Michelle Obama Picks White House Decorator

From the Obama transition office:

Michael Smith has been chosen as the White House decorator by Michelle Obama to help make the White House residence their home.

The selection of White House decorator is a tradition for new first families. A native of California, Smith studied interior design at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and continued his studies in London. He returned to California to open a home furnishings store and launched his own design firm in l990.

Smith serves on the Board of Trustees for the Otis College of Art and Design. He takes particular pride in his family-focused clientele and approach.

"Laura Bush has been a wonderful steward of the White House and created a beautiful residence for her family. I look forward to adding our own touch to the East Wing and creating a living space where our family feels comfortable, happy and settled," Michelle Obama said. "Michael shares my vision for creating a family friendly feel to our new home and incorporating some new perspectives from some of America's greatest artists and designers."

Smith said he appreciates "the [Obama] family's casual style, their interest in bringing 20th century American artists to the forefront and utilizing affordable brands and products will serve as our guiding principles as we make the residence feel like their home."

  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBS News' senior political editor.