Designing History Offers an Intimate Look at the Design of the Obama-Era White House

Photo credit: © Designing History by Michael S. Smith, Rizzoli New York, 2020
Photo credit: © Designing History by Michael S. Smith, Rizzoli New York, 2020

From Veranda

Renowned interior designer Michael S. Smith is no stranger to designing high-profile celebrity residences and office spaces, but he could have never guessed it would all prepare him for the project of a lifetime: decorating The White House for one of our nation’s most historic administrations. The designer, and now-member of the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, reflects on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in his latest book, Designing History: The Extraordinary Art & Style of the Obama White House, which debuts September 1.

“The Obamas were my constant inspiration, and their mission to celebrate the White House as the People’s House, a place that was welcoming and accessible to all Americans, led to our focus on highlighting the best of America in every possible way—through not just the diversity of creative talents,

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This Video Series Offers a Peek at Stunning Design Locales

Photo credit: Neil Landino
Photo credit: Neil Landino

From Veranda

A landmark gate house in Pittsburgh. A masterful Connecticut garden with a delicious pedigree. An early 20th-century planned community in Houston that serves as a paradigm of architectural diversity.

As virtual field trips go, they don’t get better than this. In a recently launched video series by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA), a Who’s Who roster of top design talents share peeks into their own backyards (both literally and figuratively) to offer illuminating perspectives on near-and-dear landmarks and other feats of good traditional design.

The series, entitled In Your Neighborhood, arose in part out of a sense of COVID-era localism—architect and board member Eric Osth came up with the idea, says ICAA president Peter Lyden. “He is deeply invested in understanding the elements that make for beautiful, livable, and memorable towns, cities, and neighborhoods,” notes Lyden, adding that he

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