Traditional Values

Melania’s Magnificent Makeover: Spruces Up White House for Fall

Mrs. Trump has brightened, refreshed and refurbished some of the most beautiful rooms on the main floor of the 'People's House' for this autumn season and beyond

The rooms and decorations of the White House are “very carefully considered and very carefully maintained, and I know this first lady is very keen on maintaining that standard,” Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, said in a new interview with Time magazine about the recent refurbishment of the White House under the direction of first lady Melania Trump.

He noted that she works closely with the staff and with the historical association to maintain those standards.

The wall coverings of the Red Room, for example, “are actually fabric. And due to the sunlight and the angle of the sunlight” into that room, he said, “the western walls of that room were so badly faded, that by comparison with the east wall of the same room, they were almost pink.”

“And so that was a project that was undertaken by the curator’s office and the chief usher of the White House under the direction of the first lady.”

Those fixes as well as other upgrades to the public rooms “really, really needed to be done,” said McLaurin. “Those rooms should always look their very best.”

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All was spruced up just in time for an event this weekend.

Guests will be visiting the White House this Friday for only the second state dinner during President Donald Trump’s presidency. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, as well as other guests will attend a dinner there on Friday in their honor.

The White House receives some half a million visitors each year.

Related: Melania Trump Begins the Holiday Planning at the White House

When Jacqueline Kennedy arrived at the White House in 1960, she was “appalled” to discover that it was furnished with reproductions from a New York department store, McLaurin said. So she created the historical association, the advisory committee and a curator to help the White House collect and exhibit only the best to maintain a museum-quality appearance, he also said.

Aside from the refurbishments already noted, Melania Trump already has begun her planning for this year’s holiday season, the White House announced a few weeks ago, as many outlets reported.

“First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald J. Trump will once again open the People’s House up to the public for the traditional Christmas decorating of the White House,” a statement on August 12 from Mrs. Trump’s office said.

The statement also shared an application for volunteers to help decorate the White House or act as greeters for its many guests during the popular holiday season — and for musicians who might enjoy the chance to perform at the White House during the season. (The application closed on August 27.)

Melania Trump — sadly so — has come under intense left-wing media fire during past holiday seasons for her decorations at the White House.

Last year many critics — as they were the year before as well — were brutal in their criticisms of her red Christmas trees.

Vogue magazine, for example, called Mrs. Trump’s 2018 decorations “a strange assemblage of blood red trees … [She] looks to be channeling ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’”

“Looks like Christmas lost the war,” said someone else.

Too much.

Yet many visitors to the White House praised her decor last year and said they enjoyed and appreciated the first lady’s tasteful and unique decorations. The 45 red Christmas trees that led to the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall represented “patriotism” and “the heart of America,” noted a White House press release last year.

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meet the author

LifeZette's Editor-in-Chief Maureen Mackey helped launch the site and previously served as managing editor. Prior to that, she held senior editorial positions at several major publications, helping The Fiscal Times win a MIN Award for Best New Site as managing editor and Reader's Digest win an American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence as book editor. Her work has appeared in Real Clear Politics, CNBC, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, and The Week. A book editor for years before moving over to the magazine and digital space, she is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary. She can be reached at [email protected].

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