Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Obamas Do Sedate Mocha & Honey Makeover

Wallpaper is not new to the Oval Office or the White House.  The New York custom made light mocha-ish stripes are reminiscent of the bold gold ones in the sitting room of Blair House.  Abraham Lincoln's presidential portrait, no doubt, garners a better view from the Obama refurbished Oval as both presidents hale from Illinois.  In President Obama's private office outside the formal Oval hangs a large portrait of Justice Thurgood Marshall that traveled up Pennsylvania Avenue with him in 2009. President Bush is getting back the southwestern sunburst rug that First Lady Laura Bush picked out upon his ascension in 2001.  Every president has had a replica of the Resolute Desk put in their library if they used it while in office.  Each first lady puts the finishing touches on their husband's workspace.

The former George W. Bush rug with presidential seal.

This one took some time to evolve.  The Obamas turned down the $100,000 budget given to every new president for additional decorating.  However there was money leftover from the Inauguration.  Nancy Reagan with  & Hillary Clinton both moved fast to get their husband's imprimatur on the Oval as quickly as possible.  Michelle Obama had more of a quandary as the economy had hit the skids and any efforts to redecorate would have garnered unwanted attention.  The first lady worked with the White House Historical Association and her designer Michael Smith, while the Michigan sewn rug (The Scott Group) was donated.  Those folks know their rug as they also did the Clinton royal blue Oval Office rug. I am very much hoping the drapes get some badly needed attention as they are now 10 years old.

The fact that nineteen months in and the Bushes needed their rug back for their upcoming library opening changed the circumstances to a need rather than a want.  The President would have been staring at some gorgeous unadorned hardwood quarter sawn oak floors if they had not had the decorating done while the family had their ten day vacation.  It is customary to borrow the predecessors rug until theirs is ready - and it takes time.

The rug however; has politically meaningful American quotes rather than the usual stars. Laura Bush redid the Cabinet room during her husband's second term and the bold russet red carpet has gold stars now.  Two toned vertical stripes of tan & beige wallpaper accentuate the height of the 29 foot room with what looks to be a border of oxblood the presidential seal embedded on the ceiling.  The chocolate leather parson chairs have not been a solid color in ages.  

Upcoming interior upgrades are happening for the Yellow Oval Room on the second floor of the residence and the large Center Hall and West Sitting Hall.  


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