Donald Trump Brings Gold Curtains, Winston Churchill Bust to the Oval Office
Trump sat in the Oval Office for the first time as president on Jan. 20.
By KATIE KINDELAN
January 21, 2017, 5:19 PM
• 7 min read
-- The Trump administration's interior design changes to the Oval Office came into view for the first time Friday when the newly inaugurated president invited the press in as he signed his first executive order.
Gone are the deep red curtains that hung in the office during the Obama presidency, replaced by bright gold curtains reminiscent of Trump’s apartment inside Trump Tower.
Also gone is a rug from the Obama era that featured quotes from leaders including Martin Luther King Jr. and four former presidents.
The rug seen in the Oval Office on Friday appears to match the rug designed by Laura Bush during her husband’s administration. George W. Bush was said to have requested a design that expressed his spirit of optimism, and the rug features a sunburst with gold and yellow tones.
The design changes that came on Trump's first day as president will likely be followed by further alterations and upgrades to the Oval Office as Trump settles in. One of Trump’s most significant change to the Oval Office so far could be his decision to bring a bust of Winston Churchill back into the office. Obama drew scrutiny from Great Britain’s nationalist UKIP Party when he replaced the bust of Churchill with a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. during his administration.
The controversy over Obama’s decision reached its peak last April when Obama visited the U.K. and penned an op-ed urging Britain to reject Brexit, a referendum that the country's voters ultimately approved, signaling their wish to exit the European Union.
Obama’s op-ed drew a response from Boris Johnson, now U.K. Foreign Minister, in which he suggested Obama removed the bust because it "is a symbol of the part-Kenyan president's ancestral dislike of the British Empire."
Obama responded in a press conference that he believed featuring the Martin Luther King Jr. bust in the Oval Office was important “as the first African American president” and that he had moved the Churchill bust to a room nearby where he saw it daily.
Trump met with Nigel Farage, the former leader of UKIP, just days after winning the presidency last November. Farage tweeted after their meeting at Trump Tower that the two had discussed the bust of Churchill.
The bust of Martin Luther King Jr. has stayed so far in Trump’s Oval Office. Trump spokesman Sean Spicer tweeted on Friday a photo of the bust taken by White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.
Trump also kept in the Oval Office the Resolute Desk that has been used by presidents for decades, including Obama’s entire administration. Trump sat behind the desk Friday -- with his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence and others by his side -- as he signed an executive order targeting "Obamacare" and signed commissions for the newly confirmed Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
The changes to the Oval Office are one part of the transition of the White House from one first family to the next. The incoming president and first lady also have free reign to redecorate their private residence on the second and third floors of the White House.
Any changes to historic rooms like the Lincoln Bedroom and Queen's Bedroom must be approved by the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.
"One of the most wonderful things about the White House is that it's a living museum, steeped in history but it's constantly evolving," Anita McBride said, former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush, told "Good Morning America."
ABC News' Devin Dwyer and Alexander Mallin contributed to this report.