I’ve got a confession to make; I’m so obsessed by soft furnishings that when I’m watching the news or a drama I’m often looking at the curtains and cushions in the background! So it was interesting (for me) that when Donald Trump took office that the first decision that he seemed to take before everything else was to change the curtains in the Oval Office.

The oval office at the White House









Obama chose a comparatively sober treatment in a mid red: still quite fancy with the pleated valances

The Donald is fond of the colour gold so whilst this is not the first step most great leaders would take on achieving the most powerful position in their country, the choice wasn’t unexpected. But I did wonder how on earth the White House soft furnishing department had managed to knock up such a fancy window treatment as swags, tails, trumpets and curtains in the blink of an eye whilst redecorating too!

I did a little digging and came across this fascinating website: Oval Office history  These curtains are recycled; and not only that, were designed and sewn under the instructions of the then First Lady Hilary Clinton.

Oval Office under Clinton….and now Trump

I must say I do prefer the gold window treatment; it makes the room seem much lighter, and gold is a recurring theme with many of the previous incumbents.

George Bush Junior in the Oval Office: he favoured a single upholstered pelmet spanning the three windows

Jack Kennedy’s office was a much simpler affair. His wife, Jackie Kennedy, famously renovated much of the White House so this was done to her brief in collaboration with an interior designer. Sadly the finishing touches were being put in place the day that Jack Kennedy was assassinated.

Voile curtains with roller blinds behind: a clean look in keeping with the simpler interior style of the 1960’s

The design below is radically different from the others we have looked at.  Designed for Franklin D Roosevelt in the 1930’s I find it a disturbing echo of the rise of fascism in Europe at the same time.

FDR’s office decorated in the 1930’s was retained by several successive Presidents.

And how about President Putin and his choice of soft furnishings? Well take a look…

The room used by President Putin when he is receiving important guests

It’s got everything going on and rather puts the Oval Office in the shade.

I could achieve all of these window treatments for you although they might need to be scaled down for domestic settings…..and those embroidered eagles might take a while!