Thursday, January 08, 2009

Michael Smith Chosen as White House Decorator???




I've tended to shy away from reporting gossip and hearsay both in real life and in the virtual world (yes, I swear this is true),but my inner Cindy Adams is coming out. I've heard from a few reliable sources (who shall remain anonymous, of course) that Michael Smith has been tapped to decorate the White House for the Obamas. Many of you are far more connected than I, so I'd love to hear what others know. Let's treat this as an online gossip session. Give us confirmation if you have it readers!

53 comments:

  1. I have no clue -but I sincerely hope so! he's one of my top 5 favs :-)

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  2. Even if it is true, it seems a little early (and foolhardy, considering the economy) to have that kind of information leaked.

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  3. Aesthete- If I've heard it from people in New York and Atlanta, then word must have spread all over the place.

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  4. Architect- Should be interesting to see what he does- if it's true, of course.

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  5. omg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really really hope so!!!! wow - that would be soooo fabulous! could it be true? I really thought it would be Sheila Bridges - that was my guess, but Smith is so knowledgable about antiques - he would be great. Please be true! haha! I have some gossip too- another major design magazine has folded. major.

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  6. So the so cal style might be moving to DC! I'm sure it will be interesting and gorgeous!

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  7. My heart just skipped with joy. Fingers crossed that this is the case.

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  8. CdT -don't be such a tease - which magazine???

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  9. I googled it, nothing. But, if he's doing the family quarters, it's likely we might not see the work for a long time. It takes a while for those pics to come out usually. The public spaces are done via a private Foundation and not re-done with each new administration. While the funds are raised privately, I'm sure with Obama beating the trillion $ deficit drum, they'd hardly do a major overhaul right now anyway. But, there are two little girls who need pretty new rooms!

    and separately - Joni - do tell!

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  10. I'm sad to say that COUNTRY HOME magazine has folded. It was published by Meredith Corporation and always did a great job with editorial and layout.

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  11. Oh Joni, NO FAIR, you must tell us what you know!!!

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  12. Oh we are loving this... thank you for sharing! He would be an outstanding choice from what little we know about him.

    Sending smiles to you Miss PoC,
    tp

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  13. Oh this could be very exciting!!!! But I also want to know which mag is folding. i am sick of losing my subscriptions...just got the actual letter from Cottage Living this week.

    Kim

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  14. Would have been nice to choose a DC designer, like David Mitchell or Thomas Pheasant.

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  15. I left out Darryl Carter as a possibility.

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  16. I've heard that they are going to chose a DC designer, and that Thomas Pheasant and Darryl Carter are most likely. I just met a local designer who is working on the Vice Presidents home... hmmm

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  17. I was hoping for a modern design: like when Mitterand did all modern french Starck for Elysee Palace to stimulate interest in new production industry instead of just more Antiques...

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  18. Actually, Jakubowski, the French Government has always reached out to new young(ish) designers in order to acquire furniture for the Mobilier National, such as Hervé van der Straeten, et cetera. The French also have been the forefront of furnishing embassies around the world with cutting-edge design by great contemporary designers, such as Maxime Old, Jean Prouvé, and others. Amazing that the States doesn't have a similar appreciation for fostering native contemporary design and making it a part of the national image. Instead we fall back on overstuffed armchairs and chintz. Because that's so much how America sees itself.

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  19. Haven't heard a thing from over here, but it would be amazing if he did!

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  20. I ADORE Michael- but thought that they might be interested in Darryl Carter for his new American look (his new book is like a bible BTW)...if you don't have it- RUN and get it! Also thought people were buzzing about Nate Berkus because of the Chicago and Oprah connection. All I know is that they didn't ask me (boo...) but whomever they pick should scrub down the place from the soon to be previous tenants first!

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  21. Anonymous12:55 AM

    Michael Smith would be perfect. His eye and style have matured in appealing ways. His rooms are vibrant, never static - they have verve; just like the Obamas. There's nothing regional about his work. He's stylish, not a stylist, like some of the others mentioned.

    David Mlinaric would be the truly inspired choice - especially for the historically significant public rooms, which were really dunmbed down by Laura Bush. If anyone could lure David Mlinaric out of retirement, it's Michelle Obama.

    And when in doubt, call Albert Hadley. He, above all, remains the American Master.

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  22. I hope they do something!! Have you seen pictures of the way the Bush's live? The private quarters look like a second rate very conservative pseudo luxury hotel- I was shocked. If there is a way for the Obama's to do something interesting , fresh and news worthy that also is reflective of their political point of view it would be fantastic! We all know there are ways to shop Ikea, Crate and Barrel, High point mixed with W.H. antiques that could have a bright clear clean editorial appeal.... sort of the mirror image of her fashion. Wouldn't that make a new kind of White House decor for a new kind of Presidency? I vote for Thomas Obrien.

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  23. amkindc9:07 AM

    I love Michael Smith's work, but his style doesn't seem like an obvious fit for the Obamas. Nate Berkus and Darryl Carter "feel" more right. But speculating is fun.

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  24. My DC source tells me that Nate Berkus is the word in the street but that there's also an African American designer that Michelle likes....

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  25. I've heard Nate Berkus too b/c of the Chicago/Oprah connection. Boy, the rumors that are swirling around!

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  26. Anonymous10:38 AM

    I wonder if Shelia Bridges could be the African-American designer...? No first-hand knowledge just speculation...

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  27. Anon- I had wondered about Bridges too, but didn't she decorate Bill Clinton's Harlem office? Wonder if that might taint it for the Obamas. But what do I know!

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  28. One can only hope....and be so delighted at the prospect. Finally a real decorator, with real talent, and a respect and knowledge of antiques, contemporary design; in all a visionary person for our nation's first home. Not since the Kennedy administration has the potential for the White House's appearance been so strong, if the Smith "rumors" are true. A very exciting proposal for a very proven American designer. Go Michael!

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  29. My money is on Cullman and Kravis who are Oprah's current decorators. And as Oprah is currently into American Folk Art - a specialty of Mrs. Cullman - it would be an even more appropriate choice. EEE

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  30. Michael Smith is a wonderful decorator. The only Michael Smith the Bush administration ever heard of is Michael W. Smith (Christian singer)!!!!!!!!! I live in D.C. and would prefer a D.C. designer-my personal choice would be Darryl Carter. (My greatest fear is that they choose a designer from the Clinton years-Obama can't seem to select anyone for his cabinet for example that did not serve in the Clinton administration.) I would beware of rumors-many of these designers may be floating their own names!

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  31. Emily, I didn't realize that C&K were Oprah's decorators. Hmmm... another possibility!

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  32. Beth- You make a good point. Perhaps I should have written a post saying that I would be decorating the White House!

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  33. Has the obama camp even addressed the decoration of the white house at all (officially or not?)? I'm suspicious that this is all hearsay and publicity stunts by designers.

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  34. Anonymous11:57 AM

    This seems like it may have been an excellent opportunity to tap some Chicago talent, of which there is quite a lot. I believe the Clintons looked to their home town for the White House's decor, in fact, which was refreshing.

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  35. Architect- I have a feeling that the administration would say very little about this, esp. in light of the economy and the situation in the Middle East.

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  36. Wow! All so exciting! Nothing against Nate Berkus, but I truly find his style to be low-rent so, I hope they don't choose him. My Vote to Michael Smith/Darryl Carter!!

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  37. Anonymous1:19 PM

    i just hope it's not chicago-based Branca.

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  38. Anonymous1:37 PM

    POC...you are no Cindy Adams. you have style like Liz Smith!!!! This is like Page Six. i love it. do this more often.

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  39. Anon- Thank you. I'd much rather be Liz Smith!

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  40. scone4:19 PM

    I believe the incoming President gets a certain amount of money from Congress to do up the private quarters. That money presumably can't be spent on anything else. In any case, spending the money could be seen as economic stimulus. God knows the design trades could use the work.

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  41. Anonymous6:25 PM

    Michael Smith seems like the safe choice. More inoffensive than interesting.

    Nate Berkus is not terrible, but Obama would probably be advised not to pick a designer hawking a line of merchandise through Home Shopping Network, no matter how tasteful.

    http://home-decor.hsn.com/nate-berkus_c-hd_a-5936_xc.aspx?cm_re=B_BB*Center*NateBerkusNew

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  42. Oh, that would be utterly amazing. I guess he won't be coming to my house anytime soon (he is #1 on my decorator wish list). Can you imagine?! I don't know how he could accomplish such a job because his work is so careful and considered, it will take him forever.

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  43. I await with bated breath!

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  44. Anonymous10:12 PM

    I heard Kelly LaPlant has been in talks with him since the beginning of his campaign to "Green" the White House.

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  45. Anonymous12:45 PM

    Darryl Carter will be the White House Decorator....Why, you may ask...because Darryl wants it more than anyone alive, and it is the most obvious step in his master plan toward national fame. I have followed every calculating step he has ever taken since his first cover shot for Met' Home, where they proclaimed his style as the "new traditional," which coincidentally is the title of his new coffee table book. Darryl's entire career has been planned and controled down to every word that has ever been written about him. Darryl has the financial and social connections to become the White House decorator, and I would bet everything I own that he will move heaven and earth to make this happen....Mark my words. This was all sown up on Nov 4th.

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  46. Anonymous3:21 PM

    Did someone up above just suggest that the White House private quarters be outfitted with items from IKEA and others of that ilk? Dios mio!!!!

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  47. My money was on Darryl Carter, but people keep telling me it's Michael Smith. Oy, the drama of it all!

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  48. Anonymous1:32 AM

    Oh man, I hope it's not Darryl Carter - his work is so clinical and arid. The Obamas don't need a stage set.

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  49. It will be interesting to see, but I agree with another commenter....with the economy as it is....I think minimal changes are in order, don't you? Why spend a lavish amount of money on decorating the White House when so many people are suffering without even the necessities of life. That is just my humble opinion.

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  50. Anonymous1:07 PM

    Any update?

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  51. Anon- I'm trying to confirm this but am having no luck. I've heard from various people with seemingly legit connections who say it's true. But can't confirm yet. Will report back as soon as I know something.

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  52. UPDATE via Domino!

    http://www.dominomag.com/galleries/2009/02/michael_smith_guide

    All in favor of Micheal Smith say I because he is the man of the hour!

    Thanks PofC for this round of gossip!

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  53. elly- Thanks for the update! I knew my sources were right on!

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