Following in the footsteps of past US Presidents, Obama has been doing some home decor in the White House. The Michigan based Scott Group were commissioned to design and create several rugs for the White House including a huge 23foot by 30foot handmade rug. The rug is made from 100% wool and features the presidential seal in blue, cream and wheat – according to the administration “colours in keeping with the neutral colour scheme favoured by Obama for the Oval office”. Uniquely the rug features some inspirational quotes from Obama’s predecessors including John F Kennedy, Lincoln and Roosevelt as well as a quote from civil rights leader Marin Luther King; all the quotes were chosen by Obama himself.
The Rug took 30 craftsmen 570 hours to create and is made from 25% recycled wool and undyed threads. Obama wanted to ensure that the entire office makeover including the rug was carried out by Americans and although the administration would not reveal how much had been spent on the makeover – they did say that it was in line with what past presidents have spent. The Scott Group revealed however that they did not charge for the rug so we’re guessing the Oval office makeover was done on the cheap. Michael Smith, the White House interior designer had done work with the Scott group before and so offered them the contract to manufacture the rugs for The White House – a job which Mike Ruggeri – co-owner of the company – was glad to accept saying he was delighted to be part of Obama’s “Made in America Makeover”.
Designs for the rug have been in the pipeline since January 2009 but the rug was only installed in the White House in late August 2010. According to designer Van Kaaften the delay was a result of the complexity of the design and an extended wait while Obama collected his favourite quotes. It is the quotes which Van Kaaften says make this rug so unique in comparison with previous Oval office rugs such as the rug designed by Laura Bush – the wife of former president George Bush which was a yellow sunburst with a blue presidential seal. All of those involved with the design and manufacture of the rug expressed great pride and hopes to get the chance to see the rug in-situ in the White House.
The quotes chosen by Obama for the rug were:
“The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us” – T. Roosevelt
“Government of the people, by the people, for the people” – Lincoln
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” – F. Roosevelt
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – King
“No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.” – Kennedy
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