How 6 Designers Would Decorate the Biden-Harris White House
Sasha Bikoff, Breegan Jane, and more talk changing the Oval Office.
Published Jan 28, 2021 6:00 PM
There’s a new family in the White House, and therefore soon a transition of design styles. With President Biden and Vice President Harris running the show now, the nation can expect a less gold-centric aesthetic to surround the first and second families. However, no designer has been named to take on the project just yet. So we asked a few of our favorites what they would do if given the opportunity to transform the space.
Let the Design Be as Diverse as the Country
I love that the Obamas started integrating more modern art and art produced by BIPOC artists into the White House collection. I would love to see the Bidens do more mixing up of eras. The White House is a living, breathing home, and there is no reason why it needs to be completely traditional. —Jessica Davis, Atelier Davis
Long Live the Jackie O. Vibe
I’d bring back the glamour of the Jackie O. days. I would focus on an inspiring color palette, like the French blue bedroom she had. I’d also incorporate a more global aesthetic to embrace styles from all over the world by bringing in the works of artists and artisans from different countries as an act of unity. —Sasha Bikoff
Allow Some Time for Play
If asked to design the White House, I would want to add some playful textures and charming patterns—help make the place feel more approachable, comfy, and energetic. —Eneia White
Start Fresh and Soften It Up
For starters, I would recommend a good cleanse—sage burning sounds essential. Then I’d look to modernize the White House while honoring its rich history by weaving in designs from contemporary artisans who are redefining American craft. For the furnishings, traditional materials such as walnut, steel, and burl wood take on a fresh look in modern forms and organic shapes. I would veto the gold palette and heavy damask, and introduce a softer mix of inviting wools and hand-loomed bouclé in shades of creams and blues, to bolster the uplifting spirit of the new era of the Biden-Harris administration. —Constanza Collarte, Collarte Interiors
An Office That Looks as Efficient as It Works
I would want to include the rich history, but also follow the style they presented themselves with at the inauguration: beautiful colors, curated statements, things that set the stage for their future. The visual look of being buttoned up sets expectations, so I’d want clean moments that exude brightness and happiness. I’d start with a sofa that has some community vibes, bring in petrified wood, and add a visual display such as a Native American tapestry. —Breegan Jane
Post-Modernizing Through Art
Since the Biden-Harris administration is a merging of tradition and progress, I’d love to introduce some modern touches to complement and challenge the elegance of the White House. I’d love to see color and pattern appear in unexpected spaces and the introduction of younger and emerging Black artists. As we’re all looking for a sense of calm and hope after a turbulent four years, soft, postmodern edges and soothing hues will be key. —Shannon Maldonado, Yowie
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