Thursday, January 22

A Room of Her Own

It has been great fun researching and accumulating photos from First Families past. The White House, First Ladies, and the private quarters in particular, have long been a subject of fascination. This will be my last post on the White House this week, but before moving on to a new topic, I wanted to share these beautiful photos. No matter who you are or your role in the world, everyone needs a place to hide away and call their very own.

The Master Bedroom in 1962, when it was used as Jackie Kennedy's bedroom, photo Architectural Digest.

Just off the Master Bedroom is the Master Dressing Room, generally used now by first ladies as a private study and dressing room. It overlooks the West Wing. Jackie Kennedy's dressing room in 1962, photo Architectural Digest.

President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy pose with their family on Christmas Day at the White House, 1962. (L-R): Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Jr, Anthony Radziwill, Prince Stanislaus Radziwill, Lee Radziwill, and their daughter, Anna Christine Radziwill. Photo Getty Images.

Lady Bird Johnson in the Master Dressing Room making an audio diary entry in 1968.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson and First Lady Lady Bird Johnson at Christmastime in 1965.

Nancy Reagan's dressing room in 1981, photo Architectural Digest - Derry Moore.

Nancy Reagan's dressing table in 1981, photo Architectural Digest.

For her office, Nancy Reagan favored retaining existing White House furniture, which she had refurbished. The wildflower prints were reproduced from 1925 botanical watercolors, photo Architectural Digest.

27 comments:

Laura Casey Interiors said...

Ronda, I found a clue on something for the White House that Michael Smith purchased. I posted it last night at www.lauracaseyinteriors.com/blog
I hear you on moving forward with other topics though! Thanks for the post!

Karena said...

Beautiful photos , I have loved looking through this journal of White House past and the first families at home!

porter hovey said...

It's so nice seeing these personal touches behind such public figures. I do just adore the color of walls that Nancy Reagan choose.

vicki archer said...

I loved seeing these behind the scenes snaps - especially Jackie O's bedroom. xv

Linda Merrill said...

Thanks for posting these little seen photos! The private spaces really are fun to see!

magnaverde said...

I've seen most of these shots before but Nancy Reagan's office is new to me. The blotchy faux finish on the dado isn't attractive, but the picking out of the moldings & the fresh color of the glaze lightens the mood of the traditional pieces, including that clunker of a coffee table. If I'm not mistaken, that's the same beast that the Clinton's decorator used in that horrible smash-up of a mid-Victorian sitting room, where the only thing that worked was the boldly-papered ceiling.

I like (or at least, I can respect) a lot of Victorian sub-styles--Boudin's handsome Treaty Room for Mrs. Kennedy comes to mind--but revulsion over the claustrophobia & chaos of much Victorian design is what drove early Modernists to embrace the sterility of white walls & bare windows in the first place, and that terrible Clinton sitting room is a reminder of Newton's Third Law: for every action, there is an equal & opposite reaction. I'm a historian, but even authenticty can be taken too far.

Anyway, seeing that ugly coffee table again triggered a flashback, and I think I need to go lie down.

Laura said...

Jackie certainly had good taste...unsurprisingly.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

My father-in-law has his growlery, I have the library (at least during the day.) Yes, a room of one's own is a sanctuary. I can only imagine how very much more important it becomes when one is an occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Katee said...

Awesome photos! I am definitely looking forward to more White House related posts.

Ryland in Houston said...

This is so interesting! Love the glimpses into the past. Question... when you say Jackie O's bedroom, does that mean she and the President had separate bedrooms?

Audrey said...

You finally did it. I am drooling! I want a space of my own and I don't mean the laundry room!

Bedroom Furniture Set said...

An interesting post on white house. All the pictures are excellent. Through your post got an opportunity to view interior designs of white house.

Thanks for posting.
Katherine

Laura said...

Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to see pictures of the current White House style in future years...

Anonymous said...

I don't think that the Christmas picture was taken in the White House. Lee Radziwill's book shows related pictures labelled as being taken in Palm Beach.

Yes, President and Mrs. Kennedy had separate bedrooms in the White House. Parrish Hadley book shows floorplan on page 129.

Shocking to me that I know these things. LL

ALL THE BEST said...

Thanks anonymous. I have Lee Radwill's book. I will take a look.
Best,
Ronda

Visual Vamp said...

I have enjoyed every post you have done about The White House this past week!
Great research, and great copy.
xo xo

Charlie said...

I hardly ever comment these days, but I just wanted to say that this last week has been wonderful. It has been a great history lesson but with only the fun information provided. It has been great! Thank you Rhonda, always give so much yet leave me wanting more. I am so happy that Amazon is just a click away.

Mark Cutler said...

Some great images. Have you been following Nick Olson's Blog over at Domino, also some great thoughts about White House decorating.

Just so you know, our blog is back up and active again after a 6 month break... check it out if you have a moment.

Kelly@Color Sizzle said...

What beautiful, feminine spaces. I can't wait to see how Michelle Obama makes her personal statement.

MIMILEE said...

Ronda , I loved seeing these photos!! So, so lovely! I especially loved Nancy Reagan's Dressing room.....gorgeous! The thing I noticed about all of these how ageless they are and that's because traditional settings always look elegant and refined.....Great post!

please sir said...

Oh these are so wonderful to see!

Renee Finberg said...

oh ronda,
i have been so busy, and i have missed so much of your great blog.

these last posts are fantastic.
and congratz on the new partnership.
xx
renee

ALL THE BEST said...

Thank you Renee!!
xoxo

An Aesthete's Lament said...

The Radziwills' daughter is Anna Christina (Anna Krystyna, as she was at her christening). And what is the identity of the child next to Jackie, in the red dress?

Toby Worthington said...

Is Nancy Reagan's Dressing Room that which was once done up by Boudin in blue and white toile? The architraves of the windows would seem to be identical, and the lambrequins followed the Boudin design, in his brilliant conception of a blue grounded room with black and mother of pearl furnishings. What became of all that, one wonders?

ALL THE BEST said...

An Aesthete's Lament, yes of course it is Anna! I left off the 'a' at the end. Thank you! Getty Images did not have the name of the child in red. I have been trying to figure it out myself.

miss shortcake said...

I really love Jackie's take on the master bedroom! It's so serene!