Classic style and impeccable attention to detail are hallmarks of the work of interior designer Matthew Patrick Smyth. His comfortable, timeless rooms are tailored to fit his clients’ personalities and lifestyles, whether they are dynamic young couples with children or cultured art collectors. Smyth masterfully blends contemporary pieces with antiques to endow each space with a sense of solidity and history while maintaining a completely fresh, modern sensibility.
Smyth credits his mentor David Easton for teaching him how to see the intrinsic value of any given piece and to successfully mix furnishings with similar lines, materials, and forms even when they are products of different centuries. Easton also embedded in Smyth a love for travel—leading to the designer’s devotion to all things French that permeates his work. Smyth opened his own firm in New York in 1987 and now works with clients around the globe. His designs—characterized by refined, flawless interior architecture—are seen in grand Shelter Island mansions, classically proportioned San Francisco townhouses, and demure Parisian pied-à-terres alike.
In this lavishly illustrated volume, Smyth reveals his own design tips, rules, and approaches to meeting challenges offered by uniquely shaped spaces. He focuses on editing collections to better showcase individual works, the personal nature of color selection, adding—or restoring—historical references, and finishing a space off with glorious, often unexpected fabrics and trims. Over two hundred color photographs showcase a wide variety of styles, from a nature-infused Aspen vacation home to the quintessential Upper East Side apartment to a London flat that smoothly blends its owner’s inherited collection of Renaissance art with fine Indian pieces.
“Living Traditions: Interiors by Matthew Patrick Smyth ($50, The Monacelli Press) finally launched last week, and I have to say, it was a long time coming. Ever since Matthew started his practice, in 1987, he has been urged by his friends and clients like Gloria Vanderbilt to do a book of his own designs. But Matthew is that rare bird in the design business: a true gentleman with virtually no ego. His work is elegant and understated, and he always leaves enough room for his client’s tastes to shine through.” —Wendy Goodman, New York Magazine