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The last 6 presidents' favourite colour palettes, revealed

If, like many of us, you've spent a lot of time working from home over the last few months, you've probably given some thought to how your setup looks. No matter how much space you have available, a few design touches here and there can make it feel uniquely yours – whether it's the kitchen table, a corner of the living room, or the Oval Office.

Yes, even presidents like to add a personal touch to their workspace, as demonstrated by a fun series of illustrations depicting the interior design of the Oval Office over the last 30 years. (Check out our guide to the best office chair or our top office organisation ideas if you're looking to spruce up your own setup.)

Oval Office interior design

Bill Clinton's Oval Office (1993 – 2001) (Image credit: Aspire)

Aspire Doors has recreated how the last six US presidents have decorated the Oval Office, revealing some fascinating differences – and similarities. As well as the furniture and decorations, the illustrations reveal the top three colours present in each iteration of the famous office. Spoiler alert: it seems none of the last six presidents were forward-thinking enough to opt for both of Pantone's 2021 colours of the year.

Oval Office interior design

Barack Obama's Oval Office (2009 – 2017) (Image credit: Aspire Doors)

Whereas Donald Trump's office featured a "rich colour palette of gold, navy and platinum," Barack Obama opted for a scheme "not too far removed from the American flag" –  warm red, sky blue, and cream and white (above). Perhaps the most minimal palette belonged to George W Bush, with a surprisingly muted combination of platinum, cream and grey-blue (below). 

Oval Office interior design

George W Bush's colour palette was surprisingly muted (Image credit: Aspire Doors)

But there are some elements that remain unchanged throughout. The white wainscot panelling at the back of the room is untouched, while the chest of drawers to the left of the office is present in every version. Hey, maybe it's just a really, really good chest of drawers.

The illustrations are a fascinating look at how subtle interior design tweaks can transform the look and personality of a room. And of those tweaks, perhaps the most notable is colour. Indeed, as our colour theory guide reveals, making the most of relationships between different hues is one of the most vital art techniques you can master.

From these envy-inducing Hollywood-inspired home offices to Panasonic's bizarre working from home cubicle, we've seen no shortage of weird and wonderful ways to make your home setup more interesting (if not a little distracting). If you're still getting used to working from home, our guide to working from home has you covered. 

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