7 Facts to Know About Michel Smith Boyd, Host of 'Luxe For Less'
The host of HGTV's newest series, Luxe For Less, has a plan to bring fab designs to homeowners with every type of budget. Find out everything you need to know about Michel Smith Boyd ahead.
Big-city lofts and sprawling mansions aren’t the only places worthy of luxury design. Michel Smith Boyd, host of HGTV’s new series, Luxe for Less, is making Atlanta homeowners' dreams come true with designs worthy of a seven-star resort — all on a budget that won’t break the bank. Read on to learn more about how Michel ended up on HGTV, his amazing team and his tricks for getting luxury design on a smaller budget.
1. Design Isn't His First Career
Before finding his true calling, Michel dabbled in a little bit of everything while living in New York City. “I was working in fashion, and I mean loosely as in retail, and taking acting classes, and being rejected for modeling gigs, but then one day I found myself in the Decoration and Design Building,” says Michel. “I couldn’t believe there was this entire world that existed under my nose. All I could think was, 'What a fun place to play!'” Michel started studying interior design books and less than a year later enrolled in The Art Institute of Atlanta. He took on his first clients during his sophomore year of school and established SMITHBOYD Interiors in 2006.
2. He Helped Build Luxe For Less’s Dream Team
Since Michel helped cast his coworkers on the show, they’re friends both on and off screen. Kai Williamson, Michel’s right-hand woman, helps execute clients’ visions. “She has her own firm and is able to offer a different point of view,” says Michel. Anthony Elle, also known as the "maker" of Luxe For Less, is a couture fashion designer with the ability to make something out of nothing. “I’ve always admired his fashion, he's always admired my interior design and now we get to work together,” says Michel. Laura Green is the speediest contractor around. She ensures that in the current world of long availability and ship times, projects are completed in a six-week timeline.
3. For Michel, Luxe Can Be Done on Any Budget
“Luxury is experiential, and all of the senses have to come into play,” says Michel. To show his clients exactly what he means, Michel takes them on tours of mansions decorated in the same way they'd like their own homes to look. “If I want a massive island with a waterfall edge, taking them to see that is stronger than showing them a sketch. They get to get outside of their world and get into their imagination, which is really really fun,” says Michel. He also knows where to splurge and where to save. “I want money spent on what you can touch. The surfaces you come in contact with the most — like countertops or a sofa — is where you want money.”
4. Wallpaper Is His Signature Move
You’ll see some in every episode. “I love layering, and wallpaper is back in a big way,” says Michel. “It’s another tactile experience that contributes to the luxury experience and is visually stunning. Our clients have been really surprised by how it looks.”
5. He Has Big-City Style, But Small-Town Roots
From the low-country town of Thibodaux, Louisiana, to be exact. “The show is called Luxe For Less and I’m a luxury designer and live that style, but that’s not where I come from,” says Michel. He plans to prove that luxury isn’t limited to one budget or lifestyle. “Coming from a small town, those values are important and the idea of service is imperative.”
6. It’s Nerve-Racking for Michel, Too
“I experience those nerves the same way the client does because I want to do as good a job as they are hoping that I do,” says Michel. “I'm always super grateful for the opportunity to do my job. Design is a luxury profession and it’s a luxury to hire a designer, so to pick me out of everyone is a big deal.”
7. You Can Catch Him and Anthony on Rock the Block
Season 4 returns to HGTV in March 2023. “It was such a whirlwind and a pressure cooker, but it makes you so much better. I did things on Rock the Block that I would've never dreamed of doing,” says Michel. “I feel like I'm part of the family now. I’m officially initiated into the HGTV club.”