Frank placing a Christmas arrangement that he designed in the White House flower room and ready to be placed on the antique table shown for viewing throughout the season. Green Room - Early Reagan Administration
This photograph (left) is taken of me placing a holiday arrangement, that I have just created in The Flower Room, on a table in "The Green Room". It was made of assorted Christmas greenery with red berries, holly, juniper with blue tone berries, ivy, evergreen and moss base in an antique bowl. The Green Room has served many purposes since The White House was first occupied in 1800. It was first used as a "Lodging Room." Thomas Jefferson, the second occupant of The White House, used it as a dining room. James Madison made it a sitting room. Styles in the room changed many times during the years of Presidents. The Green Room was completely refurbished in 1971. Its walls were recovered with the delicate green watered-silk fabric originally chosen by Mrs. Kennedy in 1962. Draperies of striped beige, green, and coral satin graced the room. The walls of The Green Room are covered with elegant paintings of various people and scenes. It is a beautiful room to one's eyes. If you have a room in green tones, and want to create a holiday centerpiece for a table, its color co-ordiation is on your side. For your own home interior decor - you cannot fail in your interior decorating blends if you keep your holiday centerpiece in shades of assorted Christmas greenery and just add a couple of fresh apples or lite green pears. Use an elegant bowl of china or ceramic in ivy color or a Laura Ashley type white ceramic bowl with touches of blue trim. White House compotes, vases or bowls that I have designed floral arrangements in are all the "Real McCoy" antiques. I have created many simple green foliage designs in my time there, using all assorted fresh holiday foliages worth about fifty dollars at the wholesale level in a ceramic or gold bowl that was worth a couple of million dollars in antique value. It's the container that counts for more than fifty percent of the floral design. With a beautiful elegant container you can place dried weeds in it and if designed with a little flair, would look beautiful. I love to add some fruits to holiday arrangements when I am working with an early American interior decor. Many of these containers that I have designed in date back to the first President that occupied the White House, so I had to always be very careful in carrying these lovely pieces to the rooms. I always enjoyed decorating the Green Room while in The White House. The photo was taken during the Christmas decorating season of the Reagan Administration.
The Green Room at The White House
Frank designing a mantle arrangement of holiday fresh-cut assorted greenery in the Green Room. Carter Administration
Frank in the Green Room decorating a mantle for a Spring Reception - Reagan Administration
The Green Room in The White House in the 1970's
Green Room images throughout the years
This room was intended by architect James Hoban to be the "Common Dining Room." Thomas Jefferson did use it as a dining room and covered the floor with a green-colored canvas for protection. It was in the Green Room that William Wallace Lincoln, the third son of President Abraham Lincoln, was embalmed following his death, most likely from typhoid fever. Over the years, presidents and first ladies have used the room for happier times as well. Grace Goodhue Coolidge displayed what some considered risqué Art Deco sculpture here and used the room for small parties with friends. Eleanor Roosevelt entertained Amelia Earhart here, and President Kennedy thought it the most attractive and restful room on the state floor. James Madison declared war on the British in this very room! Soon after, it got burnt like the other rooms.
The Green Room, located on the first floor of the White House, serves primarily as a state parlor and has long been a favorite of Presidents and their families due to its intimate scale and distinctive décor. During his tenure in office, President John Quincy Adams named it the "Green Drawing Room," though the inspiration for the name may have come from President Jefferson's use of the space as a dining room, when he would cover the floor with a green-colored canvas for protection.
Among the most historically significant events in our nation's history occurred here -- the signing of our first declaration of war. President James Madison officially declared war on the British in 1812 in the Green Room. (Two years later, British forces would burn the Green Room -- and the rest of the White House -- to the ground.)
Decades later, President Abraham Lincoln held the funeral for his youngest son William Wallace here in February of 1862.
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy redecorated and refurbished the Green Room, along with many other notable rooms in the White House, in 1961.
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