Ep. 180: designer Matthew Patrick Smyth


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Today’s guest is acclaimed interior designer and photographer Matthew Patrick Smyth. He has been on ELLE Décor’s “A” List, his work has been featured in House Beautiful, Traditional Home, New York Magazine and more. He also wrote a new book “Through a Designer’s Eye: A Focus on Interiors”. We talk about his polished yet comfortable spaces, his love of artisanal pieces and antiques, his attention to detail and light, and some touching personal stories.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Trials & Triumphs about feeling at home in a temporary rental, a pregnancy announcement (!), COVID within the family, tearing down and rebuilding a house, a nightmare new build next door, considering new drapery, and dishwasher woes.
  • Matthew explains how his process begins — starting with the floorplan.
  • Where Matthew finds his artisanal pieces and what he loves about them.
  • Matthew’s love of antiques led him to interior design and carries into all elements of his style.
  • How Matthew’s experience as a photographer impacts his design.
  • The ways Matthew was able to decorate a casual seaside home and still use antiques.
  • Why Matthew has an affinity for round dining tables and what chairs he recommends.
  • More about Matthew’s personal home and falling in love with it.
  • Matthew uses upholstery to modernize an older house with all antique interiors.
  • Matthew’s love of black(ish) paint.
  • What Matthew does to individualize the work for his clients.
  • Matthew shares about his work and friendship with Gloria Vanderbilt.
  • How is a designer’s eye different from the average person’s?

Decorating Dilemma

Hi Jenny,

First of all, thank you for including the floorplan—so helpful! This is a very generous width for a dining room so the sideboard is not going to throw off the room; there’s still plenty of room and no flow problem whatsoever. It’s not a floor to ceiling piece, so your eye will go right over it. I would put a big mirror over the sideboard to reflect the windows and the beautiful view. That will really open up the room. It’s really important to keep that chandelier centered with the windows so I would not touch that. The table centered in the room is the way to go. It’s good that you’re thinking about it now…but don’t overthink it! It’s actually a nicely designed floor plan and well proportioned; I wouldn’t play with that. You’re in good shape, Jenny!

  • Matthew

Mentioned in This Episode:

Matthew Patrick Smyth

Matthew Patrick Smyth on Instagram

Through a Designer’s Eye: A Focus on Interiors on Amazon

Zillow Gone Wild on Instagram

The Schwartz House on Instagram

Chicology Roller Blinds

262 episodes