From ELLE Decor
Although abundant of Los Angeles dates aback alone as far as the aboriginal 20th century, the almost adolescent burghal holds an absurd affection for old-world charms. Michael S. Smith, the L.A. artist who redesigned the White Abode during the Obama administration, afresh completed the interiors of a Beverly Hills home dating to 1932 that carefully resembles a archetypal Mediterranean villa—terra-cotta roof tiles, adhesive walls, and all. Inside, Smith’s access embraces that likeness, as the angled aperture opens to a antechamber evocative of a European courtyard; the floors are paved in reclaimed Spanish stone, and miniature antiquities, including a baby brace carved from marble, sit aloft an 18th-century arctic Italian walnut console. As the skylight at the top of the axial access illuminates the boutonniere of afresh cut olive branches below, one gets the audible awareness of continuing in the accessible Mediterranean air.
The blow of the 12,000-square-foot, nine-bedroom home additionally unfolds as a adventure through altered eras and destinations, a aggregation of assorted celebrated European sensibilities: the layering of angrily blooming textiles, an affluence of alluringly crafted marble and stone, and a appalling accumulating of 17th- and 18th-century art and design.
Smith describes these interiors as a “greatest-hits album,” a attestation to the clients’ apple travels. For decades, he and the brace who own the abode accept done a fair bulk of drifting together, scouring flea markets and bargain houses to accouter their residences in New York, California, Majorca, and beyond. For this home, Smith absitively to cull altered architecture elements from the couple’s affluent past, “reshuffling the deck,” he says, by bringing them calm beneath one roof. “This is array of the beverage of what they’ve admired about all the houses they’ve had.”
Dialing up his yen for pattern, Smith says his “jumping-off point” was his use of French fabrics to accompany blush and amore into the home. In the academic active room, surrounding the anew installed Louis XVI–style marble fireplace, the sofas are adipose in an archival Pierre Frey print, a adventurous burden of floral branches that aboriginal emerged in the salons of 17th- and 18th-century Europe. Working with Pierre Frey, Smith fine-tuned the arrangement to a adumbration of persimmon, a accompaniment to the custom terra cotta–pink Venetian-plaster walls.
“This abstraction of a blush active allowance was article that we anticipation about for their added houses in the past,” Smith says, but it hadn’t been accomplished until now. “When you assignment with the aforementioned bodies for so long, you apperceive that one day you’ll be able to use an idea, so you affectionate of book it abroad in your head.”
On the additional floor, as allotment of the main-bedroom suite, the wife’s absorbed bath and abstraction arm-twist the airiness of a French garden; the abstraction walls are covered in a Zuber chinoiserie, the leaves and petals of which accept been cautiously corrective assimilate the ceiling. On the adverse ancillary of the capital bedroom, “the bedmate had a actual specific bolt in mind,” Smith says—a archetypal red-and-white toile pattern. Smith commutual it with aphotic cabinetry and shelves to bang a adult tone, echoed by the copse bank of his abstraction on the aboriginal floor.
Alongside a able-bodied account of antiques, anew commissioned pieces were aggressive by the past, like the capital bedroom’s account of Hubert de Givenchy’s bed at his Clos de Fiorentina estate. In the dining room, the walls are covered in alluringly patterned, embossed, and hand-painted leather, ascent to the akin of adroitness apparent in the adorned gold frames of the aged mirrors and 18th-century oil paintings afraid about the room.
It was the couple’s claimed history, however, that aggressive the dejected and white–tiled wainscoting of the garden room, a absolutely added airy bend of the arena attic area their grandchildren can comedy with their toys. In the backward 1990s, they had endemic a home alfresco Santa Barbara that Smith busy as a acceptable Portuguese country house, complete with azulejo-style tiles. “They admired them,” Smith says, and with that abode accepting continued been sold, he reproduced those tiles here. The patterns bell with the dejected and white of the couple’s English paisley upholstery.
“Taking all these altered pieces and applicable them together, it’s admirable how they all assignment in a altered context,” Smith says. As appliance follows you from home to home, he adds, “it’s the ultimate abiding investment.” Reflecting on the decades that he and his audience accept shared, the aforementioned ability be said of a acceptable autogenous designer.
This adventure originally appeared in the November 2020 affair of ELLE Decor. SUBSCRIBE
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