Prestige Rugs - By Order of the President

Amongst the many tasks facing the incoming President of the United States is the decor of his offices, including the famous Oval Office rug.

It is a tradition that the incoming president commissions a new rug, usually to reflect a theme in the new presidency. The current rug sitting on the floor of the Oval Office arrived in the Summer of 2010. Barack Obama opted for a wheat and cream coloured rug design with blue details. It has the Presidential Seal, as is usual for the Oval Office rug, surrounded with a border featuring some of his favourite historic quotes. A sign of the times is that around a quarter of the rug's content is recycled wool.

I just love that rug...

Back in January 2009, then newly elected president Barack Obama met with former US Presidents George Bush, George Bush Senior, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton as they lined up for photos.

In front of them was the Oval Office carpet, designed by Laura Bush and reportedly costing over $60,000. Bush apparently made a point of mentioning the rug to many White House visitors. He had requested that it should express "optimism", and the result was a sunbeam design in pale gold. As the Presidents waited for the photos, Bill Clinton was overheard to say "I just love that rug." A video clip then raced around the web showing great statesmen also chat about the day-to-day stuff.

They shouldn't be surprised. George Bush had reportedly joked earlier that the first decision for any new President was to choose his Oval Office rug.

All the presidents rugs

It has become the norm for the incoming President to have the office decorated to their taste, and recent Presidents have had their own Oval Office rug made. Since President Truman, it has incorported the "Seal of the President."

The original West Wing was destroyed by fire on Christmas Eve 1929, and was rebuilt by President Hoover in the same design, before President Roosevelt enlarged the Wing in 1934 to accommodate more staff, moving the location of the Oval Office in the process. The Oval Office has remained largely the same basic design since. However, new Presidents have introduced their own interior furnishings, often under the direction of the First Lady. Here's how they approached the issue of the Oval Office rug:

The list

Hoover: The original rug inherited by Hoover was in green, with a squares design, against green curtains.
Roosevelt: Renovation and redecoration included a new blue-green rug and dark green curtains.
Truman: Again, the all blue-green rug with matching curtains.
Eisenhower: Kept the same rug.
Kennedy: Selected a new red rug - a marked change in colour scheme - but this was only just installed on the day of his assassination in Dallas.
Johnson: The red rug was installed but later replaced by Roosevelt's all blue rug.
Nixon: Rug with a background of the rich Blue of the Stars and Stripes, with the Presidential Seal in gold in the centre surrounded by gold stars. Designed by Mrs Nixon.
Ford: Pale gold rug with blue flower medallions and a pale blue and gold border around the edge of the oval rug.
Carter: Kept President Ford's rug.
Reagan: Pale gold rug with sunbeam lines emanating from the Seal, and a leaf border design around the edge of the oval rug.(Second Term)
Bush Snr: Pale blue rug with the Presidential Seal in gold and ivory in the centre.
Clinton: Rich blue rug with the central Presidential Seal surrounded by stars and a red circle, edge of the rug surrounded by a gold and ivory leaf border design edged by a red oval line.
Bush jnr: A pale gold background with sunbeam lines emanating from a central Presidential Seal which has a pale blue background. The oval rug has a darker border with a leaf design interspersed with blue "3D" stars.
Obama: Wheat and cream with blue in some of the detail. The Presidential Seal is in the centre, with five historic quotes in the border around the rug.

Looking for a prestige rug?

One route for a classic, prestige look is to select a plain, solid colour against neutral white, cream or beige walls. Today's man-made fibres can add a truly luxurious touch to this rather formal look with silky soft fibres and an elegant lustre in the finish.

The Dolce Gold rug

A wonderfully luxury rug in a plain shimmering gold. Dolce Rugs are hand woven and hand washed for a lustrous softness and radiance, and an organic natural feel. (President's Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush opted for predominantly gold colour rugs).
prestige gold rug

The Bellagio green rug

A beautiful green rug with a thick, heavy viscose pile that gives a shimmer to the rug and a dense, firm surface with intricate weave lines across the pile. (The original White House rug was mainly in green).
prestige green rug

Maine Pebble Rug

Something more in line with an English country house, or maybe a presidential retreat in the Hamptons. A thick, soft, heavyweight wool rug in elegant, natural colour tones. This is the Main Pebble Rug, from the Maine Collection of premium rugs in deep, soft, comforting wool. Perfect for the winter, in country houses or any home.
prestige green rug

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