I was curious when I heard about Michael Smith’s new book, Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design. Close on the heels of Kitchens and Baths and focused on the renovation of just one house, I wondered if it would seem rushed. Worse, that it would be filler.
As it turns out, it is pure gold. I read the book cover-to-cover in one sitting and it is the most remarkable tale of the most remarkable project.
A talented designer, trusting and generous clients, a team of exacting craftsmen and a beautiful Malibu setting combine to deliver something incredibly special.
Christine Pittel tells the tale in an intimate and conversational tone; I felt as if I were looking out over that bluff, tip-toeing behind Smith in Will Fisher’s antique shop and overseeing the placement of the pietra serena stone alongside Jim Sangster.
I can with much certainty predict that I will never be involved in a project of any kind that will be executed with the same level of care and precision. Rather than instilling envy, the story of this process filled me with awe. Without pretense, it is a story of passion and commitment to that unnamable thing that goes “click” when something is right.
You can find Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design here.
All images courtesy of Rizzoli; photography from top, Fernando & Gerardo Montiel Klint, Francois Halard, Klints, Halard.