With all eyes on Joe Biden’s first weeks of the presidency, the Real Homes team is dying to know what the White House interior will look like now it has new residents.
What will the presidential couple choose as the definitive details of their decor, and how might their preferences reflect their personalities? We’ve asked two interior designers, Jonathan Adler and Benji Lewis, to predict what the Biden administration White House interiors could look like.
First of all, there’s Dr Jill Biden’s coat – many of the predictions of what the Biden household decor at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue take inspiration from the First Lady’s gorgeous teal coat. Benji Lewis, interior designer and founder of virtual design consultancy Zoom That Room believes that the coat might well be an indicator of what to expect from the presidential interior style.
‘The strong teal worn by Dr. Biden at the inauguration ceremony indicates that she at enjoys color and the combination of textures – the velvet detail on the boucle coat worked beautifully together,’ he says. ‘I’m interested to watch and see if her outfit statement tells us something about the manner in which they might decorate the White House.’
Teal pairs brilliantly with gold and rust tones, and Lewis anticipates to see a rich blend of colors and textures. ‘Shades of rusty-gold within to create a sense of serenity’ and ‘velvet, wool and cashmere’, weighty and solid fabrics, as opposed to anything floral or ‘floaty’.
Overall, the new White House residents are expected to decorate tastefully but sensibly. ‘I think that while they’ll opt for a smart and tailored approach, the furnishings will be classic and we’ll see a move away from the statement opulence of the previous administration,’ he adds.
‘Sofas might be finished in velvet with matched bullion fringe, but there won’t be color clashes or anything jarring. These are steady hands and their interiors will be representative of that.’
This is not to say that the interiors will be stiffly formal. The Bidens are pet lovers and will likely favor a smart yet relaxed decorating style.
‘The return of dogs to the White House will mean dog beds beside fireplaces, and comfort and practicality over too much for show. When it comes to lighting, I expect classic table lamps on side tables, with gathered silk shades perhaps finished with a statement trim.’
In fact, we’re already seeing confirmations of these style predictions in exclusive Washington Post photographs of the newly redesigned Oval Office. As the Washington Post explain, the Office is a ‘largely symbolic room’, with decor signalling ‘a sense of their personality and the type of presidency they hope to have.’
Biden’s Oval Office has prominent focal points in busts and portraits of prominent historical figures: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy to the sides of the fireplace, and a painting of Benjamin Franklin on on the walls. Joe Biden has chosen to be in good company, to say the least.
We’ve also asked what designer Jonathan Adler anticipated from Biden’s White House décor. His response was a little more, well, succinct: ‘I hope that the décor of the Biden White House is … UNREMARKABLE!!!! I need a break from thinking about politics and I pray that we’re entering a period of boring and efficient political life and that the Biden White House will reflect that.’
We’re not sure if we’ve ever seen anyone put this much emotion into the word ‘unremarkable’, and it is an indicator of the current mood that unremarkable is seen as such a positive quality. And, after thinking about it for a minute, we can’t help but agree! Who knows, perhaps Biden’s classic style will set off a revival in traditional, fireplace-centered rooms? We’re ready to bet on it.