Award winning Matthew Patrick Smyth is one of rare Interior Designers who has such a great work aesthetic that families have worked with him generation after generation. That tells you so much about his personality and the kind of resonance he has with his clients who live all across the world. He also is very generous and pays it forward by giving generously of his time and involvement to designing rooms in the Designer Showhouses that benefit many charities. These have included The Ronald McDonald House, The Kips Bay Showhouse (year after year), The Greenwich Showhouse and more.
Though his book, Living Traditions was published in 2011, it is just as current and fresh today as it was then. He is currently working on an additional book of his design projects.
Please enjoy my recent interview with Matthew. Thank you so much Matthew for taking the time to visit with me.
Q1) When did you first realize that you had an interest in Interior Design and creating beautiful homes for others? Where you an artist in your youth or did you have that creative mind set early on?
I was always creative and thought I would have a career in advertising art. After graduating with a business degree, I met an Interior Designer and watched how he worked. I then knew that I was on the right track.
Q2) Where do you find the inspiration for your work? Your travels, museums, art?
Travel is my main source of inspiration. It's the most valuable means of learning and evolving.
Q3) Matthew did or do you have mentors who have encouraged you in your choice to enter the design business?
The late designer Robert Menhennet was the first designer I met. He encouraged me to move to NYC and get a good job upon graduation. He was very encouraging and a great help.
Q4) Who are some Interior Designers past or present that you greatly admire?
Q5) How important is the role of art, artifacts and sculpture in your design projects?
Art, artifacts and sculpture are the finishing touches for a project. It adds the final dimension that pulls it all together.
Q6) Do you have a special project or two you can mention that especially resonated with you? Perhaps because of the client, the locale, setting, the property?
My very first project was on Park Avenue for a young couple with small children. They are both very close to me today and the daughter is a client!
Q7) Where are some of your upcoming book signing events we can let readers know about?
In Twin Cities, Minnesota...Sept 21!!
Q8) Mathew what are some words of wisdom you can give the aspiring Interior Designer of any age?
Don't be in a rush to BREAK OUT on your own. It's a very complicated business and the more you can learn, the better
9) I know that you have been very generous with your charitable endeavors by your involvement in Designer Show Houses. Would you tell our readers about that?
Yes! One example is two years ago I did the RONALD MC DONALD SHOWHOUSE.... It was the most rewarding project I was ever involved in. What was nice is that everything stayed on after we left and was used by the children and their families who are dealing with cancer and getting treatment at the hospital. The suppliers were so eager to help and donate their services as were the designers. Their was a direct connection to the cause which is often not the case. I did the NY METS (the owner is on the board of the hospital) TV Room..... it was great fun for me also. When I picked a room everyone was shocked I wanted the NY METS room!
Matthew has also branched out into product design. He produces two Matthew Patrick Smyth carpet collections. A Matthew Smyth line of fabrics was introduced by F. Schumacher and a line of wallcovering designs soon followed. Savoir Beds of London has commissioned Matthew to design a bed for their elite collection.
Mathew thank you again for your participation in this interview; it has been a pleasure!
Be sure to visit his Interior Design website at www.matthewpatricksmyth.com
Purchase Living Traditions for your design library at your local bookseller or at Amazon.com
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The Arts by Karena