in was one of the best meals we had in Palm Springs and the next morning we had the most incredible breakfast ever.
We stayed in a standard guest room with two double beds and the decor was simple but lovely. The beds were incredibly comfortable and I loved the suzani covered headboard which provided an energizing splash of color.
Here’s a view of one of the hotel’s courtyards overlooking the pool and The Purple Palm…
And the chic pool surrounded by wrought iron lounge chairs with rust colored cushions which play well off the colors in the terracotta roof tiles and the natural elements…
And finally, a shot of the property just after sunset. For more information on The Colony Palms click here.
Photos by Nicole Gibbons
Interior design by Martyn Lawrence Bullard
Curious to know just what goes on behind the doors of some of the most venerable interior design firms in Hollywood? Soon you’ll be able to get a glimpse when a new television series called Million Dollar Decorators hits bravo. The show is currently in development and will star A-list designers Mary McDonald, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Nathan Turner, Kathryn Ireland, and the design duo of Jeffrey Alan Marks & Ross Cassidy. You’ll be able to follow the designers who will give a sneak peek into their lives and a taste of what it’s like to navigate the world of high-end design while working with demanding VIP clients to complete multi-million dollar design projects. I’m sure there will be plenty of design drama and expect to see a sprinkling of celebrity here and there as this roster of uber designers all have some of Hollywood top names as clients. Million Dollar Decorators will air sometime next year & I’ll keep you posted when I get the full deets!
Another high-design series set to hit television is a new HGTV show tentatively titled Designing Women which will chronicle the fast-paced design projects and glamorous lives of New York based interior designer Amy Lau, Toronto based Dee Dee Taylor Hannah and LA based Lori Dennis. From what I hear this show will delve a bit deeper into life at home and the social lives these three designing women.
I’m super psyched about these two shows and definitely plan to tune-in…will you be watching too? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I’m a big fan of designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard
. I’ve blogged about his work before
and was actually in the midst of compiling images to write up a more detailed post on Lawrence-Bullard and his work. Then yesterday I stumbled upon the latest Style Compass article
on 1st Dibs which features 13 pages all about..you guessed it…Martyn Lawrence-Bullard! What I love about Lawrence- Bullard is that he’s fearless in mixing up different styles, periods, prints, patterns and colors…and the result is always brilliant. Bullard also has a penchant for ethnic printed textiles and furnishings which I love too! Below are some beautiful photos of his work and for more info on Martyn Lawrence-Bullard click here
to read his Style Compass profile on 1st Dibs.
Top photo and this one are of the master bedroom in Jimmy Choo CEO Tamara Mellon’s London home. That Syrian chest is incredible and I love her custom embroidered bedding.
This bedroom was designed for Mellon’s young daughter. Photos: Simon Upton for Elle Decor, Dec ’06.
In the master bedroom of Hollywood talent agent Nick Styne, Lawrence-Bullard covered the walls in a paisley printed batik fabric which is a fabulous backdrop behind the custom faux bamboo bed. Photo: Tim Street-Porter for Elle Decor, December ’05.
This is the gorgeous master bedroom in fashion designer Rachel Roy’s former LA home.
This is the home’s dining room…
And this is its living room. There are lots of Moroccan and Indian influences in the home’s design. The textiles used are absolutely beautiful and details such as the hand stenciled Moroccan motifs on the walls really stand out here. See more of this home here. Photos: Tim Street-Porter for InStyle Home, Spring ’05.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE fashion designer Rachel Roy! I recently read that she and her hip hop hubby Damon Dash sold their 7,000 square foot Beverly Hills home which was profiled in the Spring 2005 issue of InStyle Home. The house defines the phrase bohemian elegance and it’s not surprising that such a fashionable woman would have such a fabulous home. I absolutely love the decor.
The Spanish style house was decorated by Martyn Lawrence-Bullard who has designed homes for a bevy of celebs and trend-setters including Christina Aguilera, Edward Norton, Rebecca Romijn and Jimmy Choo CEO Tamara Mellon.
The Roy/Dash home featured a stylish Moroccan theme. The couple wanted a place where they could lounge and entertain so the living areas are filled with deep plush sofas, armchairs and daybeds. As you’ll see in the pictures, Moroccan and Indian lanterns are everywhere you look and you’ll also see a lot of bone and ivory inlaid furniture. Suzanis and Turkish textiles add color and texture throughout the house as do the Moroccan motifs stenciled on the walls. Bullard chose to stencil the colorful, ethnic designs onto the walls as a unique and clever alternative to wallpaper.
I really love the home’s cozy, boho-chic feel. When I retire to my dream beach house this is exactly how I’d want its interiors to look! Roy and Dash, who are based in New York, sold the home because they weren’t spending much time in LA and maintaining such a large home there was becoming a burden. Oh the perils of being rich and famous!
Photos by Tim Street-Porter for InStyle