COTE DE TEXAS

From Clinton to Biden: Décor Bros?

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Who knew that by electing Joe Biden we would be welcoming Bill Clinton and his decorator back into the Oval Office???  Kaki Hockersmith is a Little Rock designer who worked on the White House with Hillary Clinton during Bill’s entire eight year residency.  After Clinton left office, Kaki also decorated the Oval Office in Clinton’s Library in Arkansas.   

Hockersmith’s décor for Clinton’s Oval Office was a bit controversial due to its bright red, gold, and blue scheme, but she is a truly gifted decorator with an expansive knowledge of classical design.   She chose the Scalamandre house for all the fabrics and trims used in the many rooms she decorated in the Clinton White House.  It wasn’t the first time Scalamandre was used in the White House  – they have had a long history with the people’s house:


For instance, did you know that Scalamandre fabric and trim was used exclusively in the Red Room?  Fabulous photograph taken by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue and Michael Kors.  Wow.  Gorgeous photograph!!

There is a wonderful video of Kaki giving a talk on Scalamandre and the White House HERE.  Warning:  You will fall madly in love with both Kaki and Scalamandre after watching this!!

But why are we talking about Clinton’s decorator right after Joe Biden was inaugurated?

Hmmmm…

Stick Around.


A little history first…and it’s a good time to go grab that cup of coffee!!!

This coffee urn from President John Adams’ era is considered the oldest artifact in the White House.


In recent times, Presidents decorated their Oval Office just as they wanted.  Some completely redesigned their office while others used elements from former designs.

The Oval Office is a relatively new addition to the White House complex.    Originally, the Presidents had offices on the second floor of the house itself, but by the end of the 19th century, space was running out. The one story Temporary Executive Office Building was erected at the beginning of the 1900s, replacing the numerous White House conservatories seen below.


Before the West Wing was built in the early 1900s – there were masses of conservatories.

The West Wing was connected to the White House by the one story colonnaded building which at that time housed the laundry and floral rooms.  Later, it would house a swimming pool, which today is the Press Room. 

The original West Wing, once just one story, and the colonnaded building that connects it to the White House.

The original Presidential office in the West Wing was actually a rectangle, but in 1909, President Taft extended the building and by copying the three beautiful, oval rooms in the White House – the modern Oval Office was born.   After that first oval office was later destroyed in a fire, its location was moved yet again, this time by Franklin Roosevelt.   The original rectangular presidential office?   Today, it is known as the Roosevelt Conference Room:

                                                                         

The first presidential office, before it was an oval:  this shows the Roosevelt Conference Room after it was remodeled by President Trump a few years ago.




Hand tinted post card showing the first OVAL Office in the West Wing – this office would later be destroyed in a fire and its location moved to its present place.  Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover all used this Oval Office’s green décor. 


And another photograph of President Taft’s office with the original sconces.


       After the fire in 1929, the West Wing oval office was rebuilt. President Franklin Roosevelt moved the old green Oval Office to its current location, along with adding the second floor to the building.  Roosevelt chose the new location of the Oval Office because it was easier to reach in his wheelchair.  It was also larger – 2ft wider and longer.  He also got rid of these sconces.


While Franklin Roosevelt was waiting for his new West Wing Office to be rebuilt and relocated, he set up his office in the Blue Room in the White House!!!


And here is the first Oval Office in its current position in the West Wing – Franklin Roosevelt’s oval office.  

It wasn’t until John Kennedy’s office was decorated that any Oval Office  décor was worth noting.

Notice these cane chairs.  These chairs or a version of these are included in every oval office, UNTIL today, with President Biden.  Perhaps they needed to be repaired and recovered????  Or not????

President Kennedy’s office was decorated by Stephane Boudin.  Sadly, it was completed while he and his wife were away in Dallas.  Neither ever saw the finished work.  Boudin ordered the red rug and lined the curtains with a red trim.  The room was decorated with nautical antiques and paintings.

Kennedy was the first to use the Resolute Desk in the oval office which Jackie Kennedy had restored for him.   One of the most iconic photos from the Kennedy years was of his son peeking through the door panel of the desk.


John Kennedy Jr. in the iconic photo of the Resolute Desk.


The Resolute Desk was a gift of Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880.  Here is one of the earliest photos of the desk in what is now the Lincoln Bedroom.    The desk remained in the White House and was used in different rooms.   President Franklin Roosevelt used the desk in his White House study.  He asked that the front center panel be built to hide his leg braces from view.  He never saw it finished, as he died before the panel was completed.


Once Kennedy was assassinated, the desk went on tour and then was placed on display in the Smithsonian.  President Jimmy Carter asked for it to be returned to the Oval Office.  All Presidents since, save George H.W. Bush, have used it.

 

Across from the desk were white sofas and one of the famous rocking chairs Kennedy used for his injured back. 

Lyndon Johnson used most of this décor during his years, although he changed out the red rug for Truman’s green rug.  The Truman rug was used by all Presidents until Nixon, who ordered the first custom rug.   That green rug must have really dirty!!!



President Nixon ordered the first custom rug for the Oval Office, designed by Pat Nixon.   The custom designed rug was a tradition up until President Trump.   The chairs next to the desk look so strange especially with the fabric which accentuates the odd shape.  In the back by the console is the cane arm chair, one of a large set, that all presidents since Franklin Roosevelt (at least) used in their office.  Until now!!!


Now, this I LOVE!!!   A very, very young Prince Charles with Nixon.  You can see the bright gold sofas with curved arms.  Don’t the chairs seem too small AND short for this room?   Beautiful sconces were later removed.

When Gerald Ford inherited the Presidency he and his wife Betty quickly redecorated the Oval Office. 


For the first time, the Oval Office had a sunny and fresh design thanks to all the yellows.  


Two armchairs flanking the fireplace would become the standard floorplan for the Oval Office.


Looking back at history while writing this, it’s amazing to realize that Gerald Ford served only three years as president!  His wife was such an over achiever.  She worked on breast cancer awareness and was active in issues that were mostly left wing, not right wing which caused great controversy but also made her a universally much loved first lady.  She gained sympathy by admitting she was an alcoholic and drug addict causing her to open the highly successful Betty Ford Clinic for addictions.  She was such a powerful woman and First Lady and she accomplished so much in just three short years!  Seems like they were in office for eight.   One other note – they were considered the most “in love”first couple and were very openly affection with each other. Maybe it was because they followed Richard and Pat Nixon who were notoriously cold towards each other.  She was seen as the poor, long suffering Pat, although she was actually a very elegant woman who was said to love her husband regardless. 


Because the Ford décor was so new and was barely used before they were outvoted, the Carters chose to keep the Ford décor.  Also, being the most frugal President probably figured into Carter’s choice to use the Ford décor.  They kept it all – the sunny yellow floral rug, two striped sofas and the orange and yellow curtains. Since Carter was the first Democrat in the office since the Resolute desk was retired – he asked that it be returned to the Oval Office.


 

President Carter preparing for his famous "Malaise" speech in July 1979.  More sermon than presidential speech, it was at the time considered one of the most successful speeches to the nation. 


   As far as his Oval Office was concerned, the Carters made one major difference in the design, one that no one has done before or since.  Their two sofas were placed back to back, one facing the Resolute desk, the other facing the fireplace.  It’s a nice look, but it does cut off the room and makes the seating space a bit tight. 

These beautiful oriental lamps were used by Reagan, HW Bush, and today by Biden!!! 


A view of the Carter arrangement with the two sofas back to back – the only time the furniture has been arranged this way.


And again, here with Golda Meir!!!  Along with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski’s father, Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinsk

Here you can plainly see the painted lino flooring.  Reagan later removed the lino and replaced it with wood.


 


One of my favorite photos of the Oval Office.  The first couple eating on fancy TV trays in front of the fireplace.   Love this!!!!

I don’t know why, but I do love their office.  I like the intimacy that the closed off fireplace section brings.  I’ve always admired Carter though he was so unpopular.  I admire what he did with Habitat for Humanity – working for them well into his 90s.  Amazing man and wife.





The first year or so Ronald Reagan used the Ford/Carter décor until his office was finished.  Here you can see the true beauty of the rug.  This will be the last rug that does not feature the Presidential Seal in its center.

The floor started out as cork, then it was painted linoleum.  Here, Ronald Reagan installed the pine and oak floor with the different stains.  He had his carpenter from California come out to replace the floor according to an original 1933 sketch by Eric Gugler.    Later George W Bush replaced this floor with its current hardwoods oak and walnut, but he kept the same light and dark stained pattern.  Gugler was hired by Franklin Roosevelt to design his new oval office.  It was his vision that the beautiful two toned floor be installed.  


And here is Ronald Reagan in his finished office.  He reused the Ford curtains. 

Nancy hired her California decorator,Ted Graber, to design many of the White House rooms for the Reagans.

I love what he did!  Architectural Digest has a nice pictorial of Graber’s work at the White House HERE.  If you are a member of AD PRO they have twice as many photos of the Reagan White House!!

Speaking of AD Pro.  It’s terribly expensive – around $200 for a year, IIRC.  BUT if you like perusing old Architectural Digests – it’s worth every penny.   All of the Architectural Digests are now digitalized online through AD Pro.


Here is the  final Reagan office with its white sofas and his sunburst rug.

Notice this rug – Trump chose this rug for his own oval office, something I will never understand!  It looks so bland and even out of focus to me.  I would have chosen George W. Bush’s beautiful rug.


How did he ever keep his white fabrics clean?!?!


And a full view of Reagan’s oval office.



Ronald Reagan’s last day in office.  It has long been rumored that Reagan was already exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer Disease during the last year of his term.  In this photo, it looks like the bright light has begun to slip away.  Sooooo sad.

    


And now for something completely different!!! 

After three Presidents with sunny offices, George H.W. Bush chose the legendary designer Mark Hampton to design his office.  He used pale shades of blue and white damask sofas.  The rug was light blue with a tan Presidential Seal.  Bush didn’t care for the Resolute desk and instead asked for his old Vice Presidential desk to be brought back.  I wonder if this was actually a request from Hampton since this desk is more English and refined looking than the rustic Resolute desk.



The curtains in blue were made exactly the same way as the Ford curtains were, along with the later Clinton curtains.  Obviously someone needed to hire a new fabricator for the curtains!!!



A side view of the office – I like his shelves with antique books and plates.  Obama would hate it.  If you read Michael Smith’s book you would understand why!!!!  LOL


And here is the gang planning the Gulf War!!!!  Amazing photo of them sitting around the fireplace, planning a war that we are basically still fighting today.   And yes, I really do love the Bush family, so don’t email me saying I’m a commie.  It’s just interesting to look back in history and see what was happening here in this photo and how much it changed our country for so many years. 


And the requisite Last Day In Office photograph.

A very elegant Oval Office décor.  Thanks Mr. Hampton!


And here we come to Bill Clinton’s Oval Office.  It was designed by the aforementioned Kaki Hockersmith from Arkansas.  At the time, the red and white striped sofas seemed a bit circus like and his office was not as sophisticated as Mark Hampton’s or Ted Graber’s Oval Offices were.  But, over time, this has proven one of the more popular offices.   Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden both borrowed heavily from Clinton’s office for their own.

         

The view of Clinton’s office looking towards the fireplace.


 

Trump used these two chairs, as did Biden.  Trump and W. Bush both used these pretty lamps.

I see it all so clearly now, why people disliked the décor – it was the striped sofas, like peppermint.  That fabric would have been better used sparingly – on pillows.  But conversely, the dark rug needs light sofas.  Maybe plain white sofas would have been better?



Biden really loved this dark navy rug – he chose it for his own Oval Office.  Why?  This dark rug is my least favorite of all the recent rugs.  But it really does say America – red, white and blue and it was said that this was the feeling Biden wanted to convey – America THE red, white and blue.  Except there is a lot of gold or bright yellow in the room, too!


Two objects used by most modern presidents are seen here, right next to each other – the tall case clock and the Remington sculpture.  Biden did not use the Remington but he did keep the long case.




Here is Kaki designing the blue rug.  Be sure to watch this video Scalamandre and The White House HERE.   I came away being a HUGE Kaki fan!!  She is a true southern lady!!!




My personal favorite is the traditional office designed by Kenneth Blasingame for George W. and Laura. Bush.


What I will NEVER understand is why didn’t Trump or Biden just use all the elements from this office????

The rug is so pretty.  The décor in the shelves is beautiful.  You can see the new Schumacher fabric on the case chairs.  This fabric remained there for 20 years until Biden banished the chairs altogether!! 



Both Trump AND Biden chose to use Bush’s sofas.  But not the rug! Or the curtains.  Or the striped chairs!!!




I love this photo!  When Bush first came in office, he used Reagan’s old décor as opposed to Clintons except for his cane chairs with their blue diamond fabric, which Kaki discusses in the video.  He could have also chosen his father’s Mark Hampton décor to use until his own décor was ready.    In the end he chose to use the one décor that most closely matched his own décor to be.

Here Laura is showing W the mock up for his new office, along with his beautiful to be rug!!  I assume that is Ken Blasingame’s foot off to the right.



The final product - just perfection!! 

Blasingame designed many White House rooms for the Bush family, along with their Dallas and farm houses, too.  Their White House bedroom was seen in Michael Smith’s  White House book.  The Obamas slept there using the Bush  furniture for about six months until Michael Smith’s décor arrived.


Blasingame’s décor for George W & Laura’s White House bedroom.


This four poster bed, though, was the Obamas.  It was one of the first pieces Smith bought for them and that transaction was leaked to the press – the first hint that Michael Smith had indeed gotten the decorating job for the Obama White House.    This four poster bed is now in the Obama’s Washington home.

 


Another photo of Blasingame’s décor for the Bush’s bedroom – looking towards the fireplace.    Two of these chairs were reused by the Obamas, just recovered.  And the gorgeous desk seen to the right of the chairs was also reused by the Obamas.



 

This White House Presidential bedroom for the Obamas.  With just a few new fabrics, the room looks completely different, more contemporary, more masculine.

OK – OK – let’s have it out!!!!    Who’s bedroom do you prefer?

Ken Blasingame for the Bushes?   Or

Michael S. Smith for the Obamas? 

Do NOT let politics sway your vote AND leave your vote in the comments section at the end.  AND:

No cheating!  No out of town voting!  No dead people are allowed to vote!   AND you can only vote once!!    I’ll remind you to cast your vote at the end of the blog story!


And, now back to the Bush Oval Office.  The aerial view highlights the new wood floor placed by George W.

             

George W. Bush welcomes Obama to his office, just as Obama would welcome Donald Trump eight years later.  Notice the lamps – these are from the Clintons and will be used again by Trump.



And now, the Obama’s office which was such a surprise – a mix of modern and traditional design by Michael S. Smith.  It caused quite an uproar when it was revealed.   People thought it was too contemporary and not classic enough.  But looking back now, 12 years later, it seems perfect for Barak Obama.  And it really is not contemporary at all, rather it is updated traditional.



At the reveal, I loved the velvet deep blue pillows and lamps.  And I loved the wallpaper.  The rug was nice with all the quotes on it – although the Martin L. King quote was controversial as it first written by someone else and King changed it into his own. 



Looking towards the fireplace. The coffee table and lamps are the only pieces considered modern.  Instead, it looks like a sophisticated and classic office.

Hmm….do you notice a brown, wood box right behind the telephone on Obama’s Resolute desk? 

Much, much more about that little box later. 



The shot from above showing the quotes on the rug.   The rug is like  piece of clothing – so bespoke, so tailored with its clever thin blue trim – all thanks to the talented Michael S. Smith!

   Donald Trump’s Oval Office:

When Donald Trump first moved in to the Oval Office, he chose a mishmash of different designers.  Nothing matched – at all, except the Clinton curtains and his yellow chairs and lamps.  It was beyond understanding why he chose Ronald Reagan’s rug with its peach and pink tones.   And why did he choose Bush’s light yellow sofas?  Nothing went together.  At the time I wrote that the wallpaper wouldn’t last long – and it didn’t. 

But, the most amusing thing about the office was that that was Clinton’s curtains and Clinton’s chairs and Clinton’s lamp.  Was it a stab to Hillary who had help design the office with Kaki and whom had just lost the presidential race to Trump?  Or did Trump just prefer the gold curtains and chairs regardless of who had picked them out and used them?  

I personally think that President Trump just liked the gold regardless of their Clinton  provenance. 


After a summer renovation, new wallpaper was revealed:  a gray and white damask type paper that look oddly blue against the bright gold of the curtains.  The rug with its pink/orange hues also clashed with the wallpaper.   A paper with warm tones would have worked so much better, as would another rug – like George W. Bush’s rug.  It’s possible another rug was designed but was not ready for the first term.  But, we’ll never know that.


A look at the accessory of the flag.  I never quite understood all the flags Trump had in his office.  Usually there are only two flags standing by the desk – the United States flag and the Presidential Seal flag.  You can see from the photo above of his first day in office – there are the two flags.  But the next photos, you can see how flags were added to every blank wall space.



To the right of Trump is the famous Bronco Buster, a sculpture brought to the White House by Lyndon Johnson.  So far, every president since then has prominently exhibited it in the Oval Office.  The sculpture is by Frederic Remington who produced it in 1895, based on a painting of his.  Though it is long assumed to be, this is not a sculpture of Theodore Roosevelt.


And THEN, there was the fake news story about the Diet Coke button:


The press went crazy reporting on the magical Diet Coke button in Trump’s office. 

The absolute coolest thing in Trump’s office was this button!!!  When pressed, someone miraculously came out with a Diet Coke in a Presidential Seal Glass on a silver tray!!! OMG – I have died and gone to heaven!!!  Can I have one of these???   I need it!!!!  I drink only Diet Coke.  No water.  I know.  I know.  But Coke is really 99% water with a little food coloring in it.  LOL.


Right now my own Diet Coke button is Mr. Slippersocksman.  And I’m all super sweet when I yell out  “Can you please bring me a cold Diet Coke?  PLEASE!!!”

I have to have it in the can, ice cold, but no ice.  After 30 minutes, it’s too warm and I need a new iced cold one.  Every 30 minutes.

I REALLY NEED THAT BUTTON!!  

Does Amazon sell them?   Can I order a young, uniformed man with white gloves to bring the Diet Coke to me?  On the silver tray, too? 

LOL

Love it!!!!


The iced Diet Coke in the Presidential Seal glass.  No sign of the silver tray.

But as we all know, thanks to President Trump, there’s the news and then there’s the fake news!

I started looking at the box with the red button and thought – gosh, that looks really old.  Looks like it needs polishing.  And it’s such an old design.

As it turns out, that magic Coke box has been used by at least four former presidents.  Obviously, it’s just a call button for the butler, not a magic Diet Coke man.

SOOOO, I started searching old photos and yep, there it is:

It’s right there on Obama’s desk at the very end behind his phone.    Leibovitz took this photo on the day that Trump came to visit.


And you can see it here, when George H.W. came to visit George W. 

I thought I saw the magic Coke box on Bill Clinton’s desk but I couldn’t be 100% positive.


It certainly looks similar to the Diet Coke button.

Regardless, the press got it all wrong and I can say that Cote de Texas is reporting that this is just a regular Butler Bottom, used for decades to call up coffee, snacks,, girls in blue dresses or Diet Coke.



And as of now, there is no photo of the Magic Coke Button in Biden’s office.  YET.

Let’s look at President’s Biden new office and how he chose to decorate it, so far!


I was hoping that Biden would bring back the Obama décor, but that was not to be.  Is it an omen that he plans to be here only 4 years so he left the office pretty much as he found it, except for the rug????

Biden used the Clinton curtains, the Clinton gold chairs,  AND in a huge surprise, he brought back the Clinton rug!

Shock!!!!

All that is missing are the red and white striped sofas!!!!

Instead, he chose to use George W Bush’s linen sofas.



As usual, the sofas don’t look great with the curtains, the curtains clash with the sofas, IMO, BUT, the rug seems to ground the yellows.


And in this photo, you can see that Biden brought back the lamps from the Ford/Carter décor. 

Doesn’t the wallpaper look better here, darker?  Not as cold looking?  It could be the lighting or it could be the large dark navy rug reflecting onto the walls????



Nope, it’s just the overhead lighting that makes the wallpaper go so cold and gray.  



See?    Just forget what I said about the wallpaper looking darker and warmer.  Back to cold.

I do love the logs waiting to be lit!!

AND much has been made of the art work chosen by President Biden.   I love the way it looks on this wall – so symmetrical.  Such beautiful portraits in beautiful antique gilt frames inviting thought and discussion amongst those viewing them.

 


Special attention is paid to Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, enemies who are paired here to encourage listening to opposite opinions.

The presidents shown include Franklin Roosevelt, Washington, and Lincoln – all who led our country through the hardest of times just like the pandemic is now. 

Underneath are busts of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

All together, a selection of iconic American heroes, at least ones that Biden considers so.   I was surprised though that there is no painting or bust of  President John Kennedy! 

From a design perspective, I do love all their antique gilt frames. 

And, I’m just especially glad they removed that terrible George Washington portrait in the terrible frame!!

I’m sure it’s more valuable than its replacement, but it’s so awful looking. Look:

 


This Peale portrait and its frame.  I just hate it!  Almost all the Presidents have used this portrait in their office.  Why????
Why not put it in a beautiful oval frame for the Oval Office?  Biden’s Washington is by Gilbert Stuart.

Peale painted Washington many times, over 80 at least.  He painted him from life and from memory and in different uniforms, with and without his infamous blue ribbon. 

             

Here is Washington’s famous blue ribbon that he bought himself to distinguish that he was an officer.  The ribbon went missing for a few hundred years until it was recently found, folded up, still bearing its sweat and blood stains!!!

Now, look at this painting.  Talk about a terrible camel toe!  What is that about ??

The portrait Biden chose of Washington seems much better than the other two choices.

Moving on from Washington, there are other busts and portraits:


Close up of the Martin Luther King bust on a beautiful, antique table.


But, here on a a closer look, to the left of the MLK bronze, the wallpaper over the jib door looks quite dirty.   They need to replace this section of wallpaper and add a clear backplate to prevent those stains!  Even in the White House they can’t behave themselves!!  Men!!!


Have you ever seen the door knobs on the jib doors?  Gold Presidential Seals!!!  Like these?  Yes!!!!


Here is Benjamin Franklin who represents Science, an interesting and poignant choice during the pandemic.   And underneath Franklin’s portrait is the bust of President Harry Truman, another Vice-President who became President.  “The Buck Stops Here.”

On the top shelf to the right is Allan Houser’s sculpture of a Chiricahua Apache riding a horse. This once belonged to the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, the first American elected to both houses of congress.


And on the shelf underneath is this moon rock from Nasa!   And not just any moon rock but a precious 3.9 Billion year old rock!!!! 

The books are sets of Nathaniel Hawthorn’s and George Washington’s writings. 

It is quite obvious that much thought was given to the art and books and plates and accessories used in the shelves and hanging on the walls.

I don’t remember any other President’s oval office art work chosen with  such care, except maybe what Michael Smith did with Obama’s office.    


At the second set of shelves is this bust of Eleanor Roosevelt,  paired with the complete works by Theodore Roosevelt, her uncle!!!!



Rosa Parks – a beautifully tall bust.



Parks sits next to and overlooks Lincoln.  The placement of the art and sculpture is not accidental.



This piece of art from the White House Collection was missing during the Trump years but Biden resurrected it.  It’s called Avenue In The Rain, from 1917 – depicting a rainy Fifth Avenue in NYC lined with American flags.





Behind the Resolute desk are family photos and the bust of Caesar Chavez.  His son, Paul said he was asked if he would loan the bust to the president.  At the time, he had no idea where the bust would be placed and when he saw it so close to the president, Chavez’s son said “we are still smiling cheek to cheek.”


There are a few things that I didn’t see addressed in any of the media stories.    I think it’s about time to recover those sofas.  I can’t imagine how dirty they must be???  And don’t they at least need new cushion fill?   And that coffee table – was that best choice available?

AND then there are the side chairs.  For decades, since Franklin Roosevelt if not longer, the same or very similar, set of  wood/cane chairs have have been used.    And even more, George W., Obama, and Trump all used the same Schumacher needlepoint fabric. 


Here is Franklin Roosevelt with the set of  caned chairs.  I couldn’t find any before this date, but it’s possible there is another set photographed before these.

 

And here in Donald Trump’s office is a collection of the cane chairs with the Schumacher fabric.




And in Joe Biden’s office, the new chairs that replaced the caned ones.  I mean – they are nice looking, but I don’t understand why no one commented it at all?  Not one of the 1000 of web sites that did stories about the Biden oval office. 

See, that’s why you read Cote de Texas!!!!!   LOL LOL






And the Clinton rug.  This was made such a long time ago.  Rugs today are flat weaves.  This one has a small pile.



And see what that pile does?????

It looks like there are waves in the rug.  Just awful.   Today, it would be a beautiful navy blue rug, flat, without the waves.

One of the original reporters who was shown the office on the first day said the White House employees were very careful about the rug – picking up pieces of lint, etc.   He said he was asked to not step on the rug to keep it pristine.   I assume they recognized that this older rug is going to be very hard to keep neat looking!!!   No wonder all the rugs made after this one are a flat weave.  

Since President Biden will probably only have a four year term, I doubt they will order a new rug to be made.




Other changes are small.  Gone are the Diet Cokes, but instead is an old fashioned coffee cup! 


And while Trump liked to use a Sharpie, here are regular pens used by Biden to sign his Executive Orders.

Until now, that’s all we know about the current Oval Office.  I’ll post more if I see it.


BUT…..


Do You Want A White House Oval Office of Your Own???

I never knew this, but building your own Oval Office is something that men around the country have done.  No women – only men!  These private oval offices come along with extensive collections of Presidential memorabilia. 


This homeowner is a tribal leader of the Sioux Indians and he lives in a beautiful house on their reservation.  He is a huge bipartisan fan of Presidents and has an amazing collection of memorabilia.  He even designed his own “Presidential Seal.”




And looking toward the fireplace with the faux George Washington portrait.  This would be a really great repro if only the walls were not so white.  But kudos to the Chief!  He did a fabulous job!!    His memorabilia room is incredible, he is truly obsessed with the presidency.   It IS interesting that only men create faux oval offices.  Hmmm…..



Not as perfect a replica as the others, but this house is now for sale.  This is a combination of elements from the Clinton and Obama offices.




This Texas homeowner spent four years working on his private oval office.  He included the Kennedy rocker along with the Clinton curtains and rug.  The room is beautiful with all the moldings.  If only those sofas  weren’t used. 


And this is kind of adorable!!   Frank Luntz, the famous pollster, has created a guest house on his property, where behind the classic walls is hiding a replica of the Oval Office.   It’s no surprise that he is a fanatic collector but I had no idea he was so cute about it all.  It’s eccentric, I know, but I love when someone has such a passion for something…healthy…!


 It’s not a perfect replica because he added the Lincoln bedroom into his office.  But the colors and sofa and rug and curtains all look like the circus-like atmosphere of Bill Clinton’s oval office.



Frank even had the art work copied as seen here.  Hanging is a replica of Monica Lewinsky infamous blue dress.  Like I said, Frank Luntz has quite a sense of humor.             


    The Lincoln Bedroom is right off Frank’s oval office.                                                                   


My favorite part of Frank’s house is this newsstand.  It is filled with vintage magazines of Presidents and First Ladies that Luntz has collected over the years. What a great place to spend an afternoon or two, reading all these old Life and Look issues.



                                                                                                                     Just like the White House, Luntz has his own single lane bowling alley.  It turns into a media room if guests want to watch a movie or Frank on TV!!


I’ve been thinking about this all week while I researched this story.  If I was going to build a replica of the oval office onto my so spacious apartment, whose décor would I chose to emulate?

I think I would have to say I would choose George W Bush’s Oval Office.  And you?

          

And as for this: 

Who’s White House bedroom do you prefer?

Ken Blasingame for the Bushes?   Or


Michael S. Smith for the Obamas? 

  That’s a very hard, hard choice.

Until next time!!!!!