Michelle Obama’s $600K Update To The White House State Dining Room, Includes A Nod To Hawaii

Michelle Obama recently made some “modest” changes to the White House State Dining Room, which included a nod to President Obama’s home state, Hawaii. The White House State Dining Room is used as a banquet hall and ceremonial chamber for numerous official events at the White House. The last time the room was updated was in 1998, by Hillary Clinton. Therefore, the White House Historical Association approved a “modest” refurbishment headed by First Lady Michelle Obama. The new design cost $595,000 and includes “horsehair” fabric chairs, silk curtains, and custom designed wool rugs.

The Daily Mail reports that the cost of the White House State Dining Room refurbishment was $595,000, with the Committee for the Preservation of the White House approving the updates. The new updates were made in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama and gave a special nod to President Barack Obama’s home state, Hawaii. The “blue in the draperies echoes the ‘Kailua’ blue that trims the modern-inspired china service the first lady unveiled in April, and recalls the waters that surround President Barack Obama’s home state of Hawaii.” The new design also features chairs that were custom designed in North Carolina, custom wool rugs, and silk draperies.

White House State Dining Room

The White House Historical Association notes that the State Dining Room has been refurbished numerous times throughout history, and that the last overhaul was completed in 1998 under the consultation of then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. However, in 2010, the committee noted that the rugs needed replaced and were ordered in a new design. Therefore, First Lady Michelle Obama also had complementary new draperies and chairs designed to fit the new design theme.

“The State Dining Room has been refurbished many times in its history, often with new rugs, draperies, and upholstery fabric. The last refurbishment was in 1998 and by 2010, the rugs needed to be replaced, so in 2012 new rugs were custom-made to a new design. Complementary new draperies and new historically-inspired chairs have been installed in 2015. The White House completed refurbishment of the State Dining Room on Monday June 15, 2015, in accordance with plans approved by the Committee for the Preservation of the White House. The project was underwritten by the White House Endowment Trust, a fund administered by the White House Historical Association for the maintenance and beautification of the public rooms. Today, the State Dining Room serves as a banquet hall and ceremonial chamber for all manner of official events. It is the center of White House hospitality.”

Though the updates clocked in at an astonishing $595,000, government funds were not used to pay for the redesign. Instead, the White House Endowment Trust, a private fund administered by the White House Historical Association, covered the expense.

What do you think of the new White House State Dining Room design? Do you like the updates made by First Lady Michelle Obama? How do you feel about the price tag?

[Image Credit: The White House Historical Association]