Interior Design Blog

Interior Design Blog

Decorating 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

It’s that time again, to redecorate the White House.

Here are my picks from the past.

Then: The Kennedys' Blue Room

This photo of the elegant Blue Room was taken during the Kennedy administration in 1962.

Then: The Lincoln Sitting Room

The Lincoln Sitting Room by Little Rock designer Kaki Hockersmith, had strong colors and patterns during the Clinton years. This photo was taken in 1994.

Today’s best designer’s tell House Beautiful what they would do if they were decorating for the new first family.

What If? Windsor Smith Created a Multipurpose Space

"I would replace frou-frou damasks and silks with environmentally sustainable casual linens in an earthy brown palette, with accents in optimistic colors, like verdant green, lemon, yellow, and tangerine.... Most important, I would create an amazing, relaxed, colorful multipurpose space where they can really be a family and escape the demands of the world. Their love and commitment to one another will no doubt be his inspiration for all that he is embarking on." — WINDSOR SMITH, LOS ANGELES

What If? They Went Green

"First, let's open up those storage rooms and reuse things from former presidencies in a clean, fresh, new way. Using what you have, or buying vintage, is a great way to lessen your carbon footprint. Then, let's make some green choices, beyond just lightbulbs, like environmentally friendly paints for Sasha and Malia's rooms, or buying wares from local artisans so we know the wood and materials are environmentally sound and locally harvested." — NATE BERKUS, CHICAGO

What If? Darryl Carter Suggested a Modern Take on Antiques

"As a native Washingtonian, I am predisposed to the historic fabric of this city. As a modernist with a penchant for white rooms whose vocabulary predominantly consists of antiques covered in muted palettes, this would be a most intriguing undertaking." — DARRYL CARTER, WASHINGTON

What If? The Fabrics Had an Easy Charm About Them

"I would start with a sustainable hemp print such as Carolina Irvin's Andaluz in the color Delft. It has the feeling of an old quilt with a modern twist. This fabric to me represents the approachable, easy charm that this young family radiates." — PHOEBE HOWARD, ATLANTA