Chicago Sun-Times
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Michelle Obama picks California designer Michael Smith as White House decorator


release below from obama transition office....


The Presidential Transition Office announced details today regarding the selection of a White House decorator- a tradition and customary decision for new First Families.

Michael Smith has been chosen by Michelle Obama to help make The White House residence their home. A native of California, Smith studied interior design at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and continued his studies in London. He returned to California to open a home furnishings store and launched his own design firm in l990. Michael Smith serves on the Board of Trustees for the Otis College of Art and Design. He takes particular pride in his family-focused clientele and approach.

"Laura Bush has been a wonderful steward of The White House and created a beautiful residence for her family. 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," said Michelle Obama.

"I am delighted to work with the Obamas as they bring their own energy and style to the residence at The White House," said decorator Michael Smith. "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."


who is paying michael smith for the work?? the obamas or us taxpayers??

I love the Obama family :) Class all the way!

What do they do with the furniture from past Presidents? Do they donate it ?

I think that Michele Obama is tacky. It is a good thing there are guidelines to the rest of the WhiteHouse.

This is a travesty. Michael Smith is known for the gaudy more than the classy. Oy.

Hi, My name is Eilis Soto I am artist/painter and I have a beautiful original piece of art that I created on Summer 2008 I named Little Puppies. I think that it is a beautiful painting that Obama's daughter will love because they love puppies. contact me if you are interesting or

You go, Michelle! Money is NOOOO object in this ecenomy!!!! We'll have our wallets open & give you any spare change to pay for this ... oh, wait, we're already paying for it??!! My error!!!
Anyhoooo - the sky's the limit!!! FOREMOST in every American's mind is - MY GOD, WILL THE OBAMAS BE COMFY IN THEIR NEW HOME????? Thanks for taking that pressure off the shoulders of the suffering Americans! We know you'll use INCREDIBLE discretion & keep the costs under the price of hubby's inauguration.
You & the Prez-Elect are UNTOUCHABLE - GOGOGO!!!
Have fun looking at color swatches!!!!

who is paying Michael Smith? the same people who are going to pay for George Bush's wars and exploding deficits. get real.

we taxpayers pay for all the presidents stuff like this, not just theirs

I really think that the Obama's and Michael Smith NEED to look at the furniture made by Pompanoosuc Mills in East Thetford, Vermont. The furniture is solid wood and made by hand. It is beautiful as well as fun and I think the children would just love it.
It is also a wonderful story of a man who had a dream and is working and live it. The election was about the "every" man, and this company really shows what someone can do. How nice it would be to see this furniture in the White House.

Oh My Gosh!!!! I personally know Michael Smith and i know for sure that he will do a great job on The White House while keeping an affordable cost in mind. So for all you haters out there that are to cheap to realize that a simple miror is only $20.00, then keep on hating because as far as im concerned, yall are all messed up and have NO room to talk.
Later B#%@#*s :)

Come on, people. Go buy a can of pretty paint, go home and redo your bedroom or something. Little touches go a long way. Try Goodwill for unique finds! It's not impossible to recreate a really 'cool' bohemian look to soothe a disgruntled ego. Give the Obama's a break. Say a prayer for our country and be happy for them! BJL

Not at all in touch with reality.

People! Grow up. You sound like jealous idiots. It is design for goodness sake. If you want to go to IKEA and design your all means go there! Every President receives $100K to redesign their living quarters. BUSH spent more than that and he wasn't redecorating!

Little minds discuss petty things logical people realize the bigger issues, like Safety and a since of well being (called normalcy) for Michelle's Family and Grace& Covernance for thier chldren, "Wisdom & Compassion' for her Husband and above all to hold on to the "Love and Unity" they share for us all."God's Blesssings" for the Obammas!!!! Prayers for all "Petty Minds......

Would have been great if the Obamas had set an example by foregoing on the redecoration. They could have done that when the economy looked better. Save the tax payers some money... Alas, not.

In this economy using a painter, wallpaper hanger and all the needs of upgrading will give jobs to those in need. Think baby steps and that giving employment is a positive baby step.

Michelle ,I think every thing you are doing is AWESOME!!! Keep it up, and know God has your back.MUCH LOVE

The Obamas are paying for it themselves, unlike Laura Bush's $60,000 RUG in ONE ROOM, which you paid for.

Michelle Obama is classier than you. You know how I know? She would never call you "tacky".

Hi Ms obama.
I watched you and your family from day one. The Bible says that the earth is the Lord's and the fullnes thereof the world and they that dwell therein.You continue to be yourself because we are praying. God is going to see President Barack Obama out of this mess victoriously. I am hoping to laugh again.
God bless you and your family including that wonderful mother of yours.

We have a small bussines in Los angeles and we do a lot of work for Michel Smith he is a great designer, we dont work directly with him but we know that our work goes to him and with this economy we want him to give us more to do. thank you Michel Smith.

Michael Smith..a very expensive interior designer.
I love his work, interesting the Obama's picked him.

A O T from Los Angeles

I don't care who's in office. Each President and First Lady get to decorate and make it their own. They give up a lot to live there. They leave their homes, the children leave their school, friends, etc. I did not vote for Obama but I respect him for the office he holds. His wife is beautiful and graceful and I hope that they live in comfort for whatever time they occupy the white house. It's sad that people begrudge the opportunities that are afforded the President and his family. Pay attention folks. Every President, including Obama age tremendously while in office. There is a lot of stress with this job. Give him and his family a break.

for all of you who are with the obama family redecorating the white house on our tax money while there is a war going on, Would you all be saying nice things if it was a white president?

Honestly People Who Cares I personally could care less If elmo was to redecorate the white house makes no diffrence its all a waste of time and effort to many other important things to worry about that no one is paying attention to The way this economy is 2 war a trillion dollar deficit and suffering middle class americans Whom foot the bill for everything the obamas are spending NO MATTER WHICH WAY U SLICE IT WE ARE PAYING FOR EVERYTHING YALL THEY ARE MILKING US DRY GOD HELP ALL OF US

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 13, 2009 5:30 PM.

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