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Obamas choose interior designer for White House

The White House private quarters will be getting a Hollywood-style makeover.
Los Angeles-based designer Michael Smith has been chosen by first lady Michelle Obama to decorate the private quarters of the executive mansion, transition officials said Tuesday.
Michelle Obama said Laura Bush had been a "wonderful steward" of the White House and that the family looked forward to making the East Wing home.
"Michael shares my vision for creating a family-friendly feel to our new home and incorporating some new perspectives from some of America's greatest artists and designers," she said in a statement.
Smith has designed the homes of director Steven Spielberg, actors Dustin Hoffman and Michelle Pfeiffer, model Cindy Crawford and mogul Rupert Murdoch. He's known for using antiques in a way that feels modern and airy.
"I think what he manages to do is to create historically based rooms that make sense for how people live today," said Deborah Needleman, editor-in-chief of Domino magazine. "The rooms are very comfortable and airy and light, and I think it's very rare that someone does big important antiques in a way that feels very relevant for how families live."
Smith will meet with the Obamas in coming weeks and focus first on the bedrooms for Sasha and Malia.
The California native serves on the Board of Trustees for the Otis College of Art and Design, where he studied. In a statement released by the transition team, he said he was happy to help the Obamas "bring their own energy and style" to the private quarters.
"The family's casual style, their interest in bringing 20th century American artists to the forefront and utilizing affordable brands and products will serve as our guiding principles as we make the residence feel like their home," he said.
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Updated : 2021-05-11 15:19 GMT+08:00