Saturday, January 23, 2016

Michael S. Smith

Designer Michael S. Smith
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.

Another of the interior designers who inspire me, is Michael Smith.  I admire him for not only his work, but the way he's designed his life.  While others merely dream of decorating the White House private quarters, Michael and his firm have done it. 

When Billy and I were out in California, we visited the San Juan Capistrano shop of the esteemed dealer, Gep Durenberger.  While Gep had since left California, to return to his roots,  we were able to soak up the essence of his style and taste.  I was mesmerized, since my department chairman, FIT, Stanley Barrows, always had such good things to say about Gep.  Michael worked for Gep!  He also worked for Saladino, and I still vividly recall the dramatic elegance of the Saladino offices in New York, which were actually above the Parish-Hadley offices!

The stunning Thunderbird Country Club house Michael shares with his partner, James, was featured in AD.  Rancho Mirage never looked so good.  Enjoy!  DF *****

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