First Lady Melania Trump, with 11-year-old Barron in tow, made the big push to the White House this weekend, and before she arrived, she had worked with a decorator to design the family’s living quarters to their liking. That doesn’t mean a crew of jewelers gilded the place in gold like what the photos of their Trump Tower penthouse depict — it means the redecorating was done, leaving the old bones of the White House undisturbed.
President Trump, Melania, and Barron are given a generous 55,000-square-foot home inside the White House, but to make it their own, they needed to remodel it to their taste. This was done with the help of Tham Kannalikham, who worked with Melania on getting their quarters Trump-ready. Kannalikham had more than a dozen rooms at her disposal to redecorate. Those dozen or so rooms are found on two floors of the White House, which make up the president and his family’s living quarters, reports the Mirror.
What Melania and her decorator were allowed to do inside this historic building was paint and carpet the rooms to fit the first lady’s taste. Congress puts aside a $100,000 budget for the redecorating of the living quarters. Of course, the Trumps could opt to pay for it themselves, much like the Obama family did. So far, what they have done has been kept tightly under wraps. It is not known what Barron’s bedroom looks like or Melania’s famous “glam room,” but it was a must-have months ago, so you can only assume that it is there.
For their redecorating purposes, they can buy new furniture, bring in their own, or borrow the tons of available historical pieces kept in a warehouse and overseen by a curator. As far as art goes, they have the option of hanging authentic Georgia O’Keeffee and Norman Rockwell pieces, which also belong to the many White House collections kept in storage.
Any renovations to the building need to be formally requested and then need approval, which will only be granted if it is keeping within the historical significance of the White House. Some of the added amenities over the decades are the White House outdoor swimming pool, which was put in by the Ford family, according to New York Magazine.
Then there’s the bowling alley, which Trump has gotten quite a bit of use out of already. This bowling alley was an addition by Nixon. The Obama’s turned the tennis court into an area that does double duty. It is a tennis-basketball court, so either sport can be played on the White House grounds.
As for Melania, it was that glamor room that got so much attention shortly after Trump was elected. Back in January, the news of Melania Trump’s “glam room” saturated the headlines, and it was hyped to sound almost too flamboyant. This “glam room” is just a place for Melania to have her hair and makeup done, along with keeping all her clothes at the ready.
The Cut from New York Magazine reported back in January that Melania’s long-time makeup stylist revealed it took about “one hour and 15 minutes of uninterrupted focus to complete Melania’s beauty look.” Now they will have their own spot to do this in. The most important feature of the glam room is the lighting, her stylist said in an interview at the beginning of the year, adding that “lighting can make or break any look.”
If you call the move for Melania and Barron overwhelming, that could only speak to the changes they face now that they are out of the familiar surroundings of Trump Tower. They actually moved with Barron carrying a spinner toy and Melania carrying a designer Hermès Birkin bag. That was about the extent of the mom and son having to move anything on their own. It is not known if Melania did the packing at Trump Tower or if she had someone else gather her wardrobe and Barron’s clothes. What is known is what happened when their belongings arrived at the White House.
According to the Mirror, everything was unpacked and placed in the closet and drawers for both Melania and Barron. All their favorite products were in their private bathrooms, and even their favorite snack foods were stocked in the kitchen. All they had to do is walk in and sit down — everything else was done for them.
[Featured Image by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]