SENTIMENTAL- Michael S Smith

today is a special day- my birthday- since we are in the middle of my favorite homes week i had to draw upon a house that has had some sentimental pull, as well as, amazingly inspiring and beautiful.

michael, lily and i went to santa barbara and montecito last week for a night. we stayed at the biltmore, which sits right on the pacific ocean. words can’t describe the  beauty and serenity. while there, as we always do, we drove the neighborhoods and took in the local architecture and design. a house that kept coming into my mind was this home designed by michael s smith in montecito, my favorite interior designer! published in elle decor many years ago and photographed by henry bourne.

this magazine issue has never been far from my reach. the house sits on the grounds of the former pillsbury estate, it was updated to reflect portuguese design and lifestyle with such authenticity and detail. I’ve used many of the ideas to influence our homes over the years- the white floors, coromandel screen, gilt wood mirrors, blue and white porcelain, hurricanes and lanterns, saddle brown leather accents with brass nail heads, belgium linen slipcovered furniture, floor to ceiling ivory linen curtains.

whats most stunning about this house is the blue and white tiles that create a chair rail throughout the living room. chic, chic, chic! reproductions of 18th century portuguese design, the most perfect design and perfect shade of blue green. love, love, love! i love so much i found the tiles and had our powder room in our current home tiled in the same manner. very old world , very chic, very sentimental!

as the new year quickly approaches, plan a journey to portugal. if you can’t get to portugal, visit montecito and santa barbara, and if you can’t get to california enjoy these beautiful pictures. mr smith’s birthday present to me and my birthday present to you.

french doors dressed in foor-to-ceiling linen curtains- 18th century brazilian jacaranda secretary at end of the room- love, love, love!

the portuguese- style manor house built on the site of a late-19th century pillsbury family mansion

michael s smith many years ago standing in front of a gorgeous coromandel screen- my birthday wish!

reproductions of 18th century portuguese tile create an absolutely gorgeous back drop to the living room- a  pair of slipcovered sofas flanking the fireplace mantle- chic, chic, chic!  

a gilt mirror and blue and white portuguese plates hanging above stone fireplace mantle

a late 16th -century painting anchors the living room and sits over a saddle brown leather settee that michael s smith reproduced later for his furniture line- jasper- im so lucky to have the jasper settee in my dining room!

an antique table with drawers is beautifully accessorized in the living room- the blue and white tile is remarkable!

entrance hall- an antique rosewood portuguese table flanked by saddle brown leather régence armchairs- the collection of antlers from the south of frane  add an unexpected touch of rustic chic!

dining room- commissioned copies of antique portuguese colonial chairs surround the dining table

a lime-stone topped draper’s table anchors the center of the kitchen

breakfast room with antique portuguese ceramic plates hanging on wall- casual chic!

guest bathroom- another design of tile reproduced from antique portuguese originals- a pair of vaughan scones-love, love, love!

the library- cherrywood bookcases full of books- i love books!

guest bedroom- portuguese floral chintz from lisbon was used for the walls, curtains and bedcoverings- i love a singular print used throughout an entire room- chic!

master bedroom sitting room- ethereal wallpaper reflecting in the antique gilt mirror- gorgeous!

the sitting room opens onto a walled garden with an early 19th century fountain

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  1. YES, Very very beautiful. And unsurpassed.
    The only person who could possibly surpass and outdo this project, for beauty, I think, would be Michael himself. lightning strike more than once?

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