Tuesday 21 Sep 2010
Whereas previous administrations had opted for a comparatively classical and regal atmosphere, the Obama's have chosen an overtly modest, contemporary design, resulting in arguably a less ostentatious interior than that of the Bush era. A rug featuring quotes from former presidents and Martin Luther King now resides in place of the Ex first lady's patriotic 'Sunbeam' rug.
The new office is a clear indication of the president's attempt to portray the white house as a modest and practical institution and the neutral colours are a far cry from the Clinton's cobalt blue command hub. The rare splashes of blue here are only apparent in Christopher Spitzmiller's lamps.
The change is hardly a radical move away from the previous office, however the meticulously thought out furnishings are certainly a subtle indication of Obama's policies. Critics will argue that it has lost an element of class; however the finish moves towards a less patriotic yet equally significant interior, which is not an easy thing to achieve when dealing with a space steeped in such history and stature. The design is by no means lavish or even inspirational, but for an interior which was to be debuted as the backdrop for an international speech on Iraq, was unmistakeably a well planned statement of intent by the Obamas.