The Obamas' and Michael S Smith


Domino magazine has just revealed the Obamas' selection of
Michael Smith as White House decorator

Michael Smith's hallmark as a great designer is his deep passion for the many forms of beauty found throughout the
history of the decorative arts as well as his ability to blend pieces from different eras.

michael smith

Though not thought of as a modernist, Michael Smith does it so well. Just look at the strong, simple forms of this
couch and coffee table paired with an abstract painting that adds hints of color.  The Obamas' strike me as a
modern family and maybe some modern furnishings and artwork will find their way into the White House.  Michael Smith
has been talking about getting the furniture of the great masters of 20th-century American design,  like
Billy Baldwin (see the post I did on Billy Baldwin here), into the executive mansion.

michael smith

Maybe Michael Smith will create a strong, elegant Master Bedroom in the White House with the drama of a huge
lacquered Chinese screen as a headboard, burled wood night tables, and '40s benches at the end of the bed. 
And maybe a Suzani draped over the bed for a truly international flare.

michael smith 

It's genius to put proper furniture in what's usually a functional space.  I have never seen pictures of the
White House bathrooms, and wonder if they have the space for a large table like this one. 
I think that the Obamas' have made a great selection in choosing Michael Smith.....what do you think?

Pictures Michael Smith Dominio

michael smith

A home for a family


                                                                                                     Michael Smith's newest book

Patricia Gray writes about emerging trends, her inspirations, and "What's HOT" in the world of Design, as well as sneak peaks of her work.. 
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  1. Great piece of info...I was wondering who the Whit House personal decorator would be.

  2. I wonder what the bathrooms are like as well! are they redone for every presidency or are they original hideous relics from the 60s I wonder! I love that image of the bathroom, I hadn't really payed attention to it before -its' lovely.

  3. I can't wait to see how it turns out!! (I think they made a great choice although I do love Hate Berkus too & I'd heard he was in the running.)

  4. Great Minds think alike! Can you imagine the excitement of taking on the White House.


  5. I think he is going to do an excellent job...He'll bring some flair and glamour to the big house!

  6. Anonymous14/1/09

    Good to know. His work is lovely.

  7. I just read on the White House website that the new first family receives $100,000 to decorate the private residence and Oval Office. I'm not sure if that includes the rug in the Oval - that could easily take up half the budget.

    I also read that the First Family is required to pay for their own private meals.

  8. Love this post. How amazing would that be, to be chosen the 'White House Decorator'.

  9. Anonymous15/1/09

    Wow he has a wonderful task ahead of him, I think its going to be wonderful indeed

  10. I saw on one of those trash magazine shows last night (the Insider?)- someone has come up with furnishing the oval office in IKEA furnishings...can you imagine Biden, Hillary and friends sitting on an Ektorp sofa, and the presidential library housed in Billy bookshelves...might get a nod for his thriftiness...(couldn't find the image, but I am dying to)

  11. Anonymous15/1/09

    I think Michael Smith needs to find his own style. I loved B.B. when....but now, it's too much cliche and much too reminiscent of D.D. How wonderful to remember the sensibilities of the denizens of design and to bring them into the 21st century, accompanied by a new design eye. The best of the best brought forward needs always to be tweaked into the new era. Yes?

    I lost my designer sister several years ago, who adored B.B., and she brought him from the past into the present with such love, devotion and panache. Hooray for talent!

  12. Patricia - I just love that Chinese lacquer screen used as a headboard.

    I'm just wondering, do you think Michael Smith will incorporate something "African" in honour of Mr. Obama's heritage? Just curious...

    -Jen Laceda

    p.s. thanks for the mention of my blog during the Weblog Awards! Very much appreciated!

  13. I feel Michael Smith is an excellent choice by the Obamas!! He will have a nice mix of tradition with contemporary. This is perfect for this young family! I say BRAVO and can't wait to see Michael work his magic!!

  14. This is so exciting to see the Obamas already begin fulfilling our incredibly high expectations with a most wonderful choice. I hope Margaret Russell gets first dibs on publishing the work.


  15. I don't know about the White House, but I'd welcome him at the Green house!

  16. Well, if I was moving into the White House - I would choose you.

  17. Patricia, This will be a wonderful project! Do you happen to know who the artist is in the 1st image. I am doing paintings very similar to this!

  18. Like the rest, I'm looking forward to seeing what he'll do and what instantaneous styles he spur on in the market place...should be fun!

  19. Anonymous20/1/09

    I agree that Smith is a superb choice, Patricia. As one of the most talented designers in the world today, his work embodies the spirit of the United States and the Obamas so incredibly well.

  20. Anonymous21/1/09

    Dear Ms. Gray –

    Oh, do I love your blog and your taste! You cannot imagine the supreme pleasure it was to see your comment on my blog – what a wonderful surprise! How did that happen?!? (Seriously – I was like “WOW! Patricia Gray!!!!!”) I hope the New Year brings you much success and good things. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and bringing joy to someone’s day.

    Regina Garay
    Blog: www.Fauxology.com

  21. Thank you for the info!
    I think they made the perfect choice...he will bring his glamour touch to this" cold " house

  22. I'm not American so it is not familiar for me , I'm just wondering , what happen to all the other interior designers who did the white house previously . did they became more popular , successful ?
    In Belgium when you work for the Queen , king or prince , they receive you at 6 pm morning , your are not allow to take picture of your work and not even allow to say that you did something for them .
    In the GCC country it's the same.
    America is really freedom !

  23. oooh, I love that screen! I just had a wall painted to look like a lacquered screen:)

  24. Anonymous28/1/09

    Great pick, young, hip and happy! Love the designs 2. :)


Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

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