Fusion interiors – the idea that it is the world around us that inspires our living spaces – is central to the Andrew Martin philosophy. Which is why, when customers walk into the flagship showroom in South Kensington, they find themselves surrounded by a signature mix of African artefacts, tribal textiles and Asian antiques jostling against colourful pop art, digital LED light screens and futuristic space age influences. Founded in 1978 by product and interior designer Martin Waller (‘I started the business because I fell in love with the theatre of retail’), the brand is renowned for its multi-layered, theatrical approach to design and highly original collections.
Over the years the whole world has stumbled through the doors of Andrew Martin, from Kate to Kylie and Princess Leia to President Sarkozy. Designers from every continent have made it their go-to toolbox. Andrew Martin has organised the Interior Designer of the Year Award since 1996 (‘the Oscars of the Interior Design world’) and published 23 editions of the company’s Interior Design Review, underlining its credentials as a global design authority.
In terms of style, a leaning towards more collectible furniture and pieces with a masculine, modern feel such as charcoal leather sofas, metallic tables and dark parquet herringbone finishes are all in evidence at Andrew Martin. When it comes to fabric and wallpaper, recent collaborations include an exclusive licence to reproduce any of the paintings in the National Gallery’s 2,500-strong permanent collection as digitally-printed mural wallpapers as well as a range of fabrics and wallpapers co-designed with hotel design guru Kit Kemp, unleashing her brave use of colour on motifs inspired by the romance of folk tales.
What links all the Andrew Martin products, though, is a real sense of fun. Typical of that is the new Tutti Frutti collection of surrealist furniture and accessories, which features seating inspired by liquorice allsorts, giant jelly babies and zoom ice lollies, all reinterpreted as statement resin sculptures. Kit kat and dairy milk chocolate bars have been reborn as limited edition tables, each with a bronze plaque displaying its number out of 100. ‘Decoration is a building block of happiness,’ Waller once said – a statement that relates directly to these colourful candy pieces and exemplifies Andrew Martin’s design ethos: to bottle the flavour of nostalgia and use its effervescence to bring magic to your home.