Yesterday was Presidents Day and let's be honest, there is nothing more presidential (and appropriate for an interior design blog) than the White House. With 35 bathrooms, 132 rooms, and 6 different levels there's no wonder why it was known as the "President's Palace" for so long. Since John Adams, every president has called the White House home, and since it's initial construction in 1792, their have been numerous renovations to keep up with it's ever changing residents.(1)
I find the whole thing incredibly fascinating. That this home- that's filled with such an immense history- is basically just part of the job description when you're elected president. It's like signing a four year lease for a home with no landlord and you actually get to renovate; because whose's going to say no to you? The people of America? It's just so interesting.
Now if I was first lady, or even president, I would definitely give some of those rooms a serious face lift. Don't get me wrong, no matter how modern and "hip" our president gets, I don't think the interior design style will every be anything less than purely traditional. However I think Jackie O hit the nail on the head when she decided to devote much of her time to create a "residence of elegance and charm" as well as "a museum of American history..." (2). Keeping with tradition but yet elevating the decor is exactly what the White House is all about.
Decades and numerous renovations later, the property still stands and is nothing less than the palace of America.
I found the transformation of the Blue Room the most fascinating by far. As you can see in the sketches and pictures above, this immense space has transformed completely since it's original installation. I'm sad though that the intricate navy and gold wall paper was taken down. It made such a statement and was a chic aspect of the space.
During my quest to find the best pictures of the White House, I also found these incredible pictures of the complete reconstruction during the Truman administration. During that time the White House was in such bad shape (as that point the building was nearly 150 years old) that something needed to be done. Congress and the powers at be considered demolishing the structure all together, but luckily Truman found it such an important part of American history that the exterior was kept in place. Check out all of the incredibly pictures HERE