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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How a Designer Turned This “Modern White Box” Into a Lively—and Functional—Family Home

Photo credit: Heidi's Bridge
Photo credit: Heidi’s Bridge

From House Beautiful

If there’s an interior designer in New York City who knows how to give a modern, new build apartment a warm personality with a sense of history, it’s Shanti Crawford of Indigo & Ochre Design. With a background in international human rights, Crawford’s “first forays into design were to create income generation avenues for at-risk women,” she says. “It evolved from there, but I’ve always stayed true to my roots through my firm’s focus on socially responsible and sustainable design.” This is reflected Crawford’s colorful, thoughtfully collected, and layered approach to decorating.

So, before her clients—a family with three human daughters and one canine daughter—even closed on this 2,600-square-foot, four bedroom penthouse in Brooklyn, they asked Crawford to lend her expertise as a design advisor. “I was hired before my clients closed and construction was completed to give guidance on the

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