Most presidents don’t look at the White House as a step down but Donald Trump may look at it as just that. Trump’s three-story penthouse in Manhattan costs 100 million dollars and is decked out in gold and marble. The penthouse was designed by Angelo Donghia and the decor style is called rococo. Rococo is a French style from the 18th century that preferred ornate details, curving furniture, and an abundance of gold.
His Florida palace, the “Mar-A-Lago rings in at 200 million dollars and is also lavished in gold. Now the question is what will he do to the historic White House?
The past 5 years interior stylists and bloggers alike are all about the gold interiors. If you go to West Elm, Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware you will see lots of gold and metallic home décor pieces, throw pillows, flatware and more. Although gold has become the latest trend in home décor this kind of gold is gold colored paint, not the real deal. Can you imagine if your home was actually b’zazzled in real gold?
Trump’s new residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was designed by James Hoban. The White House has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 6 levels. There are 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators. The total value of the White House should it hit the open market is estimated at nearly $320 million.
In the White House, the Trumps can do whatever they like to their private quarters, but cannot change the décor of key rooms like the Yellow Oval Room, Queen’s Suite, and the Lincoln Bedroom without going through Allman’s office, according to Kate Anderson Brower, author of The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House. The once traditional White House may now be sparkling with chandeliers and gold sconces.
Whether you hate him or love him, Trump has done well with his interior design choices. For instance, he purchased Mar-a-Largo (his Florida home) in 1985 and started dressing it in gold when gold averaged a little over $300 an ounce and today it costs near $1,200 an ounce. Trump definitely recognizes the stability of gold as an investment.
Not only does Trump deck his mansions in gold but also his 757 jet that cost him over 100 million dollars and is the 8th most expensive jet in the world.
The plane’s first-class sleeper area has 24-karat gold-plated seat belts; other details and fixtures throughout the plane are also done in 24-karat gold. Each sleeper seat has an audiovisual system, including TVs fed with the various video sources available on the jet. Even the bathroom has a gold sink!
President Trump has already changed the curtains in the Oval Office to gold so we thought it might be fun to see how much it would cost for Trump to renovate at least part of the White House in gold. His style and preference may differ somewhat from what we propose but to get a rough idea of the cost of a golden renovation we calculated the cost of gilding the walls in several prominent rooms in the White House.
The rooms included in our renovation are the Diplomatic Room (36.5’x29’), Map Room (25.5’x22.5’), Old Family Dining Room (28’x25’), Roosevelt Room (25’x35’), China Room (27.5’x20.5’), Cabinet Room (23’x39’), and the Situation Room which is 5,000 square feet. All rooms are assumed to have 10’ ceilings except for the Cabinet Room that has 18’ ceilings. We will gild all four walls of each room in the renovation.
To get an estimation of the cost we used the last gold regilding of Notre Dame’s famous Golden Dome. That project was completed in March of 2005 at a cost of $300,000 for the 3,500 square foot dome. The price of gold at that time was $432.40. This is about a third (2.75 times) of the current spot price of gold of $1,191.03. Assuming labor costs increased by the same amount as gold over that time our cost for each 3,500 square feet of gold wall would be $825,000.
Under our assumptions there would be 8,922 square feet of wall space that needs to be gilded in gold at a total cost of $2,103,042.86. This total does not include any type of gold fixtures, floors or any other furnishings beyond the walls. If previous residences is any indication, President Trump would not be satisfied with just gold walls so additional decorating costs would likely be incurred.
Our renovation only includes about 17% of the White House. Trump may plan to redecorate his entire residence minus the rooms that cannot be renovated. Based on our estimate this would cost about $12 million just for walls of the White House.
So do you think Trump will turn the white house gold? Our cost is probably on the low side and we wouldn’t put it past him to spend 10 times our estimate. How much do you think it will cost?
Comment below and let us know what you think he will do and how much he will spend on turning the White House gold.