If you've ever made a big move, you probably know the best way to get settled into your new place is to start redecorating. It seems like President Joe Biden knows this — he's been making some major moves during his first few days in the White House, followed by some major changes. These photos of Biden's redecorated Oval Office show how America's 46th president is personalizing his new pad, and it's honestly heartwarming.
It's tradition for every incoming president to change up the décor in the Oval Office — the process is meant to reflect a president's individual personality, as well as their intentions in office. According to The Washington Post, he wasted no time in changing things up from how they looked during the Trump administration. Since settling in to the White House on Jan. 20, Biden has already curated the office with a collection of portraits and busts depicting iconic American leaders.
The focal point of the room is a sizable painting of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which hangs across from the iconic Resolute Desk. Biden has reportedly looked to Roosevelt for guidance and inspiration during his transition, per NPR: at the start of his term, Biden is staring down the challenges of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, its economic strife, and social and political uprisings; while Roosevelt had to deal with the Great Depression followed by the years of World War II. Portraits of President Thomas Jefferson and Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, two founding fathers who often disagreed with one another, hang side by side to show how "differences of opinion, expressed within the guardrails of the Republic, are essential to democracy," the Biden office told the Post.
The new décor also features busts of prominent thinkers and activists, including Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln, and César Chávez.
The president also included some personal touches behind the iconic Resolute Desk, where a collection of family photos is laid out. One of the photos depicts his late son, Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46. Beau had a successful military career, serving in Iraq with Delaware's Army National Guard, and was a two-term Delaware attorney general. As Biden gave his Jan. 19 farewell speech in preparation to move to Washington, D.C., he grieved the loss of his son. "Ladies and gentlemen, I only have one regret: He's not here," the president said, visibly emotional. "Because we should be introducing him as president."
To some viewers, aspects of Biden's Oval Office decor may look familiar. While he swapped out President Donald Trump's gold-and-white rug for the same deep blue one President Bill Clinton kept during his time in office, Biden decided to keep Trump's gold curtains. Biden also decided to do away with Trump's military battle flags, which hadn't been displayed since President Richard Nixon's time in office. The couches, tables, and chairs are all part of the White House furniture collection, which includes antique pieces from the early 1800's.
The Oval Office has always been a symbol of the splendor, sovereignty, and tradition of the American presidency — tradition that Trump didn't always follow, and very nearly leveled during his chaotic final days in office. Now that Biden has assumed the position, people across the country are celebrating a "return to normalcy" in the White House. And honestly? After four years of Trump's fire-and-brimstone approach to politics, "normalcy" definitely feels celebration-worthy.