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Cecile Corral

White House to redecorate on tight budget, recycled wares

January 26, 2009

On the light — and even maybe fun — side of President and Mrs. Barack Obama’s hefty to-do list these days is the matter of redecorating the White House to their taste.

And unlike recent past presidents, who were said to have leaned on upscale Manhattan-ite interior decorators with traditional styles, the Obamas are going a different route with the appointment of Santa Monica, Calif.-based designer Michael S. Smith, popular among Hollywood stars.

But still more refreshing is that the Obamas are working with a limited redecorating budget, much like the rest of us, and even doing some recycling of furnishings in the process, also in sync with today’s thriftier trends.

Considering it is, after all, the White House, the $100,000 allocated funds toward the project seem modest.

To get started, Mrs. Obama is being offered to peruse a catalog of old “furniture, drapery, even curtain rods” saved from former presidencies and stored in a White House warehouse, as noted in an article I recently read in The Miami Herald.

What’s more, the Obamas are welcome to include in their furniture and décorate items from their own home to add to the White House — at least for the next four years.