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 

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16 Comments

  • She ruined it!! It is really not my taste. I do not like that rug or the drapes either. I love that yellow! The drapes and the rug could have been updated but that bright yellow was fabulous.

  • Eek is right. Not a fan of the new couches or coffee table in the Oval Office either.

  • No taste. No one should touch what Jackie O did. It should’ve been enshrined to make sure this didn’t happen!

  • The art choices are good. The wall color is iffy. But the window treatments and rug are just plain tacky!

  • wow I do not want to be disrespectful…but this is horrendous….Did a designer help her? extremely Tacky!!!!!

  • hmmm, I agree. It seems like an odd combination to me as well. I like that it has a fresh facelift, but it doesn’t seem to mesh together well.

  • So bad. It looks like a loft in Seattle or something with random antiques thrown in. I like Jackie Kennedy’s version obv.

  • I’m all for adding modern touches to update a space, but these choices are all wrong. The drapes should not be swagged. It just doen’t work and that rug is too busy and doesn’t relate to anything else in the room. I loved the Jackie O room.

  • Wow, I can’t believe that this rug was chosen. Even a sisal is better than that thing. Also I can not believe the chairs were not reupholstered. They need to fire their designer or hire one!!