The Presidential Oval Office Rugs Over The Years
If you were the president of the United States, you’d have the power to make any space your own, especially your office. In the White House, it turns out, that, changing the Oval Office rug is the best way to say that you’ve taken over.
In honor of Presidents’ Day on February 17, 2014, we’re going inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, through the West Wing and into the Oval Office to uncover the most stylish and memorable carpets, including a few designed by first ladies.
When President Obama moved in, he selected an understated taupe rug surrounded by quotes from Lincoln, Kennedy and both Roosevelt’s. There was also a quote attributed to Martin Luther King, except an astute reporter realized that it came from pre-war abolitionist Theodore Parker. Oops!
The AP recently published an article that describes the changes President Obama is making to the Oval Office, one of which includes a new rug. According to the article, Michael Smith (a regular collaborator with Nazmiyal Collection Of Antique Rugs) of California based Michael Smith Inc. interior design company is the mastermind behind the changes.
The new rug in the President’s oval office in the West wing of the White House, includes quotes along the border from famous Americans and a central medallion displaying the Bald Eagle, the national bird of the United States, and replaces the yellow sunbeam design rug from former President Bush’s Oval Office.
George W. Bush’s $62,000 sunburst rug drew many compliments. Bill Clinton, who had an elegant navy carpet during his White House years drawled, “I love that rug” while visiting presidential pals.
The radiant sunburst Presidential Seal rug with graceful botanical borders. The design was developed by first lady Laura Bush and inspired by Reagan’s similar sunbeam carpet.
Gerald Ford’s carpet was a White House icon used by three presidents. This elegant golden-yellow carpet was punctuated with blue rosettes in an open, almost Asiatic repeating pattern crowned by neoclassical borders.
Harry Truman’s presidential seal carpet was equally successful. His glaucous blue rug was the first to display the Presidential Seal.
The design was created in relief with pile of various lengths. Eisenhower used the carpet, and it was brought back by Lyndon Johnson in the 1960’s after a brief appearance in the Kennedy Oval Office.
Before 1945, green was the traditional color of the Oval Office rug, which has always matched the shape and size of the room. Pat Nixon was the first create a design for her husband’s office, and she picked a robust royal blue.
Dark blue and soft neutral tones are the most popular colors for this frequently changing space. In the White House, change is the constant. The only question is what happens after these distinctive oval rugs make it through a term in the White House.
The Yellow Oval Room is grandly decorated by one of Nazmiyal’s favorite designers, Michael Smith, featuring a beautiful Oushak rug.
President Obama recently gave the public glimpses into his private residence in The White House. Of one of those private rooms, the magnificent Yellow Oval Room stands out. It sits on the second floor of the White House, and was decorated by Michael Smith eight years ago when Obama first came to office. In the middle of Obama’s yellow oval room sits a large antique carpet, a magnificent Oushak rug picked out by one of Nazmiyal’s favorite designers, Michael Smith.
Michael Smith, a Los Angeles based interior designer has mentioned how he’s been influenced by the Obama’s lifestyle. He worked to decorate the rooms so that it reflected their love for books, refined tastes, and to also pay homage to the proud history of the White House. Read our designer spotlight on Michael Smith. To do so he decorated the room in a way that it would exude comfort, charm, and the Obama’s passion for ‘bringing new voices into the national conversation’.
As per Michael Smith’s famous touches, he mixes the immense history of the building with the Obama’s progressive spirit. Undoubtedly one of Mid-Century Modern best designers, the rich beauty of Smith’s homes have a historical approach with a contemporary design. The Yellow Oval Room is decorated with diverse art, from abstract work to contemporary, and Smith and Obama worked together on the room mixing bold modern art with a marvelous Oushak rug. Read about the beauty of decorative antique rugs.
Out of all antique rugs, Turkish rugs are artistically woven in a much larger scale, making them perfect in large rooms. Out of Turkish rugs Oushak Rugs are revered for their soft-pastel tones, extremely decorative patterns, and soft high quality material. Decorating the Yellow Room with an Oushak was an excellent choice. See above image for a similar rug woven with rich gold and light green tones.
Check out more of Nazmiyal’s magnificent Oushak Rugs below.