On Wednesday night we held a party to celebrate the publication of Michael Smiths new book “ The Curated House- Creating Style, Beauty and Balance’. The champagne and canapes started flowing from 6pm and the showroom soon filled with press and fellow interior decorators to see Michael and get a signed book.
It felt like the perfect setting for Michael to launch the book in England, amongst his fabric collection that we have represented for the last 5 years.
Scarlet & Violet, as always, had created the most exquisite flowers and the showroom looked wonderful.
His latest publication is Michael’s most personal book yet and explores the origins and influences of his design ethos and what it means to ‘create’ a ‘curated house’. The book begins with his own homes: the house he owned in Holmby Hills, LA, his Upper East Side penthouse in New York, the desert retreat in California. One of my favourite interiors is his latest abode in Madrid, the United States Embassy Residence, as his partner, James Costa is the United States ambassador to Spain. Michael commissioned the Lincoln in black marble for the embassy and we had it made so it could be installed for his fiftieth birthday party to held in residence. We were thrilled with the finished piece but then disaster almost struck as it was held in customs and only just made it in time! Charlotte and I were greatly relieved and luckily able to enjoy the fantastic party.
The threads of his design philosophy are livability and comfort, mixed with visual interest and a foundation of a narrative or as he says ‘ the movie in his head’. He creates carefully chosen layers that build up a story. For his New York penthouse below we made a bespoke fireplace in white marble and bardiglio of a copy of a french antique we once owned. Michael’s narrative for this appartment was ‘Paris in New York’.
The book continues with the other projects he has created. For a house in California, Michael replaced all the mantels which were ‘unexceptional’ and used our Althorp reproduction fireplace in white marble in the living room.
A chapter in the book explores the 1920’s style that was executed for a boat house in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. For the main living space Michael asked us to make the Dulwich fireplace in white marble.
Michael is obsessive about finding out what is personal ‘ and organic’ to his clients as he believes it is not about showering your own taste on to a client but that good interior design should be a service to a life- not a ‘look’- channeling individual tastes. So that a house becomes a home but all the while he creates his alchemy. A recipe that only Michael knows how to do: mixing European classicism and American modernism in the finest way I know.