How Modern First Couples Have Made the People’s House Their Own

Brought to you by O’More College of Architecture & Design

A stylized image of Libby Callaway

Libby Callaway – Host

Nashville-based creative consultant

The design of the White House and the style of its occupants have been sources of public fascination for the past 228 years. This four-week virtual program features a national slate of historians, designers and cultural critics exploring how First Couples, from the Kennedys to the Trumps, have left their personal mark on the People’s House, through how they eat, dress, decorate and entertain. Hosted by Nashville-based creative consultant Libby Callaway, the series will include appearances by White House Historical Association historian Lina Mann, former White House decorator Michael S. Smith (recently published Designing History: The Extraordinary Art & Style of the Obama White House), former White House staffer and James Beard Award-winning food journalist Adrian Miller, Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan and internationally acclaimed fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.

Part 1

Setting the Scene:

Life Inside the White House

Red stylized image of Lina Mann

Lina Mann

Historian, White House Historical Association

Thursday, September 24 | 7 p.m. CDT

When a President and their family move into the White House, they aren’t given carte blanche. Historian Lina Mann of the White House Historical Association will discuss the guidelines that govern the decoration of and decorum within the country’s most famous residence, drawing from specific events and using historical imagery.

Part 2

Department of the Interior:

Designing the White House

Red stylized image of Michael Smith

Michael S. Smith

Interior Designer

Thursday, October 1 | 7 p.m. CDT

Redecorating the White House at the start of a presidency is not as easy as ordering a new kitchen table and replacing a few slipcovers. Tonight, Los Angeles-based interior designer Michael S. Smith shares his experience working with President and Mrs. Obama to redesign the White House during their eight years in residence. Featuring outtakes and anecdotes from Smith’s news book on the same subject, Designing History: The Extraordinary Art & Style of the Obama White House (Photo Credit: Michael Mundy).

Part 3

Head of Plate:

Inside the White House Kitchen

Red stylized image of Adrian Miller

Adrian Miller

James Beard Award-winning food journalist

Thursday, October 8 | 7 p.m. CDT

Presidential style encompasses more than just the visual aspects of the White House: how First Couples eat and entertain says as much about them as their wardrobes or interiors. James Beard Award-winning food journalist Adrian Miller will explore the historical goings-on in the White House kitchen, including a number of significant Nashville chefs preparing a multi-course meal inspired by the favorite meals and recipes of our presidential families. Recipes will be shared in advance of the event, and viewers can prepare the dishes along with the renowned Nashville chefs.

Part 4

First Couple Style:

Dressing for the White House

Red stylized image of Robin Givhan

Robin Givhan

Washington Post Fashion Critic

Stylized image of Diane Von Furstenburg

Diane Von Furstenberg

Fashion Designer

Wednesday, October 14 | 7 p.m. CDT

There have been millions of words written about the cultural significance of the wardrobes of our First Couples. In this program, host Libby Callaway will be joined by Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan and fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg to explore the parameters — many of them unspoken — that dictate how the President and First Lady dress on every occasion.