Luxurious Wallpaper Dresses Up This Victorian Beach House

Daring prints and quirky accents make this 1840s home one to remember.

martyn lawrence bullard living room
Tim Street-Porter

When his clients requested “mad old aunt” decor to suit their Rhode Island home’s 1840s architecture, Martyn Lawrence Bullard responded with layers of pattern, mix-and-match colors, and wallpaper in every nook and cranny.

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martyn lawrence bullard exterior
Tim Street-Porter
Exterior

The 1800s Victorian house overlooks the Atlantic.

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martyn lawrence bullard entry
Tim Street-Porter
Entry

A wide doorway separates the entry from the living room. Bullard designed the blue leather club chairs, the armchairs in an zebra velvet, and the oak coffee table. Chandelier, Jasper. Orange Chinese ceramics, .

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martyn lawrence bullard mantle
Tim Street-Porter
Library

In the library, Bullard employed a marbled wallcovering from his collection for . The paper’s strong blue taps into the Wedgwood inlay of the house’s original mantel.

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martyn lawrence bullard kitchen
Tim Street-Porter
Kitchen

The kitchen’s cabinetry is topped with a black granite counter on the island. Pendants, .

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martyn lawrence bullard dining room
Tim Street-Porter
Dining Room

The dining room boasts ocean views on three sides. The crystal Spanish-galleon chandelier from is Bullard’s “whimsical nod to the beach.” The Victorian-style chairs are custom. Wallcovering, Cole and Son. Wall­covering on ceiling, . Curtains in an Osborne & Little velvet.

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martyn lawrence bullard living room
Tim Street-Porter
Living Room

Bullard steered clear of stereotypical beach-house style. “It’s not all blue-and-white and rope baskets,” he says. “It’s about a layered experience.” Multiple patterns in varying scales add excitement and depth to the rooms. The living room’s black sea-grass wallcovering is by ; the curtains are in a linen damask by .

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martyn lawrence bullard master bedroom
Tim Street-Porter
Master Bedroom

The master bedroom’s hand-painted, agate-like ­wallcovering, by ., is meant to be hung so the swirl patterns run continuously around the room, but Bullard instead chose to hang the panels separately to suit the home’s feeling of “Victorian frenzy,” he says. Bed, . Custom-painted ­mirror, .

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martyn lawrence bullard wall art
Tim Street-Porter
Wall Art

A pair of 19th-century lithographs of etchings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

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martyn lawrence bullard library
Tim Street-Porter
Library

A sitting room has a Cole and Son wallcovering. Mirror, . Vintage coffee table, .

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martyn lawrence bullard guest room
Tim Street-Porter
Guest Room

On the house’s third floor, Bullard created a “fantasy guest room” for one of the home­owners’ mothers, festooning it in a toile de Jouy linen from and enlivening it with emerald-green and hot-pink accents. The antique python-skin trunk is a Paris flea-market find. Mohair throw, . Sisal rug, .

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martyn lawrence bullard daughter's bedroom
Tim Street-Porter
Daughter's Bedroom

Bullard had a specific inspiration for a daughter’s bedroom: Barbra Streisand’s 1960s apartment in New York. “In the ’60s, you saw this whole Victorian revival,” he says. The singer’s lair had “crazy Victorian furniture that had been painted mad colors. We loved the idea of that: Barbra Streisand, Victoriana — but at the beach.” Wallcovering, Cole and Son. Fornasetti mirror, . Custom bed in a leather. Campaign side table, . Antique Persian rug, .

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martyn lawrence bullard children's guest room
Tim Street-Porter
Children's Guest Room

A children’s guest room gets zing from a ticking-stripe wallcovering by edged in trim by . Bedding, .

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This story was originally published in the March 2018 issue of Miescisko.

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