Michelle Obama Decorates

washpostGood Morning Lacquered Lifers! So First Lady Michelle Obama has officially made her first imprint on the decoration of one of the White House’s more public rooms. While the Obama family decorator, Michael S. Smith, redecorated the private family quarters upstairs, as well as the Oval Office the Obamas had not made any alterations to the rest of the house, until this week. trumanThis is how the Family Dining Room looked when the Kennedy’s arrived at the White House. This room had been decorated during the Truman administration, and had been used as a place for first family meals since 1825 during the Adams administration. kennedyIn 1963, Mrs. Kennedy redecorated the room, and moved the first family dining to the private quarters upstairs. old_family_dining_room_2009The room remained mostly as Mrs. Kennedy had decorated it for many years, and has traditionally been used for small official meals, such as working lunches with foreign heads of state. washpost 2Whilst the Obamas have retained the antiques that were chosen by Mrs. Kennedy, as well as an 18th century chandelier, the walls have been repainted a pale grey, the drapes have changed from gold to burgundy, a new rug added, and most obviously the art replaced with very modern pieces. While I appreciate the injection of a modern touch in the artwork, as well as the change in paint color, I’m a tad confused on the rug and the drapery. I don’t really see those two elements agreeing with each other. And it seems that they chose to keep the existing upholstery on the dining chairs, which also doesn’t seem to agree with the rug and the window treatments. I think I might have taken more cues from the bright and bold colors in the artwork when choosing the colors for the rug, and perhaps looked for a less busy pattern. Also, if they were going for a more modern look I would have handled the window treatments differently. Definitely not burgundy, probably no tiebacks … I really like the way Jackie Kennedy had the drapes hung on the inside of the window so as not to lose the beautiful Greek Revival window surround. Enough on my thoughts … I am really curious about what you think. Make a comment! 

photos via The White House Blog & The Washington Post 

More Interior Design

Flash Back Friday Favorites: Cherryfields

dransfield-and-ross-ed0710-01-lgnGood Morning Lacquered Lifers! Here is another installment of Flash Back Friday Favorites. This Friday I am featuring another one of my absolute favorites, Cherryfields, the Georgian Revival home of designers Dransfield & Ross. In an interesting twist, the designers purchased this home from Nancy Pyne, of Pyne Hollyhock fame. Where did she move when she left Cherryfields? Well she simply swapped homes with the designers of course! That house can be seen in last week’s Flash Back Friday Favorites post. These photos of Cherryfields were published in the June 2010 issue of Elle Decor, and from day one I have been inspired by these photos, and to this day I continue to be inspired. The butler’s pantry (below) and the study came in very handy in our restoration here at Church Street. Happy Friday! Dransfield & Ross Kitchen 2dransfield and ross 3
dransfield and ross 8 dransfield and ross 4

Photos via Elle Decor

More Designers

Laundry with Martha

marthaGood Morning Lacquered Lifers. I have apparently ruined, through frequent ironing, a most beloved set of sheets that were a wedding present. When I got on the phone to order the replacements and asked the customer service representative how she would prevent this from happening again, she told me that I should remove the sheets from the drier while damp, lay them out flat and smooth them with my hands and let them air dry. Now as much as I appreciate the advice, where am I going to lay the sheets out flat? Who has room for that? A twin sheet makes my kitchen island look small!

It is funny how quickly one can go from NYC apartment living with no washer/drier and being happy just to have those in your home, to wanting a full equipped laundry room. So today, as I dream about a big space in which to air dry my sheets, or frankly just a laundry room where I can shut the door, I give you photos of the laundry room at Martha Stewart’s home in Maine, Skylands.

Skylands was built in the 1920s by Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, in Seal Harbor, Maine. Martha purchased the home in 1997, and along with it much of its contents, including the much of the machinery and infrastructure in the laundry room. It is not uncommon in homes of this era to have a laundry room of this scale, but it is definitely uncommon today. With her sizeable collection of antique and hand embroidered linens, Martha takes full advantage of all that the Skylands laundry room has to offer. martha 4This huge padded ironing table would make a great space to lay out my sheets … martha 3Or better yet, this linen drying cabinet. Those racks roll out from inside the cabinet, you hang the linens, and then you roll the rack right back into the cabinet for drying. This is an absolutely fantastic antique piece of machinery that still serves a great function to this day. I think I have perhaps found my new dream appliance. One day when I have a huge beautiful laundry room, I will have a drying cabinet too. Asko has started making residential drying cabinets (albeit smaller than Martha’s) for the American market here. Who’s with me? martha 2These beautiful porcelain splash sinks most likely make soaking that red wine stained napkin pleasurable instead of stressful. martha 5And not to worry, Martha still has plenty of room for conventional ironing. While we can look at these photos and dream, I don’t have, and never will have fifteen bedrooms as Martha does at Skylands, so all I will really dream about is a small sink, a fold down ironing board, and a door that I can shut when the folding doesn’t get done.

Photos via The Martha Blog

More Architecture