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'Michael S. Smith Kitchens and Baths' book

October 7, 2011 | 10:14 am

Michael Smith kitchen
"Michael S. Smith Kitchens and Baths," released this week by Rizzoli ($45), is a detailed look at the White House decorator's projects with an emphasis on the parts of the house that often require the strongest marriage of style and function. Though stressful financial times have made many readers sensitive to anything with a whiff of opulence, authors Smith and Christine Pittel speak with an unapologetic voice as they walk through high-priced commissions from Malibu to Martha's Vineyard. It helps that many of the projects are not the kinds of decorating stunts that fill show houses (and books) but, rather, Smith's attempt to deliver livable spaces for clients who have the means to execute his ideas and indulge the occasional fantasy.

Photos: "Michael S. Smith Kitchens and Baths"


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 -- Craig Nakano

Photo: For a family house in L.A., Smith deployed a simple butcher-block counter and playful light fixtures whose shades were flea market finds. Credit: Scott Frances