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Designing Duo – Husband and wife design team create the space of their dreams—their home

Amy and Craig’s New Orleans Garden District-style home exudes massive curb appeal, as in the view from a nearby park.

Craig Smith and his wife, Amy, weren’t looking to purchase a new home. But there it was, a two-story  reminiscent of the grand homes you’d find in the New Orleans Garden District. What’s more, it captured magnificent views of a nearby park.

“We were just kind of looking around and it drew us in with this great wrap-around porch and windows that look out to the park. We bought it two days later,” Amy recalls.

Now to the fun stuff — putting their stamp on it.

Craig, an architect and owner of Portfolio for Hospitality, is adept at designing for some of the country’s finest hotels, restaurants and clubs. Amy is the firm’s senior designer. Between the two of them, they have resources galore. Ideas were flying.

“We bought it when they just had the sheetrock up, so we got to design the total interior, all the cabinets, all the millwork, all the trim,” Craig explains. “Amy did all the finishes, all the tile and surfaces. Basically in one month, we designed the entire house from top to bottom.

“We could have taken it any direction, that was the tough part,” he continues. “It’s so much more personal when you’re designing for your home. We had all these resources and ideas at our fingertips. In a way, that made it harder.”

But this designing duo prevailed, offering up a sophisticated, yet supremely comfortable 4,200-square-foot dwelling that marries contemporary elements with traditional and transitional ones. A mix of custom furnishings, textures, eclectic lighting and hardware, and accessories come together for a clean-lined, classic, less-is-more look that suits this couple well.

“We definitely wanted to slant a bit more contemporary, but comfort was the big thing here too,” says Craig. “We still wanted to pay homage to the look of the architecture too… that New Orleans Garden District look.”

Making certain that the exterior and interior relate to one another was a primary goal, says Amy. “I didn’t want a disconnect between the outside and inside. We’re kind of a stickler for that.”

To that end, Craig designed the exterior metal railings, giving them a slight contemporary edge. “ A little more contemporary but still with a traditional element,” he says. The house, originally painted powder blue, was given an overall new look in khaki and beige. Wrap-around porches, bottom and top, allow for great neighborhood views. And the front door, painted in bright red, greets visitors. “I love my red door!” says Amy.

The home’s front room, originally intended for formal living, has become a music room for this talented family. Craig’s collection of guitars double as art, hanging front and center on a framed wall of glass bead wallcovering (Bedazzled by Maya Romanoff.) “We love the glass beads. We use it a lot in our projects, behind front desks or as background to art,” Amy explains.

Also in the music room, a non-vented Isokern ribbon fireplace flickers against a bed of broken white glass, replacing the traditional wood log-type for a contemporary look. “We use that in other rooms too,” Craig says. “It’s a nice clean contemporary look in a fireplace.” A fun, multi-bowl chandelier from Global Views tops off this space.

The dining room is a vision of sophisticated style with an oval dining table (Barbara Berry Realized by Henredon) and chairs from Century Furniture anchoring the room. A wonderfully wide horizontal wall stripe adds interest here. “I just thought the room needed a little something more,” says Amy. A single linen drapery panel softens one wall, also serving as the backdrop for art.

The dining room fireplace is topped with a mirrored wall, but this couple took it to another level, placing a starburst mirror from Z Gallerie on top of it. And perhaps this room’s most enchanting element is a beautiful chandelier designed by Craig and manufactured by iWorks.

The home has a standout kitchen due to Craig’s accomplished millwork and cabinetry designs and the couple’s vibrant choice of color. Bright red paint on the island, same as the front door (Fine Paints of Europe, Hollandlac Brilliant, Ruby Red), contrasts with Kwal’s Racoon accent paint on cabinets. Custom pendants from iWorks hang above the island countertop, outfitted in Walker Zanger’s Calacatta Velluto marble.

A Wolf range and other top-of-the line appliances, including a glass-door Sub-Zero refrigerator, complement this streamlined space. “The refrigerator was a surprise from Craig,” says Amy. “I love it.”

The den is a picture of comfort with easy-care streamlined furnishings atop Oak Noir wood floors from Boen. Indeed, this sweep of dark, almost black hardwoods pervade the entire back of the home, as well as Craig’s music room. An inset of the wood adds contrast against Walker Zanger Crema Dore limestone floors in the dining room.

“We love the look of the black flooring. We love the sleek element of it all,” says Amy. Sleek would also describe the breakfast room, an elegant space in a comfortable custom designed banquette manufactured by Lily Jack, a company the couple often recruits in their hospitality designs. They paired the seating with a glass-top table from Crate & Barrel. Overhead is one of Amy’s favorite lights in the house, a fun chandelier by Oly that casts magnificent shadows on the wall.

A set of stairs off the front foyer lead to an equally clean-lined, classic upstairs with a media room at one end of the hallway. The master bedroom suite, laundry room and two guest bedrooms with baths round out the opposite end.

The master bedroom is stunning with colorful Horchow bedding atop a Henredon Reverie bed from the Barbara Berry Realized Collection. Oversized nightstand lamps from Hallmark Lighting add interest on the nightstands.

The master bathroom is a magnificent mix of marble and stone surfaces, including a stone tile bubble accent rug (Walker Zanger, Studio Moderne Field Tile, Paramount Mosaic) in front of a sleek Kohler bathtub. Whimsical lighting hangs overhead, a Trapieze pendant from Trend Lighting.

Even the closets are wonderful in this house, including Amy’s that harbors a pretty serious shoe collection. “I guess I’m a little obsessed with shoes!” she confesses. “Craig designed this closet with that in mind!”

While this design team had a blast doing what they do best, they often find themselves changing things up a bit at home. “It’s great that we have this passion for design, but we can’t stop. We’re obsessed,” quips Craig. “When we get tired of something, there’s always an accessory closet upstairs just waiting for us to rummage through it and shake things up around here. And believe me, we do!”

Text by Cathy Gordon | Pictures by Bookwalter Photography
Interior Design by Craig Smith and Amy Burchette-Smith

A bright red door (paint by Fine Paints of Europe) greets visitors to the home with pendants from Restoration Hardware hanging overhead. • Cushioned chairs make for a relaxing afternoon on the wrap-around porch. • A charming entrance with a red front door and Barbara Berry simple scallop pendant from Circa Lighting greets visitors to the home. Chest by Century Furniture.


A rug from Stark Carpet plays against Oak Noir floors from Boen in the family room. Comfort is what it’s all about in this home. Here, the Westwood sofa from HBF does the trick, sharing space with a leather armchair. Cocktail and end tables by Bernhardt.

A surface of glass bead wallcovering (Bedazzled by Maya Romanoff) is a canvas for Craig’s collection of guitars in the home’s library/music room.

Amy and Craig put their stamp on this kitchen, crafting a beautiful, yet functional space with custom millwork, cabinetry and pendants and a vibrant, sophisticated color palette. A bright red island (Fine Paints of Europe, Hollandlac Brilliant, Ruby Red) meshes well with accent cabinet paint from Kwal in Racoon.

Bon appetit—a collection of goodies on the kitchen island.


The breakfast room is comfortable, yet sophisticated with a custom banquette by Lily Jack. Overhead, one of Amy’s favorite accessories, a Capiz shell drum chandelier by Oly Studio that casts playful shadows on the wall.

A one-of-a-kind chandelier overlooks a serenely comfortable and sophisticated dining room. The piece was designed by the couple and manufactured by iWorks. The starburst oval dining room table is from the Barbara Berry Realized Collection by Henredon; the chairs by Century Furniture; gardenia rug by Global Views.

A Trapieze pendant from Trend Lighting tops off a beautiful master bathroom outfitted in a mix of surfaces from Walker Zanger, including a fun stone tile Paramount Mosaic accent rug in front of the bathtub. The Escale freestanding bathtub is by Kohler, as are the faucets and sinks.

Amy’s artfully arranged collection of colorful shoes in her master bedroom closet could double as a wall of sculpture.

The master bedroom is a vision with Reverie bed by Henredon from the Barbara Berry Realized Collection and bedding from Horchow. Nightstands by Century Furniture; lamps by Hallmark Lighting. The trim paint is a beautiful Bittersweet Chocolate by Benjamin Moore. Simple wood shades from Home Depot mix with drapery panels from Crate & Barrel for an elegant look.

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