We are enjoying our BlueStar range on a daily basis and always receive compliments on its appearance."
Steve Irey - Redding, CA
Owner of a BlueStar 48” Freestanding Gas Range with a Griddle (RNB486GSS)
Published: November 2011
Michael S. Smith's strategies for designing high-function spaces
Next month, Michael S. Smith - decorator to the Obamas, Cindy Crawford, and Steven Spielberg - releases his third book, Michael S. Smith Kitchens and Baths. The topic this time: the two most renovated rooms in any house. We asked the California native about the book and his strategies for designing these high-function spaces.
Elle Decor: You've decorated some of the world's most glamorous homes. Why focus your book on these more utilitarian spaces?
Michael S. Smith: Kitchens and bathrooms are super challenging. Not to overstate it, but I think designing a kitchen cabinet is as difficult as designing a skyscraper. There are so many choices, it can become overwhelming.
ED: Where does one start?
MS: Look at projects by the best designers and architects who ever worked in the vernacular of your home. If you have a Georgian-style house, look at David Adler. A modern condo? Le Corbusier. Use this design vocabulary to create rooms that connect to your architecture.
ED: What trends are you seeing in kitchen and bathroom design?
MS: They're finally getting smaller. They're very efficiently designed and beautiful; I'm no longer seeing 16-foot, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills - size kitchen islands. When something is too big, you lose the coziness. The idea of bathroom and spa has stayed - it's a private space that should be special and personal. Good lighting is key, as is being fitted out with drawers for your stuff, like makeup.
ED: How do you warm up functional space?
MS: Texture and color are the easiest ways. I love anything jewel-like or special, used in a sparing way. Anything that isn't attached - like kitchen cabinets or bath fixtures - is fair game.
ED: What are some of your favorite elements in a kitchen and bathroom?
MS: In a kitchen, I love appliancese - BlueStar ranges, Sub-Zero glass-door refrigerators. In a bathroom, the tub is a huge thing for me. I take baths all the time, and when people call me while I'm bathing I often get busted. Do you think it's too racy to take calls in the tub?
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