Jewel Box Interiors for Memorable Living
In this edition of the LHM Design Questionnaire, join us for a peek into the creative world of Courtney B. Smith. A master of designing, in her words, homes that feed a family and set the stage for the memories we create, Courtney launched her eponymous design business in 2009. During her first career in finance on Wall Street, Courtney learned that “excellent service and transparency build trust, establishing effective systems saves sanity, and clients who become friends make work more rewarding.” And it is these lessons, along with her living memorably approach, that are the bedrock of her Northern CA-based interior design business. Read on to meet Courtney and explore her jewel box interiors!
Meet Courtney B. Smith in The LHM Design Questionnaire
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
The idea of “perfect” anything scares me a bit, to be honest. Some things that make my day are: morning coffee, crisp white sheets, a bouquet made from cut flowers from our garden, wine, and cheese with friends around our fire pit, hosting big family dinners for holidays, the smell of my daughter baking in our kitchen, take-out served on my grandmother’s china, my son’s artwork, a puppy who comes when she’s called (rare), impromptu date nights with my husband, zoom chats with college roomies (living coast to coast), on-time flight departures, and good hair.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Professionally: creating a thriving interior design practice that allows me the privilege of working with clients to create their ideal homes.
Personally: raising two incredible humans with my husband.
What profession does your alter ego have?
Therapist. When I’m not specifying wallpaper and fabric, I’m counseling clients on taking (measured) risk, embracing their quirk, and celebrating their crazy.
The project you will never forget.
The “giddy Georgian” — the home in which we became a family of four and watched our children take first steps. This was a formal home which we covered in layers of pattern, both to imbue personality and warmth, but also to hide evidence of the inevitable wear-and-tear of small children and pets. Located just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, in Marin County, this jewel box was a treasure.
Your favorite business tool or resource.
Besides Goo Gone and a Magic Eraser? Probably Canva (for client presentations) and Pinterest (for endless inspiration and image sharing — a picture’s worth a thousand words!).
The most timeless design.
Classic furniture shapes (like roll-arm sofas, Bergere chairs, Louis Phillipe chests) mixed with hits of modern (like acrylic tables, upholstered ottomans, and unique lighting) and a mix of patterns and colors. Always some vintage, a mix of pattern scales (solids, tiny prints, a stripe, and a large print, for instance), and color saturations (some more intense and some less). Spaces that incorporate all of these elements aren’t easily pegged to a specific era — timeless!
The biggest design faux pas.
Designing spaces using a specific retailer rather than sourcing from a variety of places. Furniture retailers are in the business of … selling! … which means that they often release stylized collections in specific trendy shapes and colors. Rooms decorated in this way scream, “I was done in such and such year,” and don’t stand the test of time. Seek out classic furniture (be it more traditional or modern, focus on scale and quality), and don’t be afraid to mix things up.
Your design motto.
Live memorably! My goal is to design homes that simultaneously support family movie nights and blow-out birthday celebrations. Our homes should reflect us in our best light — they are the backdrop of the memories we create with those we cherish most.
Our publisher KOKET makes statement décor; if you were to design a room around one KOKET piece, which would it be, and why?
The Gisele demi-lune console, which is the perfect scale for easily tucking into a small entry or the corner of a living room. I love its slight irreverence and classic shape and materials.
Love Happens when…
Furniture arrives in under 6 months, in the proper fabric and finish (seriously — these are some crazy times)!
Explore more Courtney B Smith at courtneybsmith.com.
Feature Image: Preppy Bohemian family room design by Courtney B Smith (Photography by David Duncan Livingston)