Tastemaker Tuesday – Matthew Patrick Smyth

Our May Tastemaker on the blog for steve mckenzie’s really needs no introduction… We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share Matthew Patrick Smyth as our latest featured interior designer for our Tastemaker Tuesday blog series! Matthew’s stunning, traditional interiors offer an updated twist on classic design. His refreshing style showcases an unparalleled attention to detail that is evident in all he does. His book, “Living Traditions: Interiors by Matthew Patrick Smyth” offers a glimpse into some of his most memorable projects and has become an instant classic.

We hope you enjoy learning about this supremely talented interior designer, Matthew Patrick Smyth, in the newest installment of steve mckenzie’s Tastemaker Tuesday series:

Matthew Patrick Smyth
Matthew Patrick Smyth

After studying interior design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and working with David Easton for six years, Matthew Smyth launched his own firm in 1988. He gives careful consideration to blending classic style with comfort and values long-lasting client relationships. In fact, many of Matthew’s clients are on their second, third, and fourth projects with Matthew Patrick Smyth Inc. Clients say the key to these long-term relationships is Matthew’s straightforward and easy manner. In addition to participating in a number of designer showhouses and charity projects, Matthew has branched out into product design. Patterson Flynn Martin produces two Matthew Patrick Smyth carpet collections. A Matthew Smyth line of fabrics was introduced by F. Schumacher and a line of wallcovering designs soon followed. Matthew has been consistently listed as one of the top designers in publications such as Traditional Home, New York Magazine and New York Spaces.

1. What are three words that describe your aesthetic?

Appropriate…. Comfortable…… Quality

A NY Mets themed room for Ronald McDonald House by Matthew Smyth.

2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?

I just did a room for the Ronald McDonald House in Long Island.  I was given the NY METS room and ran with it. I had the best time and what was most rewarding was that it is permanent for use by the patients and their families. It is such a good cause. The kids were thrilled and so was I! 

3. What’s the source of your inspiration?

Paris….  It never stops amazing me. Every time I go, I discover something new and what I’ve seen a hundred times still pleases me.  I always feel recharged when I come back from Paris.

4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

Gloria Vanderbilt, Billy Baldwin and Emma Thompson.  


5. What’s a piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?

The daybed in my library in Sharon Ct.  I spend rainy Saturdays there with my books, music and Ipad. It’s my favorite spot!

sun room

6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?

I was given some great, simple advice in Design School from the late Stanley Barrrows who taught Mario Buatta, Angelo Donghia etc… He said “Never match… blend”   I still repeat it in my mind and to my assistants. I think BLEND AND BALANCE are the key words in my design process.
7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”

I’m now loving Amsterdam and anything Dutch inspired… Colors, antiques and attitude.

I think the Moroccan theme has been played out way too long, but I’m still attracted to it.

living room
A living room space by Matthew Patrick Smyth.

8. How does artwork fit into your designs?

Artwork is the finishing touch.  I enjoy putting a room together and then having the art bring it all to another level.  

9. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

My iPad downloaded with all my favorite music, movies and episodes of Homeland, as long as I also have a solar charger!

10. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry…

Take your time and work for someone before starting your own business. Too often a young person fast tracks it and then eventually it all crashes and burns. It’s one thing to get a project, but it’s another to finalize it to the client’s satisfaction.  There are no shortcuts in this industry!  Learn all you can before you head out there on your own. There’s plenty of time! Do it right and get as much experience as you can! Keep in mind that design is actually only 10 percent of the business. The rest is paperwork and navigation. It does not matter how good your design is if you cannot deliver it. Get experience and embrace the paperwork and logistics.

Thank you so much to Matthew Patrick Smyth for agreeing to participate in our Tastemaker Tuesday series! A glimpse into his beautifully designed and curated spaces is always such an inspiration and a treat!

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