Meet the interior designer of the year, Erin Martin
Revealed: the interior designer of the year
OVER THE PAST 21 YEARS, the Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year Award has helped to launch the careers of such talents as Kelly Hoppen, and celebrate d the achievements of others: Rose Uniacke and Nicky Haslam have been among its recent winners.
For American designer Erin Martin (no relation), however, the moment she was announced as this year’s winner at a ceremony on Monday was particularly sweet. ‘My mother gave me one of the first Andrew Martin books,’ she says – a review of the world’s top 100 designers is published alongside the awards each year – ‘and it blew my mind. It changed the way I looked at how people lived and how you could live. I thought, “I want to do that,” and every year since I’ve thought, “I want to be in that book.”’
Martin’s inclusion in this design pantheon is, according to the hotelier Kit Kemp, one of the judges and herself a previous winner, down to ‘her youth, sheer exuberance and creativity. Her work has one eye on the past, one on the future, and lands slap-bang in the present: wellthought-through and disciplined, but with an element of originality.’
Martin abides by no design rules, but you won’t find a floral chintz or patterned wallpaper in one of her interiors. ‘I don’t like colour,’ she says: a brave statement. Although she hates the idea of a design signature, her projects do display ‘a personality and an opinion’, and share a certain American sense of cool, with natural materials and industrial elements.
‘I think people are the art in life,’ she says. ‘If you have anything in your house that you can’t touch, you’re stupid. Your house should be the backdrop, but it needs to be home, and it should be fun. We’re not saving lives, but we’re helping people find a place where they can reboot, and we all need that.’ erinmartindesign.com
Above Characteristically industrial design for a property in Howell Mountain, Napa Valley. Right The bedroom at Howell Mountain; Erin Martin