And So, The New Decor At The White House Begins!



Everyone has a favorite color.  Mine is probably a soft blue.  Yours?   We all know that President Trump loves the color of golden yellow.  From his gold spun hair to the elevators at Trump Tower to the gold plated seat belts on his Trump Jet – for whatever reason, Trump loves the color of gold!  Maybe it stems from being Scottish and having a head of white hair as a child. 

Aww – now, THIS is a cute little towhead baby!   Precious!

Regardless of where his love of gold comes from, judging from his penthouse at Trump Tower – he definitely has the Midas touch! 

Because the Obamas had just revealed,  via Architectural Digest, their White House decor that the staid decorator Michael Smith had created for them, the public is now very curious about what changes Donald and Melania have in mind for the White House.


The Michael S. Smith designed master bedroom at the White House – with just a hint of gold on the walls. Will the Trumps like this decor?  It’s so hard to say.  It is a fancy look, but there’s not much bling here.  Melania has said that she loves the way her penthouse is decorated.  It is exactly her taste, she said in an interview, even though it was designed by Trump and his first wife.  If you are interested in the White House decor, you are wondering what rooms will the Trumps keep as is, and what will they redecorate, ASAP?

I doubt the Trumps will make many changes on the first floor with all the state rooms like the Blue Room, the Green Room and the Red Room.   The State Dining Room was just updated by the Obamas for the first time in years.  But, I do have a feeling the Trumps may change the Family Dining Room as soon as they can.  It seems so far removed from their style.  I’m not sure I would mind a change myself – this was my least favorite of the Smith decorated rooms:

The Family Dining Room:  The rust curtains and contemporary rug seem so far from the Trump aesthetic – it will be interesting to see if they will keep it, despite the fact that it was just redone. They could put in a pretty gold-toned damask wallpaper, along with a similar fabric on the curtains and chairs.  A Fortuny-like fabric would be beautiful in here.  The furniture would stay – it’s been in this room for over a century.  The art work by Alma Thomas between the windows was purchased for the White House – the first art work in the house collection by an African American woman.

And who will be their decorator?  Will they use the team that decorates their hotels or will they pick a new, more well-known name like Suzanne Kasler or Suzanne Rheinstein? 

Ivanka Trump used Kelly Behun to create her ultra-chic apartment.   It will be so exciting to watch what happens – but I just hope the Trumps won’t make us wait to see their changes as long as the Obamas did!!!!!

Leading up to the election, the internet was filled with memes making fun of the various candidates and their hopes of winning the White House.  I love this one of Hillary measuring the drapes, a bit early, in the oval office. 


And here, behind the famous Resolute Desk in the Oval House.

Even Bernie Sanders wasn’t immune – he was teased about turning the White House into a hippie commune (I guess?)  This meme place Bernie inside the Clinton oval office.

And of course, Trump is easy to tease – just throw in a bit of gold and there’s your meme.

And so, today, on the day of the inauguration, I was finishing up a new blog story that I’ve been writing when I suddenly hear that President Trump has already remolded the White House!   What?!?!  He just moved in this afternoon! 

But sure enough, he has already made a few changes to the Oval Office and some of them are very ironic.

So, I quickly put this story together about the Oval Office and its changes.


In 1909, William Howard Taft created the first Oval Office when he moved the President’s Office from what is now called the Lincoln Bedroom to the EOB.   Taft took over a secretary’s office space that was a half-oval, which he extended into a full oval, just as the Blue Room and Yellow Oval Room were.  The curtains were silk velvet and the floor was wood in a checkerboard pattern.   Taft chose a green color scheme for the room, which remained for decades.  The curtains lasted a long time too.

Presidents Wilson, Harding, and Coolidge all worked in the same oval office which mostly looked the same as this one seen in 1927.  In 1929 a fire destroyed the office and it was rebuilt for Herbert Hoover. 

In 1933, FDR moved the Oval Office to its present location in the SE corner of the newly expanded West Wing – so that he could more easily reach it in his wheelchair.  It was built 2 ft wider and longer than its previous size.   Since 1934, the office has not changed much except in decor.  What has stayed in the room since 1934 is the marble mantel, moved from the original 1909 office and the two flags placed behind the desk.  Here is FDR’s office seen in 1945 with the same curtains as in the older offices.  The blue-green rug was later used by all the presidents until Nixon ordered the first custom made Oval Office rug

Truman originally used FDR’s decor, but in 1947, he introduced a modern look to his office along with new green curtains.

The doors to the Rose Garden in the new Oval Office.


President Eisenhower kept much of the green decor, changing mostly the art work.


The beautiful marble mantel was moved from the old oval office to the new West Wing Oval Office.  Eisenhower’s landscapes were a departure from the portraits of the Presidents that were hanging before.

John Kennedy originally kept FDR’s green rug and curtains.  Jacqueline brought the Resolute desk into the Oval Office for the President to use.  After his death, it was on tour and at the Smithsonian until Jimmy Carter began using the desk again.  Since him, it has been used by many presidents. 

After the President left for Dallas, his office was remodeled with a royal red rug and new white curtains with red trim!  Love that!  But, I can’t help but think the shades should have been hung higher!

This console table has been used since the Oval Office fire.  It is still used by most presidents, including the Bushes, Clinton, and Obama.  Notice the floor – at this time, it was cork.   IKE’s golf cleats ruined the cork and it was later replaced by LBJ who put down linoleum in the Oval Office.  Linoleum in the Oval Office – I swear!!!!

Here, white slipcovered sofas with twin bronze ash trays!  Notice all the nautical paintings and models.   John  Kennedy never saw his newly decorated office nor did his wife.  It was dismantled before she came back to Washington.   The decorator was StĂŠphane Boudin.

President Lyndon Johnson originally used the Kennedy red rug and sofa.  He added a larger coffee table.


Later, LBJ removed the red rug and replaced it with the FDR green rug, along with new green velvet pillows.  He did use the same JFK curtains. He added a modern 3 screen TV to watch the news.  LBJ did not use the Resolute desk, but instead had the Senate cabinet shop build him a new desk to fit his long legs.

I think LBJ would love to be alive today with the 24/7 news and all the TV channels and the internet and tweeting.  I think he would love all of that!!  The Johnson family owned the popular radio station KLBJ for decades and they also put the first TV station on air in Austin in 1952.  The family eventually sold their holdings.

Nixon originally used the FDR rug. It must have been so dirty by then!!  He kept the white curtains but added a new green trim.

Later, in what was to become a new tradition – Pat Nixon ordered a custom rug in blue and gold.  She also added gold chairs and curtains, creating a very stately office.  Besides Jimmy Carter, all further presidents have ordered their own custom rug and decor.

President Gerald Ford first used Nixon’s decor, then ordered a completely new look in yellow.  It looks like this was a temporary rug until his new one arrived.

The Carters reused the Fords new decor.  They also had a very unusual furniture arrangement with two sofas back to back.  I love this decor and color scheme.  Here, the new rug is in place.  You can see the plain linoleum that LBJ had installed to replace the ruined cork floors.

Here the Carters eat in front of the fireplace.  Actually, I kind of like this furniture arrangement.  I love the decor with the gold damask and yellow striped sofas.


Another view of the Ford/Carter decor with PM Golda Meir.  It’s incredible to think of all the world leaders who have visited this office!!


Later, the Reagan’s used the Ford/Carter decor while waiting for their new scheme to be installed.


Here with PM Margaret Thatcher!  The Reagans moved the furniture arrangement back to the sofas facing each other.


Here the decor is half Ford/Carter and half Reagan.  Reagan used the Resolute desk.   And here you can see their curtains, which the Reagans kept.


Reagan with the new furniture and orange pillows, with the old rug.  It looks like they used the same lamps and tables.

And here is the new Reagan rug!  A starburst design which became rather popular with the First Families.  Remember this rug, you will see it again!!   Remember this rug!!!!


Reagan with his new rug in place.  Very pretty.  In 1982, Reagan had the linoleum removed and had wood floor put down, using the same contractors who had installed the wood floor at his California ranch. It was a walnut and quartered white oak patterned floor.  In 2005, George W. Bush had the floor replaced yet again, apparently in the same pattern as it was before but with a more pronounced stain.   The Reagan decorator was Californian Ted Graber.


George H.W. Bush originally used the Reagan decor while waiting for his new decor.  The Resolute desk, though, was sent back to storage as Bush wanted to use the desk he had had as Vice President.

Beautiful lamps from the Fords. 

And, the new George H.W. Bush decor in pale blue and white.  Blue is GHWB’s favorite color.   There is a new rug with the center seal and white damask sofas, also new are the curtains.  The rug cost just $28,000.  Today they are much more expensive.   Decor by Mark Hampton!!!


The famous George Washington portrait is over the fireplace.  New coffee table.


His final day in office. 


And out with the softly pretty and in with bold!   The Clinton Oval Office was very patriotic in red white and blue with yellow accents.  The sofas were red and white stripes.  The Resolute desk was back in place.  And notice the curtains.  You will see them again later.

Here you can see the patterned floor.   W’s floor has a more dramatic difference in stains than this one.  The sofas look like the ones GHWB used, just recovered.  Also the chairs are the same too.

Notice the curtains.  Notice the curtains.  Notice the curtains!  Scalamandre silk curtains.  Decor by Kaki Hockersmith from Arkansas.  Notice the curtains!!!!


George W. Bush – he quickly got rid of the Clinton decor and brought back the Reagan’s sunburst rug!!!  Remember this rug!!!!   Also, he continued to use the Resolute desk, along with the Clinton curtains – for a while.

Notice his new floor – see how much difference there is in the stain between the different hardwoods? New curtains.   And the same console is behind desk.  


The W Bush decor - so beautiful, all finished!   The new rug with the starburst design – is a bit more pronounced than the Reagan rug.  Beautiful damask sofas in creamy pale yellow.  Lamps reused from the Clinton decor.  Same chairs, now in stripes.  Lincoln on the wall.   The busts are of  Lincoln, Churchill and Eisenhower.   My favorite Oval Office decor, I think!!  Love this!!!

The new wood floor installed by W. Bush.  It really is beautiful!

George W. Bush’s rug cost $62,000  and was designed by Laura Bush and her decorator.  It is said to evoke the sun and the optimism of America.   Here, President Bush welcomes President to be - Barak Obama.   Bush treated Obama so well during the transition, that Obama promised he would do the same for the new president – President Trump!   Beautiful lamps.  Decor by Ft. Worth’s  Ken Blasingame.

At first Obama used the Bush decor and rug.

But, new curtains, wallpaper, and a rug changed all that.

The new rug has quotes woven into its border: 

"No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings." - John F. Kennedy   "The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us." - Teddy Roosevelt   "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." - Martin Luther King   "Government of the people by the people for the people." - Abraham Lincoln    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Apparently, the MLK quote was wrongly attributed to him. 

Another view of the Obama Oval Office by Michael S. Smith.  And the completed office with the new curtains in place.   Michael S. Smith chose to use George W. Bush’s side chairs, flanking the desk.  And I never realized the curtains were striped.  It’s all very sophisticated


Here while campaigning, President Trump visited the Gerald Ford Presidential Library which recreates his oval office exactly. 

When researching this story – it was so hard to tell which pictures were of the actual Oval Office OR of the recreated Oval Office at the different presidential libraries.  These presidential libraries are AMAZING.  They look exactly like their real counterpart.   There were some pictures that I couldn’t tell whether it was the WH or the library at first glance!!!


Here, a meme kidding that Trump would put a sign on the White House like his hotels.

But really, what IS the Trump White House going to look like?   Another meme was created showing Trump in the Oval Office photoshopped with gold curtains.

Looks good, doesn’t it? 

In this photoshopped picture – they used the Obama office with the Bush curtains – which do look good together.

The day that Trump was sworn in, the redecoration of his Oval Office had already begun.

GONE, GONE GONE are the Obama curtains.  In their place, are the…

get ready for it…


Yep. That’s them.  I wonder if Trump knows that Hillary Clinton picked out his curtains? 

Who knew those two had the same taste?   But there they are – the old Clinton curtains are now back in the White House via President Trump.  It does seem a little ironic. 

And then there is the rug.  This is a less controversial choice.  It’s Ronald  Reagan’s sunburst rug.  This rug looks much better with the curtains – but the Obama rug looks better with the wallpaper.  I’m betting the wallpaper will be replaced very, very soon.  A more gold tone stripe or damask wallpaper will look much better with the curtains.

Here is the Reagan rug, back in the Oval Office for the third time.  I’m sure that all this will change again.  There was a report that the Martin Luther King bust was moved out,  but that is NOT TRUE!  The MLK bust remains. 

And the chairs flanking the desk are still here from George W. Bush’s office.   Hmmm – I wonder if the damask sofas seen in the Oval Office last night are from the Bush decor?


Here is George W. Bush’s office – with the two chairs that are in the Oval Office.  Obama also used these chairs with the same fabric.


Yesterday, the Churchill bust was moved from outside the President’s private office to the Oval office.  For some reason, this was a major sore point when Obama moved the Churchill bust to his private office and put the MLK bust in here.  But, now, Churchill is back. I’m finding it hard to understand why Churchill is so important to this space? Wouldn’t a bust of FDR be more important?  Or Truman?  But whatever the reason this has become a flash point.

I can’t wait to see more of the decor and again, I just hope the Trumps don’t make us wait as long as the Obamas did to show us!!  Eight long years!!!!

And now there is this.  Putting politics aside, I know everyone wishes the President health and happiness and that America be in peace.

But can we talk fashion?!?!?

I loved seeing all the clothes the Trump women wore!   All of them are so beautiful and so well dressed and seeing so many young ones around will be wonderful  and fun.

Since this IS a design blog, let’s talk fashion design for a minute.

I loved Ivanka’s white coat dress!!  It was Oscar de la Renta.  See more of his new line HERE and HERE.


And both the First Ladies shined.  Michelle in Jason Wu had a classic look designed not to take the spotlight away from Melania.  I still love Michelle’s original yellow inaugural dress!!  And then, there is Melania – who was a stunner.    I think I can safely say that no one looked prettier yesterday than she did!   Her Ralph Lauren outfit was perfect and those gloves were to die for!!!   I just wish President Trump had chosen a blue tie instead of red and that Obama would have worn the red tie.  I think Melania’s outfit will go down as one of the best inaugural outfits ever.  It was just gorgeous.

And here is the link to Ralph Lauren’s line who designed Melania’s outfit HERE.

And, here is the link to Jason Wu’s collection HERE.

I loved the way Sect. Hillary Clinton looked in her white pants suit that opened to show a beige top, along with matching shoes and bag.  I’m sure it was hard for her to attend, but she came with a smile.

Her outfit was also Ralph Lauren – here’s his collection HERE.


OK  They are a gorgeous couple.  Jared is movie star good looking.   I loved Ivanka’s green coat from Thursday.  We rarely get to wear coats in Houston and I’ve always loved a beautiful matching coat and dress.

This has the look of Ivanka’s coat without the price: HERE.

Or this coat:  HERE.


Melania’s blue coat is not available.   This is as close to it as I could find!  Pair this with a cream dress.  HERE.

And Ivanka’s white coat.  HERE.

Or this version!!  HERE.