Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Michael S. Smith


I am excited that I will be seeing Michael Smith at the Corcoran tonight. While I understand there will be few details about his most recent clients at 1600 Pennsylvania, I'm sure it will be a wonderful opportunity to see and hear one of our most celebrated and talented interior designers. As you can see from the covers of both his books, he is an avid devotee of Chinoiserie. What is interesting to note however, is that while many people associate Chinoiserie with a more feminine approach to decorating, his style is anything but. Most people connect Chinoiserie with designers like Charlotte Moss or Ruthie Sommers. Michael Smith has a very masculine style of design which more often than not includes Chinoiserie elements. A particular favorite of his is Chinese wallpaper in the dining room. "It's very addictive because the color, detail, romance, and intricacy are magical and entrancing in the daytime, and especially at night. It's theatrical and dimensional, and it's practical. A splash of wine, a dash of champagne, are never going to show among the beautiful details of the design." Ah, the practical side of Gracie! Look through these photos-you will get some ideas if you gravitate toward this very polished, serene, understated, and classic look.

1. Strong furniture with clean and classic lines
2. Use of black to ground and tone down the room
3. Vintage or Gracie Chinoiserie wallpaper, especially in the dining room and bedroom
4. Bold and oversized Chinoiserie pieces-Chinese screens, blue and white porcelain, painted black or red furniture, pagodas, and Budddhas
5. Antique Asian pieces
6. Repeating the same color in a room with gradations of light to dark
7. Mixing antiques and modern pieces
8. Don't be afraid of pattern-just keep it subtle and restrained
9. Keep colors muted-no bold, bright colors here





















16 comments:

home before dark said...

I don't have time right now to consume everything here in one of your best posts, so I'll come back later and savor it. Your lists are always such a left + right brain kind of thing that speak to me. I also want to say have a sensational time tonight. The lecture should be inspirational to say the least.

Chic Provence said...

He is so delightful and perfectly unassuming...you will love it tonight! My favorite on this amazing post of yours is the bullseye mirror surrounded by the framed whatevers (can't quite tell)...it's stunning! Have a great time tonight and be sure to let us know!!

The-Countrypolitan said...

These are all beautiful, timeless rooms.

Theresa Cheek said...

I am jealous.....wear cute but comfortable shoes!

Averill said...

The primary reason I'm attracted to Smith's work is precisely because of his blend of masculine, tailored spaces with chinoiserie. It's a wonderful, modern balance.

Hope you have a fantastic time tonight!

Chic Coles (Cole Design) said...

You are so lucky to be going tonight! Have a wonderful time.

lady jicky said...

have a wonderful time tonight.
If I had to pick my favourite - I couldn't!!! LOL

Style Redux 2 said...

Home Before Dark-Thanks for your lovely comment. It was a wonderful evening. They definitely pulled out all the stops for this sell out crowd a stone's throw from the White House.

Style Redux 2 said...

Kit-Delightful and unassuming are perfect adjectives to describe him. He is certainly talented as well.

Style Redux 2 said...

Terri-Spot on-nothing trendy here.

Style Redux 2 said...

Theresa-I was just watching him, not jogging with him, so my stilettos were fine!

Style Redux 2 said...

Averill-A perfect look for you.

Style Redux 2 said...

CC-I have really been enjoying all your interviews from High Point.

Style Redux 2 said...

Lady Jicky-My favorite would have to be the cover of Elements of Style, but they are all wonderful.

DoxaHome.com said...

LOVE this post!!! Going to re post it...as I want my peeps to see this too! Coming back later to comb through far more carefully, well done luv;)

Jaime

Style Redux 2 said...

Jaime-Thanks-glad you enjoyed it.