First lady Melania Trump unveils White House restoration projects before state visit

Like any eager host ahead of a big event, first lady Melania Trump has spruced up a few things around the White House before welcoming the prime minister of Australia and his wife for the second official state dinner of the Trump presidency on Friday.

The first lady focused on refreshing some older features of the presidential mansion’s well-trodden Red, Green and Blue Rooms, which are heavily foot trafficked during near-daily public tours, according to the Associated Press.

Sunlight streaming into the Red Room had left wall fabric "so faded it was almost pink," said Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association.

Sunlight streaming into the Red Room had left wall fabric "so faded it was almost pink," said Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

"The White House does get a lot of wear and tear," Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, said.

McLaurin explained that some of the small improvement projects at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue were long overdue, like the Red Room’s wall fabric becoming “so faded it was almost pink” due to sunlight.

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This photo shows refreshed wall fabric in the Red Room of the White House in Washington.

This photo shows refreshed wall fabric in the Red Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

"Those rooms should always look their very best and it was just very faded and really, really needed to be done," he detailed.

"Those rooms should always look their very best and it was just very faded and really, really needed to be done," McLaurin detailed.

"Those rooms should always look their very best and it was just very faded and really, really needed to be done," McLaurin detailed. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

In the Green Room, draperies were repurposed by switching the backside to the front, avoiding the cost of totally replacing the curtains, and given new fringe.

In the Green Room, draperies were repurposed by switching the backside to the front side, avoiding the cost of totally replacing the curtains, and given new fringe.

In the Green Room, draperies were repurposed by switching the backside to the front side, avoiding the cost of totally replacing the curtains, and given new fringe. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Throughout the last year, Mrs. Trump also has helped return several pieces of furniture from the Bellangé suite into the Blue Room, a project that former first lady Michelle Obama started in 2013. The Bellangé collection was brought to the White House in 1817 by President James Monroe and sold at auction in 1860. In recent years, the White House has reacquired 10 pieces from the original suite.

This shows a portrait of former first lady Edith Roosevelt, right, wife of President Theodore Roosevelt, in the Green Room.

This shows a portrait of former first lady Edith Roosevelt, right, wife of President Theodore Roosevelt, in the Green Room. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

According to McLaurin, the rest of the set is essentially “lost to history.”

This photo shows restored furniture in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington. The project was started by former first lady Michelle Obama.

This photo shows restored furniture in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington. The project was started by former first lady Michelle Obama. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

In the Diplomatic Reception Room, the main entrance off the South Lawn, the first lady designed a new rug with a border featuring the flowers of the 50 U.S. states. The item replaces an older carpet worn out by foot traffic, according to the White House Historical Association president.

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Other renovations completed under Mrs. Trump’s direction include the refurbishment of a Nixon administration-era bowling alley and restoration of the interiors in an elevator that transports the president to and from the private living quarters.

Roughly half a million tourists visit the White House each year, aside from dignitaries and guests of special receptions at the historic home.

Roughly half a million tourists visit the White House each year, aside from dignitaries and guests of special receptions at the historic home. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Moving forward, one future project on the to-do list includes reupholstering chairs and benches in the Diplomatic Reception Room.

Roughly half-a-million tourists visit the White House each year, aside from dignitaries and guests of special receptions at the historic home.

"Our family is grateful to live in this true symbol of our nation's history, but we are even more honored to play a part in restoring and enhancing our country's sacred landmark," Mrs. Trump commented on living there at a May event.

"Our family is grateful to live in this true symbol of our nation's history, but we are even more honored to play a part in restoring and enhancing our country's sacred landmark," Mrs. Trump has said of her life at the White House.

"Our family is grateful to live in this true symbol of our nation's history, but we are even more honored to play a part in restoring and enhancing our country's sacred landmark," Mrs. Trump has said of her life at the White House. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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When President Trump and the first lady host Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, for an official visit and state dinner on Friday, the formal occasion will celebrate the two countries' close friendship and shared history.

The event will be only the second state dinner Trump has held since he became president, after hosting France in April 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.