I happened across this great post by Ronda Carman which takes us on a brief tour of the ritual transformation of the White House living space. With every new president comes new splashes of paint, new china, new draperies, etc.
Carman provides a bevy of information in her guide, such as, most First Families hire outside design firms to redecorate. I had no idea--I thought it was merely an inside job headed by the White House Curator's Office. She provides a number of great historical photographs as well.