The makeover was done while the first family was on vacation, and was completed in time for Obama's address to the nation on Iraq Tuesday evening, The New York Times reported.
Obama is likely to face some flak about the interior decorating, in light of the tough economic times, the Times said. The White House said the bills were being paid by the non-profit group, the White House Historical Association, through a contribution from the committee that paid for Obama's inauguration.
Obama declined to disclose the cost of the redo but said it was "in line" with what his predecessors spent.
Obama has opted for neutral tones, in contrast to the golds and yellows of the George W. Bush administration, the Times said. The new rug -- which replaces a rug with a sunburst motif designed by former first lady Laura Bush -- features the presidential seal surrounded by the following quotations:
"The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself," by President Franklin D. Roosevelt; "The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Towards Justice," by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; "Government of the People, By the People, For the People," by President Abraham Lincoln; "No Problem of Human Destiny Is Beyond Human Beings," by President John F. Kennedy; and "The Welfare of Each of Us Is Dependent Fundamentally Upon the Welfare of All of Us," by President Theodore Roosevelt.
Photos by Ismael Mohamad/UPI