Obama’s New Oval Office Area Rug

So, there are three questions I’ve got about Obama’s new Oval Office Area Rug.

  1. Do you like it?
  2. Do you think it’s a good idea for any new administration to spend your tax money on renovating the oval office?
  3. What happens to the old rug from the previous administration?

It seems to happen every time. Whenever a new president takes over the oval office it gets redecorated along with a new area rug on the floor.

Now even though the redecoration (supposedly) didn’t cost the taxpayers a dime – this time – I’m pretty sure it isn’t every administration that gets the same sweet deal Obama got on his new area rug.

His was free.

Actually, this area rug was donated by the Scott Group, a U.S. carpet maker based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I had a tour of the Scots rug making plant back in 2008 with my good friends Ruth Travis and Nathen Koets. I was blown away at their operation and couldn’t take any pictures because they had trade secrets they wanted to protect.

Anyhow the focal point of the room – the expensive sunburst carpet designed by then First Lady Laura Bush has been replaced. This new beige rug features a traditional presidential seal in the center, with multiple quotes from four former presidents and one civil rights leader around the border. The quotes are:

  • “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • “The Arc of the Moral Universe is Long, But it Bends Towards Justice” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “Government of the People, By the People, For the People” – President Abraham Lincoln
  • “No Problem of Human Destiny is Beyond Human Beings” – President John F. Kennedy
  • “The Welfare of Each of Us is Dependent Fundamentally Upon the Welfare of All of Us” – President Theodore Roosevelt

Here’s a picture of the Obama’s new area rug – what do you think? Leave your answer in the comment box below!

26 Responses to “Obama’s New Oval Office Area Rug”

  1. james takacs says:

    i have “hope”

  2. It look just fine, why not redecorate, all other presidents do it, not at tax payers expense, so why all the rehtoric!!

  3. Donald Gray says:

    These things are NEVER at taxpayers expense. You’re an idiot. Please take me off your mailing list.

    • According to several sources every incoming President is entitled to $100,000 budget for redecorating the Oval Office. Here is what the New York Magazine wrote in March of this year (2010):

      At a time when people are having trouble holding on to their houses, Barack and Michelle Obama have sensibly decided not to use taxpayers’ money to renovate theirs. New presidents are allotted $100,000 to overhaul the White House residence and the Oval Office, and the Obamas hired Hollywood decorator Michael S. Smith (known, per his site, for mixing “Old World classicism with very contemporary settings”). But the First Couple isn’t spending that money. They “are not using public funds or accepting donations of goods for redecorating their private quarters,” says Camille Johnston, director of communications for the First Lady. Nor is the couple, who reported $4.2 million in household income in 2007 tax returns, using money from the White House Historical Association, a privately funded foundation that paid for a $74,000 set of china shortly before Laura Bush left town.

      Check out the source here: http://mediamatters.org/blog/201008290019
      Or here is another good one!: http://in-this-economy.com/2009/03/30/obama-rejects-white-house-redecoration-bailout-package/

  4. I’m surprised the American flag is still in place.

    • Old rugs are sent to the presidential library/museum of the President whose rug it is.
      In this case, the rug will go to the George W. Bush Library/Museaum when it opens…

  5. The Rug looks great.. any thoughts on where old rugs go to die?

    and after seeing the national treasure movies.. one has to raise the question.. do you think there is anything in the resolute desk? Or ever was?

  6. The old rugs might go to the Smithsonian.It looks like a guntufted level loop wool rug. Very Nice rug but I would have made the seal larger ,but what do I know I am not the one Bankrupting the country on purpose.

  7. Beautiful office. I like the rug. Thanks for the interesting article Dusty!

    Bruce DeLoatch, “The Cleaner’s Coach”

  8. The guys from Scott Group have something they can boast about in their advertising. That’s a plus…

    John Braun
    Ad Hitman

  9. The rug looks nice in the oval office. I once met the owner of a carpet cleaning company that got a rug cleaning job in the white house. He said they were watched very closely and told to keep their eyes on the floor while they were in some of the areas being cleaned.

  10. I think it is like asking an ex to live with your former spouses belongings. Since we are not talking about antiques from 2 hundred years ago I would think most people would like their home & office to reflect who they are. You evidentually don’t clean high end homes because it is normal for those who have money to spend it. Since the rug was free I see nothing crazy about the rest of the decor. Many people will tear down million dollar homes to rebuild what they what. They are decorating the White House which deserves respect and the interior should reflect elegance. Also, Dusty is Canadian & just has an interest in our different cultures. I’m sure it was just a thought for the day. Nothing to be upset about. Donald your reaction is as stupid as you thinking Dusty’s comment is stupid. Get a life.

  11. Dan Darlow says:

    I am sure your President, like our Prime Minister, asks all of his Cabinet Members to take of their shoes before walking on the carpeting. HaHa. Looks pretty good to me, and a good showcase for the manufacturer, and as all the furore with OUR recent governments expense allowance, can you be sure its all free our do you beleive everthing you read.

  12. Hi Dusty,

    I can’t answer the last two questions as I am from down under, but I like the colour.

    It’s the same colour as my office carpet.

    Not the same quality I bet.


  13. Shirlene Loyer says:

    Would we move into someone else’s old office for at least 4 years & not add personal touches. I think not. He has a right to decorate how he sees fit.

  14. Guess that is the only positive “Change” he is capable of accomplishing.

  15. Beige – bleh! Tufted – bleh! Now that wood floor… I like!

    It’s as unremarkable as his presidency has been so far. And if he had paid for it, he probably would have spent a lot on it. Such seems to be the way of DC these days…spending other people’s money.

    So many more important things to be focusing on…and we get decorating shots, and The View interviews, and vacation tidbits.

    What a disappointment. And I’d rather have a rug with color. And one more quote of a Chinese proverb “Talk doesn’t cook rice.”


  16. Gary Schafer says:

    For Free. Well it’s priced right and adds to the legitimacy of his office so that when he’s speaking to someone that knew the Bushes, he doesn’t look like a temp.I especially liked the for humans by humans touch around the edge. Was it an Olefin rug that Lisa would never want to touch? This is not an implication of Lisa. I was just changing the subject from area 13.

  17. Jimmy Marks says:

    what’s with all the hostility. Typical liberal reactions, I’d guess. I didn’t hear any tone in your questions. My answers are: I don’t care for light colors generally. I’d prefer something more bold. I don’t think any money should be spent redecorating the White House unless things are needed. No President owns the house. It’s a priveledge to live there granted by the people and one should just feel honored to be there and afraid to impose too much on history. The house as well as the country belongs to us. I don’t know what happens to the old furnishings, but I’d assume we somehow donate them to a charitable purpose. And as for Donald Gray; you’re the idiot, punk. Dusty’s my friend, and a great guy.

  18. Wow, great feedback on this with a right wing slant.. LOL.

    Yes I agree with Lisa that the color is too pale, but of coarse that is just my taste anyhow. Regarding the rug being tufted,, yeah it is and when I was on the Scott Group tour I was aptly impressed with the quality,, make no mistake they make the finest tufted rugs in the world.. FYI, Bush’s rug was also gun tufted.

  19. The rug looks great. To bad it is wasted on the worst president this country has ever elected. I hope that when he goes down in flames the rug is not with him. It can be a reminder of the biggest mistake this country has every made.

  20. Looks like they got a few of the quotes incorrect…but we seem to be getting worse in history year after year…


    I guess we should be thankful they picked an unremarkable color, because otherwise they would have had to redo the entire office, to a much higher cost to us. Remember when Clinton left the white house, all the items they broke and stole from the office…at least Bush didn’t do that to Obama. But I’ll be curious what happens when this office changes hands next time around.

    Both of our most recent presidents have stunk. I hate when people don’t know how to responsibly spend other people’s money…


  21. The rug is changed by each President because the old one is always worn by constant use of so many coming and going in the Oval Office by the time a new President comes into office, especially after a double termer. The Oval Office is a status symbol of power for America to the world, just as is the entire White House and Air Force One. Having a dirty, worn carpet doesn’t reflect well on our country. Part of being powerful is looking powerful and in control.

    It’s just a rug. Get over it.

  22. Both the White House and State Department have two rugs for every space. I believe the Oval Office keeps the old ones as spares when the new one is cleaned. If Scott donated two identical rugs that would be interesting.
    best wishes,

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