02 September 2010

The Audacity of Taupe

Usually, I don't read much of Arianna Huffington, but I have to say her quote about the "new" Oval Office was perfect. She wrote:

It’s very cautious, neutral, inoffensive, neither one thing nor the other — the Audacity of Taupe.

Let me state here that I am not know, nor have I ever been a decorator. I never even played one on T.V. but I think this room looks like a Sears clearance sale. This is not the next Design Star, it is the third week elimination room.

Margaret Russell, formerly of Elle Decor and a personal friend of decorator Michael Smith was quoted in the New York Times after hearing some less than flattering comments:

“She said someone said it looked like a law office in a strip mall,” Ms. Russell said later. “I said, ‘Oh, my gosh, that’s just mean.’ Everyone is a critic and everyone is a decorator. That room is quintessentially American. America is not gilded or glitzy or fancy-pants. Although it is a public room and everyone feels the need to comment on it, it is also the president’s office and he can do whatever he wants to it." And anyway, Ms. Russell added fiercely, “In our business, the client is always right, and from what I’ve heard, the client is happy.”

Well, I am glad he is happy.


  1. ditto, it is a lack luster room, honestly anyone could see that if looking objectively. I think the current design world as a whole has become much like that office-and calling it sophisticated. MR. should be more loyal to her old and new readers as well as her friend-it is a "politeness" not to say anything that plagues good design.

  2. This will probably end up one of the worst weeks of poor Michael S. Smith's life, but I'm sure it's a comfort having Margaret riding shotgun. We should all have such a loyal & supportive friend.

    In other news, Darryl Carter & Sheila Bridges are now thanking their lucky stars they didn't get the gig after all.

  3. It is less than distinguished for sure. What was it that Nancy Lancaster prescribed for a room? 'Suitability, suitability, suitability'


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