Donors to Nancy Reagan's controversial million-dollar decoration of the White House private quarters will have their first glimpse of how their money has been spent at a party there Wednesday night.
What they will see is a series of rooms in High Decorator Traditional style, as well as the solarium Rosalynn Carter redecorated early in her husband's term.
The public can see the remodeling, by California decorator Ted Graber, only in Architectural Digest, a slick decorating magazine published in California. The December issue contains an 18-page story on the project, with exclusive photos.
A number of interiors by Graber, including his own home, have been featured in the magazine in the past.
The family quarters on the second and third floors of the White House have traditionally been closed to the public, although the public rooms on the first floor are regularly open to visitors. Nancy Reagan is quoted in the magazine as saying that "this house belongs to all Americans."
Sheila Tate, Nancy Reagan's press secretary, said yesterday that the White House Historical Association is still soliciting gifts, both for objects for the permanent collection and to pay for the continuing replacement of upholstery and curtains. Nancy Reagan collected $822,000 for the project, plus about $209,000 for new china, from private donors.
Yesterday, Tate said that the East Room, State Dining Room and the Cross Hall have all been repainted and the floors refinished out of the money donated for the project. She said she was not sure how much money was left over, "but it will all be used over the house."
Most of the money, according to Tate, has gone to pay for new curtains; repainting all the upstairs walls except the master bedroom and Nancy Reagan's dressing room, both of which have been papered; repairing and upholstering furniture from the White House collection; new carpeting; sanding and refinishing floors and doors; rewiring; and repairing the plumbing.
"No new furniture, chandeliers, or anything of that sort has been bought," Tate said, "unless it was a small table or something of the sort. Mostly, Mrs. Reagan had furniture brought from the White House warehouse, repaired and tightened up and re-covered." A few pieces of the Reagans' own furniture were also brought in.
All the paintings and other art works involved in the redecoration are either from the White House collection or on loan to the White House, Tate said.
Most of the Reagans' private furnishings are in the West Hall sitting room. On a fine pedestal table, Nancy Reagan displays the Chinese export blue and white china vases, bowls and urns given her by her mother.
Two extra-long sofas brought from the Reagans' Pacific Palisades home are upholstered in a flowered fabric with a red background, outlined in trapunto method. On one sofa is a pillow with the needlepointed initials "RR."
The great semicircular west window in the sitting room is heavily hung with yellow overcurtains and valance and filled in with sheer curtains. A round card table and mahogany occasional chairs are upholstered in red and white.
In the Yellow Oval Room, which the Carters had restored to a more formal setting with Louis XVI furniture, the Reagans have brought in a modern, comfortable sofa, flanking the marble mantled fireplace. Foreign dignitaries are received privately in this room.
The president's study, once Richard Nixon's bedroom, is painted pale yellow. President Reagan's own desk from California has a silver fire chief's horn made into a lamp base, as well as many photographs of Nancy. Other family photographs are scattered over other tabletops in the room. The Reagans used the same chairs, with a shared ottoman, that the Carters had, but have re-covered them in a red and white fabric that is also used in curtains. The paintings are largely George Catlin's American Indians, borrowed from the National Gallery of Art. Two pre-Columbian figures on the mantel are owned by the Reagans.
Nancy Reagan's office, formerly Amy Carter's bedroom, has been painted pale green with yellow curtains. In the built-in bookcase are more family photographs.
Her dressing room, adjacent to the couple's bedroom, has flowered peach wallcovering with matching curtains and upholstery. A painting of Nancy Reagan and daughter Patricia, by Paul Clemens, hangs on a wall over a chest top full of more photographs.
Probably the most beautiful room of the redecoration is the couple's bedroom. The walls are covered with Chinese hand-painted wallpaper.
Chairs, upholstered with a needlepoint fabric, face a white sofa, backed with a desk. "Mrs. Reagan often works at this desk, especially in the morning," Tate said. A gilded mirror over the fireplace faces the king-size bed. Nancy Reagan's collection of Battersea boxes is displayed on an inlaid octagonal table.
The solarium on the third floor, formerly redecorated by Rosalynn Carter, has been redone with new white and green upholstery. The large armoire, which held a stereo and records for the Carters, has been removed.
Guest suites have also been redone, including one which has been repainted red, the first lady's favorite color.
The redecoration was photographed for Architectural Digest by Lord Derry Moore, son-in-law of British Ambassador Sir Nicholas Henderson and Lady Henderson.