Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard says it’s important to create rooms that make you feel and look good.

Rob Brinkley: For a beach house, I don’t see any of the typical clichés. Congratulations!

Bullard: Oh, thank you! Once I’d been given the whole idea of a “mad aunt,” we were off and running.

Did you say a “mad aunt”?

Yes! The clients wanted a home that felt like your crazy old aunt’s mad Victorian house. I think what they really meant is that it should feel eclectic and fanciful, with wonderful collections. It’s an extraordinary, massive 19th-century Victorian on the ocean in Narragansett, Rhode Island. It’s like something John Singer Sargent would have painted.

The decor is so bold. What were your jumping-off points?

I love pattern and color, so I grabbed onto what was the height of fashion during the Victorian period: wallpaper. I looked for traditional ones in fresh colors. Wallpaper is back in such an enormous way. It’s a great method for people to make a statement — whether it’s in the smallest powder room or across the ceiling of their biggest room. And it’s easy: You just glue it on!

Such wild patterns everywhere. You’ve got marble, agate, toile, paisley, even a paper that looks like bookshelves.

Almost every room has a surprise, which makes the house so much fun. But for the core of the house — this great central hallway that runs up through all three floors — I did a palette of whites and pale grays. It’s a soothing counterpoint to the unexpected reveal of color and pattern in the guest rooms and public spaces.

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