The State Of The Oval Office


Last night the president delivered his State Of The Union speech. Sounds like the perfect excuse to examine the state of the Oval Office, by which I mean not the man in the chair, but the chair itself.

The White House Museum has an extensive page on Oval Office history that includes how each president appointed the room.

The original Oval Office, under the Taft administration, was green and almost austere, as seen in the circa 1909 photo above.

Here’s a summary of the changes since then:

Taft to Hoover
Green rug and dark green drapes with eagle valances and olive green walls

Franklin Roosevelt
Blue-green rug and dark green drapes with eagle valances and gray-green walls

Harry Truman
Blue-green rug and drapes with gray-green walls

Dwight Eisenhower
No change

Jack Kennedy
FDR’s blue-green rug and drapes with off white walls
(At the time of his death, a new red rug with pale curtains were being installed by Boudin)

Lyndon Johnson
Kennedy’s red rug and pale curtains; then FDR’s blue-green rug with Kennedy’s pale curtains

Richard Nixon
Navy blue rug with gold drapes

Jerry Ford
Pale gold rug with blue florettes; pumpkin drapes with gold curtains

Jimmy Carter
No change

Ronald Reagan
No change; then (second term) pale gold rug with sunbeam design

George Bush
Light blue rug with light blue drapes

Bill Clinton
Navy blue rug with gold drapes

George W Bush
Pale gold rug with sunbeam design (different from Reagan); antique gold drapes

Barack Obama
Light beige rug with quotations on border; muted red-orange drapes; tan and light beige vertical striped walls

And here’s the office today, over a century later: