Sunday, December 27, 2015

Reading Michael S. Smith

I am reading Michael S. Smith's The Curated House: Creating Style, Beauty and Balance (Rizzoli) and wonder to myself: When did the word curated enter the lexicon of accepted terms to describe an interior? It's rather like writing about the composered symphony or authored book.

Smith's other books occupy my shelves, and his current tome was received as a Christmas present. I've sat with it twice now in a chair opposite the sofa you see, which, btw, was sourced from the street—which either makes me resourceful or stupid. I'd like to think the former. 

But back to Smith's book. 

Something about it bothers me, and it bothers me that it bothers me since I rather like his other books. 

What bothers me? The masses of furniture in many of the rooms which want an editor. Masses of furniture which are corporate in feeling.  

If he was a musician, I would tell him to savor the silence in music and go back to singing with his own voice. 

That said, I really enjoy his dark masculine environments like the Spanish Old World Meets New house on page 183-193, excepting of course, the two chairs that trumpet their backs high above the other soft furniture in the living room. Why does he break beauty in this way?

Making the viewer look at objects—they call it stealing focus in the theater—does not allow for the delight of discovery.


  1. I've been dying to see this book, need to purchase my own copy, had hoped I would get it as a gift! I have all of his other books (even the sotheby catalog for his one project which recently sold the contents there) so am a bit worried to hear this book might not be so great!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Architectdesign. There are a few glaring photographer "edits" too, that is, furniture is moved to create a photo which has nothing to do with the original design that can be seen on the same page. Picky on my part perhaps, but I'd rather see a room as it was intended.


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