This Old House

A portrait of light reno


Today, New York Times correspondents Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman ran a piece about how things at the White House have been going these past two weeks, and it appears the answer is “weirdly.”

Trump and Staff Rethink Tactics After Stumbles

While a lot of political decisions have been implemented in rapid succession off the bat in this presidency, design decisions around the White House seem to get rolled out a little more slowly and thoughtfully. Historically, the president’s design preferences have been known to be over-the-top (at the risk of sacrificing function for aesthetic), so it’s illuminating to see what has been a priority around the new house and what hasn’t:

Visitors to the Oval Office say Mr. Trump is obsessed with the décor — it is both a totem of a victory that validates him as a serious person and an image-burnishing backdrop — so he has told his staff to schedule as many televised events in the room as possible.

To pass the time between meetings, Mr. Trump gives quick tours to visitors, highlighting little tweaks he has made after initially expecting he would have to pay for them himself…

Flanking his desk are portraits of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. He will linger on the opulence of the newly hung golden drapes, which he told a recent visitor were once used by Franklin D. Roosevelt but in fact were patterned for Bill Clinton. For a man who sometimes has trouble concentrating on policy memos, Mr. Trump was delighted to page through a book that offered him 17 window covering options.

Someone get HGTV on the horn.