January 14th, 2009
05:55 AM ET
6 years ago

Michelle Obama picks interior designer for White House

In announcing the Obamas' pick to renovate the East Wing, Mrs. Obama said Mrs. Bush has been a wonderful steward of the White House for the last eight years.
In announcing the Obamas' pick to renovate the East Wing, Mrs. Obama said Mrs. Bush has been a wonderful steward of the White House for the last eight years.

(CNN) – The incoming first family will have some expert help in making their new home their own.

Michelle Obama has selected interior designer Michael Smith to help the Obamas redecorate the private residence in the East Wing of the White House.

“Laura Bush has been a wonderful steward of The White House and created a beautiful residence for her family,” Michelle Obama said in a statement issued by the Obama transition team Tuesday evening. “I look forward to adding our own touch to the East Wing and creating a living space where our family feels comfortable, happy and settled. 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.”

Smith, a native of California, studied at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and in London.

“I am delighted to work with the Obamas as they bring their own energy and style to the residence at The White House,” Smith said in the statement. “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.”

Smith also takes “particular pride in his family-focused clientele and approach,” according to the statement.

–CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin contributed to this report.


Filed under: Michelle Obama • Obama transition
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Mari

    I love the fact that Michelle is using American designers both in the White House and for her clothing!

    Michelle a beautiful, gracious American woman!

    HOPE WON.......... HOPE WON...... HOPE WON...... HOPE WON.......... !!

    January 14, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. probably important on some level

    I don't know how, but the interior design must be important to somebody

    January 14, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. Ray Fisher

    I would hope that the present conditions would necessitate an energy efficient makeover to serve as a model home for America. I have been greatly impressed with the remodel of the Old North Church in Boston with LED lighting mounted in crown moulding to provide the glow effect of indirect lighting accenting the beauty of the architecture. I would think the same affect would be appropriate for the White House creating the image of subtle power and efficiency. I would also love to see a permenant National Christmas tree be planted on the grounds as a symbol of America's growth and committment to the environment. The practice of hunting and cutting a tree every year is wasteful, expensive and unnecessary when a living tree would suffice as a lasting legacy!!! The addition of solar & wind power would als be a plus!!!

    January 14, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |