White House China

With the Presidential Elections still on our minds, we give you an inside look at the chinaware used within White House.  

via Homesessive

At left, Mrs. Obama discusses the menu for the 2009 Governors Dinner on Feb. 22, 2009 as White House Chef Cristeta Comerford and White House Pastry Chef William Yosses look on in the White House kitchen.
Photo Credit: Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images

 

Purchase reproduction Ulysses S. Grant Presidential China at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum Store.
Photo Credit: The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston

 

The George W. Bush State China Service
Photo Credit: Ron Edmonds, AP

 

The White House Magnolia Residence China Service, chosen by Laura Bush
Photo Credit: Ron Edmonds, AP

 

A plate from the 300-place service costing $240,000 designed in part by Hillary Rodham Clinton for the 200th anniversary celebration of the White House.
Photo Credit: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

 

Soup bowl, fish plate, dessert and dinner plates, ramekin, and fruit bowl from the Ronald Reagan service of 1981, courtesy of The White House Historical Association.
Photo Credit: Will Brown, The White House Historical Association

 

Lyndon B. Johnson Service Plate from 1967, on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Photo Credit: Will Brown, Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower Service Plate circa 1955, on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Photo Credit: Will Brown, Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

Cocktail cup, oatmeal bowl, after-dinner coffee cup, and dinner plate from the Woodrow Wilson service of 1918, courtesy of The White House Historical Association.
Photo Credit: Will Brown, The White House Historical Association

 

Purchase reproduction Benjamin Harrison Presidential China at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum Store.
Photo Credit: The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston

 

“On Chesapeake Bay” game platter from the Rutherford B. Hayes state service of 1879, courtesy of The White House Historical Association.
Photo Credit: Will Brown, The White House Historical Association

 

Ulysses S. Grant Dinner Plate from 1870, on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Photo Credit: Will Brown, Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

Purchase reproduction Abraham Lincoln Presidential China at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum Store.
Photo Credit: The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston

 

Purchase reproduction James Buchanan Presidential China at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum Store.
Photo Credit: The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston

 

Click here for full gallery

Bust To Boom: Why Housing Matters, Economically

Nam Y. Huh/AP

The economy has peppered political speeches for much of the presidential campaign. But talk of creating jobs has stolen thunder from the housing market.

The epic housing collapse four years ago was a key ingredient in creating the Great Recession in the first place. Plus, boosting the housing market can be a boon for overall economic recovery.

Beginning A ‘Long-Term Cycle’

Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic, follows the housing market. He says housing is a major driver of the overall economy because it impacts multiple sectors. When you buy a home, for example, you also buy things to put in it. When companies notice that kind of activity, they respond, he says.

That knock-on effect is boosting stocks at Home Depot and Lowe’s; they’re trading at their highest prices in a decade. That, in turn, lures investors.

Brian Peery of the California investment firm Hennessy Funds says he’s hopeful.

“I think we’re actually just beginning a long-term cycle here,” he says. “I think if you look at the home builders and the construction companies themselves, they’re not quite optimistic yet, but they’ve certainly become less pessimistic.”

Denver real estate agent Victoria McCaskill, meanwhile, certainly is optimistic.

“What we’re seeing now is low inventory … lots of buyers in the marketplace, rents are up” she says, “and we’re seeing a situation where it’s almost difficult to find a home as a buyer. It’s a multiple-bid situation in a lot of instances.”

Still, a number of false starts in the economy over the past few years have fallen flat. This time, according to Thompson, the growth is real — if halting.

The Recovery We’ve Been Waiting For

In the 1970s and ’80s, Thompson says, housing and cars were major drivers in recovering from recession. They accounted for 50 percent of the recovery in the ’70s and one-third of the recovery in the 1980s.

“And today, they’re accounting for only about 10 percent of the recovery,” Thompson says. “So we’re missing this huge, important engine of economic growth.”

He says there are a couple indicators to look for when assessing the housing market: Is housing being built and what kind?

“One of the reasons why this recovery has been so disappointing is because we overbuilt in what’s called single-family houses,” Thompson says.

But we’ve been lacking apartment complexes. He says that’s starting to change. One of the driving forces in apartment construction is a nascent trend of young people moving out of their parents’ homes. Rather than jumping into home buying, they’re looking for apartments.

“Hopefully, once we see enough of these apartment buildings being built, we’ll sort of hit a ceiling in the apartment sector, and then you’ll see people starting to move out of apartments and into houses,” Thompson says. “And then you’ll really have the housing recovery that we’re all waiting for.”

Recovery is uneven, but in states that have been hit the hardest — Michigan, California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada — there are hopeful signs.

“As you look across the country, not everything is improving or declining at the same rate,” he says. “But you know what? That looks less like a recession and more just like a regular economy.”

Political Impact

Still, many homeowners are struggling with foreclosure and renegotiating their mortgages. With the presidential candidates relatively silent on the issue, Thompson says, voters are left wishing.

“Right now I think there [are] a lot of people who are sort of waiting and hoping that if Romney is elected, if Obama is elected, that they’ll have a kind of secret plan to replace the current strategy with proactive policies that say … ‘We understand how important housing is to a recovering economy, and we’re going to make sure that 2013 doesn’t look like 2009 through 2012,’ ” he says.

As Americans await the election, there are still things holding buyers and investors back — whether the mortgage deduction will still remain, for example, or the impact of problems abroad. Thompson says Congress could be another tripwire.

“Right now, the U.S. economy is recovering — the private sector, at least — at a decent pace. What would really hold us back is that this do-nothing Congress does nothing again and lets the fiscal cliff happen,” he says.

Thompson points to a Congressional Budget Office report that says the fiscal cliff would cut the average family’s disposable income by about $2,000.

“So housing is a risk. You’re always taking a risk when you make an investment,” he says. “And the question is: Are you more likely to take that risk when you know you’re going to have a $2,000 hit the next year? I would say no. So the economy is doing OK, but Congress could still really screw it up.”

source: NPR

Election Day Decor

Tips from M/I Homes

In the spirit of the elections, this weeks’ product round-up is centered around the patriotic colors of red, white and blue.

We understand that decorating a room in all three colors outside of the month of July may sound a little quirky or be daunting to pull off. But there are many ways to subtly incorporate your national pride and these rich colors into your home. One way is to dull down the color blue used, so that it appears to be more of a gray. Another is to incorporate a great deal of wooden and natural earthy elements to break apart the strong colors. Decorating with red, white and blue definitely doesn’t need to mean having your home look like the American flag. We suggest breaking them apart into three different rooms. Why not create a red kitchen, white bedroom and blue bathroom?

View the slideshow above for ways to add a patriotic flare to your home.

source: homesessive

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