Episode 46 Know Before You Go: Spain with Designer Michael Smith
Michael Smith is one of the leading interior designers and decorators of our time. Honored as an AD Hall of Famer and Elle Decor’s Designer of the Year in 2003, he’s done apartments and homes for the likes of Shonda Rhimes, Cindy Crawford, and even the Obamas during their White House tenure. Each project he works on is deeply thoughtful and also unique. His career has taken him all over the world, with one of his most interesting projects being his redesign of the U.S. embassy residence in Madrid.
Michael’s move to Madrid with his partner, the former U.S. Ambassador to Spain, James Costos began a lifelong love affair with the country. He now has an apartment in Madrid and a home in Mallorca. In today’s conversation, he talks about how he uses interior design to create cultural dialogue and immersive, impactful experiences. He tells stories from his dream-like career, and explains how his job fuses his love for architecture, history, textiles and contemporary art. He also shares his passion for the Spanish capital as he reveals what’s so uniquely special about the lively, elegant city. And don’t miss his idea of a perfect day in Madrid – from breakfast in Retiro Park to the cafe where he took the Obamas and his favorite museums.
Lightning Round with Michael:
- A contemporary artist that’s currently inspiring you? Cristina Iglesias
- Favorite room in the White House? Yellow Oval Room
- Most underrated region in Spain and why? Madrid. People often think Barcelona is the capital.
- Best place for finding antiques in Spain? I always research on google antique shops in every town I go to in Spain.
- Best neighborhood in Madrid for shopping? Salamanca
- Favorite cafe in Madrid? Café Murillo
- What’s something every home needs that’s often overlooked? The right color light bulbs (2700 led) – most people have bulbs that are too cold which look terrible.
Melissa ends the episode with some of her personal recommendations for Madrid, including top hotels, where to buy the coveted espadrilles and some of her top picks for restaurants.
Tune in live: August 3, 2023 at 12 p.m. ET