A makeover for a more subdued Oval Office, courtesy of the Obamas

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The Independent US

He may not yet have remade America, but Barack Obama has remade the Oval Office.

Gone, in a summer redecoration, are the brash golds and yellows of the Bush era, and the sunburst rug designed by Laura and beloved of the former president. The Obama version of America's most famous room is cosier, more subdued – dare one say it, more autumnal. The dominant colours are brown, olive, and beige with a dash of rust red. The new rug is an unassertive beige, with the presidential seal in the centre, and ringed with quotations from five of his predecessors. In the middle sits an elegant modern coffee table.

Long removed of course is the bust of Winston Churchill, replaced by Martin Luther King, but a British connection does remain: the Resolute Desk, made of the timbers of a British warship and used by Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton and Bush Jr before Obama.