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In Good Company: Matthew Patrick Smyth



Mention Matthew Patrick Smyth in conversation and everyone will remark about his warm, genteel, and generous nature.

Expert at the interweaving of European and American traditions, Michael Patrick Smyth’s rooms hold art, architecture and design as the sacred trinity. Another threesome, which intrigues Matthew, is his homes in Paris, Connecticut and New York City, seen in several of the photos below.

I first became enamored by Matthew Patrick Smyth’s work, when I saw his dining room at the Hampton Designer Show house at Villa Maria, in Watermill, NY. See Heather Clawson’s photos and story of his current room, at the 2011 Kips Bay Show House here.

I have run into, the always sharply dressed Matthew, in the streets of Paris and have broken bread with him, but I really got to know him through reading his terrific new book, Living Traditions: Interiors by Matthew Patrick Smyth, by Monacelli Press.  With a wonderfully honest introduction, the book with principal photography by John Gruen, reads like a short story.  In the book, he says, “Much of interior design is about saying yes while saying no-or, more accurately, narrowing down the options.”  This curatorial approach is why Matthew Patrick Smyth is the lexicon of design grace.

Enjoy The Good Company of Matthew Patrick Smyth. 


D:  Biggest thrill in your life?
MPS:  When I got my first apartment in NYC.  It was a six floor walk-up studio, for $200 a month. I was thrilled!

D:  Critical moment in a designer’s life?
MPS:  When you realize you have made the right career move.

D:  If you were not an Interior Designer, what profession would you like to explore?
MPS:  I would be a grade school art teacher.  Perhaps, I will someday.

D:  What can someone do to grab your attention?
MPS:  Show me a sincere smile.

D:  What design lesson did you learn the hard way?
MPS:  Measure and re-measure.

D:  What does Design mean to you?
MPS:  That which makes life, both functional and beautiful.

D:  What is your idea of the perfect weekend?
MPS:  Thursday night flight to Paris.

D:  What is your signature look or signature quality of your life and work?
MPS:  Thought out and appropriate for the client and space.

D:  What is your working studio like?
MPS:  It can range from being terribly neat to a terrible mess and back again. I prefer the neat end but….

D:  What makes you feel most empowered?
MPS:  My car parked downstairs and ready to go.

D:  What methodology do you use to begin your work?
MPS:  First things first. It’s easy for me to get distracted, so I have to work at it.

D:  Where did your creative journey begin?
MPS:  When I transferred schools in third grade, we were given a  coloring exercise. When the nun collected them, she held mine up and asked who did it. I thought I was in trouble! However, to her, it was the best. This moment started my new identity of being able to draw and color. I always drew, but up to that point, I had assumed everyone did.

D:  Who are your current Design Icons?
MPS:  David Easton and believe it or not… Philippe Starck.

D:  Words to live by?
MPS:  Whatever floats your boat!

D:  Favorite charity?
MPS:  Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club. 






Photographs used by permission, copyright © Matthew Patrick Smyth.


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9 Responses to “In Good Company: Matthew Patrick Smyth”

  1. wendy goodman Says:

    Most wonderful and deserving of every good thing that comes his way!!! a true gentleman and talent!

  2. jill cohen Says:

    Matthew possesses that rare combination of talent, charm and sincerity – I adore him and his work — can’t wait to see more!

  3. Raina Kattelson Says:

    What a lovely interview- Matthew is the best.

  4. Etienne Coffinier Says:

    Beside extremely beautiful pictures of Matthews work, I was glad to read his sharp, sweet and honest answers to your questions. This is great talent from a great person.

  5. Trish Paliotta Says:

    Matthew is the antithesis of the snobby, affected designer he has every right to be. He is exceptionally talented and a pleasure to work with. Pick up his book. It’s wonderful…..

  6. Gonzalo Constanzó Says:

    Very good interview, short and clear.
    I have the privilege of knowing Matthew personally and he is a very nice person, beyond his great skills.

  7. Eileen Smyth Kent Says:

    I’m probably somewhat predjudice because I’m family; but I’ve known Matthew since he was 3-years old and I can vouch that he is always caring and kind. We are so proud of his extraordinary talent but mostly so thankful he has stayed true to himself.

  8. Jane Says:

    They don’t get any better than Mr. Smyth! He works hard, remembers his friends, is generous and
    kind…and add a cocktail and his wit is razor sharp! Love, love, love. Great post!

  9. Jamie Herzlinger Says:

    Just found your blog! How fabulous! I love the style of your questions and the wonderful talents that you have
    Interviewed with “In Good Company”
    Look forward to reading more!
    Kind Regards,
    Jamie Herzlinger

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