CNNa��s chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash knows how to prepare for a photo shoot. Breezing down the stairs of her house, she is perfectly made up and coiffed with a welcoming smile on her face. Of course, Home & Designa��s camera crew is not the only one shea��ll be facing on this day. She will soon be on her way to CNN to cover the latest political maneuverings in the House and Senate. Ita��s a job shea��s been doing for nine years and it definitely keeps her busy.
As does her four-year-old boy, whose father is her former husband, CNN anchor and chief national corresponent John King. Bash lives with her son in the house she purchased in 2007 on a sleepy block in Northwest DC. Built in 2001, it combinesA�clean lines and modern amenities with traditional elements like wainscoting and a stone fireplace. It also offers plenty of space for a very active child to run around.
Though Bash loves the house, she was originally drawn to the land, which accommodates a patio, swimming pool and lawn, plus blooming shrubs and brimming flowerpots. a�?I wanted to live in DC but still have the benefits of suburbia,a�? she says. a�?Ia��m very much an outside person, so the garden was important to me.a�?
Bash lived in the house for a number of years before deciding to decorate. She had purchased it from a designer who also sold her the classic Niermann Weeks chandelier and massive mirror that still occupy the living room and front hall, respectively. a�?There was enough there that I liked, so I just left it alone and didna��t add a lot of a�?mea�� into it,a�? she says.
When she was finally ready, she hired designer Melissa Broffman, whom she knew because Broffman had worked at CNN in a previous career. Together, they tackled the house in stages. a�?Danaa��s very decisive. She could do it all by herself; she just doesna��t have the time,a�? Broffman observes.
Bash characterizes her taste as a�?classically contemporary with a little bit of glam.a�? Broffman helped her choose pieces that fit her style, including a Donghia sofa paired with a gilt wall sculpture by Christopher Guy for the living room. A plush chaise in her bedroom conveys a chic but understated vibe. While Bash didna��t relinquish all the decision-making, she explains that she was confident that a�?Melissa knows me and would understand what I wanted.a�?
Throughout the house, artwork picked up during her travels clearly reflects Basha��s aesthetica��as well as a sense of whimsy and playfulness. A vibrant painting of a flower by her boyfriend, L.A.-based actor Spencer Garrett, stands front and center in the dining room, while a series of celebrity portraits by artist Richard ZarziA�recently acquired in London, hangs in the living room. Numbered prints by Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) add punches of vibrant color. A Jonathan Adler pillow depicting Jackie Onassis sits on the living room sofa, and a poster of Audrey Hepburn as Coco Chanel graces the upstairs landing. a�?I like empowered women who are classy and chic,a�? Bash says. a�?I like to be inspired by them.a�?
The daughter of Stuart Schwartz, a longtime producer at ABC, the New Jersey-born Bash moved to DC to attend George Washington University and never left. a�?It wasna��t about politics at the time,a�? she recalls. a�?My dad likes to joke that I graduated from college without knowing there were three branches of government! But I caught the bug pretty fast. My whole childhood, I said a�?Ia��ll never go into TV newsa��you have vacations taken away, you work crazy hours.a�� Then I stopped fighting my DNA and went with it.a�?
Bash joined CNN right after college and has been there ever since. As a top political correspondent, she will soon be on the road covering the 2016 election. a�?My favorite part of the job is witnessing what will soon be history up close and personal, being part of the action,a�? she comments.
For Bash, downtime these days means relaxing at home with her son, who, she says, has pretty much taken over. Minutes before the camera crew arrived, a�?we had a rollercoaster going through the living room under the Niermann Weeks chandelier,a�? she laughs. a�?Thata��s why therea��s no rug. My son likes it better that way! a�?This house makes me so happy,a�? she continues. a�?Ita��s the most rewarding thing for me these days, just being at home with my son.a�?
INTERIOR DESIGN: MELISSA BROFFMAN, Allied Member ASID, Melissa Broffman Interior Design, Arlington, Virginia. LANDSCAPE DESIGN: CHARLES DALTON, Dalton Ventures, Inc., Middletown, Maryland.
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