Furniture Styles of the White House

The furnishings of the White House today offer an elegant blend of many different styles and contemporary pieces. Have you ever wondered what kinds of furniture styles are used? Here is a brief history of the furniture styles of the White House!

(post via: Home Decorating Blog )

  • 1900’s – The McKinleys’ introduced the Colonial Revival style to many rooms of the White House, including some furnishings that are still used in the Blue Room today. The first impressive chandeliers were installed in the East Room, and the State Dining Room was dramatically enlarged.

 

  • 1910’s – The Tafts did not make any changes to the state rooms, but Mrs. Taft did switch the Victorian furnishings of the president’s bedroom with Colonial Revival mahogany furniture. The second wife of President Woodrow Wilson, Edith Galt, created the China Room as a room for displaying china.

 

  • 1920’s – Neither the Hardings nor the Coolidges made many changes to the style of the White House, but Grace Coolidge did knit a lace coverlet that was used in the Lincoln Bedroom for many years.

 

  • 1930’s – Mrs. Herbert Hoover introduced an extensive collection of historical paintings, portraits, and objects into the Entrance Hall. She created the Monroe Room and was responsible for ordering reproductions of several pieces of Monroe’s furniture and a French mahogany table from 1817.

 

  • 1940’s – The Roosevelts made few changes to the rooms of the White House, besides brining along some of their own furnishings. The Truman family was forced to relocate when the White House developed serious structural problems that required renovations that ran through 1952.

 

  • 1950’s – After the renovations on the White House were completed, many new pieces of reproduction 18th century Georgian and 19th century Federal style furniture were introduced. Mrs. Eisenhower was responsible for the creation of the Vermeil Room in 1958 to display vermeil that was bequeathed to the White House.

 

  • 1960’s – The 1960’s saw the introduction of many authentic 19th century American Federal furniture pieces into the White House. Mrs. Kennedy was responsible for acquiring three original chairs from Monroe’s Oval Room and a chair made for the East Room in 1818.

 

  • 1970’s – Mrs. Nixon created a program to furnish several of the rooms in high quality American decorative arts from the early 19th century. Many pieces of furniture from Duncan Phyfe and Charles-Honore Lannuier were brought in. Mrs. Jimmy Carter greatly expanded the art collection of the White House with many works from the 1800’s, and during this time, the only surviving sofa from the Monroe era was donated to the White House.

 

  • 1980’s – Historic furnishings for the White House continued to be acquired. Two 1818 East Room chairs and a brass and ivory presidential seal used by Abraham Lincoln were purchased.

 

  • 1990’s – Not many changes were made to the décor of the White House during this time, but both First Ladies worked tirelessly to raise funds for the preservation of the pieces in the Whtie House.

white house furniture

  • 2000’s – Acquisitions of furniture for the White House include  a pair of elegant 19th century French porcelain vases, a rare 19th century mahogany desk and bookcase, and a new state dinner and dessert service for 300. The secretary is an excellent example of early American Empire furniture.

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