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Michael S. Smith: Elements of Style Hardcover – November 22, 2005
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1. Pairs help to create a formal look: See the 2 leaf green lamps w/blue grey shades, 2 crystal sconces on end wall, 2 ornate crystal candelabra, 2 brass candlesticks on mantle, and 2 photos framed alike.
2. Echoes: Black fireplace box w/white surround & mantle echoes... the black & white photographs/sketches w/white mats & black frames and...the black piano next to all-white floor lamp; Painting of black curving figures on light tan background in brass/gilt frame echo the very solid black coffee table on the cream rug w/tan curving figures.
3. Use of Color in this Room: A subtle example -- There are 3 pieces of furniture with painted wood (excluding the piano): A chair with a cream/white frame, a table/stool in oxblood, and a settee with a blue grey frame. These are shades of the three primary colors. The colors of these 3 painted pieces together comprise the complete spectrum. The "color scheme" of the room as a whole also comprises the complete spectrum. The painted wood is a microcosm of this characteristic of the room. (And the complete spectrum gives us? ...Light.)
4. Gradations of Tints: The use of light-to-dark shades of each color gives a painterly quality to the room, softening the contrasts of colors and emphasizing the volume of the architecture, of the space.Read more ›
Of course his budget exceeds that which most of us have. In one case he was thinking of a Portuguese quinta (a traditional manor house), so he flew to Lisbon to get some ideas. I can't say that I did anything like that when I was decorating.
The book itself is beautifully illustrated, with high quality printing using a matte finish paper that shows off the pictures very well without the glare of magazine glossy. The pictures were obviously made in rooms that were carefully prepared. There's not a dirty sock in sight, and I can just imagine what some of the rooms would look like after a five year old boys birthday party.
The writing, however, is painfully bad. To ferret out the few, knowledgeable bits of advice, one must search through useless bits of nonsense.
If you want to be inspired, if you want text that is wonderfully informative and if you want an education in design, try Rose Tarlow, Saladino or even Vincente Wolf. These great designers have put a lot of effort in trying to teach us something.
I think Michael Smith just took the money and ran with this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are a fan of Michael S. Smith's elegant and intriguing style, this book is a lovely introduction to his gorgeous rooms. Read morePublished on November 14, 2013 by L. M. Keefer
This is a beautiful book that displays a distinctive style, devoid of clichés, every room is different, yet speak with a singular voice. Read morePublished on March 7, 2013 by Victoria S
I enjoyed, but I didn't find anything in the book quite as beautiful as the cover.Published on June 24, 2009 by G. Oldham
MICHAEL SMITH IS ONE OF THE BEST AMERICAN DESIGNERS PRACTICING TODAY AND IT SHOWS IN THIS BEAUTIFULLY PHOTOGRAPHED BOOK... Read morePublished on March 18, 2007 by John Witherspoon
I bought this book only because of the very rich Tony Douquette-like intior on the cover, fully expecting to see more of the same or similar inside. Read morePublished on January 3, 2007 by Randall R. Bruce
This book leaves me cold. I ordered it as an 'add-on' because I was getting a couple of others and I guess it's what I deserve, for buying it sight unseen. Read morePublished on August 14, 2006 by book fiend
Disappointed in the overall look and content of the book. Would rate it a C+.
Finally a designer who gives his own original ideas to space. I love the way he makes rooms come together. His approach is always fresh and always new. Read morePublished on July 3, 2006 by Jennifer Morris
I picked this book up looking for lots of ideas for the home I have just bought. Maybe Michael Smith does great stuff for the very wealthy, but I can honestly say I did not get one... Read morePublished on May 8, 2006 by C Collins