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Martin & Brockett designed homes are never pretentious nor assertive. Spaces brought to life by the Los Angeles showroom and design studio are dotted with moments of visual interest sparked by personal and meaningful mementos. The studio is lead by Jason Martin, a native Texan-turned-Californian, whose warm and hospitable personality is clearly embedded in his work. The studio counts many clients among film industry notables, who turn to Martin for the homey feeling and laid-back charm he creates.
Martin builds furniture pieces inspired by a range of classic forms, elevating them with interesting touches like rich bold fabrics then pairing them together to foster a signature approachable eclecticism. Never leaning too far into one style or allowing one piece to steal the show, Martin approaches his work through the lens of longevity, creating a lived-in feeling that encourages a sense of ease. We visited the beautiful Martin & Brockett showroom in Los Angeles to speak with Martin about his design process and where he finds inspiration locally.
We try to achieve a space that feels acquired over time, with a mix of styles and not too overly designed. For that to happen the design can’t take itself too seriously… that feels “California” to me but I hope that extends outside of the state too.
Other than it still feels exotic to be together in-person at a table looking over material samples, not really. But I do think clients have realized the value of good home design after being mostly in their homes over the last two years.
The showroom is our laboratory to test things out. I’m not trying to push a specific style. I don't want it to be just one thing. Hopefully it’s always changing. As long as the showroom feels comfortable and resonates with people - thats all I care about.
I try to design our line with longevity in mind. I like classically shaped pieces that feel like they could live in any space. There are plenty of places to get boldface design or - on the other end of the spectrum - fast home fashion. I like that our pieces are low key, well made and fail-safe.
On weekends, a short drive to Montecito or Ojai feels like we’ve really gotten out of the city with minimal effort. Otherwise, after a long work day, my husband and I will go for dinner at Mozza. We sit at the bar and order whatever the chef is making. Sometimes we get lucky and that chef is Nancy Silverton herself
I live in LA so I feel like it only makes sense to say film and television. I know thats not unexpected but it is in the sense that the inspiration isn't just in the final product but the process. A lot of our clients are in the industry and through them I have developed an appreciation of the massive amount of work and detail that goes into the entertainment that we all binge. The scale of work, organization- and not to mention agreement - that has to happen to make a film or TV show is mind boggling.
There are two images that speak to me in a similar way. One is a photo that my friend Leslie took of the back of her vintage Volvo full of disco balls. It wasn’t staged or styled - she just texted a pic to show me these giant disco balls she found for a party. I love the juxtaposition of a sturdy workhorse station wagon stuffed full of glittery glamour... The other is this portrait of a young John Waters in a very J.Press looking regiment stripe sweater. It’s funny to see this director known for his subversive art house films in the most traditional of ivy trad sweaters. Both are examples of the joy you can find in a surprising mix of elements... I always feel lucky if I can find that mix in our design work.
I like unexpected combinations - a modern fabric on a classic shape, or an upholstery fabric that feels like apparel (I’m a sucker for anything that looks like a camelhair coat). We have two tapestry inspired fabrics we use a lot right now. One that is a moody dark forest pattern that gives everything a romantic lux feel. The other is a huge supersized scale that has almost no discernible repeat. We used that one on our mid century inspired chair (the Jolly lounge chair) and I love how it softens all the angles in just the right way. It looks like it could be a vintage textile. I like pieces that look like they’ve already lived some life.
I’m not sure that “complete" is attainable but if the client is happy and would rather stay home than go away for the weekend - that’s good enough for me.
I like to go for a run without the distraction of tech or music. I’ve never been a meditator but doing something physical without distraction helps pause all the design details and to-do lists in my brain or at least push them to the back for a bit. It helps to get some literal distance from the work too.
…to me it really is simply doing the best work you can without letting ego or expectation get in the way of good design.