M.Smith: I wanted the house to be warm and inviting and colorful and eccentric just like my client Donna Roth. She's a movie producer with a very eclectic sensibility. She'll be on location in some little town, and she'll find all these great things at the local junk store. We bought those oversize chess pieces in the living room at auction. Things that are kind of zany really speak to her. The house is a pretty 1940's Colonial -- very Bringing up Baby, and then we threw in a dash of Auntie Mame.M.Smith: There's no rule, other than divine factor: What's going to look divine? I'm thinking about comfort -- where do I need another chair, loose or tight back - while trying to creat a kind of visual excitement. The sofas are covered in a beautiful Braquenie fabric printed in France - Le Grande Genois, a classic 18th century pattern that has been used by everybody from Sister Parish to Givenchy. What I love about it is that it's slightly off -kilter -- there's so much white, which gives it a lightness. And its not overly sweet -- it has some spikes. Then there's that red-and-white check, which I designed for Cowtan & Tout. It looks very English. The valances Turkish. It's all a big mix, but basically the vibration of each pattern is sympathetic. They all have that oxblood red in them. With reds, I think they all go together anyway. Red is kind of neutral to me.M.Smith: I think you can be comfortable in a room that has no pattern, but it requires more effort. It's not as cozy or evocative. You can't convery the idea of Java in a plain fabric. There can be a simplicity in plain fabrics, which I love, but in a house you really want more of a narrative. If you don't have strong architecture, you need something else to tell the story. I think pattern is a shortcut to emotion. It has all these memories, of a place or a period or a particular dress your mother wore. It has tremendous power over us.