“Kamala Harris’ Pink Library: A Bold Move in Challenging Power Norms”

The first female vice president in US history has made considerable changes to the “other” People’s House – the Vice President’s Residence in Washington, D.C.

The home’s library, for example, now has pink-hued walls, which Harris, 59, chose on purpose.

“This room, for many years, had a very dark forest green and then a lime green striped wallpaper,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively. “And I decided to shake things up a little. This almost fuchsia pink colour, in my opinion, is also a colour of power and warmth. As a result, I suppose we’ve been testing assumptions of what power looks like in certain respects.”

Harris, of course, has spent her whole career battling long-established, deeply entrenched power institutions.

Her nine-year marriage to Doug Emhoff, 59, adds another record: Emhoff is the first-ever second gentleman and the first Jewish person among the “Big Four” in the White House. (For the first time, a little silver mezuzah, a Jewish faith symbol, is mounted to the residence’s doorpost.)

Standing at the library, Harris gestures to a book titled Our Vice Presidents and Second Ladies, observing that “there will not simply be a new addition to that book.” A new book will be published.”

Harris says one of her aims has been to make the historic house, which is located on the grounds of the United States Naval Observatory, and those who visit feel comfortable and included.

“I have been very purposeful about bringing a real variety of American art with a lot of young artists,” she said. “So that we’re not only having art from the 1800s, but contemporary art [too].”

She and the second gentleman, who have hosted everything from world leaders to local schoolchildren to Pride events and Diwali celebrations, “feel that it is important to make this house reflective of who we are as America,” she says, “and that we make it accessible to the variety of people that we are.”

“It really is one of my favourite rooms,” she says of the home’s library, where she and Emhoff and their blended family enjoy convening. My family and I play cards and games here. So it’s good to have the family here.”

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