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- Michael Smith 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. See Also: JIUN HO FURNITURE DESIGN 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. Background A native of California, Michael studied interior design at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. In 1984, he continued his studies at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, then returned to the U.S. to work under the tutelage of legendary antiques dealer Gep Durenberger. Next he moved to New York in an association with noted designer John Saladino. After three years, he was back in California to open a home furnishings store. His design firm, Michael S Smith Inc, was launched in 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. Awards and Honors Through the years, Michael has received many prestigious awards. He has been named three times to Architectural Digest’s “The AD 100”, and is the recipient of the Pacific Design Centers West Week “Stars of Design.” He has been named Designer of the Year by Elle Décor as well as being named to that publication’s A-List. Michael serves on the Board of Trustees of Otis College of Art and Design and has co-chaired the American Friends of the Olympia International Fine Art and Antique Fair. He is a member of ASID, the American Society of Interior Designers. In 2010, Michael was appointed by President Obama to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House. See Also: Pietboon, a sophisticated studio with an inspirational philosophy! Publicity and Publications Michael’s designs continue to be featured in major publications including Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Town and Country, Domino, Metropolitan Home, Interior Design, Tatler, W and the Wall St. Journal. His work has been celebrated in three beautiful volumes from Rizzoli Publishing: Elements of Style (2007), Houses (2008) and Kitchens and Baths(2011). His fourth book, Building Beauty, was released in Spring 2013. | Best Interior Designers is an ongoing lecture series featuring designers of distinction from around the world.
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- I am often asked which element is the most important in interiors. And… I find this a really difficult question to answer. As Im sure most of you would agree, any successful space is made up of many many components which need to work together as a cohesive (fully sick) unit. Just like a well rehearsed orchestra, or a symphony which requires a myriad of notes and changing rhythms to produce something which is worthwhile listening to, similar rules apply to architecture and interiors. I guess if I had to single out one of those elements, even though I just said that I find this virtually impossible… then, yes – youve guessed it – I would probably place ceilings on the top of the list (boom-boom, get it? Its a dad joke). I see ceilings as unifying elements within a space. The icing on the cake. They are almost always the most complex and the hardest to get right…