February 21, 2011

President's Day White House Decor

Happy President's Day and Happy Monday! I have prepared today's topic in celebration of this holiday. We will be taking a look at some of the "decor" inside the White House. Keep in mind that each president can change the decor in the Oval Office. This can be done by changing the color palette, draperies, upholstery, artwork, and of course...adding their own personal mementos that have special meaning.

(The following photos are from whitehousemuseum.org and are public domain images that are posted under fair use guidelines of U.S. copyright law. They are being shared on this blog sight for the sole purpose of looking at the interior design aspects of the White House.)

Let's start our tour....

The Oval Office is the president's own personal office. It is here that he handles most of the daily issues. He also usually addresses the American people from this room via television and radio. Each president has decorated the Oval Office to reflect his personal taste. However, a few things remain unchanged, such as the presidential seal in the ceiling, the white marble mantel (dating back from 1909), and the two flags behind the president's desk (one is the U.S. flag and the other is the president's flag). The first photo of the Oval Office represents the taste and choices of our current president, Obama.

And here, we have the Bush's choice of decor from their years of occupancy in the White House. From what I can tell, wallpaper was added above, window treatment style and fabric was changed, and the artwork is different. I do believe also that some upholstery was changed that these pictures do not reflect. It is obvious that the Obama's tastes differ in that they like much more bold colors than the Bush family did. Both, however, are beautiful!

Just another angle of this same room. Notice the inset book cases and the pattern in the hardwood flooring.....stunning!

Below is the beautiful Green Room; called the Green Drawing Room by John Quincy Adams. This room was updated by Mrs. Bush with furniture by Duncan Phyfe. A 1767 portrait of Benjamin Franklin is hung above the mantel. Fabrics used in this room are by Brunschwig & Fils and Scalamandre, both of which have exquisite patterns and textures from which to choose. And...you have GOT to take note of the details in this beautiful layered window treatment. How is THAT for "Simply Irresistible"?

The Cabinet Room, used for both routine meetings and serious deliberations, features a mahogany table and leather chairs. The table was a gift from Richard Nixon in 1970. The president occupies the taller chair that is located in the center of the east side of the table. This room is over 23 feet wide and 39 feet long, with 18 foot ceilings. Found on each side of the mantel are busts of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

The Roosevelt Room is the room where daily meetings by the staff are held. It is located right across from the Oval Office. There are no windows in this room, but a skylight has been added (not shown here).

Here in RED, we have the Family Theater . For it's most recent make-over, Mrs. Bush got her inspiration from the early twentieth century movie palaces. This room was carved out of a cloakroom, with the vision of Franklin Roosevelt, in 1942.

The "gold room", as it is sometimes called, is the Vermeil Room. It was last refurbished in 1991 and is used for a ladies' sitting room and also for formal occasions. This room has pale yellow paneled walls and fabrics in gold which compliment the "vermeil", or gold-plated silver, that is found here. The lovely wrapped swags with trim complete this room's elegance.

Here we have a room that was once known as a room of "tubs, buckets, and a variety of lumber". How did it possibly go from THAT to...THIS? It was actually a cluttered room in the basement at one time (1801) that served mainly as a laundry room. It wasn't until 1935, when Theodore Roosevelt renovated it, that it became a LIBRARY for the White House. It is furnished from the early 1800 period (known as the Federal period) and features Duncan Phyfe (a New York cabinet maker) furniture. The style is a little less formal than some of the other areas since this room is used for teas and meetings. Other than these "Simply Irresistible" window treatments, notice how the room is pulled together by also using red in the inside of the book cases, in the upholstery fabrics, and even in the floral arrangement on the round table. The color flows evenly throughout this room from being repeated several times.

Surprise! Yep, same room....different color scheme and window treatment style. This one is from 2005 decor. I included this one just to show you again how COLOR effects the style, mood, effect and overall feeling of a room. Here, the Bush's choice was for a soothing,light and airy feeling vs. the dramatic that the Obama's prefer. Actually they did use the same rug for both. Which do YOU prefer? Isn't it funny how our own choices even change over time. This is when we decide we are ready for a...new look!

How about this bedroom for luxury? This is the Queens Bedroom. Before this room became a part of the family living quarters it was an office for the president's staff. The current design is meant to reflect early 19th century New England style. I could easily be a guest in a room like this.....yes, of course I could....it's PINK, I know! I love the window treatments and bedding ensemble, secretary, chandelier, settee, accessories......so you see.....it's "not" just the PINK that I find irresistible!

This one is known as the Lincoln Bedroom...which was formerly Lincoln's office and cabinet room. It was Harry Truman that suggested turning this room into a bedroom using furnishings associated with the family. In 2004, First Lady and her team took a look into documentary research from that period and restored some of the design details from that time, such as the cornices (over the drapery panels) and even a mantel made to resemble the one that was there during Lincoln's time. Notice the elaborate details of these window cornices, swags (with tassels), and fabrics used above the bed....now this is design at it's finest!

The Palm Room, also referred to as the West Garden Room, offers access to the West Wing and the Rose Garden. I am just intrigued by the "name" of this room.....if you know me then you know why. I LOVE palm trees and the coast!!! I think I would like to have a "Palm Room" in my home...hum, maybe I'll rename and re-purpose my sunroom!

It was George Washington himself whose vision actually shaped the White House. He insisted that it be "for the ages". President Truman, who described himself as "an architectural nut", replaced the awnings on the South Portico with a balcony.

The lovely State Dining Room as it was in 2010. Take a look at these gorgeous window valances (especially since we've been studying the details of them). The next picture shows more detail.

One can't help to notice the exquisite architectural details here either! Magnificent!

A "moose head" in the State Dining Room? Yes, it is....in this hand-tinted photo (below) of Theodore Roosevelt's State Dining Room as it was in 1904. Look at the details of the ceiling! A moose head and a crystal chandelier....what do you think about that? Oh, how the design has changed over the years.

Well, I do hope you have enjoyed taking a peek into some of the interior design inside the White House today. I found this to be a fun topic to research, so thanks so much for stopping by to read. Remember, if this intrigued YOU to make a change in your home, please let us know and we'll share how our design services can help you...depending on your need. Now, go have yourself a BLESSED and SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE day!

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