See the private side of The White House
President Barack Obama likes to say the White House is the "people's house." Now, the people are getting a look at the rooms where he lives.
Architectural Digest has published exclusive photos. The photos give the public its first glimpse of private areas. They are on the second floor of the White House. Obama, his wife, Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha and family dogs Bo and Sunny have called them home. They have lived there for nearly eight years.
Los Angeles-based interior designer Michael Smith decorated the rooms. He also decorated the Oval Office. A mutual friend in Chicago introduced him to the Obamas. This was after the 2008 election.
The first lady said Smith managed to reflect her family's tastes. At the same time, he respected the history of the White House.
"Above all, it has truly felt like a home for our family," she told the magazine.
Photos show a number of rooms. There is the Yellow Oval Room. The Treaty Room, where Obama retreats late at night. In that room, he likes to read briefing material for the next day. There's a sitting room, a dining room and the master bedroom. The rooms are adorned with a variety of modern and contemporary art. The art was borrowed from major art institutions. They include the National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian museums.
Architectural Digest has also published photos of the private living quarters of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
Amy Astley is editor in chief of the magazine. She said the Obamas' personal style, and the history and diversity of the nation, are reflected in their art and decor choices. The Architectural Digest issue with photos of the Obama living quarters was scheduled to appear on newsstands on Nov. 8. That is Election Day.
The master bedroom is decorated in beige hues. It has an antique canopy bed. It is decked out with fine Italian linen. Identical, footed tables stand at either side of the bed. One bears family photos. One is stacked with books. Matching, upholstered chairs and a sofa form a sitting area.
Smith called the bedroom the Obamas' "sanctuary."
"You really want to make sure that the president of the United States gets a good night's sleep," he told the magazine.
That's something Obama apparently gets.
"I have a phone right by my bedside. And every morning somebody calls and says, 'Mr. President, it's your 7 a.m. wake-up call,'" Obama said during a recent appearance on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is The White House decorated differently for different presidents?
Write your answers in the comments section below