Guest Post: Martin Waller on Andrew Martin International


Martin Waller‘s passion for good design prompted him to found the ‘Interior Designer of the Year award‘ in 1996, which soon became the pinnacle of the interior design industry, being described by the Sunday Times as “The Oscars for the interior design world”.

The award, which attracts entries from designers worldwide, is judged by a distinguished panel that has included Jo Malone, Terry O’Neil, A A Gill and the Duchess of York with the list of recipients reading like a ‘who’s who’ of the interior design industry with previous winners Kelly Hoppen, Kit Kemp and Martyn Lawrence-Bullard. Each year the very best work from entrants is published in the influential ‘Interior Design Review’ book now in its 16th year and described as the bible for the interior design world.



  • As a brand of great authority within the design community, what are your top upcoming trends for 2013?

The man cave and all things masculine are a huge influence.1980’s arcade games, coffee tables, vintage toys, 1960’s glamour photographs, aeroplane wing desks and football tables are all part of the ascent of man.


  • How do you feel your personality is represented through your own designs?

Everybody’s design should be a representation of their personality and should reflect their interests and passions. I like relaxed comfort with an emphasis on art and artifact that represent different cultures around the world.


  • You founded the Andrew Martin Interior Design of the Year Award – what does it mean to win such an award?

The Andrew Martin Designer of the Year Award has transformed the way the interior design industry is perceived. It has turned interior designers into stars in the same way as fashion designers are.


  • With your annual Interior Design Review, you must sample the industries finest designers every year – who are ones to watch this year?

As with so much else the major change in the interior design is the swing towards China, they are doing incredible new buildings and designers there are developing an new vernacular of contemporary Chinese design. Their emphasis is on wall finishes, ceiling fixtures, water features and lighting effects. This year’s winners One Plus Partnership are a great example of this new wave.


  • Kelly was awarded the Andrew Martin Interior Designer of the Year Award in 1996, what would be your top aspects of Kelly’s signature style?

Harmony is the magic ingredient of Kelly’s designs. She marshals luxury materials into an easy living lifestyle. Like a great ice skater she makes it look easy but it is her vigorous attention to detail that sets her apart. Many tried to emulate Kelly but she did it first and she still does it best.


My First Blog Post!

This is the first post on my new blog and I’m quickly learning that blogging is a very personal expression. I followed the recent Design Democracy Blog Awards hosted by My Deco and was actually asked to be a part of the judging panel which picked ‘Best Interior Design Dlog in Great Britain’… what an honour and a challenge! Over 7500 people cast their votes for their favourite commercial, independent and newcomer blogs with the prizes being awarded to Puff & Flock, We Heart and Arianna Interiors respectively.

I really enjoy looking at the nominated blogs but judging them for merit was another thing completely because each one was so unique and clearly the voice and vision of the blogger. Lobster and Swan, PopArtRockGirlYeah! and Confessions of a Design Geek were on our short list and ultimately Confessions of a Design Geek was awarded the prize for Best Interior Design Blog in Great Britain.
This is a wonderful example of how blogging should be, Katie is clearly passionate about her subject and her posts show real enthusiasm.

She offers an interesting mix of architecture, interiors and creative resources and her blog really is a great read. A look at my blog list shows that I love looking at a variety of blogs, design and otherwise, on the web and each one presents a distinct point of view which is ultimately really personal as they are talking about the things they are most passionate about. I hope that my blog will come to sit comfortably among them and become a place where I can share my thoughts, inspiration, insights and tips which help to inspire others just as the amazing blogs I follow inspire me.