See How the Obamas Brought the White House Residence Into the 21st Century

See How the Obamas Brought the White House Residence Into the 21st Century

08881b0cd977ee5d2e47773f0978406f0848f152?w=240&h=240&fit=crop
Tara Bellucci
Nov 1, 2016
(Image credit: Michael Mundy/Architectural Digest)

Decorating the White House, even the private residence, is a balance of tradition and taste. To tackle the challenge, the Obamas worked with LA-based designer Michael Smith to make the First Home more homey. The latest issue of Architectural Digest gives us a peek inside.

In the Family Dining Room, Jasper fabric walls showcase Robert Mangold works over a circa-1800 sideboard.
(Image credit: Michael Mundy/Architectural Digest)

This wasn't a task Smith took lightly. "To understand the context, I read every letter and note from Abigail Adams, Jacqueline Kennedy, Sister Parish, Stéphane Boudin, Kaki Hockersmith—anyone who had ever contributed to the history of this building," he told Architectural Digest. The result is a blend of history mixed with the Obamas' appreciation for simple elegance and contemporary art.

(Image credit: Janel Laban)

Part of the redecoration included the Old Family Dining Room, which was opened to the public for the first time last year at Mrs. Obama's request. In it hangs Resurrection by Alma Thomas, the first artwork by an African American woman to be displayed in the White House.

(Image credit: Michael Mundy/Architectural Digest)

But what about the master bedroom? "Private, elegant, and calm," says Smith. "You really want to make sure that the President of the United States gets a good night's sleep."

Check out more of the residence online or in the new issue of Architectural Digest.

Created with Sketch.