Oval Office in The House

Michael Smith, you are a genius and nobody can tell me differently. I have no idea what your constraints were around designing the new Oval Office.
but what the hell?
Please tell me it just doesn't photograph well. Please tell me that Obama handed you a photograph of his favorite Marriott by the Airport and said,
"Here. Like this. "
"And don't forget the plastic plants on the mantel"
Because that would make sense to me. Where do you set up the complimentary waffle bar for morning dignitary meetings?
Linda @surroundings has great re-design contest for those of you who, unlike myself, would like to be constructive in your criticisms and take a shot at what YOU would do, if given this daunting task. And she also has a nice line up of past Oval Offices to compare. In the mean time, my computer is acting like an insolent two year old. I have to go deal.
love you Michael.
Everyone's a critic. See what people are saying over at the NYTimes *here*


Sarah's Fab Day said…
Bahahah!! You had me at waffle bar. You hit the nail on the head.
Fargerike Dagny said…
Lol, now that you point it out... Totally agree! My first thought was how 'ordinary' it was.
Renae Moore said…
I commented at Linda's site....like I said to her, I am not 'famous' but I could do a waaaay better job. I could go on and on about all that is wrong....plastic flowers...really?

Check out my post today...something I think you would enjoy!

EWWWW!!! What's up with the brown theme? And those faux suede sofas? Man, looks like a bad 90's trip. Pottery Barn meets Levitz. Oh my. Who designed the pretty first yellow one?
Erik Perez said…
LOL - completely agree, he's a genius (usually). If I were him, I don't think I would associate my name with this project.

Your comparison to an airport Marriot is right on - continental breakfast? why yes, it's this way...

That's why I don't post pictures of my house... lol
Lol, Megan...seriously...I thought the same thing, terrible. Maybe it's not finished?

Then again, we've all had clients that don't share our vision, guest the POTUS is no different.
Confused. I don't really mind the yellow, but the brown...ick!
Doug Davis said…
Are we sure that Michael Smith did this? I haven't been able to confirm that anywhere. Regardless, and whoever is responsible, it's not good. I am underwhelmed.
beachbungalow8 said…
lynn, yellow photo is the same space, I think someone tried to enhance it, make it look better by adding a yellow filter? I dunno.

I swear, even adding a little gray blue here and there, might help.

And I do love the quotes around the rug. BUT, a rug this size is going to take subtle to non-existent.

I actually liked the Reagan era rug better and the Truman valances.

I couldn't contemplate my navel in this room without falling asleep let alone solving the worlds' problems.

ho hum. they should have asked bloggers to run a competition and the winner got the job!
emefem said…
In the grand scheme of things it's not that big of a deal....But it IS the Oval Office after all and the whole thing has a monochrome color-scheme straight from a blue plate special: turkey and mashed potatoes covered in gravy with a side of parsley on the fireplace mantel. The pop of color blue lamps are the only saving grace in this room. And that coffee table...yikes. I vote for a re-do.
bink and boo said…
I am pretty sure this came straight from the Jerome's showroom...fake plants and all. I hope Jerry gave them a good deal. Awful, just awful.
Unknown said…
Oy. That's all I can say about it.
Allison said…
I'm SO glad somebody addressed this "situation" in the Oval Office. I love your comparison..and I also love Ann Curry's on the Today Show yesterday-"looks like a strip mall law office." HAA! I don't know what's funnier, the fact that Ann Curry said it, or the comparison itself.
Gramercy Home said…
Here. Here. You described it perfectly (and entertainingly!)
Peggy and Fritz said…
Hey Megan I started to write on the same topic this morning after reading the New York Times this morning. Mines sitting in my Live Writer. I couldn't believe all the comments. I love Michael Smith and I can only assume that he was told to keep it under the radar due to the economic crisis but at the same time he could have used it as a platform to show how amazing design can be done on a budget. I feel like the scale is off in that room. It reminds me of dollhouse furniture in a big girls house. Also, those two paintings bug me - I want to move them closer to the one over the fireplace so it looks more scaled. I do like the sofas but gotta agree the pillows and the chairs need to pop. Wonder if he's held to a confidentiality agreement and has to stay quiet.
Linda Merrill said…
Word. And thanks for the shoutout to my little contest. Don't know if anyone will enter, but hey, fun to think about.
Decor Arts Now said…
I actually think this is kind of snotty. You said it right up front. You have no idea what Michael's constraints were. And anyway, the neutrals are soothing in my opinion. With all the tension that goes with the job, that may be exactly what the President asked for! And the client is always right.
I love the blue lamps and I don't care what others think, I think the coffee table is cool. As Stephen Drucker urged a while back, shouldn't we strive for constructive criticism. ( as opposed to bashing)
If neutrals were what the client asked for ( likely!), it would have been more constructive to suggest where a few more pops of color ( like the lamps) could have been added then just bashing the whole thing. Lynn
mary said…
The minute I saw the redesign of the Oval Office, I had the same reaction............ This room is exactly like the reception area of a good chain motel. The element that I admire least is that coffee table...what were they not thinking.
Charlotta Ward said…
Yes.. Looks like the inside of a loaf of bread..! :)

I can't wait to see the suggestions as part of this challenge.

Have a fab weekend cowgirl!

x Charlotta
Splenderosa said…
This is what one does when one cannot make a decision about anything. Comes from having no experience, but thinking you have the know-how. Bad dream. See Cote de Texas, Joni's post, about this...EVERYONE is completely mystified about the "why" of the redo, when the room was so very beautiful & presidential before these dreadful, boring changes. Come to think of it, maybe the present resident used to spend a lot of time in those airport hotel lobbies. :)
Unknown said…
You are hilarious. Marriot...too good, maybe a Holiday Inn. The color scheme is uninspiring and the sofas...is that chenille? The greenery on the fp...ugh. I love the light, creamy walls of the Bush office and his rug. Mother always said when in doubt about what to wear, dress up! Goes for interiors too.
cotedetexas said…
Sistas Unite.

you me and linda did the same post. too funny. we are really rubbing off on each other. hehe
Megan calls it like it is....wow you are right...it IS just like an airport Marriot...
Anonymous said…
Right on. I thought the same. http://martrinimadness.blogspot.com/2010/09/new-look-for-oval-office.html
YES! I was totally bummed too! Re-design? Why waste the moola when you can't even tell it's a fresh approach?? Easy to be critical for sure. I've definitely walked away from project thinking I hardly liked the outcome, but if the client's happy, then so be it!


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