A congressman has a 'Downton Abbey'-inspired office? Yup, and it's controversial.
Illinois congressman Aaron Schock recently spruced up his offices, but not with the modernist glass tables or angular desk chairs you might envision when you think of cubicle decor.
No, the elected official decided to go all out: The Republican official’s new office in the Rayburn House is, at least, according to his receptionist, inspired by Downton Abbey.
The office features a gold-colored wall sconce with black candles and bright red walls. “It’s actually based off the red room in Downton Abbey,” the woman behind the front desk told the Washington Post.
The office’s designer, Annie Brahler, gave the Post reporter a full tour of the office, which features a vase full of peacock feathers. According to Brahler, it’s not a replica of Downton Abbey, but it is inspired by it.
“I guess because he’s fresh-minded and forward-thinking, he’s not hung up on doing things the same way as everyone else,” she told the Post. “It’s gotten to where he’s comfortable with everything I do.”
It’s unusual: Most members of Congress get hand-me-downs from other officers, with essentials provided by the House of Representatives. They have the option of a conservative new paint job in limited colors, but other decorations have to be personally funded. Luckily, Brahler offered her services free of charge.
Schock himself didn’t want to go on record about the office, and it’s not even clear that he watches the show. (“I don’t think he watches much TV,” his communications director told the reporter.) But either way, that’s a pretty creatively-decorated office.
There’s only one problem with it: Whether he violated House rules by accepting Brahler’s free labor. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington are investigating if he broke any rules. You know, except for the office-decorating kind.