Michael S. Smith


As President Barack Obama’s final days in office are coming to an end, I thought it would be fitting to honor his legacy here on the blog by sharing a peek inside the private quarters of the White House. These photos were originally featured in the Jan issue of Architectural Digest. It’s common practice for each incoming first family to hire an interior designer to redecorate the White House private quarters upon taking office and in 2008 the Obamas enlisted A-list designer Michael S. Smith to give their new home at the White House a refresh. Smith incorporated modern touches …


2010 was quite a year in the world of interior design and shelter media. From the retirement of America’s preeminent interior designer and the rise of digital shelter publications to the magazine masthead changes that rocked the design community, these were the industry’s biggest stories that made headlines in 2010.

1. The Legendary Albert Hadley Retires

After 60 some years working as an interior designer, Albert Hadley, also known as “The Dean of American Decorating”, retired in the Fall leaving behind a lasting legacy in the design world.

2. Stephen Drucker Leaves House Beautiful to Helm Town & Country

A home designed by Martin Lawrence Bullard

Since I’m fresh from vacation and still have the beach on the brain, a post on beach houses seems in order! I always say that one day I will own a beach house of my own. I love everything about the beach…the sun, the sand, the surf…there’s just something about a being near a beach setting that puts me at ease. If I were lucky enough to live right on the ocean I’d want to design my home to include lots of floor-to-ceiling windows which allow me to enjoy the sweeping oceanview vistas …

A Peter Dunham Designed room featuring fabrics from his signature line.

I absolutely love ethnic inspired textiles, particularly prints and patterns that are emblematic of Central Asian countries like India, Turkey, Uzbekistan, etc. I especially have a thing for Indian paisleys and florals. Here are some of my favorites:

Indian Pear, Robert Kime

Rajmata, Peter Dunham

Kashmir Paisley, Peter Dunham

Samarkand, Peter Dunham

Dotted Leaf, Suzanne Rheinstein/Hollyhock for Lee Jofa

Indian Flower, Michael S. Smith/Jasper

Indian Flower, Michael S. Smith/ Jasper

Mimosa Vine, Carolina Irving Textiles

Desert Rose, Carolina Irving Textiles

Jaipur, Peter Fasano

And despite the common feeling …

Photo: Via Gil Schafer, GP Schafer Architect

There’s something quite charming about the presence of pot racks in a kitchen. I think many kitchens that I see photographed often appear sterile and you’d never know the kitchen was ever actually utilized. But whenever I see a kitchen with a pot rack, it suggests to me that this is a real kitchen…where people cook, eat, gather, etc. It somehow makes the kitchen space instantly feel lived in. Pot racks are a beautiful way to showcase your cookware, especially if you have a serious collection. And although they’re a lovely decorative …

When I was in LA a few weeks ago I stopped into Harbinger, the design shop in West Hollywood owned by Joe Lucas and Parrish Chilcoat of the boutique design firm Lucas Studio Inc. Both Lucas and Chilcoat are former proteges of Michael S. Smith who teamed up to start their firm in 2005 and are now esteemed designers in their own right. After being inspired by my visit to Harbinger, I went pouring through the Lucas Studio website for more inspiration. I definitely see a bit of Smith’s influence in their work but Lucas and Chilcoat are…