Many Faces:

The Oval Office

Over the decades, Americans have developed a sentimental attachment to the Oval Office through historical events and memorable photos.  A personal favorite of mine shows JFK Jr. peering through the trap door of the Resolute desk.  In honor of Independence Day, and with it being an election year, I thought it would be fun to look at a brief history of the décor of this American icon.

President William Howard Taft created the original Oval Office in 1909.  Taft furnished the space with silk velvet curtains, checkerboard wood flooring, and caribou hide covered chairs.  I’d have to say that the deep olive color scheme was the most daring the Oval Office has seen to date!  In 1933, during Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency, Architect Eric Gugler redesigned the Oval Office and moved it to the southeast corner of the West Wing, where it remains today.

Since the completion in 1944, the Oval Office has changed very little except in furnishings and décor.  Presidents generally change the office to suit their style, choosing new drapery and designing their own oval-shaped rug for the space.  It is sort of a surprise that the latest design is the first time in history that the wall covering has not been a simple solid color.  The hand-painted wallpaper is one of the most striking aspects of the new design, and a much needed change from the solid walls of the past.  Don’t you think?

What is your opinion on the present day and past Oval Office designs?  Do you have a favorite?  I hope you enjoy this walk through American design history, and have a wonderful week of Freedom!