Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Redesigned Oval Office: Yay or Nay?

Hmm. Very brown and very striped to me. I like the two lamps...but for me it's a nay. Just doesn't seem to live up to the architecture or the stature of the Oval Office.
How about you? (For more design details, check out the NY Times article.)


All images above via CBS News here.I prefer the Clinton version.

(image via White House Museum)

54 comments:

Style Chronicle said...

Nay! I visited the White House this past Christmas before the update and it looked much better. The room has no life!

Teresa Hatfield said...

Doesn't look like the work of Michael Smith to me, and it is not as modern as I had heard. I like it more as a living room, but it doesn't look like a Presidential Oval Office. I like the old Oval Office. I better stop there :).
Thanks for posting such good photographs.
Teresa

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Didn't michael smith have a hand here, why is it so BLAND? To me it looks like an office in an upscale hotel. I realize it's better than any of the previous designs (sorry, the clinton era one is a bit kitcshy looking for me) but what about a STYLISH office space? It can be seroius AND stylish! Habituallychic did a post today of some stylish offices and this just does not compare to them. I would expect more from Michael Smith.

monkeygrasshill said...

I agree it's a NAY. So Blah.

Squeak said...

Perhaps this is exactly what Mr. Obama wanted. The client is the only person Michael Smith needs to please.

April said...

Good grief! Can't believe Mr. Smith had a hand in the design. Not only is it bland, but it does nothing to recognize the wonderful architecture or utilize the many priceless antiques available to anyone who resides in the Oval Office. So disappointing. Where is Jackie when we need her!

Just Verte

Boxwood Terrace said...

Smith and this room are receiving a lot of criticism on some blogs. I may be the only person on the planet that likes the room considering it's the Oval Office of the White House (although I'd prefer a different coffee table). Better that it doesn't look like something out of Domino. Maybe Smith was constrained by White House staff. If it was fabulous and stylish, there would be a public outcry over extravagance (real or perceived).

Kathleen said...

It needs to be more formal. Nothing about it resonates.

Star said...

Those couches are TERRIBLE. And the drapes appear to be the very same drapes from when Bush was in office - They don't go as well with the striped wallpaper as they did with the plain walls before. It doesn't have the presence that the Oval Office should have. total NAY for me.

Lavender and Lilies said...

It's a little "Pottery Barn" for me. It should look more presidential and oppulent and the colors are boring.

Merlin said...

NAY! It looks like a "family room" NOT the Oval Office for goodness sake.

Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

I like the carpet... the rest, well bland I guess

Wendy said...

I'm guessing that it might look better in person and just not translate well in pictures. I've heard it described as a "strip mall law office"---ouch! I love the lamps but I wish there was a little more of that kind of surprise in there. I think the rug is beautiful though. The words on it are a beautiful touch.

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

nay...for sure. I prefer the Clinton version. The white house needs a little red white and blue in the offices but done in a modern way. A room of brown....is not good.

Kelly Green said...

nay from me too - very, well brown! i know lots of important desiciions will be made here, but its hardly inspirational! KG

The Ancient said...

I suppose it could be worse, though it's hard to see how.

Ugly sofas that belong in someone's "man-cave." A coffee table that belongs in another country (Uzbekistan?). Leather chairs that appear to have survived a Mastercraft liquidation sale. And a rug that one can only hope will be avenged by the Obamas' dog.

(In fairness, the Oval Office has always been poorly decorated. Check the White House website for pictures dating back to the Taft Administration.)

nanab said...

Nay for the room...nay for BO. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Birdie Pearl said...

NAY!! Way to "casual" and bland! I won't get started on everything I dislike - i just say it's not very Presidential and doesn't do justice to that fabulous room.

Diane said...

Would be like being in a sepia-toned photograph -- not inspiring!

TupeloLove said...

I love that you posted about this. I think the room is a little blah and traditional. Clinton's was definitely more of a patriotic punch. But I guess you could think of this new design as minimal and simplistic. Love your blog, by the way!

Dianne said...

Nay for the office and nay for BO!!!

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

I dunno.....I like it better than it was. But my fave part are the secret doors right next to the clock and the Lincoln (?) portrait!

Where's the red phone?

Ruby’s Upcycle Designs™ said...

Nope...a definite Nay...boring, bland and quite frankly too casual. xoxo Beth

Carrie said...

Blech. NAY. It's awful. Nothing goes together and the couches look like they belong in someone's basement TV room. I agree with what ArchitectDesign said...there's definitely a way to be stylish AND still be an office space. This is not it.

Adrienne said...

It's ugly. The best change would be a new president...

Mike said...

NAY! I asked my mom if she decorated it after I saw the striped wallpaper. It looks exactly like her bathroom, but hardly Presidential. Here's a fun link if you want to walk back through time and decor. My personal favorite was Reagan. Simple, classy, and ..well, Presidential.

http://www.whitehousemuseum.org/west-wing/oval-office-history.htm

Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll said...

Big Nay! Way to flat for me. Though it's Obama's style to be "Everyman" it needs more majesty & reverance for my taste. Help! Can't imagine Michael Smith missed on this one in such a big way.

abode love said...

I am a big Nay on this one! It's so bland. I am with you, the Clinton version looked pretty good- very stately- like it should be! It's the Oval Office for crying out loud! The more tradition, the better!

Linda Merrill said...

Nay for me as well. Those leather chairs are cheap looking!

Linda said...

Could not believe how un-presidential this redecoration is. It looks like "every home" comfort with no style. DId Mrs. Obama have anything to do with this? Her office looks better.
Not the office that inspires confidence or power.
Linda @bushel and a pickle

http:/omega57.wordpress.com

pve design said...

I agree with Architect Design- I loved it in the Kennedy era, with the sitting area by the fire-place, away from the desk and I loved the colorful oval rug.
Where is the fun, the lucite and the color?
pve

Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

I read the post article as I was going to bed last night....it is a nay for me as well. But, given the state of our economy and all of the troubles facing our nation, I am sure they wanted to keep the appearance of anything over the top at bay. In any case, not my style but I don't have to work there...so I guess my opinion doesn't matter that much.

Capella Kincheloe Interior Design said...

I think it is a great improvement from the Offices of the past. My suspicion is that when you are in the space the textures of the room are what stand out and cannot be conveyed in the wide-shot photographs provided.

My name: Julie My design firm: SHELTER said...

It needs more depth..it's too tan!
This is by Michael Smith?

Kristen White said...

Very interesting...I'm not sure which one I like best though. I like elements from both!
Kristen

Annie@A View On Design said...

yawn!

MzMannerz said...

Nay. The sofas in particular seem to be working against the room. It's a very formal room - it just is. Can't run from that.

I don't like Mrs. Obama's office, either, for different reasons. It was profiled a few weeks ago (I believe in the Post).

pretty pink tulips said...

Not really a Nay....Just a Ho Hum for me. Not sure why it needed to be changed.

Marlene Williams said...

Nay....absolutely no taste!Dreadfull!

Muffy said...

Those couches are WAY to casual. I agree it doesn't fit with the architecture!

red ticking said...

clinton's is 100% better... so cheery and americana in an elegant way... do you know who designed obama"s office? was is it michael smith??

hope you are well... keep me posted on when you are coming back... i leave sat for a week... hope t is not during that time! xx

GRAYSONFAVOUR said...

I have been to Michael Smith's house and it is to cry for; this is to cry about.

The Down East Dilettante said...

I prefer neither version----the Clinton sofa upholstery and pillows (and tooo blue rug) just make my skin crawl. And as for the current version...well, let's just say not Smith's best effort at marrying architecture, function, and design.

I'll take the Kennedy version please. Graceful, elegant, unpretentious

Liz, Viive and Benji said...

Well, I weighed in on the topic at CdT, and I don't like the fact that the rug obscures the fabulous floor pattern, but I do like the striped paper. I hate the Clinton room, beyond iteration. I think the White House is so palatial, that this room should be comfortable, approachable and intimate. I think it mostly works. It scares me that I'm so out of accord with the crowd. It takes a lot of horses.....
Best,
Liz

Greet said...

Thank you for showing us this! I really wouldn't know of it is better or worser now! But as Teresa said I can't see the hand of Michael Smith!
Have a wonderful weekend!
xx
Greet

Blue Muse said...

That wallpaper makes me dizzy. Between that and the secret doors it looks a little Willy Wonkaesque. Sorry, but it does!

I like the Regan decor best. It had that hint of Santa Barbara! =)

xo Isa

Marnie said...

a little brown for me and the rug with the quotes seems a little excessive - the quotes are wonderful, but did they need to be stitched into the rug? Did you read Maureen Dowd's take on the "presidential man-cave"?

Cote de Texas said...

hi - thanks for your kind words!

but I do have to say - I just HATE Clinton's office! hahah!!!! it looks like a beach house! oy. it's all so personal, isn't it? what one likes and one doesn't. that's what design is all about. i'm really anxious to see the private quarters now. bring it on Michael!!!!!

hope you have a great labor day.

Renee Finberg said...

hmmmm.......
sorry michelle, the cocktail has got to go.

Renee Finberg said...

hmmmm.......
sorry michelle, the cocktail has got to go.

mytwocentsworth said...

Blah! Blah! Blah!

Genuine Lustre said...

The couches look like they came out of someone's basement rec room. The Oval Offices requires formality and style. I am so over the "casualization" of America.

Rebecca said...

It is, in a word, BLAH...!

Laura Ann said...

I am not a fan of this design, its a Nay for me. I like the wallpaper and curtains, and I like the leather chairs. BUT that is where things stop, the ALL neutral palate is just to bland to me and I have a problem with the sofas. I could be wrong but they look rather deep, which makes for a very uncomfortable sitting position in a PROFESSIONAL setting, especially for a shorter leg person. For me the room would have been better with a rug that had more color creating a ground for the room.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails