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Livable Luxury

With several exciting projects in the works—including a career turn as a real estate developer—multitalented designer Windsor Smith puts her signature chic stamp on modern living. 

SOFA, SO GOOD
Designer Windsor Smith kicks back at her glamorous Brentwood home. 

As a designer, Windsor Smith is always looking to push the envelope when it comes to materials. “I don’t jump around a lot in color palette in my work, so it’s all about texture,” she says. Her new couture collection of wood flooring and paneling, created in collaboration with prestige wood surfacing connoisseur Jamie Beckwith, is all about smoked and fumed finishes, engraved woods and precious metal embellishments. The line includes dressage inspired interlocking tiles ($45 per square foot), a classic weave pattern punched up by embedded nail heads ($59 per square foot), a cube pattern inspired by Russian antique flooring ($45 per square foot) and—Smith’s personal favorite—the Zip It! ($45 per square foot), an interlocking plank that can be used on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. “When you put the pieces together, they look like a zipper. I just love it. It’s so great in hallways,” she says. Her entire collection is meant to add a touch of luxury and playfulness to any surface. “You can mix them around and have fun with them,” says Smith. “It gives you a lot of versatility.” Diversity has certainly been a theme in Smith’s career. A few years ago the sought-after interior designer, who also has a line of fabrics and furniture, went into property development, building a bespoke house that re-examined use of space—out with the designated “his” and “hers” areas. “I started really noticing how couples interacted and how it was different when they shared closets and bathrooms and when they didn’t,” says Smith. Not everyone was convinced by her ideas. “When we put the plan online, people were like, ‘Are you insane? This is the worst floor plan we’ve ever seen,’” she says. “By the end of the showcase, there were vans pulling up with young architects that were sent out to find out why that house was resonating with everyone.” The Mandeville Canyon property was bought by Gwyneth Paltrow, who, in turn, wrote the foreword to Smith’s coffee-table book, Homefront: Design for Modern Living, and has become a frequent collaborator. Smith is developing house No. 2—a property “for a global family having a life that knows no boundaries,” she explains—and book No. 2. “I have a book in me about how we live today and how we want to live,” says Smith. “Design can really influence that in a huge way.” Whatever she conquers next, the main criteria for Smith is creative satisfaction. “It’s not about volume for me,” she says. “I really want to build houses from the ground up where I can influence the way someone lives in a house. I love the idea that these floors and homes will be here long after I’m gone.” 212 26th St., Ste. 212, Santa Monica, 310.476.9603

SMITH’S HOTS
Bees; Ruth Asawa metal sculptures; Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s All Easy; Carlo di Carli armchairs in Holly Hunt Mohair; keyless entries

SMITH’S NOTS

Escalator handrails; plastic bags and containers; Victorian whatnots; fake sod; Humvees