Tomorrow begins a new era in American history as Barack Obama is inaugurated as our 44th president. One of Michelle Obama’s priorities has been to make sure her family feels comfortable in their new home, The White House. It’s not unusual for incoming First Ladies to make changes in the more than 200-year-old residence. Take a look inside the 1961 White House in this tour with Jacqueline Kennedy. Mrs. Kennedy explains how she worked with a committee to make interior design choices. The Obamas chose California native Michael S. Smith whose style has been characterized as “a delicate blend of European tradition and American modernism.” The First Family will be in good company. Smith has designed spaces for Cindy Crawford, Steven Spielberg and many other notables. Smith’s first task: the daughters’ bedrooms. I hope we get to see a little of Smith’s work and how he spent his $100,000 budget, courtesy of Congress.
All this talk of White House renovation begs the question: what would HGTV designers do in the Obama’s new residence if they had the opportunity? Just like Barack Obama, Kim Myles was chosen as the best among her peers. As an HGTV Design Star and now host of Myles of Style, Kim continues to prove that she is a winning designer. Her take on The Lincoln Bedroom is another example of why Mrs. Myles won the popular vote.
Kim Myles' concept: The Lincoln Bedroom - Back to Basics
“The current Lincoln Bedroom hides its most famous feature — the bed — behind layers of fussy fabric, busy prints and stodgy color,” Kim says. “I’ve chosen to bring the room back to basics and combined classic and contemporary elements.”
Taniya Nayak is one of HGTV’s Designed to Sell‘s talented designers who knows how to stretch a buck. By the look of this sketch, however, it is obvious that Taniya had a little fun and went beyond her usual $2000 budget for the show. This Green Room is opulent but also environmentally-friendly.
Taniya Nayak's concept: The Green Room - Literally
“The stone, fabrics and flooring are all made from green products,” Taniya says. ”Sustainable living is a way of life now, and what better place to implement that than in the Green Room of the White House.” If the Obamas want to improve their digs without breaking the bank, they couldn’t go wrong with Taniya or Design on a Dime‘s Frank Fontana.
Frank Fontana‘s interpretation of The Red Room is red hot! Every President needs a little zebra print in his life.
Frank Fontana's concept: The Red Room - Colonial Funk
“My concept for this design is something I like to call ‘Colonial Funk.’ It comes from the fusion of vintage colonial architecture and hip modern day decor,” Frank says. “A similar parallel to the Obamas themselves, as they must fuse their youthful and vibrant energy into a vintage and historic home.” I particularly like Frank’s attention to detail in the sketch. Look closely and see Obama family pictures on the walls. Nice touch.
How do you think Frank, Taniya and Kim did with their Presidential concepts? Any decorating advice you’d offer to the Obamas?