How do you describe designer Shaun Smith in one word? Gorgeous. We’re talking about his style of course…though he’s not too shabby either. Shaun is a natural born talent, but this modest Mississippi man doesn’t boast. Every time someone sings his praises (and its often), he nods to his neighbor and says he’s been blessed to learn from the best.
There is no question Shaun Smith has a knack for styling. He can walk into any room, take its contents, turn them upside down, and viola! You have an entirely new room. Shaun takes us on a tour of a recent project and shows us how he transformed this space to truly reflect the client’s view point, style and personality.
TSG: Tell us about this project. What was the client’s charge to you for this home?
SS: This project was a transformation of a one-story Victorian house into a camelback with an addition of a large open family room and kitchen. My client wanted her home to be grown up, feminine, but livable so friends could come over with kids or dogs. People-friendly. Not fussy. She wanted a palette that would feel good to anyone. She pleaded with me to reuse as many existing pieces as I could, and in the front of the house, we did. It’s amazing what a little rearranging and a fresh coat of paint can do!
BEFORE AND AFTER TRANSFORMATION
TSG: What’s your favorite thing you “scouted” for this house?
SS: The African Juju Feather Hat above the TV! I know the day I walked into the house with it, my client thought ‘What in the world is he doing with that thing?’ But the second it went over the TV, it just finished the room for me. It was so good.
TSG: I am no interior designer, but I have to bet that today’s design challenge is having the TV over the fireplace or prominently displayed in the center of the room. How do you feel about flat screen domination?
SS: People are always afraid that I am going to say the TV has to go. I know people live with a TV and I am not one of those people who thinks you have to hide it in the cabinet. It is what it is and you just have to place great things around it. So with this project, we have the two great jars on the mantle to flank the TV and the juju hat over the fireplace. It just looks good. You don’t even notice the TV anymore, you just look at everything beautiful around it.
TSG: Give us a few of your secrets…what’s your favorite paint color? How do you make everything look so damn good?
SS: Two great go-to paint colors are Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White and Sherwin Williams Origami White. The all white books came from booksbythefoot.com. They come in any color and it’s a nice clean way to fill shelving. They’re actually real books but the jackets are turned inside out. And lastly, hang your art at eye level. Its an easy fix for any room.
TSG: Thanks for sharing this project and a few of your secrets with us. If you can’t tell, we have a total crush on everything you do! Shaun has great new inventory in his store, so be sure to stop by and scout it out.
3947 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
Tell them SCOUT sent you!
Photos by Sara Essex Bradley