January 14, 2009
Dear President and First Lady Obama:
As you prepare to take office, it is natural that your attention be focused on the economy and your first 100 days. However, as you and your family move into the White House, it is important to consider your home's effect on your family's health, safety and welfare. I'm writing on behalf of the nation's largest interior design organization, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and I'd like to offer help and advice from our 40,000 members.
Although updating your residence isn't as critical as other pressing matters, it is important to remember that it is not just about picking colors and furniture. It is about creating an environment that is accessible to all ages, has great indoor air quality, and uses sustainable materials.
These design components are even more important since Malia and Sasha are the youngest White House residents since Amy Carter. They, along with visitors of all ages to your new home, will benefit greatly from the interior design changes you make.
While there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to residential interior design, even a home as historically significant as the White House can be modified to be safer and healthier. It's important that the interior designer you chose to work with evaluates the environment fully and addresses the entire interior, including the finishes, fixtures and furnishings. The design choices you have ahead of you are significant, and, with the help of interior design professionals, will create the ideal, comfortable environment for your family.
Our organization is devoted to advancing the interior design profession and has access to the latest research and cutting-edge industry knowledge. If you are interested, we'd like to share information with you on:
Moving into the White House is an occasion that should be celebrated. It formalizes your new role as Head of State. But above all, it will be your home away from home for years to come and should be a comfortable and enjoyable safe haven. Please know that ASID is a resource to assist you in transforming the historic White House into your home. We congratulate you, President and Mrs. Obama, and wish you the very best for 2009 and beyond.
- Sustainability: Using environmentally friendly materials and practices.
- Building and Accessibility Codes: Ensuring renovations meet state and federal regulations.
- Universal Design: Designing environments that are suitable for all people of all ages and abilities.
Michael Alin, Hon. FASID
ASID Executive Director