It’s late and I’m just home from the Andrew Martin Interior Design Awards, and what a great night it was celebrating the 21st year of these prestigious awards. Andrew Martin asked me to interview the star studded guests at the entrance to the awards at the Royal Academy and it was great fun to do so.
But, what you’re all here to find out is… who won? Well I can share, the 21st winner of the Andrew Martin Interior Design Awards is Erin Martin.
It’s a great honour to win the Andrew Martin Award; firstly how did you feel on the evening when they announced the award?
I cried like a baby when I won. And then I texted everybody I know. The first Andrew Martin Interior Design Review book changed the way I look at design, so to even be included amongst those shortlisted is humbling. My team are incredible and my family are here with me in London so it’s an incredible honour.
Can you tell us a little about how your career has developed in the interior design sector, when did you start out and was there a particular event that turned your attention to interiors?
I don’t think there’s one specific moment. My father is an architect and my mother is an interior designer so it runs in the family. I tried to avoid it myself, but by the Grace of God, here I am. I think about that Rudyard Kipling poem IF often.
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too. You have to acknowledge what you don’t know and be curious and ask. And you have to trust yourself from the start.
I don’t think interior design is something you can learn, it’s innate. I often visit design schools and tell them that if they doubt whether it’s what they want to do, it’s not for them and they should get out now. Thinking is overrated, just get it done.
Walk us through a typical room designed by you, what features do we need to look out for that tell us that the room has been designed by you?
I have no rules. Rules mean that you forget to be free. Having said that, there’s usually something big and heavy and strange but I try to make it new every time as every job is different and each client wants to put their own stamp on their home. In rooms I’ve designed, there is always some irreverence and humour and sometimes, an element of darkness.
Besides winning the Andrew Martin Award, can you name one other major highlight in your interior design career?
I feel so lucky to still be in business after twenty years. The industry has changed a lot because of technology and the internet. Now, it’s is a lot more collaborative, with design influenced by art, music and architecture. I don’t network so to still be working feels like magic, I’m so lucky.
What is the most rewarding thing about working in design?
My clientele are lovely people who care about the world. Finding a home is a process and I want to help my clients find a home.
What was your favourite project to work on and why?
I don’t have a favourite because every job is different and helping people find a home is an intimate process. Working on Robert Redford’s home was incredible, but there are so many highlights that it’s impossible to name just one.
You are going to receive a lot of publicity from winning the award, what is next in your career?
Winning makes me want to create and The Erin Martin studio are currently working on a stately Napa Valley winery and tasting room, a modern, luxe, impossibly cool San Francisco apartment, a family home in Sonoma. I’m excited about the Four Seasons, that’s a huge job!