Friday, January 18, 2013

Martyn Bullard Lawrence Revamps His Sister's Place

I miss Million Dollar Decorators. The season is so short and goes by so fast. In the last episode Martyn Bullard Lawrence revealed the project he was doing for his sister Tina (and her husband Alan) in Chislehurst, England.

Martyn takes on Napoleon

Martyn says, "After years of owning various fashion apparel stores and a beautician business, my sister and her husband Alan decided to make an enormous change to their lives and take over a 215-year-old pub in the local historic village of Chislehurst. I have to say this has come as enormous shock to me. The pub world, even though a centuries old tradition in England, has been suffering greatly in the last few years from the recession and changing tastes of the public. In fact, pubs are closing down like wildfire all over the country, so for my family to suddenly decide to become publicans seemed both shocking and foolhardy".

Martyn Bullard Lawrence and his sister Tina

The task came to Martyn to help turn a rundown, smelly, and badly reviewed pub into a beautiful spot that the wealthy local clientele could once again love, and provide his sister and her family with a successful business. Martyn's thinks a pub should "be old school, cozy, sexy, inviting, and should always feel like an old friend -- familiar, welcoming, and there to give you support and comfort".

The Imperial Arms pub in Chislehurst, England

The tension that comes of working with family, the biting cold, the crumbling walls, and an escalating budget got even more complicated.

The wallpaper Martyn chose put husband Alan on edge, but I think it came out great

Love those monkeys! The wallpaper Martyn chose looks like

Martyn thought his biggest problem was convincing his sister's husband to trust his choice of paint color and wallpaper,  and tells us, "there also seems to be a deeper routed problem. The pub is haunted by Napoleon's lover Charlotte who used to live in the pub in the nineteenth century when her lover was exiled to Chislehurst. The pub was then an inn and apparently she lived there for years and must have eventually died there of a broken heart."

Besides rot and leaks Martyn found a ton of old stuff in the basement, including Napoleon memorabilia that he used

The pub, The Imperial Arms, came out very glam glam, but still homey enough to not scare the locals away. I'm sure Martyn's family will make a great success of it, and Martyn will drop in when he is in England. He  shares that he is also filming, producing, and starring in his own design show in England. I hope it gets shown in the USA on BBC TV!

Cozy corner table with banquettes with glam glam velvet tufting

The bar and a bust of Napoleon

The Imperial Arms has been nominated as one of the ‘best pubs in London‘ in The London Pub Crawl Guide, it stocks perfectly kept real ales, such as Doombar and Harveys, along with chilled lagers and a very interesting, well priced wine list.

Tina's husband Alan behind the bar - He loves what Martyn did

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  1. I loved it! Totally want to go there now! And thank you for sourcing that wallpaper for me! I MUST have some monkey wallpaper in my home and was wanting to know where it was from!


  2. I loved seeing how this turned out on the show! The green chairs were pretty brilliant, you don't normally see them in that color. And the wallpaper turned out fantastic!

  3. Martyn's job was pretty typical for a UK pub. They are often homey and cosy in that way, there's nothing like them on a cold wintry night.

    I hope we get to see his show, whatever it is, even though I find his style a bit OTT.


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