12 Things About The White House You Wouldn't Know Unless You Went Inside

Photo: Courtesy of Tanya Taylor.
Striking a pose with Jackie O.
Last week, the Obama family kicked their farewell festivities up a notch with a star-studded goodbye bash at the White House. The VIP guest list for the night included Tanya Taylor, a designer whose fans include first lady Michelle Obama herself (FLOTUS even wore a dress from Taylor's fall '16 collection to the final White House holiday party last month). “Being invited to visit the White House is an experience I will always treasure!” Taylor, a repeat guest at 1600 Pennsylvania, says. In the wake of her most recent trip, she shared with Refinery29 a behind-the-scenes look inside the Obama White House. Ahead, 12 facts you might not know if you haven't been lucky enough to get an invite.

1. The high-pile rug in the Red Room is very heel-friendly. Perhaps the former first ladies who furnished it had their footwear needs in mind?

2. There are #TBTs of first ladies everywhere, like a photo of first ladies Nixon and Eisenhower exchanging pleasantries.

3. Speaking of first ladies, the best spot to snap a picture with a fashion icon is in front of the portrait of Jackie O that's hanging in The Vermeil Room).
Photo: Courtesy of Tanya Taylor.
Ryan Reynolds makes a cameo on the wall near the security check.
4. The "Red Room" was yellow until 1845, when President and Mrs. Polk changed the color scheme to red.

5. One of the first pictures you see when entering the White House (and being sniffed by security dogs) is of Ryan Reynolds.

6. During closed events, security placed my phone in a brown paper baggie with my name written in sharpie for safekeeping.

7. In my experience, the Obamas always serve sliders and mini-cakes. At the Obamas' last party on Friday, there were waffles and grits.

8. It takes 300 gallons of white paint to cover the exterior of the White House. Up close, it is spotless!
Photo: Courtesy of Tanya Taylor.
Isn't this space just dying for a fashion show?
9. You can see POTUS' helicopter landing pad from the Red Room.

10. There's a walkway that would make an amazing runway. On display at the end of it, is the china each president has selected for his state dinner.

11. The White House grounds are dotted with solar panels.

12. In the lobby of the East Wing there is a portrait of President Clinton directly across from a portrait of President John F. Kennedy — it looks like they are staring each other down!
Advertisement