Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mr. Smith - Classy, Timeless and Iconic

I've been having some terrible issues with my laptop and as a result, have not been able to access Windows Live Writer, which is where I create my blog. So, while I am still trying to get it fixed, I am going to republish my very first post I ever did on my blog, which was about Michael S. Smith, the interior designer, whom most of you probably already know, is the person that was selected to design the White House for the Obama family. Enjoy (again!)
I would like to focus my first blog on my favorite interior designer..... Michael S. Smith. He is one of Architectural Digest's 100 Top Designers, has had his work published in too many publications to count, is frequently hired by the wealthy and by celebrities and does a lot of hotel designs and renovations. The man is a genius! Everything he touches looks like it has been there for 100 years, but he has a way of making it look new, fresh and classic. You want to stare at his designs for hours, yet nothing jumps out at you and says, "I've been decorated". His designs are very unassuming.
He isn't afraid to combine different styles, periods and colors, which a lot of designers have a hard time doing. He exemplifies what I hope to achieve with my interior design. I appreciate his deference to classical design, but I also admire his willingness to mix modern elements ingenuously into the palette.

Michael S. Smith

Photo courtesy of his website

He has a new book coming out that I can't wait to read! It's called Michael S. Smith Houses. Together with Christine Pittel, he has created another book that walks the reader through his design process. His first book, Elements of Style is my favorite design book to reach for. It has a permanent place on my coffee table.

Michael S. Smith Houses, Photo courtesy of

Michael S. Smith Elements of Style, Photo courtesy of

If it is anywhere near as good as his first book, I'm in for an afternoon of lovely reading (and daydreaming!) at my patio table with a tall glass of iced tea!

Photo from (Sunset Magazine)

This isn't my patio, but mine is similar to this. I love the feel of the open fireplace with the seating group around it. It's very cozy, very welcoming and wonderful for long, lazy summer evenings!

Private Homes Designed By Michael S. Smith
(from his

Malibu Home designed by Michael Smith

Cindy Crawford's Malibu home...Note the Bali influence in the dark wooden table, chandelier and stool with the fretwork. Michael Smith uses pieces that blend with the environment and the architecture, rather than competing against it. Wouldn't you just love to have this space to relax in and overlook the ocean? Ahhhhhh....

Dining room from the same Malibu home. Love the dining room table and chairs. And check out that ultra-cool chandelier.

Another room from the Malibu Beach House. Although simplistic in nature, the monochromatic design scheme is perfect for this home which has dark panelling, flooring and a crisp marble fireplace surround. The tufted chaise lounge is classic. It's a perfect place to curl up with a good book in front of a warm fire in the Fall. Notice how Michael added a dark wood mirror above the fireplace to tie in the dark panelling of the room. It's the details that make the room.

Palisades Home designed by Michael Smith. The fauteuil chair stands out as a "head of the table" effect in this sitting room. It's effective because all other seating in this view is basically at the same height and is more traditional in nature. To add a classic piece like this adds interest to the room and completes the seating group. Keeping the coffee table simple and with open iron legs is perfect. I want this coffee table to display more of my design books (including Michael Smith's new book shortly!).

Michael's Product Lines

Photo courtesy of Michael's website

This is Michael Smith's bathroom line for Kallista. Again, his classic detailing comes through loud and clear.

Photo courtesy of

Ann Sacks Tile Collection by Michael Smith

A "relaxed but polished look". Love it!

Photo courtesy of

Refined yet casual rug collection for Mansour Modern.

Photo courtesy of

Home Fragrance Collection for Agraria by Michael Smith

Photo courtesy Visual Comfort and Co.

Lighting Collection for Visual Comfort and Co.

Hotel Designs by Michael S. Smith

Shutters on the Beach Hotel

Michael remodeled the interior (I believe) in 2006, keeping the fresh, beach aesthetic.

One Pico Restaurant at Shutters On the Beach in Santa Monica, California. Michael Smith renovated this restaurant, which re-opened in April this year. The picture on the left is the old room, the rendering on the right is Michael's design.

Shutters On The Beach Guest Suite. Very beachy and there is that standing floor lamp that Michael loves.

Shutters On The Beach Bathroom. I love the cool grey tone on the walls. I can't tell what flooring material is used, but the dark floors make the grey walls and white tub and sink look fresh and crisp - just as a beach bathroom should be. Note that Michael used dark wood on his mirror again to tie in the flooring. The shutters looking onto the bedroom area and the louvered closet door to the left of the sink are a slight nod to the hotel's name.

Rendering of The Canary Hotel, Santa Barbara, California

Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara, California. Patio area and pool. Very beachy and very California. Outdoor fireplaces are popular here in California because of our climate. With the prices of homes here, it gives us another "room" in which to spread out!

Canary Hotel Guest Suite. Fresh bedding and draperies gives this room the light and airy feel. It would seem that Michael likes the turnstile design of the bedposts, as he echoes that in other designs.

Canary Hotel Bathroom

Canary Hotel Outdoor Fountain. Note how the light fixture has the same design motif as the plant holders.

I believe this is the Canary Hotel Lobby. I love the tapestry on the wall, as well as the wooden side table used next to the chair and ottoman.

Canary Hotel Patio.

(all Canary Hotel photos courtesy of Yahoo Travel website)

The Lowell, New York, Deluxe Room

I like the striping on the headboard canopy and table skirt which juxtaposes the toile-like effect on the pillows and bedskirt.

The Lowell, Garden Suite

The wallcovering, mirror and metallic fabric on the throw pillow really make this room fabulous.

The Lowell, One Bedroom Suite

Check out the symmetry!

The Lowell, The Painted Room

LOVE the mural and the carpeting. Again, the metallic fabric on the throw pillow adds just that bit of sparkle to the room.

The Lowell Penthouse

Set up a bit like the one bedroom suite with the symmetry, but none-the-less, it's classical design that best fits a conversation area.

If you have more Michael S. Smith photos you would like to add to my compilation, please email them to me! I'd love to add them to my blog!

I hope to be up and running soon with a new blog post for you all! In the meantime, have a wonderful week everyone!


Cote de Texas said...

honey, frickin is NOT cussing! now if you had said fucking, well, I would have had to spank you with a wet noodle!!! hehe.
love you!!!

katiedid said...

Wow! Very impressive first post!!! Mine was about pillows I think...hehe.