COTE DE TEXAS: FINALLY!!!!!!

FINALLY!!!!!!

 

Architectural Digest has given us a present as a thank-you for all we have endured this past year:  the most contentious election ever, that I know we ALL can’t wait for it to be over, once and for all.

 

It’s our gift that we’ve only waited eight years for!  Finally!!!!   We now get to see the Michael S. Smith designed White House.  Well, we’ve seen a few leaks of his work for the Obamas, a few glimpses over the years, but not much, not much at all.   

AND AND AND….it’s all pretty…surprising. 

Smith’s rooms for the Obamas look so different than the usual White House decor that it’s hard to believe this is same place where all our First Families have lived.  Smith’s color scheme is so novel to the White House – it looks more like a hotel or a fancy home than the Presidential abode we have all come to love.   We are all familiar with the usual reds, green, blues, and yellows of the Bushes, the Reagans, the Clintons, and more – but now we have a new color scheme that is butterscotch, rust, and caramel, warm tones with touches of dark green and lots and lots of contemporary art.

It’s a unique approach, to say the least.

I found the Befores of all the rooms that Smith designed for the Obamas and researched the history of the rooms.  And, I searched the internet and found the oversized photos from Architectural Digest, so I hope you enjoy it all!!!

I’m very interested to know what you think of the Smith design.  So, be sure to leave your opinion in the comment section!!! 

A floor plan of the family floor – in case you have forgotten how it is all laid out.  All but two rooms designed by Smith are on the Family Residence floor. 

The Center Hall:

The Center Hall 1904 – under Theodore Roosevelt.  Dark walls, white trim, plants and Victorian furniture.

Briefly:   In 1873, President Grant had redecorated the White House, turning it from a gracious Federal House into a Victorian nightmare.  Grant had help from Louis Tiffany who installed glass partitions and windows that further marred the original design of the house.   In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt had had enough of all the Victorian decor that cluttered every nook and cranny of the White House.   He ordered a major renovation to remove all the Victoriana and restore the house back to its Federal roots.   His plans also included moving the main stairs in the house and adding bathrooms in the bedroom suites.  He also had the first executive office building built to the west of the White House, thus freeing up valuable space from the second floor.

1930:  Herbert Hoover.  This is strange.  That skylight leads up to the third floor hall where there is a true skylight!  I’ve never seen this photo.  Bookcases were built along the long hall.

 

In 1948, President Truman added the beautiful and iconic south portico balcony to the White House.  At that time it was discovered the house was unsound and was in danger of falling down.  The White House was taken down to its shell and was completely rebuilt from the basement up to the third floor – a steel frame was installed instead of the original wood joists. 

Above is how the center hall looked after the renovation.  New trim was added, along with shell accents above the doors. 

1962:  The Kennedy Center Hall.   Love the chandeliers and French chairs.  At the end of the hall, it’s hard to see, but Jackie added two Chinoiserie screens to flank the door.  Above all the other doors – she removed the “shell” trim – which remained missing for a number of years.

 

From the other side, Jackie Kennedy’s Center Hall.  I love all the white fabric mixed with blue and white stripes.

 

1968:  Fabulous photograph!  The Johnson years – love the Chinoiserie screens.  I’m sure Mark Sikes would love them too!! 

 

1975:  Gerald Ford.  The screens remain.  Jackie’s French chairs are used here.  But – the peach wall color is awful, and so is the way they painted the trim!

1981:  The Reagan Center Hall.  The screens are now put together and rest behind the sofa.  Love the coffee table.  Twin antique mirrors flank the doors.  Notice the trim paint was corrected.  Nancy’s decor was one of the best.  Just wonderful!

1992:  Reagan.  A larger view.

 

1991:  George W. Bush.  Very pretty!  The shells over the doors have now been reinstalled.  I’m not a fan of the center table though – it’s very clunky looking.

 

The Bushes walk through the Center Hall – where to the right is the focal point of its design. 

 

 

For Vogue, Laura Bush posed on the focal point of the Center Hall:   Tiger velvet on the incredible settee and two chairs, set before the Chinoiserie screen.  Gorgeous and beyond chic.

 

The Obamas:

Early on, when Bo was still a puppy, the President and his daughter were shown in the Center Hall – with its old furniture and carpet. What was interesting about this photo was how the upstairs quarters seemed so much like a true home.

 

And then, in 2014, Queen Margrethe of Denmark visited the White House and this small picture of the hall was published in a Danish magazine.  It was quite a shock to see how much everything had changed:  area rugs, a glass coffee table, contemporary art!

 

And today, we finally get to see the room in Architectural Digest.

2016:  Obama’s Center Hall.  First, the clunky center table is still in use!  No Chinoiserie screen – but Michael Smith loves those!?  Why didn’t he use it?  There are many contemporary touches about with the art and the glass coffee table.  He used the same furniture but in modern colors.  The green vases by Peter Schlesinger that flank the door are gorgeous.  So is the rug, very pretty.  The color scheme is new to the White House. There are dark colors, warm tones, orange, gold, moss green – shades we haven’t seen here before.

 

A close up of the decor – gold, green, and deep peach.

 

The Family Dining Room:

The Family Dining Room used to be a large bedroom – as seen here in 1898 in this pink bedroom during McKinley’s presidency.  First daughters Alice Roosevelt and Helen Taft both used it as their rooms.

After the Truman restoration, it became a family room, then a dining room.  At times this has been one of my favorite rooms in the White House.

After the 1952 Truman renovation, the bedroom was used as a sitting room.

 

1961:   Jacqueline Kennedy changed the room into a family dining room.  She added a kitchen to the suite.  She found antique wallpaper that depicted battles of the American Revolution.  The chandelier is fabulous – but it didn’t last long.  This is my favorite room – just like this.

 

Later, the Kennedy chandelier was changed, as was the rug and the chair fabric.

The room remained the same for years until the Nixons added this bold rug, a new chandelier, and new curtains.

In 1975 the Nixons changed the rug, the fabric, and the curtains.  Again!

Mrs. Gerald Ford HATED the battle scenes and installed wallpaper over the wallpaper.  All the Federal styled mirrors are gone, replaced with oils.  Here she entered the Queen of England and Prince Philip.

BTW, are you watching Netflix “The Crown?”  It’s so good!!!

AND then, a few years later, Rosalyn Carter took OFF the yellow wallpaper and brought back the battle scenes.  Here, Nancy Reagan kept the same look.  Not sure I like the dual convex mirrors. Here the tables are set for a Prince Charles dinner.

 

Mrs. Bush liked the battle scenes too.  So did Millie!

 

But, then we come to the Clintons who didn’t like the wallpaper, so it was covered up again.   The room was done in yellow, again.  Yellow is a popular shade for the upstairs White House.

Actually – this room doesn’t look TOO bad, but the Clintons win the award for having the worst White House decor.  Now, if Hillary wins – I just hope she doesn’t hire designer Kaki Hockersmith again!!!

 

Mrs. Laura Bush’s Family Dining Room – has cream damask wallpaper.  She used most of the same elements in the room – just recovered the chairs and added new curtains.   Very pretty.

 

Later, it looks like Laura Bush brought back the Nixon rug.

And now for something completely different:

The Obamas.  New chairs. New round table – which fills the room very nicely.  There’s a seating area by the windows.  New curtains.  New lamps by Spitzmiller, of course.  New wallpaper by Jasper, of course.  And – wait – is that seagrass?!?!?  Hard to tell, but I’ll take it!  A tryptich of modern art at the left along with a large mirror over the mantel that Laura Bush used.  The chandelier stays in the room.

Now, I know there is a Green Room – but these are two shades of green that the White House has never seen!  I love the art work.

 

The crystal chandelier is just gorgeous.

What do you think of the dining room?  It’s quite a change from the Battle scene wallpaper and the cream damask.  Is it too different for the classic White House? 

 

The Yellow Oval Room:

This room sits above the oval Blue Room.  It has been used throughout the years for social events and as Presidential studies.  Throughout the years it has been traditionally painted yellow, hence its name.   President Truman installed the Portico balcony that connects to this room.

 

1890:  President Benjamin Harrison.  Victorian clutter.  Notice the ceiling wallpaper – wow!  So modern!

1909:  President Theodore Roosevelt completely redecorated to rid the house of Victoriana – it looks almost modern now.  Notice the tiger(?) rug. 

1939:  President Franklin Roosevelt – his room was navy themed since he had been Secretary of the Navy.  Leather sofa!  Tiger rug.

 

1962:   The Yellow Oval Room because a sitting room under Jacqueline Kennedy.  Her decor is fabulous!  I would move in today.  White sofa, French chairs.   The room contained the French furniture that she collected for her famous redecoration.

 

Jackie put a fur skin on the white sofa to protect it.  I’m sure she would have made a tailored slipcover if there was a Shabby Slips during that time.  Actually, many of her upholstered pieces in the White House were slipcovered.    Before Rachel Ashwell, slipcovers were mostly used to protect furniture during the off seasons. 

1964:  Lady Bird Johnson used some of the Kennedy decor but she used a yellow sofa.  Notice the mantel – it gets changed.  

1977:  Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter – notice the red chairs by the mantel, Laura Bush used the same chairs with the same upholstery.   The Obamas are still using these chairs.   And, notice the mantel!  That’s now been changed.

The Reagan years – mostly stayed the same.  That desk is gorgeous – and so is that chandelier.  The Denis-Louis Ancellet desk is where the Camp David Peace Accords were signed.

 

The Yellow Oval room remained the same, basically, through the latest presidencies.  Laura Bush move the two sofas to flank the fireplace – but the two coffee tables look a bit much together.  Still – the same chairs and sofas were used and the same rug.  This is a gorgeous photograph of the beautiful Laura.

 

 

Here you can see the tall tea tables look a bit cramped put together like this and those bowls would have looked better on demi-lunes. 

But in the end, the room is called The Yellow Oval Room and it has stayed yellow through decades and decades of different First Ladies and their decorators.

For the first few years Michelle Obama used the Bush decor – when she hired Michael Smith she had him first decorate her daughters bedrooms and her mother’s suite.   But, then, there is a hint of the new decor – the corner of a new coffee table:

 

In 2014 when Queen Margrethe of Denmark visited the Yellow Oval Room – you could just see a hint of the new decor where the corner of the new contemporary coffee table peeked out.   The First Lady was still using the old chairs though.

 

This photo was shown in a Danish magazine in 2014, more hints of the new decor.  A new rug.  New chairs.

 

And last year, in 2015 when Queen Letezia visited, even more of the new decor was revealed:  the newly recovered chairs and rug.

 

This image from 2014 wasn’t seen by many – you can see the new rug, the new decor, the new curtains.  And – notice the contemporary art on the right.  The art is borrowed from both the Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Art and is routinely changed out, although the Obamas have picked out a few new pieces for the permanent White House collection.

 

And today, Michelle Obama is finally officially revealing HER Yellow Oval Room decor:

2016:  Wow.  I do love it – but it looks completely different!  The walls remain yellow and she reused much of the furniture like the beautiful desk and the French chairs and end tables.  She reused the chandelier and the candelabras by the window.  But…it has a completely new look.  Not sure it is elegant enough though?  What do you think?

Studying it, it really is a gorgeous room.  I like the furniture arrangement – the table by the window.  Perhaps Michelle hosts intimate lunches here for her guests?   And Victoria and Son HERE reported that Smith called and ordered a pair of their hurricanes for the White House – seen here.  One complaint – the art work on the right is hung too high!!!  

AND…it does look like something that Hillary Clinton would like and would use, just as is.  But, Donald Trump likes gold decor.  I’m not sure this is his aesthetic.  He likes gilt and more gilt.  I think he would have been happier with the previous decor than the Obama decor. 

 

A close up of the green fabric and tape trim on the sofa along with the velvet on the French chairs.  The view is gorgeous.

 

The view towards the fireplace.  Smith changed the arrangement that Laura Bush used – the two sofas flanking the mantel.  That seemed a bit crowded, so he used two club chairs.  The coffee tables are stunning.  If he wins, I think Trump will like these because they are gold!  This room – in this photo – seems more traditional than some of the other Smith decor.  Again, that chandelier!!!!  Gorgeous!

 

The Treaty Room:

This room has been changed and redecorated by almost every president.  It has been used as an office and a sitting room and everything in between.  It was once used as a cabinet meeting room and for a while it was used as an ice house to keep the presidents cool in the days before air conditioning.   William McKinley signed the peace treaty with Spain in this very room – which ended the Spanish American War.  The painting of that event hangs in the room today.  It was Jacqueline Kennedy who turned the room back into the “Treaty Room.” after it was called The Monroe Room for a number of years.   John Kennedy signed the nuclear test ban treaty in this room.  The Obamas use it as an office for the President and a place for the family to gather in privacy.

In 1885, Grover Cleveland used the room to meet with the cabinet.  The table is now used as a desk by President Obama.  Notice the oversized map on the wall, along with the painting of George Washington.

 

In 1890,  Benjamin Harrison used it as his official Cabinet Meeting room.  This was before there was a West Wing and official business took place in the White House.   The room has been cleaned up a bit with oil paintings now lining the walls.

1883 – at the right the steps lead up the President’s office which was in the Lincoln bedroom, back then.

 

1909 – President Taft.  He used this a study.  You can see there is a new white mantel and shelves lining all the walls.  Washington is back!  The door to the Lincoln bedroom is now gone since the President didn’t use it as an office any longer.  The desk is the Resolute, made famous by John Kennedy Jr. when he peeked out from its secret door.

 

 

 

1932.  Herbert Hoover tore out all the new shelves and changed it to the Monroe Room, using Monroe furniture. 

 

1940.  This room was used by First Ladies now.

 

Until the Kennedys, the Rose Room looked like this.

Very pretty!

 

Jacqueline Kennedy restored the room to The Treaty Room.  This chandelier was later changed out.  Evidentially the First Ladies liked this decor because it stayed like this for a long time.

The correct chandelier – it was from President Grant’s East Room decor.

 

And here, in a wonderful photograph, right after surgery for cancer, President Reagan met with Jim Wright, Strom Thurmond and Bob Dole in the Treaty Room.  You can really see the unusual trim on the walls in this picture.

 

Barbara Bush finally got rid of the Kennedy decor.  White sofa and white chairs mixed with leather ones.  Very pretty.

 

And then, we get the Clinton decor by Kaki.  I love the rug.

 

Please lord, if HRC is elected, don’t let her rehire Kaki!!!!   Hanging is the famous painting of McKinley “Signing of the Peace Protocol Between Spain and the United States” on August 12, 1898.   He signed the treaty in this very room.    Hillary used this chandelier – which will show up again with the Obamas.

 

When George W. Bush was elected, he brought back his father’s light walls, although he kept the Clinton rug.  Laura also got new drapes.  The desk stayed, as did the painting.  Notice that the original Grant chandelier is now back too, after Barbara Bush put it away to use the crystal chandelier, which Clinton removed to use the brass one.  The First Ladies go back and forth with the White House antiques.

 

 

George Bush in the Treaty Room.  He used the desk against the side wall, which is different than others.

 

Early on, in 2009, President Obama was photographed in the Treaty Room.  He uses this as a night office and as a family room.  Here, the Bush decor is still in situ.

 

Two photos of the updated room with Michael Smith decor were leaked.  Stunning!  This is really gorgeous – the art work makes the entire room.   It was such a shock to see such modern art work – so large – in the classic White House.   But it’s just a fabulous piece of art.

 

The other photo showed the family eating dinner (!) on the ottoman, which to me looks like a Hollyhock/Suzanne Rheinstein piece.  Not sure I would EVER let my family eat on a fabric ottoman!!   Makes me nervous just looking at it.  And notice the beautiful wood floors.  I can’t help it – I’m such a fan of this man and his family.

 

And now, we finally see the entire room with the wallpaper and stencil.  The light fixture that the Clintons used is now back in the room.  The room is filled with personal mementos that the Obamas have collected over their 8 years.  Beautiful leather chairs.   Flanking the fireplace are a series of Native American prints.  

 

 

Close up of the prints by George Catlin.  See the Emmy???

 

 

A close up of the chandelier with the eagle.  This is really a pretty piece.  And notice the stencil.

 

Outside the Treaty Room.  A bust of Winston Churchill is on the right.

 

A close up of the painting over Obama’s desk appears to be a Native American.

 

The Resolute desk was a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes – in 1880.  It was built from the timbers of the ship The Resolute.  The panel that John Kennedy Jr. is crawling through was added by Franklin Roosevelt to hide his leg braces.  You can see where the desk was made taller – there is a off color stripe around the base.   Reagan later had it made even taller for his long legs – and the poor matching stain was fixed at that time.

 

Caroline and Kerry Kennedy playing in the desk.

 

When Caroline Kennedy came to the Oval Office to visit President Obama – he showed her the desk where she and her brother used to play.  So sad John is gone! 

 

The Master Bedroom:

The master bedroom is part of a three room suite that includes the Living Room and the Dressing Room.   Over the centuries - various first families have had different sleeping arrangements.  Most first couples slept apart before more contemporary times.  Originally the President would usually sleep in what is now called the master bedroom.  Later, after FDR, the President started sleeping in what is now called the Living Room – which lies in between the master bedroom and the yellow oval room.  Today –  first couples usually sleep in the same room and the family uses the living room as a place to eat and watch TV.

 

1877 President Hayes – Victorian times although Stark carpet would love this rug.  The tufted chair on the left looks like ones sold today.  Through the door is the dressing room.

 

1911 -  President Taft.  The Victorian decor is gone. Love the fringe on the chairs and chaise!   Very pretty.

 

Mamie Eisenhower’s master bedroom in pink and green with a tufted headboard!  Actually this is very cute for Mamie who didn’t have the best of taste. 

 

Jacqueline Kennedy has the prettiest bedroom in cream and French blue.  Love her room so much.

 

Across from her bed is a slipcovered cream sofa and skirted table with yellow French chair.  What’s not to love?!?!?!

 

The Fords showed off the bedroom to the Carters.  The old tufted headboard was reused – but I hope they recovered it!   Mrs. Carter’s room was yellow with a canopy bed.

 

The Reagans shared the master bedroom – with the peach carpet and beautiful handpainted wallpaper with birds. 

 

Another photograph of the beautiful Reagan bedroom.  There are no pictures of the Bushes and Clintons bedrooms.

 

The Obamas:

The Obamas bedroom is very classic – more so than some of the other designed Smith rooms.  The only modern touch is the coffee table, which looks interesting.  The decor is very English Country Manor house.  The desk on the left was been used by other presidents – as has the chandelier.  Very pretty.  Very lovely.

 

Close up of the bed and the mirrors flanking the bed.

 

The desk and coffee table.  The desk is just beautiful.

 

Against one wall is art work and another chair.

 

 

The Living Room:

This was originally the second bedroom of the master bedroom suite.  After Franklin Roosevelt, the President would sleep in this room while the First Lady would sleep in the master bedroom.  Since the more recent First Couples – starting with the Fords – have shared a bedroom, this room has become a night office and TV room and is called the Living Room.

The original Lincoln bed with the canopy.  The White House Victoriana era is amusing!  Every room from this time period looks exactly alike – a big mishmash.    Here, before the remodeling by Teddy Roosevelt in 1902 – this room was much wider.  You can see the bed is placed between two doors.  After the remodeling, a bathroom was fashioned out the space and this second door on the left is now gone.

1892 – Benjamin Harrison.  Notice the pillow with his name on it!  That was a huge surprise to me.  You always think of Harrison as a dour widower – but reading his history today, I learned his daughter acted as his First Lady after her mother died.  She is probably the one who lovingly stitched the pillow for her father.  After Harrison left office, he married his late wife’s very young niece and had another daughter with her.  Harrison’s older two children never spoke to their father again.  Happy story, no?

The other side of the room.   You can see here how the room used to be laid out – symmetrically designed with a fireplace and two doors that led to the master bedroom next door.  After the 1902 remodeling, the bathroom was added to the suite.   This addition took up floor space and caused it to be weirdly asymmetrical.  Today – the right door shown here is gone and the wall is now right next to the mantel – which throws off the beautiful original design of the room. 

1915 – Woodrow Wilson

Here – you can see the newly remodeled room with the fireplace off center.  The wall is right next to the mantel and the beautiful shape of the original design is now gone.

 

Several Presidents used the beautiful bed including Truman.  You can see again – that the bed used be placed between the two doors that led to the Yellow Oval room – but only one door remains now.

Here you can see how the bathroom and closets were added to this room – before, all this space was in the room itself.

 

After the Truman restoration – a rare view into the bathroom in this space.

 

1960s.   John Kennedy slept in this room.  It was decorated in the same blues that the First Lady used in her bedroom and dressing room.  So many books.  Notice a tiny light on his headboard.  And there is a dress shirt freshly laundered on top of the TV.

 

The two windows. 

 

And the view towards the now off centered fireplace.  All the chairs are slipcovered.

 

President Lyndon Johnson used to hold meetings in his bedroom, while in his PJs.  Notice the larger light that is now over his bed!

Mrs. Ford announced that she and the President would be sharing a bedroom.  She used this as a TV room.  Love the curtains!

 

But, the Reagans win the prize.  The linen is so beautiful.  Here the walls are painted yellow – but not sure if that is a misprint. Notice the white chair with the red trim.  And that chandelier – it is now in the Obama Treaty Room and was in the Clinton Treaty Room.  Through the doors you can see the Reagan’s handpainted bird wallpaper.

 

I LOVE this photo!!  So sweet!!  Notice on the left is the series of the Native American prints that are now in the Obama Treaty Room.

 

Next Barbara Bush redid the room using her famous rug.  She actually made this herself!  Very beautiful.  The desk on the left is the same one in the Obama Master Bedroom.  Same chandelier.

Another view.  Through this door on the right is the Yellow Oval room.   You can see the rug better here.

 

Here you can see the colored photo of the room – in blues and pinks.

The only photo I could find of the rug in situ – in color. 

 

Here is the George W. Bush design.  The curtains are celadon silk.   Wish we could see more.

And here is the Obama Living Room:

Browns and taupes with green accents.   The rug is beautiful.   Very nice – it continues the decor in the three rooms that connect together:  The yellow oval room, the living room, and the master bedroom.    These rooms lead off the center hall which also works together with this trio of rooms.

 

The lamp is Baker and the side table is Jasper.  But the art work is stunning!  Just gorgeous!!!

 

The Family Dining Room:

This room is actually on the first floor – next to the State Dining Room.  It’s not really used by the family every night anymore.  Jacqueline Kennedy is the one who first turned a bedroom on the second floor into a family dining room with a small kitchen, probably because she had two toddlers.

 

Before the Theodore Roosevelt renovations of 1902.  Teddy hated all the Victorian additions and that was his motivation for the renovations, along with creating offices in a separate building.   Notice the gorgeous bird plates

 

These are part of the Hayes china.  Lucy Hayes met the artist Theodore R. Davis who told her she should use the flora and fauna of our country when designing her china.  He made over 130 designs in odd shapes which were produced by Haviland for $3,120!!  Art critics did not care for the china, but today it is much admired.  Gorgeous, no?

 

And here in 1906, after the Roosevelt renovation.  Quite a refreshing difference.

 

1906.  The ceiling was raised and vaulted in the restoration with bas reliefs added.  The ceiling is a very pretty addition.

 

1911.  You can see the ceiling a bit better here.

 

1952.  After the Truman restoration.  New crystal chandelier, red rug, red curtains.   I’m not a big fan of plain red rugs – it’s too Buckingham Palace.

 

Early Kennedy dining room.

 

Final Kennedy dining room – with the gorgeous mantel.

1991.  The rug isn’t great but it stayed for over 10 years. Notice the medallion around the chandelier.

 

Laura Bush’s rug.   OK.  One comment.  I LOVE oval portraits!  Love them.  But, I think they only look good in oval frames.

 

OK.  See what I mean?  Doesn’t the square frame make that portrait look like something you might see in a frame shop with a cheap print inside it?  The oval frame is so much more elegant.

 

And another, just to get you to agree with me!!!

Repeat after me:  Oval portraits belong in oval frames!

 

And, now we have the Obama Family Dining Room by Michael Smith.  This room was already revealed last year.  The photo was a poor one, badly colored, and I think the new photos make the room look better.

 

It seems like the same furniture was used – but not sure about the chest between the windows.  I don’t think that’s been in the room before.  OK.  I’m not crazy about this decor. I don’t care for the rug.   This is on the First Floor, not the private family floor.  It just is a bit too modern.  And I hate the curtains.  Not sure where that color came from, except it’s the same as in the Oval Office.

 

Here is Michelle’s new china.

 

And another view.  Smith helped her, along with the White House curator.   The green will go great in the green striped dining room upstairs.  Except it’s not green.  It’s really blue.   It’s modern and simple – and so very much like the Obamas. I really like it.

 

It’s actually “Kailua Blue” inspired by the president’s Hawaii home.  OK, that makes sense.   They had a company from their home state of Illinois make the china.  An article about the new china says Michelle was inspired by the 1806 design of James Madison’s china:

I don’t see the connection, but it IS a very modern china for the 19th century.

 

This photo shows the rug better.  Not my favorite – but it does look better here.  

The State Dining Room is next door.   The two rooms are used together many times for state dinners.   Because of this their decor has to coordinate.   Let’s see if you think it does coordinate.  I’m not so sure.

 

A drawing of the State Dining Room from 1871.

 

And here, before the Truman renovation, it looks almost exactly the same since the 1902 Roosevelt renovation.  These dark paneled walls are such a surprise.

 

After the Truman renovation – it remained like this until the Kennedy’s redecoration.  The paneled walls are now painted.  Not sure where the Lincoln portrait was moved to.

 

The Kennedy decor – a complete change.  Lincoln is back!

 

Another view.  The State Room doesn’t change very often.

 

The next major redecoration was the Clintons, which stayed like this until last year.  I love this decor, but is it too sweet?

 

Michelle Obama’s new decor with new silk striped curtains, new chairs with horsehair upholstery, and a new rug – of which two were ordered so that one could be cleaned.

 

Crisp white walls.  I don’t think that Michael Smith designed this – but he may have offered his opinion.  I am not sure that the decor blends in with its neighbor, the new Family Dining Room.  Do you?

 

The Solarium or The Sky Parlor

On the third floor, above the Yellow Oval Room, President Taft ordered a sleeping porch be built so that he could cool off on hot nights.  Nothing more than a shack, it wasn’t until 1927 when First Lady Coolidge improved upon it and created a true room.  It was again improved during the 1952 Truman renovation.  Today, the solarium is another family room with a kitchenette for parties and snacks.  Most First Families have loved the private space.  Eisenhower played cards here and even BBQed outside the solarium.  Caroline Kennedy and a very select group of friends attended kindergarten here.   The Johnson teens used it as a hangout room.  Ronald Reagan recuperated here after the assassination attempt and Chelsea Clinton liked to entertain her friends in the solarium. 

 

The original sleeping porch.  Quite rustic.  Hard to believe any United States President ever slept out here!  Times have certainly changed.

 

In 1927, the room was enlarged with fabulous wicker chairs and notice in the corner – a cot of sorts piled with textiles and pillows! 

 

Before the Truman restoration – there was linoleum floor.  At this time, the room was rectangular shaped.

 

President “Ike” actually grilled outside the solarium!!  Notice the bamboo chairs!!  These must be the prototype for the Ballard Designs version.

After the restoration, decorated in blue and white, the room now has a bay shaped window that overlooks the city of Washington D.C.

Kindergarten for Caroline Kennedy.

 

The day before Nixon resigned, he sat here with his family and daughter Tricia.

 

The Nixon decor – used by the Fords.  Sixties chic in yellow and green.

Wow.  Love this!  The Reagans used green and white with touches of yellow.  Love!!   Nancy had really great taste, not quite as refined as Jackie’s, but she was a close second.

 

The Clintons in plaid and blues with pink.  Looks like a hotel room.

 

Laura Bush put down a faux seagrass (!) rug and beams were added.  It looks like the chair and coffee table may have been originally used here, decades ago?  Love the ottoman.  Very chic! 

And, in the last room that Architectural Digest showed that Michael Smith designed, the solarium is done in caramel leather chairs and rust colored sofas with a contemporary design.  The coffee table is an organic shape.  Behind, the gorgeous view is perfectly framed by the curtains - they hid all the small areas of wall space with the panels.  I wish there was a pop of a contrasting color, but this looks so chic for such a throwaway room. 

So – what do you think of the Smith designs?  The White House is not a museum, but it’s not a contemporary home either.  Smith had to walk a fine line and in general I think he did a good job, but I’m not sure his color palette is right for the Federal style house.  Most of his rooms are very caramel colored, taupe, rust, with pops of green.  Will the next family keep the designs?  Since both candidates are 69, I’m sure they will only be here four years, so the new president should probably retain the new designs.

A recap:  The Yellow Oval Room I think is perfect. 

 

Either this view, which I love….

 

or this view.  Smith kept the yellow walls and used just a few contemporary pieces. 

 

And I love the bedroom. 

 

The hallway is pretty but I prefer the Bushes with the tiger silk settee.

 

The living room is a bit too dark, too contemporary for my tastes – in the White House.

 

I love the dining room wallpaper – but is it too trendy for the White House?

 

The Family Dining Room on the public floor has a very contemporary rug and the color scheme is brown and rust. 

Does the Smith design for the Obama’s blend in with the adjoining classic Green Room, Blue Room and Red Room?   Should Smith have used more of a palette that coordinates with the look of the White House for the past 100 years?   

Laura Bush updated the Green Room during her tenure – it’s still in the traditional color scheme.  Will Smith’s decor hold up?  Should he have tried to make the rooms fit in more with the classic red, blue, green and yellow?

Does it matter that the private rooms are more personally designed?  I’m curious to know what you think!!

Two great sales:

 

Spode Christmas China on Sale!!  HERE.

Designer wrapping paper including Mark Sikes HERE

167 comments :

  1. Dear Joni, Cannot post on Twitter but I saw that you are packing your bags if Trump wins. Funny, none of us who support Trump were planning to leave if Hillary won. Where would you go, maybe Israel? I hope you are just kidding about leaving. No matter who is President, America is still the best place in the world. Does this mean it is your turn to bring Ben flowers every week?

    Smiles from Charlotte Des Fleurs

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    Replies
    1. Will all the people who are leaving because of Trump live in the same place? It could be a beautiful gated community with no deplorables allowed.
      There should be a glut of great homes going on the market soon that you could do a post on.
      Certain people said they were leaving with George Bush also, and, darn it, they're all still here threatening to leave again. They are bad about following through.
      Fortunately the internet will allow you to keep doing your blog which I have enjoyed for years.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    2. Let's buy them all one-way plane tickets. Just wish they would follow through on their threats. The rest of us have had to endure the last eight years. Grow up!

      Delete
    3. Probably better to buy the anarchists who have busted and burned Portland once again, one way tickets to hell. And I said the anarchists, people, not the peaceful demonstrators. The anarchists don't care about Trump or HRC. They tore up cities under BO's reign also, and still are. They hate capitalism, the free market, and really any form of government or civility.
      It's weird that they have been allowed to spread their form of terror over the last number of years. Why aren't they in prison? They tear up Seattle on a regular basis, and a major motion picture was made about one of those instances. They travel about the country, wherever a political situation is brewing and burn, break, destroy, and terrorize. They are paid terrorists running around on our city streets scaring decent people and destroying other people's stuff. (They hate 'stuff', too.)
      They were vandalizing Portland last night, very late, after all the peaceful demonstrators had gone home. I hope it gets addressed soon. I'm tired of having to check the news to see if they have crawled our of their holes again every time I need to go into the city. Someone needs to stand up to these sick, brainless, selfish pieces of garbage.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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  2. I love what the Obamas did. Even though I'm a big fan of antiques, I do love modern art. I also like the Jackie version, mostly.
    I saw that Kate and Wills have fringe on some of their furniture.
    We just scored a chandelier like the Green Room but smaller, of course.

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  3. The mind boggles as to what will replace the Obama/Smith scheme!

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  4. Joni,

    Thank you so much for such a timely and thoroughly fascinating article!
    I just woke this morning to "the news". I am Canadian, but have been watching the election coverage closely, praying and assuming Clinton would win. I am mortified this morning, but please Trump supporters-I am not looking to start any debate on Joni's lovely blog.

    I adored the Obamas and I feel their decor very much suited their personalities and their vibrance. Oh how we will miss them!
    I do shudder to think of what the decor will look like next under President Trump?
    Sincerely,
    Natasha Kalita Design

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    1. If you weren't looking to start any debate about the election, why did you comment on the results? Your comments on the decor would have suffice.

      Delete
  5. With the exception of the screens by the door and the magnificent tiger silk settee which I wish the Obamas kept, the Obamas have the most preferred decor for myself. But the art is really the clincher. It must be Michelle who picked most of it out and what an eye. The decor is so polished and it is reflected in both her comportment and her choice of decor and art unlike Jackie. She looked stylish but there seems to have been such a lack of proper interest in decor compared to fashion.

    What a fantastic post Joni and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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    1. To the contrary, Jackie was very interested in décor and did an extensive renovation involving a ton of research over some years enlisting experts in décor and historical restoration. She then showed her efforts on 'the people's house' to the country on a t.v. special.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    2. Couda...you must be completely unaware of the nationally televised special Mrs. Kennnedy hosted, a tour of the White House highlighting the extensive renovations and restoration of priceless and original furniture and art, that she personally championed and made one of the centerpiece of her time as first lady.
      Really surprised at your lack of knowledge.....or maybe not.

      Delete
    3. Naomi, so agree with your admiration of the Obama White House style. I love it too, the mix of modern art and antiques. Also the wonderful mix of warm and cool in the colour schemes. The rooms have great dignity and class but also a great modern vibe - and yet a serenity and charm as well.
      Have read that Jackie Kennedy put an enormous amount of work into getting a team to research the White House, its architecture, history and works of art and décor. They tracked down historic objects that had been languishing in storerooms and refurbished them to celebrate the past and I guess to show continuity. This mix was like a breath of fresh air while at the same time an acknowledgment of the greats who had lived there and the house's history. But admired as Jackie was for her taste - styles and tastes change and clearly the Obamas had great taste in this century and have not tied the décor to any particular period. It is also very cleverly done, not over the top and feels very liveable. I also love that it's not bland or pallid boring unimaginative beiges and creams.
      Have been appalled by some of the décor in a few of the earlier presidencies, completely overdone and tacky and tizzy - a great Aussie word!
      Many thanks for this timely and fascinating post Joni, particularly the pics that show the house through the different ages and Presidents. Also the dignity and style and class of the current incumbents before the Trumps eradicate it all and replace it with gilt, gilt, gilt and faux, faux, faux. One suspects and fears. Best wishes, Pamela

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    4. Sheila - decorative arts and decor are slightly two different matters. I am aware of the tv special and have watched it indeed but this is just a personal opinion on someone else's blog - not a post on itself. I just would prefer to live in the Obama version rather than the JKO version - also if you read Billy Baldwin - he wrote about their meeting and has spoken about JKO's decor and his impressions weren't too different in this respect.

      Gloria - fair enough what you think - but interesting that you are surprised by what i may or may not know considering we have never met.

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    5. Coulda....but I have read your blog...and well..you seemed to be knowledgeable...oh well.

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    6. Coulda...I just re-read your initial comment and again, you clearly stated that Mrs. Kennedy lacked a " proper interest " in decor. I think you are embarrassed that you were called out for coming up short

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    7. This is a comment section on someone else's blog. But if this were twitter my reply might be rather different considering the tone in which you seem to keep veering into. Have a nice day Gloria.

      Delete
    8. Sure....go ahead Coulda. Seems that everyone is into self-revelation on twitter these days. Yes, indeed, let's see who YOU really are.

      Delete
  6. Jacqueline Kennedy had by far the best taste, and the White House was the most presidential it has ever been under her watch. She brought back a lot of furnishings and displayed them again, and researched and cajoled people into returning presidential objects. It was a huge project for her, and an enormous accomplishment. The Smith decor is not at all right for the White House. Jackie made sure that it represented America, and what made it great. To the Donald, what makes it great is all gold, so I am sure he will keep the gilders busy.

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    1. I totally agree about Jacqueline.....she was amazing and only in her very early 30's. She brought the best decorator in the world into the White House.....and they did a number.

      It stood for a long time in the main rooms. The "private rooms" are a different thing altogether.. Jacqueline Kennedy brought in my very favorite decorator of all time; "Sister Parish" to do the private rooms.....and they have never looked better to me....personal...lovely...and warm. Now Michael Smith has done the same thing....30 or 40 years hence! Personal, warm and livable!!! I just hope the level of elegance....will continue!!

      Delete
    2. I forgot to say.....the decorator to do the "White House" was Henri Samuel......who was, in my humble opinion, the best decorator of the twentieth century....

      Sister Parish the best cozy residential decorator of the twentieth century! She did the family quarters!
      Jacqueline had the best two of her century......and she had exquisite taste. People forget....early 30's. What foresight! What taste! She was a miracle!!!
      the whole thing is fascinating....and
      Joni has done an amazing job of analyzing!

      No more negativity....or just leave......PLEASE!!!!!

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  7. very wonderful thank you for sharing!!!

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  8. Thank you for sharing the photographs and information. I feel the decor, for the most part, is not appropriate for our most important, historical home.

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    1. Some of the current décor looks a bit trendy, and some of it is nice, but really dislike current dining room. Just doesn't seem to fit, colors not good, and doesn't 'fill' the room or seem to have correct proportions.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    2. Can you imagine if Michael Smith....(designing for the Obamas) had to please the whole country?? As a decorator for now 46 years; I can tell you that it is hard to work for a "couple" let alone a "country"!! Sheesh! I think it is all lovely....and it made them happy for 8 years of their children growing up....that is HUGE! I find it exquisite......all of it. Comfortable, warm, cozy....and they have loved it. I find that the bottom line......and I have LOVED Joni's whole showing the White House from so long ago to now!

      Joni! BRAVO!!!!!!!! Fabulous post.....again!!!!

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  9. This post only makes me more sad about what's to come in the next White House.

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    Replies
    1. I have felt that way before myself. People take their turns feeling that way. But it will be okay.
      Have a Grande Caramel Macchiato easy foam.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    2. I love the Obamas and their beautiful White House décor. It suits both our time and the refreshing views they brought to our country that will be sorely missed.

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    3. Their refreshing views will be missed by only half of us.
      Sheila

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  10. Beautiful post. I am so thankful to you, Joni, for all the research you put into each post. I love the newly designed rooms, they are historical, yet modern. A mix of antiques with contemporary art is always a good idea, and these rooms beautifully reflect America's past as well as the present.

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  11. There is a reason why she is called Tacky Kaki.....

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    1. Very true, it looks like a 4 star hotel. Don't like the color scheme, the rugs, the plates, none of it.
      My favorite room was the master bedroom, but even that looks like a Ritz Carlton hotel suite.

      Once again, Joni, you have done fabulous detailed research, truly wonderful to see the progression of befores and afters!

      Looking forward to what the Trumps will do. Melania will bring an elegance to the White House not seen since Nancy Reagan!

      Delete
  12. Noting the first comment: Please. Design. Rugs. Slipcovers. NO POLITICS. We care what you think about paint colors, not politics. Yeah, yeah, you're going to leave. Really? Do you realize what it costs to ship seagrass?

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    1. Linda, Why should Joni not write about politics if she wants to? It's her blog. Readers don't get to dictate subjects and terms to the blogger. If you don't like it, don't read it or follow it.
      At a time like this it's natural for many to take an interest in major political changes and the impact these will have on the White House and more widely.
      Well done Joni. Don't always agree with all your opinions on décor - but that's fine - we all have our own tastes and opinions and that's how it should be. But readers, let's not start laying down the law to her on what she can write about. Worrying if this is the beginning of changing times.
      Have a nice day, as Naomi said. Best wishes, Pamela

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    2. Bloggers can write about whatever they want, of course. One of my favorite bloggers wrote today that she would never be discussing politics there. It felt really good to hear that for some reason; maybe like a college student feels in a safe space with his coloring book...ha! I go there to see fashion, makeup, cute trendy house things and slices of Paris.
      Seriously though, I don't care what any of these people think about politics; actors, singers, rappers, or even wrappers. (the person wrapping my gifts at Neimans..) or bloggers.
      Some people make their living from their blog (and those other professions) and might not want to put off half of their potential customers/readers/fans but if they don't mind taking a possible hit in case people are turned off, then bully for them. Some may feel that getting their opinions out into the universe is more important than any lost income/readership. My personal opinion, and this is only an opinion, is that most people don't really care about these people's opinions and emotions concerning the political arena, period.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    3. Sheila, you may not mean to, but you come off very snippy and defensive. Not pleasant.

      Delete
    4. stacey,
      You missed the whole point.
      S.

      Delete
  13. Very interesting post! Love all the history.... but the personal digs at Hockersmith don't become you.

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  14. I have ALWAYS been a huge history buff on the changing decor of the White House! I love to see what each First Lady does to make it a "home" for her family! I can't wait to see what Melania does! God Bless America!
    P.S. I have to post as anonymous because of my firewall...no other reason!

    Konni in Texas

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  15. Great post Joni! I love most of the Obama decorations. I don't love the first floor dining room that was revealed last year. Seems empty and discordant somehow - though I love the art. Their bedroom is glorious and I love the Yellow Oval room - that rug! Don't love the striped dining room for the White House but I like it in general. Hard to imagine what's to come though they do have to deal with the White House curator and the Museum Foundation so there's only so much that can be done with the public rooms.

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  16. To each his own. I never liked the Obama's orange and brown sensibilities which look off beat and odd in the White House. At one time I heard they bought a house in Hawaii. Orange, brown and green seem perfect for Hawaii. Only 10 weeks until move-out time. Aloha!

    I think we will see a lot more red, white and blue rather than gold leaf in the Trump's White House decor.

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    Replies
    1. Good comment. Yes, 'aloha.'
      Sheila

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  17. Visited The White House during Regan and Bush administrations and it was fairly pedestrian and stuffy. But I love the new design which showcases contemporary art so well. It looks much more like a living, breathing home that accommodates a family with teens and pets!

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  18. Thank you so much for this wonderful post dear Joni!! I so enjoyed it. Warm hugs! xoxo Greet

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  19. I love the Obama decor and surprisingly liked some of the dubya era things. But, here comes gold plaited toilets and gilded frescos. Tragic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plaited toilets could be uncomfortable though.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    2. No one got it...oh well. Wouldn't be the first time.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    3. Hi Sheila - I got it! Homonyms are so uncomfortable. Oh Hell! Or is that Oh, well? :) Charlotte

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  20. I do like the Obama decor very much but I noticed that modern art replaced all of the old paintings which had white people in them and also the bust of Churchill. Just saying.

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    Replies
    1. The bust of Churchill is outside the Treaty Room. Many of the artists of the modern art were/are white. The grouping of Native American prints have been on the walls for decades, as shown above in the Reagan sitting room.

      Delete
    2. Actually BO removed the Churchill bust and replaced it with one of MLK.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    3. Sheila. The Churchill bust is right outside the door to the treaty room. How often does it need to be repeated?

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    4. Besides, so what if he did replace Churchill with MLK? One could argue that highlighting American historical figure makes more sense than a British one, after all.

      Delete
    5. I just read a few months ago that BO said that there was only room for a few busts on the available areas and that he was moving or replacing the Churchill bust, which he passed by every day with the MLK one. I couldn't care less, Linda. I was just repeating something that I remembered.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    6. I just looked it up. BO, yes, moved the Churchill bust from the oval office, replaced it with MLK, and, yes, put Churchy outside the treaty room.
      What's the prob anyway? Not sure why anyone's getting upset that I said BO moved a statue. I moved my sofa yesterday, but I didn't like it and had to move it back. My back hurts now.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    7. he moved the Churchill out of the oval office and replaced it with the MLK which makes perfect sense to me. He placed it across from the Lincoln bust. You could see both busts yesterday behind each man. Lincoln and MLK - that speak volumes and I'm sure it was inspiring to Obama to see that each day. Not sure why he would have a bust of Churchill in the Oval Office anyway.

      Delete
  21. I don't know what I was expecting but the private quarters should be what the family living there want it to be. The rest of the White House should be formal as it is an institution. While I don't particularly love any of them (from Kennedy to Obama) There were parts of the Regan and Laura Bush White Houses I liked though. I think the Obama quarters seem more relaxed and homey. I don't like the colors though...I do like grass cloth wallpaper...but I don't think I'd use it in my White House private quarters unless it were navy. So, I guess I won't run for President unless Windsor Smith agrees to decorate the family quarters for me! LOL

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  22. Great post. I loved seeing how the rooms changed over the years. I suppose each design was a sign of the times as well as the taste of the individual first family. I tend to lean more traditional so those are the rooms I like the best but I can certainly appreciate a change and a bit more modern flare.

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  23. I loved this post so much! It's my first time commenting but I always look forward to checking your blog. My husband and I recently purchased our first home and your site has been such a fantastic resource for learning about design. I personally love the Obama style and a lot of the Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan designed rooms as well. I understand that the white house is an institution but it's also a home and I think the rooms that speak the most to me are those that reflect the dynamic of the family living there. The Obamas are a young white house family and their decor reflects their energy and lifestyle. It's fun to see how the rooms have changed over the years. Thanks again for this well-researched and fascinating read. Loved it!

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  24. Joni - I loved your post...how beautifully the Obama's have kept our most treasured home. I was so saddened at what I woke up to this morning...there will never be any substitute for grace and class...Thank you again for sharing this most amazing and historic home...

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  25. Don't see any connection at all between M's new blue dinnerware and James Madison's other than they are both plates. Maybe Madison had another set?
    Solarium is blah and boring and the color scheme or lack thereof 'inspires' me to think of the seventies. Yuck, sort of, for me.
    Sheila in Port Townsend

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  26. No, the stripe wall paper room is not too trendy. It is intact very timeless. I love the private quarters and hated to wait so long to see it. now it will disappear in January, but I won't be too upset, because as your post proves, the good stuff is protected by the curators from trends, and in 4 or 8 years, all the gilt, pun intended, can be painted over , and the classy stuff can be moved back in ( in 2020 or 2024) can't wait.

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  27. Why does BO have an Emmy, just curious?
    Why shouldn't this lovely family eat on the fabric ottoman? The fabric can be replaced whenever it needs to be, and it will be not be moving to their beautiful new home anyway. It probably belongs to the White House.
    Sheila in Port Townsend

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    Replies
    1. The family pays for their own private quarters furnishings. They can borrow from the museum archives and Smithsonian art collections- which is why we see things over and over. But they pay for a lot privately as well. So, anything they paid for (perhaps this ottoman) they would take with them, I would assume.

      Delete
  28. Thank you, lovely post on this saddest of sad days. Interesting to see how each presidency put their own stamp on our White House.

    Judith in CA

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    Replies
    1. A very sad day indeed...

      Linda in San Diego

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    2. I hope you feel better soon. Christmas is coming!
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    3. Hi Judith, for many, many, many of us this is a day of great joy and hope for the future. Melania and Donald will surprise you with their class and respect for the White House. Red, white and blue! Just you wait and see!

      Smiles from Charlotte

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    4. Finally someone with the right sentiments. Couldn't be happier with the election outcome.

      Delete
    5. Wow. Are you also happy that Trump just made a anti-Semitic, white nationalist part of his staff? Both Dems and Republicans are totally outraged. Finally something both parties can agree on!
      A man of his character is #notmypresident

      Delete
  29. Joni, firstly thank you for keeping it apolitical by and large and sticking to the decor. Secondly, thank you for all of the work you put into this post. I love when you do posts on The White House. Seeing the rooms of the eras next to each other really gives a chance to compare and contrast.

    Michael Smith is one of my all time decorators so was excited to finally see these rooms. I was nervous since the Oval Office was so dull and bland. The Yellow Room and the master bedroom were just wonderful. The rest was OK. The Obama's are quite the fans of brown and beige and that is not my taste. Which is probably why I love the Reagan White House so much. The bird paper in the Reagan's master always brings joy to my heart.

    Again, thank you for a great post.

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  30. THANK YOU for the research and perspective you have provided here - it wouldn't be the same without your knowledgeable commentary and comparisons. Such a treat you have given us all, Joni.. Thank You from Austin xo

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  31. Another wonderful post! Loved the history and all the pictures! But, I can't say that I really loved the overall feel of the Obama's White House. I liked the Reagan's the best. It was classic but with fun prints! I think the darker colors seemed out of place. It will be interesting to see how the Trump's decorate! Many Thanks for all your time and effort!

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  32. Thank you for showing our Presidents home. FYI President and Lady Obama's living room is in manner of Ashanti Kente fabric with woven earthlike colors. Joni, why cringe that the Family eats on the ottoman but you don't say anything about nixons dog sitting on the ottoman? Do you think that the dogs better than this African-American family?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MO is not a 'Lady.' (As far as I know anyway. Did the Queen confer this while my wi-fi was down?)
      And no, I'm pretty sure Joni doesn't think the dogs are better than the Obamas; she already said that she just loves this family; maybe you didn't read the text. That's just absurd and sounds a bit like a riff on the current rhetoric.
      I myself, however, would welcome dogs over people's lunch on my furniture anytime.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    2. omg. come on. I've tried really really hard here to not be political. I went out of my way to be non partisan. My dogs sit on my couch - but I have slipcovers. We don't eat on a couch that doesn't have slipcovers. the reason i do have slips is because i have dogs. that's all.

      Delete
    3. Obviously readers and writers here are white and don't see the RACIST words which are whitewashed with generalized statements like "I can’t help it – I’m such a fan of this man and his family." This sentence is so patronizing, out of nowhere, CYA and do not even relate to rest of paragraph. Let us review how Joni describes the lovely first Black family Obama decor in the White House:

      "And I hate the (brown) curtains. Not sure where that color came from, except it’s the same as in the Oval Office."

      "The color scheme is new to the White House. There are dark colors, warm tones, orange, gold, moss green – shades we haven’t seen here before."

      "The living room is a bit too dark, too contemporary for my tastes – in the White House."

      Joni, this nothing about being political, it's about being RACIST and anyone who do not see it are not sensitive to others feelings.

      Delete
    4. Anon Nov 10 2016 3:44PM
      You're having one on us, right?
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    5. ARE you SERIOUS?!?!?!?!??!?!?! What are you talking about?!?!?!? it ISSSSSSS dark!!!! The dark curtains in the dining room!!! I can't believe it and if you think I said I was a fan of the Obamas to CMA - you don't know me at all. I actually go out of my to HIDE my affection and admiration here because I get lectured about keeping politics out of the blog. I voted for the man TWICE and would love the opportunity to vote for him again. Or his wife if she would only run. How dare you ????? Because I hate the dark burgundy curtains I'm racist? Actually, I'm a UT Horn and we're not allowed to like burgundy becuase of the Aggies. Ugh. This is just not fun at all.

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    6. And let me say this - those colors haven't been used before in recent memory. It's been all yellow and blue and red and green. I loathe the dining room. I love the yellow room. I don't care for the living room. I like their bedroom. Now how is that racist???? And I will HATE the gilt crap that is coming for sure. OK????? God, I'm so mad right now.

      Delete
    7. This Anon 3:44 is just being a weirdo obviously.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    8. To Sheila in Port Townsend, Why is Michelle Obama not a lady? The term lady is not restricted in use to the wife of a peer, baronet or knight, or the daughter of a peer. To say she is not a lady may betray your own prejudices.
      A few years ago met an American mother and daughter in London. They were well dressed, well mannered and at first seemed like very nice people. However, they began to tell me about how their Son/Grandson had just been on a school visit to the White House and how dreadful it had been. Curious, I asked them why. The mother replied, "Well, Michelle Obama was there and she came out to meet the students". My reply, "well wasn't that lucky for them!". The response "No, it was terrible and so embarrassing, my son had to shake hands with her". I mentioned how much most Aussies liked the Obamas and the respect we had for them. She looked at me incredulously. I decided this was not an acquaintance I wanted to pursue with these people. Pamela

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    9. Joni, yes you will hate that guilt crap that is coming for sure, ok, because you a FAKER. You hiding behind voting for a African-American, like that makes you so good, so clear of conscious. Meantime just below you willing to equate stolen shoe designs(?) with stealing from devastated black Haitians! No water, no food, no home, no clothes, 300,00 dead. My Haitian friends will remember how Clinton arrived like a big show for 1 day, her security and press interrupting aid in process, gave no help where needed, got gold mining rights for her brother, and other business advantages for friends. Who cares how much anyone spends on any weddings? The question is whose money was spent? Money that was supposed to go to Haiti. You a faker Joni - you a down deep RACIST. You so good that you voted black for president, your a saint. Now back to worrying about what couch someone put in their living room.

      Delete
  33. HI Joni,

    When are you going to gift us with a gushing review of Chelsea Clinton's $10.3 million townhouse in New York City? Expansive views of Central Park and 5,000 plus square feet to roam around in. Isn't it nice that Chelsea, who I hear is paid $900,000 per year by the Clinton Foundation, can afford such nice digs.

    Charlotte

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    1. Charlotte, don't make me go there. Do you want to get into a discussion about stealing designs for shoes? About being sued for stealing designs? Do you really? Chelsea is quite a remarkable person.

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    2. Joni, why do you think Chelsea Clinton is a remarkable person ? Many young women have achieved two college degrees, married, had multiple children, and work much harder at much more stressful careers than working at Mom and Dad's company and pulling down that kind of a salary. Not to mention the 7 million dollar wedding????!!!! The aforementioned townhouse......all this came from the contributions people might have thought were helping the people of Haiti, and other concerns.
      I was unhappy with the quality of both candidates, but the breathtaking corruption of the Clinton family, was so breathtaking...to read that you think Chelsea a remarkable person is perplexing.

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    3. Gloria. Chelsea went against the older men who were running the charity and hired a law firm to audit it to be sure everything was above board and there was nothing going on that would harm their rating (which is an A, by the way) - and this is why the head of the charity at the time called her a 'spoiled brat' who had 'stuck the knives in' because she against the establishment and made a stand to be sure everything was being handled correctly at the charity. That takes balls. And a backbone of steel. And it means she is very ethical which comes across in all the leaked emails, btw. And I'm not sure why you think she doesn't have a stressful job just because her father works with her? She is obviously very capable as she was slated to be head of it if her mother won. Just curious, have you never seen Ivanka's apartment? It's just as lavish as CC. As for an expensive wedding - how much do you think Trump spent on his wedding and his children's weddings? I'm sure for that social strata - that is probably par for the course, especially in New York.

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    4. In Melania's defense, I believe the Trump Tower apartment was decorated years before she got there. It will be interesting to see what she does to the White House. I don't think it's necessary for every new president to redecorate, and seems like a waste frankly, especially when it's in good shape and has been done recently. And they always have a house or two of their own somewhere else anyway. White House is just temporary digs.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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    5. Dear Joni - Not denying Chelsea's balls of steel. So, is $900,000 per year the going rate for Chutzpah?

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    6. well, $900,000 for a family of four in NYC's upper east side is probably not even enough. hard to believe and I could live like a princess on that, but for someone with a high social profile and a nice apartment, etc. I'm sure they are waiting for the paycheck each month. Just the maintenance fee on an apartment in nyc like that is twice what a mortgage is. it's insanity.

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    7. Yes, the apartment was decorated before Melania arrived, but I just saw a tour she gave of the apartment and she made a point, said it a few times even, that this apartment was her taste. The apartment was her sanctuary, that she liked to stay home and that it is exactly the style she loves. So - no, I don't think she would decorate it any different than what it looks like today.

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    8. But but but Joni....a seven million dollar wedding ?????????? From being broke to being worth 150 million plus plus in a few short years from giving speeches ? Accepting large amounts of money
      from foreign governments and hiding it from the State Dept. Ambassador Stevens and those poor navy seals ? Senator Bernie Sanders ? Not to mention enabling her husband's lower nature and trying to destroy the women he attacked ? To you and all the rest of you who are upset....WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR YOU TO SEE HER AS TOO DISHONEST TO SERVE AS PRESIDENT OF OUR COUNTRY???
      I am a democrat, and I blame her and the DNC for destroying the party and and handing the country to the Republicans for perhaps the next fifty years (Supreme Court and all...) Broken hearted Joe Biden was forced to step aside and not run by Debbie Wasserman Shultz. Democratic women have no one to blame but themselves for supporting such a deeply flawed, deeply dishonest candidate. Had she been elected and then indited , you can be assured there would not be another female President for another hundred years. A woman President ? Yes !!! Hillary Clinton ? NO !!

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    9. Interesting! Latest news, if it isn't one of the items of false news on Facebook that so advantaged Trump in the election campaign, is that the new First Lady will not be moving to the White House after Trump's inauguration. She will stay in her Trump Tower palace indefinitely - using her son as the reason. How many First Ladies have not taken up residence? Pamela

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  34. Thank God the Obamas are leaving....New décor, new chance to make America great again...Aloha

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  35. Enjoyed your well researched post. Thanks for sticking up for the Obamas and Chelsea. The election is over but the pain is just beginning. Judging by the comments, Trump supporters are as obnoxious as he is.

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    1. Dear Anon - If you think this is obnoxious, read Joni's Twitter comments - especially the one's on Nov. 8th! She swears like a sailor and uses OUR Lord's name in vain. That shows Joni's true character. Very INCENDIARY and UN-LADYLIKE! No wonder poor Ben has so many migraines.




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    2. Charlotte - you have GOT to be kidding! Saying that I cause Ben's migraines? YOu do know how sick he is, correct? You do know that he lost his business because of his illness and has barely been able to work in years? You do know that he had brain surgery last year that was unsuccessful? You do know that he has had migraines since he was a young boy, 20 years before he even met me? Correct? You know all this and you are blaming me for his migraines because I am passionate about politics? Gosh, I swear!!! Tres terrible!! Maybe you should ask Your Lord for forgiveness for what you said about Ben.

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    3. Dreadful to read! How hard for you both.

      Shame, Charlotte! How can you think of yourself as a Christian!

      Pamela

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    4. Dear Joni, I did not say anything negative about Ben. I said I felt sorry for him because YOU reveal your truly obnoxious character in your Twitter posts. Passionate about politics is a one thing but ranting and cursing is another. I bet your chalkboard-grating voice echoed throughout the house for hours! When Trump was declared the winner, you even posted, "Get me a gun!" Nothing sweet or ladylike about you. And, gosh, you DO swear!

      Yes, I know Ben has been sick for years. So, knowing that he is ill, is that why, when Obama was elected you happily "stuck it to Ben"? Stress is considered to one of the most common triggers for migraines. Thank you, Joni.

      And Pamela dear, how little you know about being a Christian. We are not obligated to be simpering fools. We are to seek and reveal truth. God gave us a brain and we are expected to use it to make make logical conclusions.

      Joni has a very good eye for design, but she is not a nice person. Read her Twitter posts then use YOUR brain to decide for yourself. I stand by what I said in the first place, I feel tremendous compassion for Ben.

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    5. Would call you perhaps a Trumpian Christian then! Perhaps you will be proud of this. But it's the kind of trollish "Christianity" that gives real Christianity a bad name. Think about it. Instead of snapping back another obnoxious piece of poison.
      Strange how swear words seem worse to you than being so unkind to someone who clearly has many problems to deal with (that you seem to have been aware of) - and who has just provided a very interesting review of the White House through the years and different Presidents. A post much appreciated by readers. Pamela

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    6. I have nothing but contempt for Christians who are such nasty ,unkind and mean people as Charlotte, and then have the nerve to puff themselves up as people who 'seek and reveal truth'. You have revealed yourself, Charlotte.

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  36. Obamas had a great designer and everything is very beautiful. The trumps should let them take it to their new home. They would love that. Not sure that's possible. Didn't Hillary have to return items? The Trumps will probably redesign. Where will that beautiful furnitue go? Who paid for this Obama redesign and how long has it been there? Each President will have their own personality and design preference. Trump may try to add a few more rooms to the White House since he is a builder. He also has his hotel down the street at $800 a night. They and their guest can stay there also. Should be a interesting next few years at the White House. Maybe it will go White and Gold!

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    1. You know, there really is not much new furniture - except for a few coffeetables, and the ottoman. Most was recovered. The coffee tables ARE new and probably are now part of the White House collection. Unless an arrangement was made before hand. I think Nancy brought her own furniture for the upstairs - but don't quote me on that. I think I read that a long time ago. I'm sure Smith will decorate their Wash DC house. It's gorgeous - and it will look gorgeous. It's all done in gray tones now, so it will be changed to the warmer tones they obviously like. We will probably never get to see it, so this decor is most likely the closest we will get to see their new house. I s hould have shown the pictures of their new house! I didn't think of that!!!!

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    2. Hillary took a lot of stuff from the White House which she was asked to return. However, whether she actually returned anything, is one of the many questions that got lost in all the other, much larger scandals surrounding the last Clinton Presidency. Barbara Olsen, a well-respected Washington lawyer and TV commentator, wrote a book, "Hell to Pay" where she outlined and meticulously documented all the immoral, unethical and illegal activities that were known about the Clintons at that time. (16 years ago.) For those of you with an open mind, you might read it and form your own opinions.

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    3. The O's new house is beautiful, and my bet is that it will probably be featured in Architectural Digest at some point.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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  37. Perhaps Trump will just gold plate everything while replacing the portraits of the founding fathers with magazine covers of himself and the new first lady. God help us, our country and the entire world............

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  38. Joni, I totally took this for the design history lesson it was!

    The best part about your extensive post is seeing that each president and wife seems to be reacting to the previous. That is, what was cluttered and Victorian at the end of the 19th century was swept out for cleaner, more open design under T. Roosevelt. And seeing that presidential tradition continue over a century of remodels was really fun!

    My opinion; good design has rules and levels of knowledge and skill. And there's lots of ways to pull it together.

    Jackie's historic furniture quest is simply as important as the Obama's modern art quest. All those interiors show skill; liking it or not is personal preference. Tearing it apart without respect for the work shows an ignorance and unwillingness to open your mind. Closed minds do nothing but shriek nonsense.

    Your trolls are obnoxious and one-sided! Keep up the good work you do.

    Kathy

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  39. Don't think you understand the Trumps. You sound bitter. Get a grip and be gracious. You had the White House for 8 years. Learn to share and accept others that are different than yourself. The world will be a better place for all. We should overlook our differences to move forward. USA USA USA

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    1. Oh I think we know the "Trumps" very well, which will make the next four years of destruction to our country and liberties all the more painful...racist rhetoric, bullying, misogyny...wow, so much to look forward to. "Christian Watchdog", really?

      Thank you Joni for your beautiful post and for putting up with all the "haters" out there; which, of course are all very "Christian"...

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    2. Who is doing the bullying in Portland tonight ? Chicago ? Washington, DC, etc,etc ? What happened to diversity, tolerance, and compassion ? Was that all a lie ? What happened to accepting the results of the election.? Have democrats decided to dishonor our democracy because their candidate did not win ? Disagreeing with you is now being "a hater"?

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    3. If Trump's presidency is anything at all like his hate filled, divisive campaign which set such a low tone, then I think we are in for a horrible four years. You can't expect people to go from 'Lock her up','Trump that Cunt' 'Build that Wall', 'Mexicans are rapists', etc- to a kumbaya moment where the olive branches are proffered all around.Ain't happening..

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  40. Next to the beautiful postings you've done on royal residences, this was my favorite piece here at Cote de Texas. Loved all the historical pictures showing us what rooms used to be used for and how they've looked over the years. I like Michael Smith and thought most of his work here was very good to excellent - especially the upstairs oval room & master bedroom. I like when a room reflects a person's personality rather than just looking like any upscale hotel and the private quarters certainly do that. I think in general these are the best decors since the Reagan's. Downstairs was perhaps less successful IMHO and could have leaned more towards the traditional. Now, as for some of the negative comments here, I am disappointed that a site as beautiful as yours ever has to allow those kind of people in but it's a free country (still) and I suppose one must allow the small minded and angry to share their feelings, as well. As for me, I'm here to enjoy all your hard work and to occasionally remember to say "Thank You" for all that hard work!

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  41. Thank you for so thorough and well curated a post. I have always enjoyed voyeuristically pulling back the curtain to the private White House rooms, which I imagine to be a respite from the fish bowl our first families live in. The Obama's style seems very much what I would have guessed, eclectic, somewhat less fussy and more "liveable" and striving to include more modern American artists etc (I assume the modern art is from American artists?). The decor does seem less unified with the public rooms, which have never fully won me over because I am not a fan of the Federal style in general. The White House will continue to evolve in our next administration, too, and I hope the new tenants are able to bring to the private rooms whatever gives them some comfort and familiarity, even though I doubt it would be my own personal taste.

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  42. Love the post! I love what the Obama's have done to the White House. It looks more livable for a young family in modern times. The old pictures looked too much like a museum to me. Couldn't imagine living like that. I shudder to think of what Melania Trump will do to the place. Supposedly she "decorated" their home now with all the gold. Ugh.

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  43. I have never seen the White House look so lovely. I am not surprised I think Michael Smith is one of the best. Thank you so much for sharing loved every minute of it.

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  44. Joni, your twitter feed is surprising and revealing. Us blog readers out here always think we really know the blog writer, and often it's a false relationship. Of course, you are entitled to your opinions...readers of blogs should not be shocked or let down when they have truths revealed to them that might be surprising. We really don't know each other...talking about decor, travel, or fashion.

    I do think the twitter "voice" is probably a more accurate representation of a person because the medium is spontaneous and a natural flow of opinion and expression. I am always surprised that people are so willing to risk harm to their businesses, relationships, and their reputations to participate in what has become such a potentially destructive...and yet somewhat silly and useless form of social media.
    Hmmmm....just occurred to me that you and President-elect Trump have something in common after all.

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  45. Joni, I have really been enjoying your blog and learning so much from it. I was disappointed to see posters on here turn the conversation to politics, as I kind of thought a blog like this would be safe from the political rancor. And, just like a train wreck from which you cannot avert your eyes, when someone mentioned your Twitter feed, well I had to look.

    I'm sorry I did. Not because you're swearing or speaking your mind. You are free to do that, but that doesn't mean I have to like what you are saying and continue to read (and by default) support your blog. I don't like being referred to as one of the "idiots" or stupid people. I don't believe it is right to publicly denigrate groups of people based on their political affiliations. You're free to do it, and I'm free to walk away from whatever you are involved in because of it.

    It is unfortunate because you have a wonderful blog, but I cannot continue to enjoy it like I used to now that I see how you view people like myself. It just seemed all so mean spirited, and you are clearly reveling in it.

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  46. Joni, I am so sorry that you seem to have been infected by trolls. Thank you for this wonderful overview of the White House. I love seeing the modern and traditional mixed, not so fond of some of the color schemes in the dining room, but I think each family who is working so hard on our behalf deserves a sanctuary that fits their taste and allows them to relax and feel at home. Who doesn't need that? I am worried for all the harm coming our way to the environment, to women's rights, to voting rights, and the economy, not to mention the mainstreaming of every stripe of hatred.

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  47. Having just read your Twitter account, I bid you goodbye after so many years of loyal readership. Thank you for being so good at your blog posts. They will be missed. (Name calling because someone votes differently from you is unkind and part of the problem.)

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  48. This was such a beautiful post! Thanks for all the love and learning. So fascinating to see how the White House has changed. I really loved all of the updates of the Obama period, it seems really calm and unfussy even though its drastically different. Maybe more family friendly? I think my FAV has to be the tiger silk that Laura Bush used, oh my goodness, who let that go??

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    1. Chrissy 10:34 PM
      Whoever made decorating decisions after Laura Bush would have been the one to let the tiger silk go, non?
      Maybe we'll see it again at some point.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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  49. This post reminds me of the Christmas post you did a few years ago. It brought out the absolute worst in so many people. The vitriol spewed by so many readers was absolutely astounding ... and so disheartening. Keep up your good work, Joni. And take good care of your dear Ben. He sounds like a good, good man.

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    1. Squeak, the vitriol seems to be well matched by Joni's own twitter feed. Have you perused it?

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  50. Wow! I sat down to read one of your wonderful posts and ended up vowing to never read this blog again. You twitter account was an eye opener. Surely you must have been aware that your tweets were hurtful and insulting

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    1. But probably not as hurtful and insulting as writing a personal comment to a blogger on her site. Pretty darn mean to try to hurt Joni for saying her truth. Just sayin'.

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    2. Excuse me, anon but how is it hurtful to let Joni know her words, even outside the scope of this blog have consequences. She's free to say what she wants in any venue. I respect that. I am also free to speak my mind and tell her in the only manner I am able that I do not like it. If Joni is hurt by my comment, perhaps she should look to herself first

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    3. If you had stopped with criticizing Joni's thoughts and words on Twitter, I wouldn't have responded. But you wrote "Wow! ... vowing never to read this blog again." Reaching out to insult a group of people on Twitter is one thing. Reaching out to insult and punish Joni personally - on her site - is hurtful.

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    4. I highly doubt one person expressing their displeasure at the content on the self same titled Twitter page is going to "punish" Joni, and it certainly wasn't meant as such. But I feel Joni has a right to know why one of her longtime readers is no longer interested in her blog. Besides, isn't Joni the final arbiter of what gets posted on her blog? If she didn't like my comment or wished to keep it private, she could have exercised her administrator powers and simply deleted my comment.

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  51. The picture between Jacqueline Kennedy's bedroom and the Reagan's bedroom seems to show Lady Bird Johnson with her two daughters,Tricia Nixon with her husband, and Mrs. Carter. I'd like to know the circumstances of the group being together. Joni, you said it was Mrs. Ford showing the White House to Mrs. Carter. You do a great job and I don't fault you for making one mistake. I'm just curious

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  52. About half of Phony Joni's readers probably voted for Trump or someone even more conservative like Evan McMullin. Her foul, profanity-ridden and threatening ("Get me a gun!") Twitter posts were aimed at YOU.

    Phony Joni has ranted like this in the past, but check out her Twitter account, Joni Webb @CotedeTexas, on Nov 8th. That tells you all you need to know about the REAL person behind the keyboard.

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  53. Thank you for all of the time you spent researching this amazing house! I had been hearing about Michael Smith designing the Private quarters for the Obamas but it was truly wonderful to finally see photos of the spaces, as well as the decor of past administrations.
    As for all of the political stuff and personal attacks, I wasn't a fan AT ALL of either of these candidates, so I really couldn't care less about what you or anyone else have to say about it, but this is your blog and your forum to say whatever you want about whatever you want. If people don't like it, they can stop reading. Period. I just want to thank you very, very much for keeping it contained to the comments section, and not letting it spill over into the posts. I'm tired of the ugliness and negativity and I'm hoping that Mr. Trump might actually do something good for this country, but I also have faith that this country, which has survived a revolution, civil war, slavery, two world wars, VietNam, 9/11 and so many other challenges, can and will absolutely survive a Donald Trump presidency. Time to move on, and I can't wait to see your post with the Trump era decor.

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  54. Thank you Joni for such a well researched post- you are amazing....
    -your #1 NY fan -
    -Linda, NY

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  55. I am not a big fan of the Obama decor, but the artwork is stunning I do like that it seems very cozy, as much as a space like that can.

    I love so much about the JK and Reagan decor, and parts of GB2 are stunning - what I would find impossible is shopping for much of anything new. I hope the incoming First Family takes advantage of what is right in front of them and doesn't go bonkers with new for the sake of new. Being frugal, improving on what is there, using what you have (since you know the pieces available to them in storage have got to be swoon-worthy) - it would be wise, politically, and frankly with a creative designer they would stand to have the best White House decor to date.

    Fantastic post, as always!

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  56. Great post! I love the decor and will miss the Obamas terribly. Such a classy, gracious family.

    As for Election Night and the day after, I don't blame anyone for anything they might have said at that time. It was a terribly sad and incredibly shocking day for many of us.

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    1. It was shocking for many of us because the main stream media was not reporting the entire story about everything involved with and surrounding this election. Things like Hillary would have very few people at a rally and Trump would have 20,000. There are many, many things they chose to ignore or gloss over.
      The people now tearing up storefronts and cars in our cities should have used their time to go to Hill's appearances.
      Sheila in Port Townsend

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  57. I can't believe all the hatred and nastiness coming from so many people all over the internet. I don't blame you for being disappointed, if your candidate didn't win, but really! When we had to deal with Obama for a second term, I just sucked it up and kept trying to make my business survive and I know I'm not alone. I know a lot of people who have suffered for the last 8 years. I really feel like Obama was doing NOTHING except what he personally wanted to do and could have cared less about ANY GROUP, even his own.
    Was everyone's life really going so well? And did you really believe that Hillary was going to fix that?
    Joni, you write such a great blog and I know you spend hours doing it. I'm going to pray that you have some peace come over you and your family. Now, please, everyone settle down and let's try to make the best of this. And, maybe, Joni should get off Twitter too.

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  58. Wonderful post. So thorough and so objective. Thank you. I love Michael Smith but his is not my favorite for the record.

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  59. At first I thought some of Charlotte's comments were over the top...but now I'm not too sure. It seems Joni is still at it on Twitter,and she seems to be real excited/happy about the rioters. Question to Joni: If you had a storefront for your decorating business, how would you feel about a brick coming through your windows ? You might say "Wait, wait ! I voted for Hillary !.... my point being, how do you know who you/ they are hurting, and in what way. ? Some people are going to be hurt in a way that they will never recover from, and they very well may be people who voted the full Democrat ticket.

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    1. Gloria 11:30AM
      Yes on what you said, Gloria. I guess it really is true that you never really know about people...until you see their twitter.
      It surprised me, for sure. (Some of the stuff I saw originally is now gone.)
      Sheila

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    2. Or, just the fact that the stores will probably not be doing ANY business at all.

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  60. Just think about how extreme it might have been if Trump had lost! He was already preparing, according to his own words, not to accept the vote, already saying it was rigged and at some of his rallies appeared to be encouraging people to take the law into their own hands. Don't think he really quite expected to win and was prepared to foment trouble for a battle if he'd lost.
    But of course, violence and destruction is never the answer, no mater what side people are on. But those who voted for him have no right to take comfort from the events and enjoy any kind of moral superiority as things would almost certainly have been much worse if the boot had been on the other foot. Pamela

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    1. Pamela, could you expand on what you mean about people who voted for Trump having no right to take comfort from events....I'm confused ...I think they are horrified by the riots, disrespect of the election process and such. If you are saying they have no right to feel happy and vindicated by the election of their candidate...that would be absurd. Of course they're happy they won.

      I am most surprised by the violence coming from our love trumps hate, diversity and tolerance coalition. As an Independent voter, who voted for neither candidate, I think the Democrat Party needs to exert some influence here, or it will lose it's credibility with the wider citizenship. Rebuilding is Vital.

      In case anyone wants to jump on me for my non-vote....I found both candidates unsuitable for the Presidency. I tried to reconcile with one candidate or another....but I could not. I just could not.

      I blame the RNC, the DNC, and the media in this election cycle of mass corruption.

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    2. oh, and one more thing....

      I am writing so, so much on this post because I know it will be the last one.....and that I will not read this blog in the future. Why? Well, politics aside, I think it will be strange to look at such beautiful images and text, and to know the person behind it all is apparently so entirely different from the public image that person has cultivated. In general, again politics aside, so crude and base. I had no idea this had been the case for so long too.
      I've never had any false illusions of knowing someone even slightly well based on their blog alone. I just can't put the beautiful images together with the person behind them anymore. So sad really, and just my view, alone.

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    3. Gloria 6:09PM
      You really have a way of summing things up, Gloria.
      Sheila

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    4. No, not your view alone. The same will be happening here. I just noticed on her twitter feed that she follows Rosie O'Donnell so that explains a lot.
      I am just so shocked at people reacting this way. So sad for our country.

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    5. To Gloria,
      Perhaps I expressed myself poorly. To explain. Have been working through comments on social media generally, as well as blogs, even this (which I initially looked at because of the White House topic) to learn about people's reactions to the Trump election. It's how I was able to predict he'd win, even months out, and the more I read, the more this assessment was confirmed in the lead-up to the election. I'm retired now but for some years my work included in depth political analysis in a range of countries.
      What I've picked up since the election is a kind of smug, even perhaps triumphant tone in comments from Trump voters who've used these recent demonstrations in a kind of "morally superior" way to denigrate Hillary Clinton supporters. In other words, they're saying look at her and her terrible supporters and how badly they're behaving. They're dangerous. We're better than that.
      My comment was aimed at pointing out that if Trump had lost the election these demonstrations, possibly riots, would most likely have been very much worse. Because in his own words, Trump claimed beforehand that the election would be rigged (deliberately and knowingly setting conditions for extreme anger if he'd lost, which in reality - despite his own claims at times of a projected landslide win - he probably expected to do, though proabbly not by much). During his rallies he encouraged people to take the law into their own hands (remembering that many of his supporters are members of the gun lobby) and he played on people's fears and anger, driving up the levels of these emotions, at the same time giving them false hope that he was different and could change things for the better.

      In case I haven't been clear: I don't condone violence or destruction, nor an I a Hillary supporter - I think she was a very poor choice as the Democratic candidate; but then neither do I support Trump who for many many reasons I'd consider an even worse Presidential candidate.

      It must have been very difficult for you and all the others at this election who did not feel they could support either candidate. However, when faced with this dilemma, intelligent people like yourself and many others commenting here need to decide who would be the better President, doing a cost benefit analysis and making a rational choice (not an emotional one), including looking at the downside risks of each candidate. The one who will have his/her finger on the nuclear trigger, for example. Including also, which candidate had more of the essential government experience (we are not talking about running a business here) and was more measured in approach.
      Voting for an independent third candidate is like giving your vote away. It may demonstrate dissatisfaction - as the fact that perhaps 100 million people (have read this figure but am not in a position to verify - at any rate a huge number of people) are reported not to have voted at all in this election. In certain elections it may allow the less satisfactory candidate to win. As it has in this case. This is why I say those who didn't vote also deserve the result (along with those who actually voted for Trump). As was the case in the Brexit vote in the UK, where I also predicted the result, again the pundits all said it wouldn't happen, and again there was quite a low voter turnout and the people who voted for it did so on a more emotional that rational basis.
      It seems to be part of a worrying widespread swing in many western countries where seriously unhappy voters are turning to populist, fairly extremist demagogues from the right but with strange alliances (ie Putin), eg Marine le Pen in France and also the German right. Very concerning. With best wishes, Pamela

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    6. When they started telling me what kind of lightbulbs I could have, I just said, "That's it! I've had it." Ha! No, really.
      This comes, of course, years after they said how much water could come in a toilet flush and through the shower head.
      Sheila

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    7. Sheila- you can lay the lightbulb debacle at Bush's feet :-(

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    8. Have no problem with water restrictions. We lived through a terrible drought that lasted years. We were not allowed (heavy fines) to use sprinklers, only drippers, because they use less water - and more effectively as well), and then only a few times a week for certain very limited periods. To keep their gardens going people used to save their shower water by having it fall into buckets and then watering the garden with this. Seriously. WE hand watered our most precious plants. We all learned to live like this without complaint. We also learned not to be profligate with scarce resources. The drought is over for now and the dam has been enlarged so there is more water storage capacity for the good times when there's plenty of rain. So we no longer save the shower water, though many people building new houses put in grey water systems for garden watering. But we all learned how important it is not to waste resources. Don't understand why you have such a problem with something that's so easy to do.
      We have special shower heads and toilet settings to avoid waste of water. It's all so sensible. We also reduce electricity use by using LED lights, not leaving lights on unnecessarily, or electrical goods on standby for long periods of time (ie overnight). It's not hard to respect the environment - it also helps cut down our own power and water bills. Think about it. Pamela

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  61. Joni, excellent post, as always. I'm not a fan of the modern art on the walls with the Obama's current décor, it seems very out of place to me except for in their family room. But it's probably just not my style. Think I loved Laura Bush's style the best, comfortable and classic.

    And a big thank you to the folks that suggested I read your twitter feed. Makes me like you even more! Sounded pretty much like my house. Ann Richards and Molly Ivins would be proud. And oh how much did we need them this year? They would have called him on BS and not let the media get away with pandering to him.

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    1. Anon 12:06AM
      The media pandered to him? Only FOX news pandered to him.
      All I saw, besides FOX, was the media pandering and fawning to her. On literally everything and like forever. What were you watching?
      Sheila

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    2. CNN with Lendowski for one. Fox, of course. NPR did a terrible job on Trump, normalized his hate speech. Most MSM normalized Trump and offered Clinton and Trump as equivalent. And now we have a neo-Nazi, Steve Bannon, in the cabinet. Mama always said if you lie down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas. This is the most flea ridden bunch of scoundrels ever to set foot in Washington, and that is saying a lot.

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  62. Jackie Kennedy and Nancy Reagan décor are my favorites. The Clinton's and Obama's décor are too tacky for The White House.

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  63. Good Afternoon Joni!

    I just wanted to touch base with you to let you know how much I love your blog and when I checked in this morning and all the content was missing it scared me that you have left us!! I'm so glad everything is back up including most of these silly comments- they truly are entertaining :)

    I will admit that I voted for Trump and it doesn't bother me one bit that you support Hillary. I'm sure if we got together in conversation we would probably agree on most of the issues. I just happen to be a little more fiscally conservative! I come to your beautiful blog to read about one of my favorite topics, interiors :) and if you want to write about your opinions on any one of your forums on any topic your free to do so!! I don't know why people are so up in arms over your own personal opinions!! Its the United States people!! Michelle O spoke wonderful words of wisdom not too long ago, "when they go low, we go high"! It works both ways people :)

    One more thing, I bought this months AD because I wanted to read the article that you posted about here. I was so disappointed because it can't even compare to your well researched blog post!

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    Replies
    1. Joni doesn't care why you voted for Trump. The fact that you voted for him under any circumstances make you an idiot in her thinking. I guess you didn't read her twitter feed.

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  64. Joni,

    I have read your blog for seven years and have always appreciated your attention to detail and your willingness to research and point out design concepts. I use your blog for inspiration and instruction. (really love the curtain post) I have never commented before, but after seeing the vicious comments following this post, I decided that you needed to know that most people appreciate you. You did a wonderful job on this and kept politics out of it. I understand some people were upset with your tweets. Those were your opinion and you have every right to express it. I have been numb all week after the election and I have endured Trump supporters comments that were abusive, ignorant, hateful, and slanderous. Some of these people make me afraid for humanity. I am glad to know other people are out there who think and feel as I do. Long- story -short. Thank you for your blog. Please keep it up and keep expressing yourself however you feel.

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  65. I am not a huge fan of President Obama, nor Mrs. Clinton. I voted for Mr. Trump as the lesser of two evils. Having said that I cannot fathom what any of it has to do with a DESIGN blog. I have always been interested in the history of the White House including it's interior design, regardless of the family living within it. So, I appreciated the research on this blog post showing current next to vintage photos as comparison. What Ms.Webb asked for was our opinions on the design. I prefer a less modern approach to White House decor, but it is most important for the incumbent family to be comfortable in THEIR private quarters. Let's remember these are their PRIVATE rooms. I don't care for the brown/tan toned dining room, but like their striped dining room. The solarium seems dull for a sun room, but I truly loved their oval yellow room more than any other era. Very welcoming. Marianne

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  66. I love this post and I love you Joni!
    I don't know what kind of weird trolls are on this site, but I want to tell them to knock it off.
    What Joni writes in her twitter account is totally her business(and I read it and agree with it all).
    The troll comments should be done on twitter where they belong and shouldn't be carried over here.
    Joni has stayed very apolitical on the blog.
    But, since this one post has become political through a few people that can't not spew comments negatively...here ya go...Yes, I am angry too that a man that just spews hatred to get elected and knows nothing about government, foreign policy, and probably knows nothing about business either as he went bankrupt for 1 billion, is involved in 3500 lawsuits right now and does not pay his bills causing innocent workers and businesses to go bankrupt, is a sick egotist, is in bed with Putin and is guilty of radicalizing the US populous...has become president elect and we have become the laughing stock of the world. Where are we headed?!? Believe me, this is going to end badly.
    The troll comments should not even be here on this site, and Joni, I kind of wish you would just not publish them any longer. Mater of fact, you don't even have publish mine if you are tired of this.
    To all you trolls, go write on Joni's twitter account if it bothers you so much, but LEAVE US ALONE here on this blog to chat about design!

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    1. Christa.......you are wonderful. I could have written that.....we are on the same page....and we love Joni. We have to hunker down I guess.....love to you!!!
      Joni....can you delete comments that are from wackos? Just wondering?

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  67. Lordy! I am late to this party!! I read this post and LOVED IT!!! I love the Obama White House; and think Michael Smith did a superb job! I also loved seeing all the other things! Wow! I adored it.

    I just came back to see the comments.....someone told me to. I am so sorry, Joni. I have been, as you know, a target of a troll. It is sickening.
    I wish you could delete all that vitriol. Oh well. You just rise above it! I love you and love your blog; and so we won't miss those obnoxious people!!! There is no excuse for such rudeness and ugliness! Thank you for your wonderful research and blog!

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