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Rebecca Hughes


'Building Beauty'

I recently had the pleasure of being invited to the book launch of designer Michael S. Smith, who famously redecorated the residential quarters of the White House for President Obama in 2010.

Smith’s style takes influences from both European classicism and American modernism, cleverly describing himself as an ‘updated traditionalist’. His gift is his ability to fuse these two distant references into a rich and beautiful blend.

The launch for 'Building Beauty' was held at the Jamb showroom, which I always love seeing. It truly encompasses English elegance. It was also good to hear more about Smith’s own furniture and fabric collection, Jasper, which is represented by Jamb. I have used his fabric collection for a couple of London townhouses over the last 18 months and have found his prints to be helpful in adding a dash of colour or interest.

‘Building Beauty’ is a detailed explication of the design process Smith goes through. For the book Smith took on the challenge of designing an ordinary looking house in the attempt to create something extraordinary. The book takes the reader through each room and his thinking process of each decision. The aim of his writing is to give the reader a blueprint in renovating their own home. 

Any reader will appreciate the stunning images on display and the gorgeous overall presentation of the book.

Also connected to the book, from today, April 23rd to 24th, Christie’s is selling the entire contents of this Smith designed Palladian villa and garden in Malibu. This is the house featured in ‘Building Beauty’ and has been recently sold. This fascinating sale encompasses over 450 lots, and includes contemporary art, English furniture, Old Master paintings, Chinese works of art and antiquities.

Michael S. Smith - http://www.michaelsmithinc.com/

Jamb - http://www.jamblimited.com/uk/home

97 Pimlico Road, London SW1W 8PH

Christies - http://www.christies.com/salelanding/index.aspx?intSaleID=24326

85 Old Brompton Road London SW7 3LD

Simon LuntComment