The Queen Anne-style home provides privacy and a respite from the bustle of Washington that is not available at the White House, which is “charming and beautiful, but you live above the store,” Dufour said.
The seven vice presidents who lived at Number One Observatory Circle before Ms. Harris appreciated the spacious grounds and the ability to make the home their own. When the Bidens lived there, they painted the dining room the same shade of blue as their home in Delaware and hung borrowed pieces from the National Gallery of Art.
It has also become a tradition that each new tenant presides over improvements to the 128-year-old home. The Cheneys remodeled the kitchen, for example. The Pence added a hive. (On Tuesday, an official in Ms. Harris’s office said the bees would stay “absolutely”). And the Bidens added a small garden that features the names of the previous occupants and their pets, etched into stones surrounding a fountain.
“Each person has added something to improve the home for the next family,” Jill Biden told The Washington Post as the Bidens, then vice president and second lady, prepared to leave residence in 2017. Most of the residents hired a designer to help them. but Mrs. Harris and Mr. Emhoff haven’t done it yet.
On Tuesday, an official in Ms. Harris’s office said the vice president and Mr. Emhoff would be “discussing long-term projects” that would incorporate elements of California, where she served as attorney general and senator, and her cultural heritage. as the first woman of color to hold the position.
Ms. Harris’s predecessors often hosted personal or official events at home and have often interacted with people in the neighborhood, who have to deal with the daily obstruction of caravans and the noise of Marine Two flying overhead.
“You have to be aware when you organize an event,” Dufour said. “People in the neighborhood feel a lot of traffic.”