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Thursday, January 15, 2009

More White House decorating tidbits

"Michael S. Smith: Houses," released October 2008.

Because you're dying to know:
1. Each incoming president usually is allocated $100,000 per term for redecorating expenses. Private donations can be solicited (a la Jackie Kennedy) and I'm hoping Ms. Winfrey steps up to the plate.
2. The Obamas will have access to the White House warehouses where every household bit and bob since the Kennedy administration has been meticulously cataloged and stored.
3. Presidential families may also bring their own furnishings.
4. While the State Rooms have certain design restrictions, the President's personal quarters do not. Michael S. Smith receives my undying love and devotion if this makes it into the Obamas' quarters:

"PH Artichoke Lamp," by Poul Henningsen, 1958.

A partial list of modern White House decorators:
Dorothy Draper - Dwight Eisenhower
Sister Parish - John F. Kennedy
Ted Graber - Ronald Reagan
Mark Hampton - George H.W. Bush
Kaki Hockersmith - William Clinton
Kenneth Blasingame - George W. Bush

[Los Angeles Times]

12 comments:

karly / design-crisis.com said...

I appreciate that you're our minute-by-minute source for all things white house decor. Keeping my fingers crossed for some oprah dough

Raina said...

Point taken. I'll stop now.

hello gorgeous said...

Don't stop. I read on Urban Grace that Deborah Needleman from Domino and Ms. Russell (scares me) from Elle Decor were on the Today show and they concurred that Smith plans to use our good ole American retail chains like Target, Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, and Urban Outfitters.

$100 grand goes pretty far at Target.

And the artichoke lamp? (which I love btw) goes for what? $16,500? Sorry, hon. He'll be at Ikea for the knockoff. :-)

Will fiscal responsibility be pretty? You handle this, doll. I'm busy painting things gray.

hello gorgeous said...

Oh. My girl got Flight of the Conchords for Xmas so I am getting all caught up...

The Nerdy Fashionista said...

I hope I like this better than Jamie Drake and Gracie Mansion [shudders].

Camilla @ Designalogue Blog said...

I announced to some very non-design friends of mine that the Hhite House decorator had been announced.....they didnt seem to care....
huh, such ignorance in the world!!!!

karly / design-crisis.com said...

are you kidding?! I'm with HG... don't stop! these updates are great, you're beating the pants off of CNN, and that's saying a lot considering how much I adore anderson cooper.

Robin said...

re: the list of past WH designers - I recognize Sister Parrish and Dorothy Draper, but none of he others. Are they people that only those in the know would know? Were they the Nate Berkuses of their day (i.e., right place, right time)?

(my word verfication is "bancomen". Given today's headlines re: Bank of America I find that ominous.

erin@designcrisis said...

I expected better from Draper... The Eisenhower years were dark and dingy.

Don't stop with the updates!!!

Raina said...

OK guys, I'll keep going with my Obama decorating obsession.

HG, PM me and let me know what you think of the series. Good luck with the gray.

NerF, I'm not familiar with Drake's work there. He's known for his OTT color which I don't see going at Gracie Mansion. I will have to look it up...

3M, How rude of your friends not to share in your enthusiasm. I mean this is more important than the world recession, Middle East turmoil, and global warming COMBINED.

Robin, The last two were no big deal, but do google Mark Hampton. He was THE go-to guy for traditional decorating in the 1980s. And Graber was a protege of renowned Hollywood designer William Haines.

nkp said...

You are THE source for all things vital...I do not jest! :0)

Decorina said...

I really appreciate the update - and I think the artichoke is a wonderful thing. They seem to like modern stuff - they need it somewhere!

Love Mark Hampton. Been a long time fan. Keep us in the loop!