"First off, I would repaint the entire place. A color like Farrow & Ball's Pointing. A softer, more up-to-date white.... And no more tumbling hotel/casket flower arrangements. Instead, masses of garden roses, peonies, tulips, or hydrangeas, in simple containers." — RANDY POWERS, HOUSTON
"I would replace frou-frou damasks and silks with environmentally sustainable casual linens in an earthy brown palette, with accents in optimistic colors, like verdant green, lemon, yellow, and tangerine.... Most important, I would create an amazing, relaxed, colorful multipurpose space where they can really be a family and escape the demands of the world. Their love and commitment to one another will no doubt be his inspiration for all that he is embarking on." — WINDSOR SMITH, LOS ANGELES
"First, let's open up those storage rooms and reuse things from former presidencies in a clean, fresh, new way. Using what you have, or buying vintage, is a great way to lessen your carbon footprint. Then, let's make some green choices, beyond just lightbulbs, like environmentally friendly paints for Sasha and Malia's rooms, or buying wares from local artisans so we know the wood and materials are environmentally sound and locally harvested." — NATE BERKUS, CHICAGO
Shown at left, the color New Day, from Freshaire Choice, which has no VOCs and can be purchased at .
"Purchase new White House china from Target!" — ERIC COHLER, NEW YORK
Adorne 20-pc. Bone China Dinnerware Set, $89.99 from .
"As a native Washingtonian, I am predisposed to the historic fabric of this city. As a modernist with a penchant for white rooms whose vocabulary predominantly consists of antiques covered in muted palettes, this would be a most intriguing undertaking." — DARRYL CARTER, WASHINGTON
Wessex Wing from .
"I would start with a sustainable hemp print such as Carolina Irvin's Andaluz in the color Delft. It has the feeling of an old quilt with a modern twist. This fabric to me represents the approachable, easy charm that this young family radiates." — PHOEBE HOWARD, ATLANTA
Textile from .
"I would start with the carpets." — DAVID NETTO, NEW YORK
At left, a carpet chosen by David Netto from Ron Weiss, available at Aronson's Floor Covering; 212-243-4993.
"While our President-elect has come to represent a modern symbol of our country, I don't think updating the White House necessarily means incorporating a Ron Arad aluminum lounge chair or a Donald Judd table in the Oval Office. The most elegant approach would be to introduce contemporary furniture (perhaps a Sam Maloof rocking chair, pictured at left) and artwork (a Jasper Johns American flag) while still maintaining a gracious and timeless sensibility. To me, that's the essence of great American design." — MADELINE STUART, LOS ANGELES
"I would look to the original American furniture that's there and reinvent it in a modern way. Edit through the formality with easy, warm, casual elegance. Like the people moving in." — THOMAS O'BRIEN, NEW YORK
Bellport Club Chair from the .
"The Obamas are the perfect imaginary clients. They have the confidence to mix it up and make it their own, but have a reverence for history. Let's evict the Aubussons and put in something more clean and natural, replace the wood-framed settees with down-filled sofas, lose the passementerie and work with bolder geometrics and graphic tape trim." — CELERIE KEMBLE, NEW YORK
5701-03 Sofa by Celerie for Laneventure.