04 February 2009

The Obamas' New Designer is a Very Cool Guy

photo taken with my iPhone, sorry!

I, and a few dozen others, had a conversation with Michael Smith today, and now I want to be his best friend. He's just that kind of a guy.  He, however, lists Dustin Hoffman, Steven Spielberg, Rupert Murdoch as clients. He leads with his creativity and if the client doesn't go for it, he shrugs "hey, it's their house!"

He also loves Chinese wallpaper, murals, pays homage to France, to classical design. He suddenly loves flowers. He's not quite sure how he comes up with fusion concepts like "shogun modern" for a kitchen, or "loft living in the 16th Century" for a dwelling in LA. But he makes it work. 

When asked what is the next big design trend, he say that there isn't one. He says that now it is time to do what you can with what you have. To mix in high and low. To not be so very fashionable, to not always hit it right on the nose.  How incredibly refreshing?

For now, it looks like I have to share my new best friend with his latest clients: Barack and Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama. 

And, this client does not have a very big budget. Seriously. 

He is going to make do, and rummage around that hidden warehouse outside of DC, to use and repurpose stuff already there. Could a designer ask for any more fun on this planet?

Michael Smith's new book, lovely to look at, lovely to read

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