Today Americans decide who will call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest Washington, DC home for the next four years. I’m sure the White House Staff is cringing at the thought of having to move a new president into the residence. Unlike the typical move from one American Home to another, you won’t see any of this…
Instead, the White House staff of approximately 95 people will work fast and furiously on Inauguration Day in January, from the time the exiting president leaves the White House grounds until the new president arrives, after the Inaugural parade, to remove the existing president’s furnishings and totally move in the newly appointed president. As retired White House usher, Gary Walters, who oversaw this transition for 21 years said, “is a very well organized ballet choreography.” The staff has less than six hours to completely redecorate the home from carpentry, paint, rugs, furnishing, art, accessories, etc all the way down to hanging the new presidents clothes in the closet and favorite snacks in the pantry. Can you imagine? The goal is to completely move the new family in and have no unopened boxes in less than six hours. Of course this doesn’t happen overnight, as it appears. It takes major planning and teamwork to pull off
It was announced on January of 2009 that the Obamas has acquired Hollywood decorator Michael Smith to redecorate the White House. He was actually attained in December of 2008. The typical fee set aside for redecoration of the residence is $100,000.00, but the Obamas decided to absorb the cost themselves. They felt with the economy in the shape it was in they didn’t feel right taking taxpayer dollars to redecorate. Other speculated that they did it, because they didn’t want people talking about how much was spent on interior decoration, while a nation was suffering financially. Regardless of the motives, the amount has been kept
private for this administration’s decorating budget.
As a designer, I wonder exactly how long the designer had to design the residence? This would seemingly be the biggest design job of a designer’s life yet, there is less time than on an typical job to make decisions and get things executed. One issue that helps with the process is the plethora of furniture from which to chose, so no worries about shipments of broken furniture. Thanks to Jackie Kennedy who mandated anything used in the White House could not be discarded but would be stored when not utilized. Still, can you imagine the stress of making all those decisions in warp speed? Of course, I am sure that anyone contacted to provide resources would jump through hoops to be included in the White House project so yet again help with the process is inevitable. If anyone knows about the timeframe or process the designer is allowed please comment. I find it most interesting. On another note…..
Please don’t forget to vote!!!! If you haven’t voted early ballot, please exercise your right to being heard!!!
“The Design Connector” connecting you to the people, places, and products you need to know in the Interior Design World. Written by Lisa Mende, who is an Interior Designer, Tastemaker and Brand Collaborator located in Charlotte, North Carolina.