Mr. Smith Goes To Washington !!!
According to a press alert I just received from Domino Magazine, President and Mrs. Obama have engaged designer Michael S. Smith to redecorate the private quarters of the White House!
Smith is a internationally known designer, manufacturer and author who has been an influential force in interior design for the past decade. Young and vibrant I think he is a fantastic choice for the job. Known for blending contemporary and traditional elements to create rich eclectic interiors, he has the knowledge and experience to maintain the historic character of the first families residence. At the same time he will probably be able to interject the casual elegance he is so well known for.
The private quarters of the White House are not as roomy as I had imagined, in fact they are actually fairly limited. The family is confined to their bedrooms, private dining room and sitting room. It must be a bit like living in a fish bowl.
The newly revamped Lincoln bedroom is used for guests only. It was modified under the Bush family to be more historically correct for it's era.
The Reagan's private residence was very feminine with Nancy at the helm. Hand painted Chinese wallpaper covered the walls with a vision straight out of Hitchcock's - The Birds. There are not any personal mementos that I can see and the room seems a bit hotel like.
The Johnson White House seen above shows single beds pushed together with one unifying upholstered headboard - a la, I Love Lucy. Again, not too many personal touches, you'd think Lady Bird would have made more of a mark.
My favorite are the Kennedy rooms, personal, classic and comfortable, they have the feel of a real home. Family mementos, art and portraits fill the room and tell the story of it's occupants. No sterile hotel layout here.
The happy colors and the imaginative use of fabric on the bed corona and drapery help to soften the large room and make it less cavernous.
This intimate seating arrangement set apart from the rest of the room with a large area rug creates a room within a room. This must have been a safe haven for the family, can't you imagine Caroline and John John playing on the floor with their toys. Check out the fabulous blue crystal chandelier.
The Truman bedroom showed some serious Oriental influences but had a serious scale and proportion problem. Look at the tiny paintings over the furniture. The oriental screen is an odd touch - wonder what was going on behind there?
These beautiful rooms designed by Michael S. Smith show some of the formality mixed with casual comfort that should be present in his White House designs. They look almost Presidential already! Those mirrors practically scream White House.
This bedroom with its stunning hand painted wallpaper could be transported straight into the first families bedroom. I would love to see a draped bed used.
This tailored canopy bed could work although it is a bit casual.
This sitting room has a regal feel to it; I like the subtle coloring used.
Could this be the style for the Presidents personal dining room? It would work.
I hope he uses some fantastic wallpaper. No matter what the finished design I am confident it will be stunning. I can't wait to see it and I hope Domino is still around to show us the finished product. Thanks D for the update and kudos to you Mr. Smith!
Be sure to check out the amazing slide show of Presidential rooms as well as Michael S Smith designed rooms on Domino's site here.
images via Michael S Smith & The White House Historical Society