The Original Budget Makeover: Jackie Kennedy's White House

The Original Budget Makeover: Jackie Kennedy's White House

Andie Powers
Apr 3, 2012

Mad Men is finally back on the air, and it has me re-excited about 1960s decor. Although the interiors of the late sixties mostly gave themselves over to the modern and sleek look of "space-age chic," I am enamored with the early sixties' elegant pastels, tufted headboards and delicate china. When it comes to elegant design, what better place to start than with the icon herself, Jackie O?

In 1961, when Jackie Kennedy moved into the White House, she began the massive undertaking of restoring the home to presidential status. Currently decorated in Truman-era style with post-war funds, replicas of antiques and cheap reproductions of period pieces had been purchased quickly. Many did not feel that the decor was fitting for the first family, so Jackie set out to restore the home to its original grandeur, all on a tight budget. Her upbringing provided a foundation to recognize authentic period pieces and antiques, while maintaining a youthful aesthetic.

These archived photos of the 1962 Kennedy White House represent the private bedrooms of the first family: Jackie Kennedy's redesigned master bedroom, Caroline Kennedy's bedroom (look at that rocking horse!), and little John John's bedroom. What do you think?

See more of the Kennedy Renovation at the White House Museum.

(Images: The White House Museum, The Kennedy Library)

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