Sunday, October 23, 2016

Measuring the drapes

After reading this story, I think the time has come to write the following message to Hillary Clinton.

Hillary: As you probably know, your new office will be 18 1/2 feet high, so choose your drapes accordingly. Some presidents have gone for the oversized look, where the drape bottoms drag along the ground. Don't go that way.

As for color -- well, let's see what your predecessors have done with the place:

Obama started out with gold drapes but switched to this sedate rusty reddish number, which works pretty well with the light beige carpet. He also went with square bunting. Please lose the stripes on the wall. (Walls?) (Seriously, do we use the plural or not?)

Here's the Nixon Oval: Bright gold against a deep blue. Bold. I think it works, but everyone after Nixon seems to have preferred something more sedate.

In your case, Hillary, you should avoid too much gold. Too Trumpy.

JFK went fifty shades of grey. Actually, he retained the Eisenhower decor. I like this look (I also like Ike's ideas about men's jackets), but grey wouldn't fly in your case. People want to see something a little more assertive from the first female president.

Dubya's rumpus room -- a recreation of his dad's version. Hm. I have mixed feelings. A colorful carpet doesn't really work with the subdued grey-and-cream drapery. But I like the fancy bunting.

Reagan went for two-tone drapes with fancier bunting, coupled with a yellowish-beige carpet. Solid. I think Obama was inspired by this color scheme. Believe it or not, this look originated with Gerry Ford, who just couldn't deal with Nixon's gold-and-navy-blue approach. Carter kept the same general scheme.

As it happens, I like dark blue. Which brings us to...

Recognize it, Hillary? This was your husband's oval office. First: Those sofas were the worst abomination in the history of furniture fabric. If I heard that you were planning to bring back those sofas, I'd vote for Trump. But the creamy light gold drapery (with soft blue trim) works very well with that blue carpet. (The West Wing TV series used this scheme with different sofas.)

My recommendation? Either bring back your husband's scheme (with better sofas!) or go for the one choice that no-one has tried before. I think you can pull it off.

Go blue.

Dark blue drapes against a mostly-off-white Everything Else. Simple. Elegant. And it has never been done by any previous president.

A soft blue would work in a normal home, but it would be a little too girly for your purposes. You want a blue that says power. Severe but elegant. A color scheme that says: Don't mess with me, boys -- this ain't my first rodeo.

This should give you an idea of what I have in mind:

(Severed head of Trump is purely optional.)

Let's talk paintings. Personally, if I were president, I'd choose the work of a great American illustrator -- Rockwell, Leyendecker, Parrish, N.C. Wyeth, someone of that caliber. These were the giants who inspired my own artistic ambitions. Hillary, I hope that you will consider a salute to popular American artists, because their best work ranks with the world's finest, and they deserve more respect.

But you should also be bold in advertising your femininity. That's why I would also suggest a Mary Cassatt -- one of her famous mother-and-child portraits.    

A final word: Hillary, you simply must win. Can you imagine what Trump would do to the place?


prowlerzee said...

hahaha, perfect!!

Bob Harrison said...

Great post! The trump office is beyond beyond light years beyond tacky.

Alessandro Machi said...

I like the blue, but would go off white instead of white, a creme color perhaps, although that might not blend in with Hillary's hair when she is seated in the foreground?

Alessandro Machi said...

Not so fast, two polls have Trump leading by 1 to 2 points.
Trump with slight lead in two polls

Anonymous said...

I may not agree with everything (sometimes anything) you say, but there's no argument on your interior design skills and vision of a Trump oval office.

I cannot imagine how tacky that would end up being.

b said...

Ugh - dark brown furniture! I'd deal with that first, before choosing curtains.

But fifteen days is a long time. There are battles for Kirkuk, Mosul and Aleppo. That's a lot of battles. A Russian fleet is on its way to the East Mediterranean. (Got to wonder whether the Orthodox crusaders will say hello to the knights in Malta.) The lady is 68 and she recently had pneumonia. And the country probably hasn't completely run out of Chechen boxers or Israeli removal men; nor is it immune from Stoner or ~KGB black ops.

The betting markets have been suspiciously calm for a fortnight, giving an implied probability of about 17% for a Trump win. No wind, no noise, nothing. More money is getting staked, but the prices are staying level. Trump is doing well not to be in free fall.

snug.bug said...

Joseph, it's important that you not feed the meme that Hillary will obsess herself with trivia. Let's stick to substantive issues--such as giving a Braniff-like exterior treatment to Air Force One.

Twilight said...

This is a refreshing relief from actual politics - I can never resist a bit of decor planning! I like your plan, Joseph, but would have the curtains a bit darker, almost navy blue, with palest grey walls and carpet - cool, calm and minimalist. Furniture - no dark wood, no stripes or chintzy patterns! Embossed-patterned upholstery perhaps to relieve plain, in pale and several darker shades of grey; navy/grey/white cushions allowing a tiny bit of pattern here. Agree on artwork - Rockwell's The Four Freedoms a must, Leyendecker and Parrish too. Female input: how about Grandma Moses as well. :-) A Native American painter's inclusion would be good - Robert Redbird perhaps.

Joseph Cannon said...

Twilight, I'm glad to see others getting into the spirit of the thing. We see eye-to-eye here, although I may prefer a creamy off-white to grey walls.

The Leyendecker painting I would love to display there was his last great picture, a WWII-era portrait of General Patton.

Look at that brushwork! Leyendecker knew how to make one brush stroke do the work of ten. Wish I could do that -- it's a talent I never possessed.

Actually, I have no idea if the original of that picture still exists. I hope so. Wouldn't it be terrific in the White House? Conservatives could hardly complain.

Twilight said...

The link didn't work for me, but it must lead to either Leyendecker's portrait of Patton in leather bomber jacket, or the one in ordinary military uniform - either would be very appropriate, both are tr├Ęs skillful! :-)

b said...

If we were the ~KGB, what would we do in the US now?

Meanwhile, is Elizabeth Warren simple-minded? Saying that "nasty women" should swarm to the polling stations to vote against Trump is terrible advertising. Throw the grenade back at the opponent; don't be clever-clever and try to make it into a pin-cushion. Her words appeal mainly to those who are certain to vote for Clinton. I'm glad Warren isn't the candidate: if she were, and if she declared herself the leader of the "nasties", meaning to be ironic, she could pave the way for a Trump victory. This isn't the right context for such a presentation.

Anonymous said...

What Trump might do to oval office has me reconsidering my support for him. Good post.

Alessandro Machi said...

MSNBC, (haven't watched more than a handful of times over the past 8 years), raved about Warren and the Nasty Women going to the polls. If The Deplorables are going to vote, why shouldn't The Nasties vote as well?

prowlerzee said...

Agree, Alessandro, well put. Those could even be the new nicknames for the parties. Are you a Deplorable or a Nasty? haha!

Snug Bug, seriously! No one is going to confuse Hillary with a homebody. And we're talking about design here.

b said...

@Alessandro - Does the term "nasty women" have a history as an ironic self-adopted label? I kind of assumed it came from Trump. If it has, wouldn't they all vote for Clinton anyway? Politicians use irony at their peril. "Pussies grab back" was witty on a protestor's banner, but uttered by a national politician I don't think it would do much to win votes from the undecided.

Anonymous said...

There is history for "nasty". It means empowered. There is also a clothing line called Nasty. Warren was drawing on that history and show casing Trumps ignorance.

Bob Harrison said...

b-- not a big fan of Warren as a POTUS candidate at all. She's fine where she is. I guess the whole "nasty" business was firing up the base, but I'm with you for sure on the marketing angle. "Nasty" is not a word to build a brand around unless you're promoting a professional wrestler.

b said...

Trump is now saying that Clinton's policy on Syria would lead to WW3. Armageddon is coming into the discourse. Not just the US staying "broken", but a major military conflict between the US and Russia. One event in Aleppo, in Kirkuk, and perhaps most likely in Mosul where US service personnel are officially engaged in combat, could change the way the two candidates' graphs are moving. Let alone an attack elsewhere. It could make people think that it is Trump who is on the ball, who recognises the seriousness of the risks, who isn't saying whatever his audience wants to hear (sic!), who cares about us all - even though this is opposite to what their intellect would tell a person of sound mind about this insane casino-owning misogynistic sleazeball.

Trump doesn't understand shit about nukes and stuff. His latest words: "You're not fighting Syria any more, you're fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk."

That surprises me. I expected he would switch from expressing admiration for Putin to talking about getting tough with Russia and stressing that only he of the tremendous assets, not the weak Clinton, can stand up to Putin militarily. But even his latest garbled talk isn't reducible to "be scared of Russia". And there is still a fortnight left.

As for the Oval Office, it only has one wall :) The room's eccentricity is 0.59. The elliptical park nearby - of which the centre is the centre of DC and was intended by Jefferson to mark the prime meridian - has eccentricity 0.52.

There is no closed formula for the circumference of an ellipse in terms of the lengths of its two axes.

The length of the wall of the Oval Office, around 31 metres, must surely be a cool fraction of the distance between Rennes-le-Chateau and Megiddo...

Unknown said...

Hey you guys - I guess this is too late for anyone to see, but "nasty" is just a polite term for "bitch". That is what he meant. Too stupid to see it would go the way of "woman card".

Alessandro Machi said...

Nasty is a reference by Warren to the last debate when Donald Trump interrupted Hillary Clinton to call her a "Nasty Woman". Donald Trump has such a nasty mouth I think he would make an excellent male dominatrix, verbally berating woman while they are tied up in Trump's dungeon, telling them they are nasty women and should be put in jail.

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