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Q&A: Windsor Smith

Q&A: Windsor Smith
(An orange-themed hall vignettes in Los Angeles (above left) and the designer. Photos by Michael Wells and Cindy Gold)
Name: Windsor Smith
Occupation: Founder of Windsor Smith Home
Resides in: Brentwood, CA
Best known for: A glamour-infused take on New Traditional for a client roster including Gwyneth Paltrow and director Shawn Levy. 
Working on: An accessories line with Arteriors, and a book due out this spring from Rizzoli.

1. Vintage or modern?
Both! A wonderful dynamic is created when you incorporate both of these sensibilities into your room

2. City or country?
A hilltop overlooking the sea is my favorite.

3. Which colors, materials, or textures do you use most?
Grays, inky blues, black, pale orchid, and white. And soft, crisp, tactile, luxurious smart textures, metals in golds and silvers, grainy deconstructed woods, and I'm into colored leathers at the moment.

4. What is your dream collaboration?
To design an exotic island resort with Lenny Kravitz.

5. What is your favorite interior design-related word?
Scale. It is an essential of design and if you get this right you are way ahead of the game.
Q&A: Windsor Smith
(A bright and airy family room featuring classical columns and punchy red accents. Photo by Max Kim Bee)
6. Does your current home look like the one you grew up in?
Growing up in the midwest and Texas, my family homes were usually a little "rural" with a consistent palette of celery green and pale yellow. I am on the opposite end of the color spectrum.

7. Does a room need a view?
Every room should be connected to the outdoors in one way or another. One of my favorite design tricks is to create an architectural element in the landscape that can be seen on perfect axis with an interior element. It brings an instant sense of order and sophistication to an otherwise ordinary circumstance. 

8. Favorite designer or architect?
David Adler, Tadao Ando, Charles Platt, and Andrea Palladio.

9. Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
Pinterest, 1stdibs, and This is Glamorous.

10. What qualities do you most admire in a room?
Tall ceilings, generous windows, boiserie, and beautiful door hardware.

Q&A: Windsor Smith
(A dramatic master bedroom in a spectrum of silken hues. Photo by Luca Trovado) 
11. What is a forbidden word or phrase in your house?
Paper plates.

12. What "bad" design habit do you have no intention of breaking?
Dragging things I have acquired from house to house; I am more sentimental than I am inventive. I love a certain amount of "familiar" in a space. 

13. What is your favorite room in the house?
I love our kitchen; it is dreamy and crisp and glistens in virtually every quality of light. I also love our ink colored pool house with soft gray herringbone floors; we have movie nights out there and it reminds me of the drive-in movies that we went to as kids.

14. What is your most treasured possession?
A photograph of my boys giving me away to my husband on my wedding day.
15. What do you wish you could do without and why?
Emailing. It takes away too much time away from creative thought.
Q&A: Windsor Smith
(The elegant entry of a Beverly Hills residence (above left) and its salon-styled sitting area. Photos by Lisa Romerein)
16. Where in the world do you feel most at home?
At home.  And I love an island resort with expensive bedsheets. A balmy night is hard to beat.

17. What work of art would you most like to own?
A Cy Twombly, photographs by Arthur Elgort, sculptures by Anish Kapoor, and a Ruth Asawa ... yep, life would be perfect!

18. If you could live in one historical figure’s house, whose would it be?
A courtesan's palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice.

19. On what movie set would you like to live?
Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.

20. To which city would you move for the design?
Paris,France. It is heaven for the senses.

21. If you were reborn as a piece of furniture or an object, what would it be?
A garden bench overlooking Versailles.
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