Inside Barack And Michelle Obama's Gorgeous D.C. Home

After serving two terms, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their two children, Malia and Sasha, transitioned out of the White House in January 2017. But the Obama family didn't return to their former Chicago home. Instead, they remained in Washington D.C., albeit not in the White House. According to The Chicago Tribune, this was a highly unusual move. Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States, was the last one to remain in the capital after exiting the White House in 1921.


Surprisingly, the Obamas have managed to live a quiet and relatively private life in the busy city. After renting a home that once belonged to former President Bill CIinton's press secretary Joe Lockhart, the Obamas paid $8.1 million to become the proud owners of the property, which is located in the upscale Kalorama neighborhood. Let's take a peek inside this nine-bedroom mansion that the Obamas call home, shall we?

Barack and Michelle Obama went from the White House to a Tudor house

Barack and Michelle Obama's digs may not be as gargantuan as the White House, but it's certainly not a shack. According to the house's 2014 real estate listing, their home boasts nine bedrooms and eight and a half bathrooms for a total of nearly 8,500 square feet. The house sits on a quarter-acre of land and backs up to mature trees and, further away, a creek.


From the 2014 photos of the exterior of the home, it has all the markings of a classic Tudor, with its white-washed brick facade and steeply pitched roof, which appears to be slate. The family's house also sits up from the street, making it look even more stately. A simple curved path of steps leads you to the front entry beneath an aged copper portico. It somehow is both incredibly cozy and impressive all at the same time.

Still, you can't always tell from a real estate photo just how quiet the area is — or is not. But the former first lady confirmed to Oprah Winfrey that the new home she and her family bought is indeed peaceful. She revealed that she has time for reflection — something that was near impossible during the eight years her husband was president.


Barack and Michelle Obama live down the street from the White House

It's hard to know how the Obamas feel about living so close to the 45th president, Donald Trump, and First Lady Melania, but nevertheless, they're practically neighbors. As Michelle Obama told Ellen Degeneres in an interview on her show, the Obamas "live in the neighborhood, down the street from the White House." While that sounds like it would be strange and maybe even a little awkward, the former first lady said it's really not as weird as you might think.


So, how close are the two houses really? As House Beautiful reported, Michelle told Oprah Winfrey that it's "a couple miles away from the White House." In reality, it's only about 8 miles away, though with D.C. traffic it could take over 20 minutes to end up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

As it turns out, the Obama family actually lives even closer to First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, President Trump's senior advisor Jared Kushner. According to The Washington Post, it's only about a three-minute walk between the two residences.

The Obamas have a "regular house" with a door, doorbell and all

When speaking to Oprah Winfrey about her new life and her book Becoming, the former first lady revealed a few details about the family's house near Capital Hill. "It's a beautiful brick home, and it's the first regular house, with a door and a doorbell, that I have had in about eight years," Michelle Obama explained in 2018.


On The Ellen Degeneres Show, Michelle said that having that door and doorbell has been quite the adjustment — and not just for their family. She told Degeneres that "people actually trip out" when she opens the front door. Can't you just picture them getting a pizza delivered for the first time? That unsuspecting person must've gotten the surprise of a lifetime. Michelle continued, saying that their pets are also getting used to their new place. "And the dogs, Bo and Sunny, don't know what a doorbell is," she explained. "So the doorbell rings and they're like, 'Mmm, I never heard that before.'"

Michelle Obama picked out the house

On The Ellen Degeneres Show, Michelle Obama was asked who was responsible for putting the house together. She explained, saying, "I did, with the help of my team and we had a decorator, but I picked out the house. I, you know, I was responsible." She further explained, "Because [Barack] was being president when we had to move, so he didn't really have time to go house-hunting."


Thankfully, Michelle has good taste in homes. According to the house's 2014 listing, the Kalorama mansion was built back in the late 1920s and features three stories, three fireplaces, and stunning hardwood floors throughout the majority of the home. Although Michelle hasn't revealed just how she redecorated the house since taking ownership in 2017, you can bet it's stunning — especially considering how the Obamas decorated while in the White House. "They're drawn to elegant, simple things," the family's interior designer for the White House, Michael S. Smith, revealed to Architectural Digest. According to the expert, the Obamas incorporated a mix of bold modern art as well as neutral colors. Perhaps they did the same with their new abode.


The Obamas' state-of-the-art kitchen

With the former first lady being quite the healthy foodie, it's no surprise she picked a home with a well-equipped kitchen. What better place to do your meal-prepping and cooking than in a stunning modern kitchen with what Zillow called "state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances" in 2014. The bright white cabinetry against light gray walls and marble countertops made this space feel light and airy in its listing photos. In addition to a large center island, the kitchen also boasts a small workspace and a breakfast nook — though Michelle Obama may prefer to have her meals outside.


When speaking to Oprah Winfrey in 2018, Michelle revealed what it was like to be home alone for one of the first times in some eight years. "I go downstairs and open the cabinet in my own kitchen — which you don't do in the White House because there's always somebody there going, 'Let me get that. What do you want? What do you need?' — and I made myself toast. Cheese toast," she divulged. Michelle then brought her toast outside, where she sat on the stoop overlooking her backyard alongside her dogs. "And it's that quiet moment of me settling into this new life," she poetically stated. Ah.

There's ample entertaining space for the Obama family

According to the home's 2014 listing, the gorgeous Kalorama mansion features a spacious dining room with recessed lighting and a modern chandelier against a unique hardwood ceiling. The wainscoted walls add another touch of formality to this space and makes the room a perfect spot for family dinners. Weather permitting, the Obamas can also open the French doors for some fresh air or head on out to their slate patio in the backyard.


The yard itself provides plenty of entertaining space. Can't you just imagine Barack Obama grilling up some burgers during a Fourth of July barbecue? Since they were named the "most desirable" neighbors in 2017, maybe they'll even consider hosting a block party one day. It could happen!

No doubt, the Obamas' dogs love having their own outdoor space too, though it took some adjusting. As House Beautiful reported, Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey that her dogs "had really never heard neighbor dogs" until they moved out of the White House. "They're like, 'What's that?'" she said of Bo and Sunny hearing barking for the first time. "And I'm like, 'Yep, we're in the real world now, fellas.'"

Barack Obama "doesn't have enough closet space"

Since Michelle Obama is the one who picked out the family's home, Ellen Degeneres asked the former first lady if Barack Obama was happy with his spaces in the house. Michelle quickly quipped, "Oh, no, no, no." She continued, saying, "He — no, no — he still talks about this. He got so shortchanged on this whole deal. He doesn't have enough closet space." Michelle shrugged and looked out at the audience. "Sorry," she joked.


As the couple's house was built in the early 1920s, a lack of closet space is not uncommon. Nevertheless, the home has obviously been updated since it was built and a dressing room — with wall-to-wall closets and an island for clothes storage — appears to have been added, according to the home's 2014 listing. Sure, Michelle could share part of the space with her husband, but who would want to do that? No hard feelings, Barack. She needs that space for her seriously amazing wardrobe.

Barack and Michelle Obama can take a seat wherever they'd like

In Barack and Michelle Obama's house, you certainly have your choice of sitting rooms. As shown by the house's 2014 real estate listing — before the Obamas purchased the house — one sitting room featured a conversational furniture arrangement beside a fireplace with a traditional white mantle. A less formal sitting room in the home had a full wall of windows and French doors leading out to the backyard. While the less formal room also had the conversational seating and fireplace, a TV sat above the mantle in place of a large piece of art. So, if you're wondering where the former president and first lady binge-watch all their shows, it might just be in this room.


But those aren't the only two places you could sit in the home back in 2014. Another small sitting area featured enough seating for at least five people and overlooked the expansive outdoor space. And, if you wanted to spend some time lounging outside, you could pick from any of the six chaises on the patio. With a quarter-acre property and a nearly 8,500 square-foot home, this is the perfect house for someone who likes to take it easy.

Sasha Obama's "two-room suite"

Losing out on closet space isn't the 44th president's only complaint about the family's Washington D.C. home. "He's got the smallest room for his office," Michelle Obama revealed on The Ellen Degeneres Show. The 2014 real estate listing doesn't list a study or office as part of the home's features, so it's possible Barack is using one of the eight bedrooms as his workspace. He may have gotten the smallest areas of the home, but it wasn't Michelle who got the biggest.


"Sasha actually killed in this house," the former first lady told Degeneres. "She has, like, this two-room suite. It's all decked out. She's got like a living room area and a bedroom — and she designed it." The mom of two continued, "So, [Barack's] really hatin' on her." We can see why, but, as Michelle told the show's host, Sasha deserves it. After all, she is "the baby." As the 2014 real estate listing shows, Sasha's suite was once a nursery and playroom. But since she's not a literal baby anymore, we're sure this space has been updated.

Malia Obama has a "room in the attic somewhere"

You might be thinking that if Sasha Obama has the best room, her older sister, Malia Obama, must have the second-best, right? Not quite. Actually, not even close. "She's got a room up in the attic somewhere, Malia," Michelle Obama told Ellen Degeneres on her show. "She's away at college. You don't waste rooms on college kids," the former first lady joked, inciting laughter from the audience. She's totally right.


Yet and still, you could probably argue that Malia's bedroom is cooler than her father's office. The home's 2014 real estate listing reveals a photo of an attic bedroom with a small, modern ensuite bathroom and closet. The room may not be as large as Sasha's double-room suite, but, as Michelle explained, it's not going to be used all that much since Malia is away at Harvard. Watch out, though, Malia. Your dad might just convert it into a study while you're at school.

Barack and Michelle Obama's home is neutral and fully updated

Although there's no telling just how the house has changed since the Obamas sent in their decorating team in 2017, there wasn't a whole lot that needed to be changed. As the 2014 listing showed, the home was fully updated and move-in ready. The kitchen was modernized with stunning countertops and great appliances. The bathrooms, too, featured marble tiling and countertops. No renovations required.


However, some rooms did need repurposing. As stated, Sasha Obama's "two-room suite" was previously a nursery with an attached playroom, so that had to be adapted to fit the needs of a teenager. Barack Obama's office may have very well been a bedroom, so that too would have needed to be converted into a more functional space. Of course, the rooms, even though updated, may not have been to Michelle Obama's taste. Perhaps they chose to repaint the walls or even make major modifications to make the house work better for them. Although inquiring minds want to know, we'll have to wait for the Obamas to dish the deets.

An elegant master bedroom for Barack and Michelle Obama

When speaking with Architectural Digest, Michael S. Smith, the interior designer who the Obamas used for their White House renovation, revealed that he turned the couple's bedroom into a "sanctuary" that was "private, elegant, and calm." He added, "You really want to make sure that the President of the United States gets a good night's sleep." Even after leaving the White House, though, sleep is still important. Thankfully, the Obamas' Kalorama house came with a master bedroom that already ticked all the boxes: it was private, elegant, and yes, calm.


A wall of windows lets in plenty of natural light, but, even if it didn't, recessed lighting and a brass ceiling fixture would keep the room well-lit, as seen in pictures for the home's 2014 listing. The Obamas may have kept the neutral bluish gray walls and crown molding that exude elegance, as well as the thick draperies that provide privacy and block out any unwanted morning light. Although the room isn't extravagantly large, statement furniture can still fit comfortably. While no closet can be spotted in the 2014 real estate listing photo, Michelle's dressing room is likely a short walk from the master.

Barack and Michelle Obama's house has the basement of all basements

One of the coolest features of the Obamas' house is their basement. You may not think of a basement as being exciting, but hear us out. For one thing, the lowest floor of the Kalorama mansion is huge and fully finished. Keeping with the 1920s style, a built-in bookcase spans the entire length of one wall, according to the 2014 listing. Could that be where Barack Obama keeps all of his favorite books? One can only guess. Although there's not a whole lot of natural light, as is pretty much standard for all basements, the large space can still manage to be both inviting and cozy.


The best part about this basement, though, is the kitchen. Yes, that's right, the Obamas have two kitchens, as seen in the home's 2014 listing. And the one in the basement looks as stunning as the one upstairs. Much like the main kitchen, this secondary kitchen — at least at one point — featured marble countertops and stainless steel appliances. The room can also be used for laundry as a washer and dryer can be seen across from the refrigerator and range in listing photos. If Michelle's mom still lives with the family as she did when Barack was president, this walk-out basement would be a perfect in-law suite.

Will the Obamas sell their house?

It may feel like the Obamas only just moved into their Washington D.C. mansion, but the $8.1 million property is not likely to be their forever home. The 44th president revealed to reporters (via Politico), "We're going to have to stay a couple of years so Sasha can finish [school]." He continued, "Transferring someone in the middle of high school — tough."


Though Sasha Obama graduated from high school in 2019, who knows just how much time she'll want to spend at home with her parents. Though, Michelle Obama isn't worried too much about having an empty nest. "That's the rub of teenagers — they're bumping up against the limits of where they are because they're ready for the next thing," Michelle told People. "That's how I feel with my girls: if they are ready for college, then I want them to go and I'm happy for them." There's no official word on how long the Obama family will stay in the nation's capital, but their neighbors are probably hoping for at least a few more years.