Michael S Smith is an American interior designer who has been the White House decorator since 2008 and was responsible for the 2010 makeover of the Oval Office. Michael started his career by working with the antique dealer Gep Durenberger and with the New York designer John Saladino. He has been running his own design business since 1990, expanding from projects solely for private clients to his Jasper line of fine furniture and fabrics sold exclusively in multi-line showrooms around the world.
Michael is considered one of the most original and respected talents in the design industry today. With an international profile of residential, hospitality and commercial clients, Smith’s style is a seamless blend of European classicism and American modernism—always fresh, always evolving, always underscored by the belief that everyone should live with things they love.
He possesses a curator’s knowledge of and appreciation for the past, nurtured by studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum and extensive work in the antiques business. Whether in designing his own collection or in the interiors he creates for his clients, a deep respect for tradition—viewed through a modern eye—is ever-present.
In 2008, Barack and Michelle Obama appointment Michael to redecorate the residential quarters of the White House. In February 2010, President Obama appointed him a member of the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.
Michael redecorated the Oval Office with a look that was angular and modern — evoking the feel of a den — dominated by neutral hues of browns and taupe. On the floor was a muted, mostly wheat and cream carpet featuring the presidential seal in the center and ringed with five quotations selected by Mr. Obama — four from former presidents (Lincoln, Kennedy and the Roosevelts) and one from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There were also two custom-made couches of brown cotton that looks like velvet, woven with red, white and blue threads. The couches faced a boxy coffee table made from American walnut and mica, with a fruit bowl — not flowers — as its centerpiece. Among the couch pillows, a lone navy blue pillow pulls in the blue from some new ceramic table lamps.
Architectural Digest regularly included Michael among its AD100 is selection of the top architects and interior designers. He was also names 2003 Designer of the Year by Elle Décor and he has written a number of books.
Michael lives in Los Angeles and Spain with his partner.
So, why is he a #Houseproud hero?
Interior designer Michael S Smith, has a great eye for antiques, the Obamas on speed dial and is celebrated for a cultivated and updated traditionalism. He says:
“I’m interested in creating a specific culture for a space, whether it’s a child’s room or the Oval Office, it’s my job to make interiors that reflect the people who use them.”
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