How Melania Trump Decorated The White House Was Surprisingly Low-Key
Each incoming administration gets the honor of redecorating the White House to reflect its own unique style. The Trumps are no different, with the first family reportedly opting for some decor that's more in line with their taste. Here's how Melania Trump decorated the White House when the 45th president took office in January 2017.
Congress provides the first family with a $100,000 redecorating budget, per The Daily News, and there's actually a warehouse of furniture and art in a high-security facility managed by the White House curator that the new presidential family can choose from. The Obamas chose to pay out of pocket, spending about $1.5 million in the process, per The Daily News. The Trumps chose to spend about $2 million, but it's not exactly clear who paid for what, given the lack of Trump's tax returns and whatnot. Trump did tell Time Magazine that he paid for the large chandelier in the dining room. Elite Daily reached out to Melania Trump's spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, for clarification, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
Trump reportedly hired Tham Kannalikham, a Ralph Lauren interior designer, to get her started. The President’s Dining Room, Truman Balcony, Yellow Oval Room, and the Treaty Room — all on the White House’s second floor — are usually where first families showcase their style the most, per WWD. The more classically "historical rooms" aren't usually messed with (Lincoln Bedroom, the Red Room, etc.).
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, former senior adviser to the first lady, told WWD ahead of the inauguration,
Mrs. Trump has a deep appreciation for the historical aspects of the White House and with Tham’s traditional design and expertise, they are focusing on a seamless integration of elegance and comfort into where the President, the First Lady, and [their son] Barron will be spending their family time and calling their home.
In addition to hiring an interior designer, Trump also reportedly prioritized her beauty team — she reportedly carved out a well-lit space for her beauty regimen, according to Vanity Fair. Gotta have the good lighting setup, I respect it.
When President Donald Trump won the election, there were almost immediately jokes about how he would gold-up the White House, since his signature real-estate brand heavily features that color (and Trump's name in big letters). The Donald didn't disappoint, either, and the curtains in the Oval Office are most-definitely gold — as opposed to President Barack Obama's burgundy curtains. It's unclear whether Melania made this change or Donald requested it — it kind of seems like it was a Donald move TBH.
Melania Trump reportedly decorated a room for her 12-year-old son, Barron, who moved into the White House with her. The Obamas entered the White House with then-young daughters living with them — Malia and Sasha. But Today's site reported that Barron is the first young boy to live in the White House in about 50 years.
Then there was the Trumps' first Christmas in the White House, in December 2017. Melania's holiday decorations were roundly mocked for some ill-advised social media pics, but they didn't look half bad! The first lady unveiled the holiday decor in a tweet.
There was reportedly a giant White House Christmas cake, nativity scene decorations, and ballet dancers who performed during the reveal of the holiday decor. Melania's holiday decor reportedly included 71 wreaths, 53 Christmas trees, 18,000 lights, some 12,000 ornaments, more than 3,100 yards of ribbon, and 1,000 feet of garland.
Other than her makeup room, Baron's room, and interior details, Trump didn't appear to change much of the exterior to the White House. Michelle Obama's infamous garden has not been excavated, as had been feared. Trump reportedly approved the removal of a section of magnolia tree that Andrew Jackson is said to have planted, but other than that the exterior is pretty much the same. (The tree was reportedly dying and deemed unsafe.)
So yeah, Melania remains largely a mystery. What I do know, however, if I'm to believe Michael Wolf's book Fire and Fury and other published reports (the White House has largely rejected Wolf's book's accuracy), is that Melania and Donald don't share a bedroom (neither has confirmed this). If so, maybe it's because she's got different taste than the Donald.