By: Lily Martin

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President Trump has received backlash for his politics, social media use, general personality, and now his decoration of the White House interior. Recently, Trump’s Oval Office color scheme has been called into question for being too gaudy. Reporters question his taste due to the gold-colored drapes, golden sunburst rug, and gold brocade couches. Why so much gold? If he had done everything in blue, Bush Sr. style, would we mock him as we do now? How could anyone let a middle-aged, male politician decorate a space and not expect it to turn out a little odd? These are the burning questions that should be considered, but until we are able to answer them, let’s first take a look at some of the past presidents’ design skills for comparison.

Bill Clinton


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Though Donald Trump’s office takes a nod to Clinton’s by borrowing the former president’s drapes, the comparison stops there. The Clinton’s taste is much more reminiscent of East Coast prep. With its classic navy rug, pastel-striped couches, and patterned side chairs, could his design perhaps reflect his years spent on the Hilltop?

John F. Kennedy


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While he did not get to see the final result (pictured above with the red carpet), JFK’s office is decked out in the color of power. However, aside from this vibrant shade, it remains relatively minimalistic. Men and their monocolor schemes are truly a time-tested relationship.

Ronald Reagan


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Yet another president with a love of gold curtains. And guess where that rug would be lying 36 years later? Hint: in President Trump’s newly redecorated office. The White House Historical Association keeps a wide collection of past presidents’ furnishings, which work as basics for newly elected presidents to choose from. Throughout their term in office though, most presidents will add their own signature pieces to leave behind, like Obama’s “quote rug” or Hayes’s Resolute Desk.

Richard Nixon

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If any president should be criticized for his overuse of gold, it’s Nixon. Not only were his couches solidly covered by the color, but so were his arm chairs, curtains, and extra desk seating. Not to mention the stark contrast of royal blue.

Barack Obama


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Unlike the many presidents who used metallics as neutrals, Obama used neutrals as neutrals (what a concept) to decorate his office scape. Perhaps America became accustomed to the former president’s laid-back, classic style and now must mentally prepare for the gilded one of Trump.

Throughout its history, the Oval Office has definitely seen its share of good and bad renovations. However, using interior decor to judge the overall quality of the president who designed it may be a tad unreasonable.

LILY MARTIN is a freshman in the College currently studying English and Journalism. Her favorite forms of procrastination include restaurant hopping to find decent sweet tea, people watching on Lau 2, and binging old SNL videos.

Posted by:Thirty Seventh

Georgetown's premier fashion and lifestyle blog.

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