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Michael S. Smith’s House in Newport Beach, CA (Listed for $6.35 Million)

Michael S. Smith, LA’s “emperor of interior decoration,” has decorated homes for presidents and move stars. The sale of the Newport Beach, California beach house he owned with his husband Ambassador James Costos gave the world a rare look into how applied his formidable talents for interior design to his own home.

This is the back view of the charming beach house with a warm gray exterior complemented by the glass balcony railing and the glass walls of the back patio. Images courtesy of

Michael S. Smith is one of the world’s most respected interior designers. A native of California, he pursued specialized studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London before acquiring an impressive list of residential, commercial, and hospitality clients.

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Michael S. Smith is legendary for his ability to combine classical European with modern American style in interior décor. He combines deep respect for tradition with an eye for modern innovation that makes his work in demand around the world. Michael S. Smith has been an interior decorator for the White House, and he has also designed interiors for George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman, Harrison Ford, and Cindy Crawford. So, when Smith decided to sell his own beach house in Newport Beach, California, the world got a rare look into his personal lifestyle and taste.

This California beach house was built by famed architects Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner in 1988. It has 2,814 square feet in two stories that encompass four bedrooms and four bathrooms. The primary suite opens to a sun deck with panoramic views across the eastern edge of the Pacific Ocean to Catalina Island. There is a glass railing for safety and to enhance the view.

The first floor has an open floor plan with glass doors that open to the beach and a well-equipped outdoor kitchen. The indoor kitchen has a large island. The living room has soaring ceilings and a fireplace. The dining room has another fireplace and a coffee and wine bar.

Smith’s design for his own homemade abundant use of beige to keep the focus on natural light. The living room has beige sofas across from a beige fireplace flanked by built-in cabinets in dark brown wood. One of the walls of the living room can open to a backyard patio deck and a view down the coastline.

Kitchen cabinets are done in white with beige undertones around a kitchen island in white marble. The beige hardwood kitchen floors compliment the appliances in stainless steel.

The dining area makes use of darker browns and beige. There is a built-in dining bench with cushions and cushioned dining room chairs. Another fireplace flanks the head of the dining table to give the room a homey vibe.

The sitting area in the primary bedroom incorporates reds and blues with beige. It has a wall of glass that opens to the beach. And across from the foot of the bed is yet another fireplace.

One guest bathroom uses wainscoting to accent its beige walls and porcelain fixtures. Even the walk-in shower has a view of the sea, through a window placed high to ensure privacy. Another bathroom incorporates fish designs into its gray walls.

Even the home office is relaxing and homey. Cabinets, desk, and drawers are made from wood to match the hardwood floors, and a huge L-shaped couch stretches behind them.

The Orange County Register tells us that Michael S. Smith sold this beach house for $6.35 million. We can only imagine that the new buyer made relatively changes to its fabulous décor.