Presidential Designs: The Decor and Furniture in the Oval Office

Posted In Design - 08/07/2016

Decorating the Oval Office isn’t all that different from decorating your own home. While the shape of the room and nature of the business conducted there make it more complicated and high-profile than your own home office, the space still needs to be functional and the décor should reflect the inhabitant.

President Obama's Redecorating Project

Beginning with the John F. Kennedy administration, it’s been a tradition for the president to redecorate the Oval Office to match his taste. It lets the president show some personality while giving him a workspace he’s comfortable in.

Like many people who might be considering a new look for their homes but may be pressed for time and money, President Barack Obama began with small changes during his first year. He replaced the George W. Bush administration’s plates with pottery made by contemporary Native American artists on loan from the National Museum of the American Indian and decorated with mechanical devices on loan from the National Museum of American History’s patent collection. Your office decorations should reflect your personality and interests. Obama’s interest in American history, technology and innovation made the décor a perfect match.

The larger overhaul of the Oval Office took place in August 2010. The Obamas replaced Bush’s decorations with new rugs and furniture. When decorating your office, it’s important to pay attention to detail. Décor, as well as placement, can really affect the mood and flow of the room. Compared to other administrations, the Obamas made the Oval Office more casual, giving it a more inviting feeling.

The Oval Office didn’t always have a relaxed look; every president has put his own spin on it. Yet it’s important to keep a room balanced. For example, if you’re looking for a more relaxed feel, find the décor to fit that but not make it too casual.

More serious accents or rugs can help balance an office to make it seem less casual or vice versa.

When you begin designing your home office, think about what you want to show. The functionality of a desk, office chair, bookcases, storage and extra seating is only one part of the overall picture.  By choosing the right style and pieces, you can quite literally display aspects of your personality. You can use this to your advantage; if you’re creative, show off that side with fun décor and unique artwork. Create a space that makes you excited to work each day, because who says work can’t be fun?

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