As much as Donald Trump was derided for initially taking himself away for a 17-day golf vacation, his long absence from the White House was necessary for an important reason.
It allowed a team of more than 200 people from multiple agencies to complete much-needed revocations on the West Wing and the home’s interior.
The main work on “the people’s house” involved not very glamorous updates: replacing an overworked heating and air conditioning system, refreshing floors, woodworking and paint and repairing the South Portico steps for the first time since the Truman administration, CNN reported, following a tour the White House gave to reporters Wednesday.
Of course, the most intriguing site of renovation work was the Oval Office, the seat of power in the America and the free world.
It may come as no surprise that Trump himself was personally involved in decisions regarding the work. After all, he is a former real estate mogul who was known for his attention to detail on his construction projects, CNN said.
But what may be surprising to some is the amount of restraint shown by Trump’s design choices. After all, this is the man whose main personal residence, a three-story penthouse in New York City’s Trump Tower, is famous for its gaudy, 18th French rococo opulence. His Versailles in the Sky, as it has come to be known, is loaded with marble and lots and lots of gold: in the furniture, wall trimming, chandeliers and ceilings.
Within a week of moving into the White House, Trump raised questions about whether he’d go for the ornate gold look in the Oval Office when he replaced the deep red drapes that hung during President Barack Obama’s second term and replaced them with a set of gold curtains.
It turns out that those gold curtains are classically dignified and originated from President Bill Clinton’s presidency and were chosen by Trump’s presidential rival Hillary Clinton when she was first lady.
Trump also brought in President Ronald Reagan’s rug and President George W. Bush’s cream-colored sofas, replacing the brown sofas used by Obama. Trump also kept the Resolute Desk, which has been traditionally used throughout administrations, CBS News reported.
With the long-delayed renovation work, Trump was able to finishing his Oval Office redecorating, notably by replacing the golden-striped wallpaper that had gone up during Obama’s administration. Replacing the wallpaper wasn’t just for cosmetic reasons; it was damaged and stained and needed to be replaced, a White House official said.
CNN reports that Trump personally picked out the new wallpaper, ultimately choosing a classic motif that includes sea scrolls and leaves surrounding floral medallions, reflecting the flora and fauna of the Rose Garden.
“There was an emphasis on bringing back the history to this building and the elegance,” deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters told reporters, according to CNN.
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