Two First Ladies and A White House

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Everytime I saw a picture of the white house I've always been curious about the decorations inside. What are the family rooms are like? I heard that almost every first lady re-decorate the rooms according to their own style and preferences, so here I'd like to point out to two different decors of a few of the rooms in the white house, differently styled by two fashionable first ladies: Jacqueline Kennedy and Nancy Reagan.

You can see the differences of the decoration style according to the era and personal taste. I also personally love both of the first ladies fashion sense, I think both of them are stylish and chic, and that reflected in the way they decor the rooms. Since the Kennedy's are the predecessor, and the Reagan's are the successor so Jackie's decors are like the "Before" picture while Nancy's are like the "After" picture. These photos below are from one of my favorite decor source website: Architectural Digest. Enjoy...

The West Sitting Hall:

The West Sitting Hall is the family's main living room. 
In Jackie's era, she transformed it into a space which has a cozy atmosphere yet formal enough for important guests to have a sit there. Jackie works with St├ęphane Boudin of the French decorating firm Maison Jansen, and her sister Parish who is an interior decorator herself. The window treatments were designed by Parish and the commode at right was a gift from French president Charles DeGaulle.

And then on Nancy's era, she re-decorated the living room with furnishings brought from the Reagans’ California residence. She hired Beverly Hills decorator Ted Graber to help her re-decorate the rooms at the white house. You can see one of the pillow has a case with the initial "RR" on it which of course means Ronald Reagan ;) And you can also see that the window treatments has been changed, this time the curtains are hanged high above the window frame with drapery fabrics.

What I Think:
I actually love both rooms; I like the window treatments on Jackie's which really put the attention to the great half circular windows which I think is the main focus point in the room. But I also love the warm atmosphere of Nancy's living room which feels like you're in a living room of someone's country estate house while in fact you're in the President's house!

 The Main Bedroom:
 The bedroom was styled in a simple way, more like a laid back style bedroom in Jackie's era. Her sister helped decorate it and the curtains were chosen to resemble Jackie's former bedroom in her old house in Georgetown, but Jackie later regretted the choice because she thought it looked too "country-house" for the neoclassical style of the white house.

While on Nancy's era, she totally changed the room by adding wallpapers with flocks of birds perched in bamboo pattern on it. She also chose a rather nude color palette with dark wood cabinetry and different window treatment by adding some kind of cornice (or is it valance instead of cornice? I'm not sure, the picture doesn't zoom in well). But whatever it is, I loved it, it brings a certain flair to the room.

What I Think:
I love Nancy's bedroom. Even though it's the same room but with different take on decoration style the room could be really different from one another, like it's a totally different room at all. Nancy's bedroom is obviously looks more serene with muted colors and it looks more spacious in those colors too.

The Dressing Room:
 On Jackie's era, the dressing room was dressed in blue silk. Her decorator, Boudin, put on some of his signature touches in it such as the beautiful chinese screen, and the leopard print throw on the blue button-tufted chaise lounge. He put the mirrored desk on the corner and (again) the window curtains style are very beautiful. Jackie also decorated a wall with family photos arranged nicely in gold frames.

 And as for Nancy, when she came to the white house she decided to change the dressing room into more of her style. With the help of her decorator Ted Graber, she changed the dressing room's atmosphere by putting on floral wallpapers with matching floral fabric on the sofas and lounge chair. Instead of an antique mirrored table she opt for a table with just a little mirror on it. The table also was not put ont the corner like what Jackie did but instead put in front of a window. The color palette is also warm and more into the nudes just like her bedroom. There is also a big oval standing mirror on the corner of the room.

What I Think:
Although I actually really like the silk blue color theme and the chinese screen with beautiful print in Jackie's dressing room, I'd still prefer Nancy's room because of the more organized furniture placings and the very feminine yet cozy atmosphere that makes you want to sit there on the chaise and talk with Nancy while she powdered her nose and fixed her earrings on the little mirror above the lovely desk near the window ;)

And here is one room that Nancy decided to just let it be as it was on Jackie's era: the Blue Room:

And so how about you?
Which one of each rooms do you most like? Do you like Jackie's or Nancy's? Share your thoughts on the comment box below, I would love to see what everyone thought of the rooms above ^o^


  1. Pleased to find your article as the original AD article seems to have vanished into the ethers.
    As you say, both reflect their eras, but I confess I prefer Nancy Reagan's efforts. Would love to see the addition of comparisons on the Oval Office. Thanks for posting.

  2. You're welcome Yuma, thank you for commenting your favorite ;) Nancy does have a great taste, doesn't she?

  3. Thanks for posting this. I too preferred Nancy's rooms.


I always love comments, that means we're "interacting" ^o^
Thank you for the comment and I'll return the favors by checking out and comment back on your blog ^o^