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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I bet Darryl Carter is still available

So while the Obamas were vacationing on Martha's Vineyard, the Oval Office was given a makeover. A really terrible makeover. Is Michael S. Smith responsible for this hot mess?

The sofas are awful in both silhouette and fabric selection. While I like the contemporary coffee table, it in no way relates to the rest of the furniture. And I don't think the rug could be any more boring if it tried.

I will give the design props for the use of wallpaper to liven up the space and the great teal lamps. The rest needs to be set on fire donated to a deserving charitable organization.



The "before" (see below) was perfectly serviceable. Given the current economic climate, unveiling an unnecessary and poorly-executed Oval Office makeover is an incredibly dumb decision.


What say you, Dumplings?

[Gawker]

47 comments:

Sketch42 said...

It is SO BAD!

That blows my mind.

Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...

It's so darn depressing! I expected more from...well, I don't know who was behind this. Surly the president doesn't have much time to do anything more than say "okay, fine" when someone asks him about sofa colors, right?

GiniGL said...

And I thought Seattle winters were depressing.

Leigh said...

So bad. Ugh.

brismod said...

It is very brown and sombre - perhaps it's post-GFC decor for austere times?

Concrete Jungle said...

Lordy it's brown...who did it???

sanctuaryhome said...

It sort of looks like the reupholstered the chairs in leather. If they reused furniture, I give them huge props. The sofas are way too middle america McMansion den. If I were selecting furniture for this space I would select something historically appropriate.

Robin said...

United States of Beige.

And I 100% agree re: why spend the money to change it when the economy is in the terlet.

Raina Cox said...

Concrete Jungle - Michael S. Smith is in charge of re-vamping the private quarters. I'm not sure if he did the Oval Office too. It doesn't look like his work.

Kate said...

It looks like the sofas have been covered in velour.
it looks like a really nasty nylon waiting room.

bungalow5 said...

It could be taken out of the Lonny Magazine!

Coté Provence said...

can you say HORRIBLE! They should have left it the way it was! Why waist the money...on this????

Lexy said...

I agree 110% - it looks like it belongs it a mediocre hotel room.

suzy spellman said...

Your sentiments = my sentiments on both the decor (can we call it that?) and expenditure.....tin ear oligarchy of the USA.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Raina, please tell me this is a hoax. A big photoshopped hoax. Please. It is a hoax, right? I mean, I've always admired Michael Smith as a designer who tailors the job to fit the situation, so this is actually a different Michael Smith, right?

It's AWFUL. AWWWWWFULLLLLLLLLLL. by any standard.

Funny, I was just looking somewhere at an article----old Greenwich village townhouse, beautiful old moldings, beautiful modern furnishings....in perfect harmony.....sigh. The present example could have benefited. And with you all the way about the budget. (I mean, I can understand, really understand, wanting to exorcise the Bush years, BUT!!!

obviouslyanon said...

sanctuary home - indeed reminiscent of the macmansion style - perhaps a deliberate attempt to identify with middle america? or the limit of the ability of the designer. i like brown, but brown done with passion!!

raina, cost - doesn't look like it was that much at all!

and if it was, this is the president of the free world we're talkin' bout.

obviouslyanon said...

oops - forgot to mention - raina, you're right on the money - darryl carter would have created something stylish, elegant, timeless and god, that guy knows how to do brown/black/white palettes, the maestro.

suzy spellman said...

Raina, you and Maureen Dowd have it covered: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/opinion/01dowd.html?_r=1&hp

Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll said...

It looks so DEAD! Why wouldn't they choose something more vibrant and uplifting? We need a life as a nation, don't we? I don't know, there are a lot better way to do neutrals is all I'm sayin'.

Sketch42 said...

It looks like a bad hotel lobby.

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Did they order EVERYTHING from Home Decorator's clearance? The before wasn't great, either. What gives? Can't this office show some LIFE? Agree with your every. single. point.

Sharon @ Real Estate Resuscitation said...

Damn you Raina! I read your post before I tried to go to sleep last night and then I had insomnia. I am blaming it on you making me think about this so called "makeover". Ughhhh!!! My very patriotic father is going to be really unhappy when he sees this for sure. Our President is supposed to be inspired to run the country in there?!?!? You are going to have to start your potentially disturbing blog posts with the disclaimer that reading these type of posts before bedtime have been proven to cause sleeplessness in readers!

Raina Cox said...

Suzy - Thanks so much for that link! Dowd is right on the money. I was going to mention Kaki Hockersmith's more, um, vibrant makeover of the OO, but I was too tired last night.

erin@designcrisis said...

Maybe they saved money by shopping at Rooms 2 Go.

nkp said...

That is just pathetic. And such a waste of our dwindling resources.

barbara said...

I thought the same thing when viewing it this morning on morning shows,ugh,how unattractive ,and I agree,the timing could not be worse given the very real headlines. Earth tones for the oval office,shameful.

Leigh Chandler said...

Blah, boring and brown! I thought they fired Michael Smith because he was too expensive! They should have gone with Darryl Carter!

doug @ tracery interiors said...

it's so lame...beige striped wallpaper?!?

The Zhush said...

Was wondering, what, if anything you would have to say about this...and you did not disappoint! I read an article comparing it all to a Sheraton Suites lobby, which I thought was spot on! The rug has quotes all around...QUOTES! Like something I would expect to see in Pottery Barn Teen...only not as cool!

my favorite and my best said...

it's bullshit is what it is...

Alexis L., The Studioist said...

So before I ever write a post, ever again, I will check La Lampshade because I just wrote the same post but more pussyfooted.

Ha.

I don't like the room for all of the reasons everyone else hates it but I will say that the Reuters photos are particularly unflattering. I also think that in the political climate, no makeover is really acceptable and that a bold (read: good) makeover would have resulted in a populist outcry.

Probably, they should have left well enough alone, though that would have defied tradition as well and probably would engender anger in some quarters too.

ChrisToronto said...

I have to disagree about the "before" shot, Raina; I think that room was abominable. I really like the space plan in the new design although I agree about the beige overdose . . . snore.

Newell Turner said...

The photography supplied by the White House does the project a huge injustice. Those photos are overlit and shot with wide angle lenses. Both things ruin a room. I bet it looks a million times better with natural sunlight flooding through those windows. No?

Tonia @Chic Modern Vintage said...

I'm a little torn, I don't think that it's all that bad. I think that we expected a little more since he's suppose to be an award-winning "designer". And for the record no tax payer money was used for the makeover. You can't please everyone.

Jill said...

This makes me cry a little.

I hope it wasn't designed by MSS.

my favorite and my best said...

sorry newell...a shiny beam emanating from a unicorn horn couldn't make this room look good. why does everything have to be brown? is this so obama can be camouflaged quickly should a terrorist sneak into the room?

susieq said...

Margaret Russell was on The Today Show this morning crediting Michael Smith with the work and defending it... Sad.

Raina Cox said...

Barbara and Doug - Hello to you both and welcome to this deliciousness!

Alexis L. - Any post you write on a shared topic will always be 100 times more intelligently written. I may be bold, but you're beautiful.

Newell Turner - You could tell me the Devil's flocked wallpaper was chic and I would nod starry-eyed in agreement.

ita darling. said...

it looks very uh. democratic. like design by committee. the greenery on the mantle is gagtastic.so dour! it might've NEEDED to be redone, and mayve this was their attempt at being conservative, but i think i couldve done a better job culling primarily from craigslist.

mypoliticalexile said...

I dont have a problem with this. He swapped out a few pieces (love the lamps and coffee table), the paper and rug are nice, the couches not so much. Its an office were important business is done. We are in a recession. Do you really want him to pull a John Thain? I am glad Obama and his staff didnt spend anymore time or money on this project.

Naomi@ThirteenandSouth said...

I am sad for America. I am.

Topaz said...

"why does everything have to be brown? is this so obama can be camouflaged quickly should a terrorist sneak into the room?"

Wow, what an incredibly ignorant statement!

Jennifer Sanderson said...

Coffee table is crazy. Why would you use such a contemporary piece in that space? I like the wall paper and the classic portraits and that is it. The Huff Post called those chairs with their BACKs to the fireplace WING chairs which they clearly are NOT. The greenery on the mantle is cheesy and the desk is wiped clean as if no one actually worked there.

christie said...

Beige has come. So very terrible and unnecessary.

susieq said...

Did you see Arrianna Huffington's op ed? "The Obamas' redecoration of the Oval Office is very cautious, neutral, inoffensive, neither one thing nor the other -- the Audacity of Taupe"

Raina Cox said...

susieq - I thought "Audacity of Taupe" was brilliant.

Cashon&Co said...

it looks like cheap sofas. rent an office kind of furniture. not elegant in any way. i'm slightly confused.