Creating your dream house—a prospect as exciting as it is daunting. Michael Smith, a favorite among celebrity clientele, reveals the method of his design magic. Offering thoughtful ideas and practical advice, the designer walks the reader through his process, from the gathering of resource material (from magazines and iconic films to something as simple as a shell or a swatch of vintage fabric), expertly pairing simpler and grander elements (or inexpensive with more extravagant objects), perfecting the editing process, to knowing when a room is finished. Detailing the nearly encyclopedic range of styles he culls from to create his signature style, the designer describes recent examples of his work, beginning with a modest and quirkily designed house in Bel Air, Smith redid for himself. Razed, rebuilt, and decorated over the course of five years, the house allowed Smith to experiment and explore ideas freely and the result is a gracious home, as welcoming as it is stylish. In addition to his California residence, twenty other projects are featured, from a New England clapboard to a Malibu villa overlooking the Pacific to a city townhouse. In each, Smith deconstructs the elements which come together to make the ideal home.