"When an individual is lucky enough to indentify their TRUE PASSION early on in life, they have an opportunity to spend years dedicating themselves to it ergo, they will be able to reap the benefits of that dedication early on."
For the past three decades, Sean Michael Waters has been an award winning designer who has thrived in New York City as a highly creative and dedicated interior design professional. If those decades were viewed on a timeline, they would tell a rich story of ambition and a cured passion for what he considers his greatest gift - his limitless creativity.
It is that very gift that allows him to create interiors that are classically timeless with a fresh modern approach. SMW prefers his interiors not to be "trend" related. Instead he creates sophisticated interiors that are luxurious, refined and always have a touch of the unexpected. SMW takes an individual approach to each of his interiors, listening intently to the requirements of each of his client’s. He intuitively understands how rooms will be both lived in and functioned within. He then applies his strong sense of proportion and scale to all the spaces he plans for his clients. SMW has a highly skilled color awareness and is a great lover of fabric, wallcovering and texture. SMW thinks of each project as a story - a story that himself, his clients and their space will all bear witness to the unfolding of. It is quite an organic process that remains forever unique.
SMW was a graduate of The New York School of Interior Design. He readily credits the education he received at NYSID as one filled with great intimate lectures by many of his early interior design idols. Some of his other influencers were designers such as Billy Baldwin, Valerian Rybar, Robert Metzger, William Haines, Mark Hampton and Mario Buatta just to mention a few.
His professional journey began during his last semester at NYSID with a very lucky part time position in the design library of the very prestigious interior architectural firm of Kohn Pedersen Fox Conway (a division of KPF). Upon graduation, he quickly realized that his heart was in residential interior design and he pursued and landed a job with the small boutique traditional firm of Steven M. Park, Inc.
Steven M. Park, Inc. was a firm whose area of expertise was in highly styled traditional interiors. This wonderful position lasted for seven years and afforded SMW a stellar education in the world of Decorative Arts and Antiques. Having a great thirst to really get in the game, SMW then pursued and landed a position with the busiest residential firm in New York City, The KA Design Group (formerly Kenneth Alpert & Associates) If the past seven years were spent in the antique world, the next several years were spent learning how to hold his own within a very dynamic and demanding arena that was inhabited by very high profile clientele, a vigorous pack of "H"ermes belt wearing competitive designers and all of the incredible high-end showrooms and sources that catered to them. Mr. Alpert's work ethic was unprecedented thereby sustaining a position within his firm was on its worst day - an honor. To this day, people still inquire to SMW as to what it was like to work at KA which he readily answers "In the beginning, it was like the ultimate Design Bootcamp - by the end it felt like we were the Velvet Mafia, however everyday I worked there I felt I was truly honored to be there and for years after it - I regarded it as the best training any designer could ever be lucky enough to receive."
The next and final firm SMW was employed with was the very prestigious AD100 firm of Geoffrey Bradfield, Inc. CNBC named Mr. Bradfield "The Billionaire's Designer" and by no means was that an exaggeration. Maintaining offices in New York, Dubai, Palm Beach and Mexico City was essential in order to provide our exclusive high profile and celebrity clientele with the caliber of design that was expected of us. This high caliber of fine design with never a thought of a budget compelled SMW to produce some of his finest work. Moreover, Mr. Bradfield's status as a celebrity designer opened many doors to which SMW will forever be grateful.
Throughout the past three decades, SMW has pursued many creative paths. It is through those very passionate pursuits that SMW has acquired many skills and has won many awards. The designer that SMW is today is one that can be proud to be called a designer, an artist, an upholsterer, a decorative painter, a staging specialist, a writer, a home organizing specialist and a furniture antique finisher.
In 2009, SMW made the decision to open his own boutique Interior Design firm, Sean Michael Waters Design & Decoration. Primarily specializing in residential interiors, although SMW has taken commissions for both Restaurant and Commercial Design as well. In 2020, Sean Michael Waters Design & Decoration remains a fine choice for the client who desires a designer that will bring a great amount of experience and a fresh modern eye to their project.
During his career, SMW has participated in numerous Designer Show Houses, Holiday Designer Events and Charitable Organizational Events. Some of the charities such as, The American Heart Foundation, The March Of Dimes, ChildHelpUSA, Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, The Junior League and DIFFA are just some of the organizations that SMW considers very special and an honor to have designed for.
THE CAREER BEFORE THE "CAREER"
Prior to wonderful world of Interior Design, SMW was a successful child actor and model. This career spanned from his early adolescence through to his late teenage years. He was a proud member of Screen Actors Guild & American Federation of Television and Radio Artists which enabled him to book dozens of national commercials, hundreds of modeling print ads, a few bit parts in motion pictures and a very funny skit on Saturday Night Live. His most notable booking however was being chosen to be one of three kids who were to be on the back of The Cheerios box for the lion share of the 1980's. His relationship with the General Mills Company and their use of the Cheerios campaign in many different venues all over the world - at the end of the day - proved to be the most important of all SMW's bookings.