First Lady Melania Trump Sparks Backlash Among Social Media With White House Room Restoration

Melania Trump unveiled the newly restored floor in the East Room of the White House, which she said visitors see in person on the public tour of the building. The first lady shared a photo of the room on social media, perhaps predictably igniting backlash in the process.

While most of her followers were full of compliments for the newly renovated floor, a few stand-outs criticized the look, while others took it as an opportunity to throw a few jabs her and husband President Donald Trump's way.

The project was just the latest in a series of upgrades and makeovers Trump has overseen during her and Donald's time in the White House.

Some of the projects were long overdue, like the refreshed wall fabric in the Red Room. Thanks to sunlight streaming in, some of the wall fabric was "so faded it was almost pink," Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, told USA Today in September. The private, nonprofit organization, founded by first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961, helps finance upkeep of some rooms in the 132-room mansion.

"Those rooms should always look their very best and it was just very faded and really, really needed to be done," McLaurin said.

Melania has also repurposed draperies in the Green Room and restored furniture in the Blue Room. She also designed a new rug for the Diplomatic Reception Room, the main entrance off the South Lawn, after foot traffic wore a path across the old one. The replacement rug has a border showing the flowers of the 50 states, a touch added by the first lady, McLaurin said.

In the Green Room, the White House refreshed the draperies by switching material from the backside to the front, eliminating the need — and cost — of replacing the curtains entirely. Only fringe needed to be replaced.

In her role as the caretaker, the first lady — whoever she is — regularly meets with the chief usher, the head curator and other White House staff to figure out what improvements can be made to the White House.

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At a May reception, Melania said the Trump family is "grateful to live in this true symbol of our nation's history, but we are even more honored to play a part in restoring and enhancing our country's sacred landmarks."

Photo credit: ROBYN BECK / Staff / Getty

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