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C California Style

The designer's new tome. Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design by Michael S. Smith, Rizzoli New York, 2013.
Michael S. Smith. PHOTO: Joao Canziani.

America’s Finest

by intern

In his fourth book on interiors for Rizzoli publishing, Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design, Santa Monica-based designer Michael S. Smith takes remodeling hobbyists on the ultimate behind-the-scenes tour.

Smith, who’s best known as Obama’s White House decorator, re-imagined an “ungraceful” Palladian villa in Malibu in 1993 and documented the meticulous transformation. Then, in another unconventional move, Christie’s auctioned off 500 lots from the home, including master paintings and Chinese antiquities, that the owners liquidated once the property was sold. With his new role as consulting creative director at Brunschwig & Fils, a design gig at Templeton, and an expanding collection of furniture at his Jasper showroom, Smith hasn’t slowed down a bit. michaelsmithinc.com.

Written and edited by Christine Lennon