The Yellow Oval Room is one of three oval-shaped rooms in the White House. Located on the second floor of the residence where the first family lives, it is directly atop the Blue Room.
|Laura Bush hosts a coffee for Mehriban Aliyeva, First Lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2006. White House photo by Shealah Craighead https://goo.gl/images/Roz76G
From then on, the Adams family used it as a ladies' drawing room. It was furnished with crimson pieces brought from the President's House in Philadelphia, and papered in yellow with gilded stars. Dolley Madison had her hand in decorating the room in 1809, choosing yellow damask.
The room didn't stay yellow, however. Andrew Jackson's niece Emily Donelson decorated it in green.
|Circa 1868. Public Domain. https://goo.gl/images/1ne33k
|The Oval Room, 1886. Public Domain. https://goo.gl/images/LwHrLR
When the West Wing was built in 1902, the oval room was reverted to a parlor again, although several presidents used it for private meetings.
President Harding decorated the room in blue, displayed the First Lady's collection of miniature elephants, and played poker here with his friends--and drank alcohol, even though it was Prohibition.
The Hoovers brought in Chippendale couches upholstered in gold-and-black brocade and "lettuce" green curtains. They would have all the furniture moved out for "moving picture" nights.
Franklin D. Roosevelt converted the room into his private study, decorating the room with ship models, Under FDR, the oval study took on a nautical look, displaying the president's collection of naval prints and ship models. Here, he would work on his stamp collection, and here, he learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Harry Truman continued to use the room as a study, but his contribution is better recognized from the exterior of the White House: The Truman Balcony. Added to the South Portico in 1948, the balcony can be accessed by the Yellow Oval Room.
|President Truman reading on the Truman Balcony. https://goo.gl/images/EhVzgs
|The Kennedys, March 28, 1963, Cecil W. Stoughton. Public Domain. ://goo.gl/images/ihFB74
The room has been refurbished several times since, during the administrations of Nixon, Carter, Reagan, and George W. Bush--but it remains yellow to this day.
Susanne Dietze is the author of over a dozen romances with Timeless Heart. You can learn more about her on her website, www.susannedietze.com.