Home & Design

Star Power

A behind-the-scenes look at 20 celebrity hideaways Home & Design has spotlighted over the years

JOSH NORMAN  The celebrated Redskins cornerback enjoyed a moment with his Tesla during H&D’s photo shoot outside his Leesburg mansion. The second-highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, Norman is entering the fourth year of a five-year contract. He recently hosted a charity basketball game to raise money for Starz24, the foundation he launched to enrich the lives of underprivileged kids. Renovation Architecture: W.C. Ralston Architects. Photo: Maxine Schnitzer, 2018.


DANA BASH  CNN’s chief political correspondent lounged poolside in the backyard of the home she shares with her son, now 8. Bash continues to work with interior designer Melissa Broffman, imparting modern touches to her traditional Northwest DC abode. In addition to covering Congress, Bash has also launched “Badass Women of Washington,” a CNN series spotlighting many of the capital’s most powerful female figures. Photo: Bob Narod, 2015.

JOSÉ ANDRÉS  When not responding to a global hunger crisis through his non-profit, World Central Kitchen, José Andrés can be found in ThinkFoodGroup’s bustling test kitchen (above). His company’s Penn Quarter headquarters also features open workspaces and a living wall of plants and herbs. In May, the chef/restaurateur released his latest book, Vegetables Unleashed. Architecture: Gronning Architects. Photo: Michael Ventura, 2013. 


ROBERT WIEDMAIER  During breaks from his nine restaurants—among them Marcel’s and Mussel Bar—this chef/restaurateur retreats to his family’s weekend escape near Solomons Island, Maryland. Built around the remnants of a 17th-century customs house, the getaway boasts an open kitchen (left) and a dock where Wiedmaier (with son Marcel, above) embarks on fishing expeditions. In 2020, he will reopen Siren by RW, recipient of a Michelin Star. Photo: Geoffrey Hodgdon, 2014. 

BRYAN VOLTAGGIO  When this “Top Chef” alum opened the acclaimed Volt in his hometown of Frederick, he and wife Jennifer lived in a nearby townhouse (pictured there with son, Thacher). Almost a decade later, the chef presides over four additional restaurants, including the new Estuary in Penn Quarter. He and his family, now five, inhabit a nine-acre “farmette” in Urbana complete with a rancher, goats, chickens and an organic vegetable garden. Photo: Michael Ventura, 2010. 

KWAME ONWUACHI  Chef Onwuachi and fiancée Mya Allen moved into a sleek Shaw apartment (below) to be near his first restaurant, The Shaw Bijou. After that eatery abruptly closed, Onwuachi opened Kith and Kin in District Wharf. Within a year, he and Allen moved to new digs in Navy Yard; Onwuachi published a memoir, Notes From a Young Black Chef; and the James Beard Foundation named him Rising Star Chef of 2019. Photo: Michael Ventura, 2017.

PATRICK O’CONNELL  The cuisine—and décor—at The Inn at Little Washington have delighted guests since it opened in 1978. “Your eye can never be bored, just as your palate can never be bored,” says proprietor Patrick O’Connell, pictured in the kitchen of The Inn’s Claiborne House. His former home, this 1899 abode renovated by architect Allan Greenberg is now the presidential suite. O’Connell, whose restaurant boasts three Michelin stars, received a 2019 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo: Michael Ventura, 2015.

PATI JINICH  Former political analyst Pati Jinich (above, on her Chevy Chase patio) now fosters diplomacy through food in her PBS series “Pati’s Mexican Table.” After exploring a different region of her homeland every season, she tapes the show’s cooking segments in her own kitchen. Jinich won a 2019 James Beard Award for Outstanding TV Program in Studio and will soon start filming season eight of her show in Sinaloa. Photo: Michael Ventura, 2018. 

KARL ALZNER  Featured during his “iron man” streak with the Washington Capitals, defenseman Karl Alzner and wife Mandy (shown on their deck) settled into an Arlington abode with farmhouse-style details and a home theater. After almost a decade in DC, they returned to their native Canada, where Alzner plays for the Montreal Canadiens and Laval Rocket. The couple recently welcomed a third child into the family. Photo: Bob Narod, 2016. 

RYAN ZIMMERMAN  Now in his 14th season with the Washington Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman kicks back at his Great Falls residence between games. The first baseman and wife Heather (pictured in their pool house weeks before their second daughter was born) often host team and charity events around their pool (left) and fire pit (far left). Landscape Architecture: Fine Landscapes, Ltd. Interior Design: Great Falls Distinctive Interiors, Inc. Photo: Geoffrey Hodgdon, 2016.

CARON BUTLER  When Butler played for the Washington Wizards, he and his wife, Andrea, purchased a Fairfax home (where they are pictured) that they liked so much, they kept it even after he was traded—more than once. Today, the couple lives in Los Angeles with their daughters and the now-retired basketball star shares his expertise as an analyst for NBA TV, ESPN and Fox Sports. Interior Design: Dahlia Design. Photo: Bob Narod, 2013.

MICHAEL WEISS  Soon after Olympic figure skater Michael Weiss and wife Lisa (in their former kitchen, right) put the finishing touches on their custom McLean residence, they sold it and are now remodeling another McLean home for their family of four, through their own design/build firm. It will feature a wine cellar crafted by Lisa’s firm, Wine Cellars by Lisa. Michael continues to host charity skating shows to benefit aspiring athletes through his eponymous foundation.  Architecture: SB Design Studios. Builder: Weiss Design & Build. Photo: Bob Narod, 2017. 

MICHAEL WILBON  Two additional Emmys have come his way since H&D profiled the acclaimed sports journalist in the Bethesda home he shares with his wife, Sheryl. The longtime co-host of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” (pictured in his home office amidst precious memorabilia) also does sports commentary for the network. Renovation Architecture: Cunningham | Quill Architects. Interior Design:  Yardstick Interiors. Renovation Contractor: Potomac Valley Builders. Photo: Bob Narod, 2013.

DONNIE SIMPSON  Legendary Washington radio deejay and TV host Donnie Simpson and wife Pamela (pictured by their pool) share a large Potomac residence complete with sound studio, theater and putting green. The Simpsons love to relax at home with their grown children and five grandkids. Though he retired from WKYS in 2010, the move turned out to be short-lived: In 2015, velvet-voiced Simpson signed on to host an afternoon radio show on Majic 102.3.  Photo: Bob Narod, 2006.

DEBRA LEE  Just before BET Networks moved its operations from DC to New York in 2017, then-chairman and CEO Debra Lee put her modern, steel-and-glass abode on the market. The Massachusetts Heights mansion—complete with a wine-tasting room and private theater—finally sold in May 2019. Now retired and living in Los Angeles, Lee holds the title of BET chairman emeritus. Architecture: Marshall Moya Design. Contractor: Davis Construction. Photo: Stacy Zarin Goldberg, 2013

DENYCE GRAVES  When it’s time to recharge, opera star Denyce Graves and her family leave New York for their bucolic, 74-acre retreat north of Baltimore. Although Graves immediately unwinds in their inviting farmhouse, she still rehearses in its music room several hours a day. Pictured with husband Robert Montgomery and John and Ella, two of their four children, the DC-born diva returns to The Metropolitan Opera this fall to portray Maria in “Porgy and Bess.” Photo: Bob Narod, 2018. 

MONTE DURHAM  Home & Design photographed the prolific reality TV star in the dining room of the Alexandria home he shares with husband Jakob Evans. If anything, Durham is even busier these days. He’s wrapping up the 11th season of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta;” launching online sales of his own hair-care line, Monte; and planning to open a beauty salon in Old Town. Photo: Bob Narod, 2014.

KITTY KELLEY  When H&D profiled the unauthorized biographer of Frank Sinatra, Jackie Onassis and Nancy Reagan, her Georgetown Victorian (right) had just undergone a facelift. Known for her tell-alls, Kelley recently changed tack, penning two books showcasing photographer Stanley Tretick’s Kennedy collection as well as a children’s book, Martin’s Dream Day. Her writing appears in The Georgetowner and Washington Independent Review of Books. Interior Design: Sharyn Corry. Photo: Bob Narod, 2015.

AMBASSADOR GÉRARD ARAUD  Spearheaded by Araud (shown in the Empire Salon), the 2015 renovation of the French ambassador’s residence in Kalorama married bold modern art with a Gallic sensibility. After a five-year stint, Araud—celebrated for his blunt speech and colorful fêtes—surrendered his post in April; his successor, Philippe Étienne, arrives in September. Renovation Architecture: Quinn Evans Architects. Interior Design: Anne-Sophie Fries-Thébaut. Renovation Contractor: The Christman Company. Photo: Michael Ventura, 2016.

AMBASSADOR LARS GERT LOSE  Under the auspices of the former Danish ambassador and his wife, Ulla Rønberg, the Mid-Century Modern embassy residence—nestled in verdant Rock Creek Park—became a showcase for contemporary Danish art and design. And though Lose and Rønberg (pictured in the residence’s entry), departed their U.S. post in April, the Art in Embassy program continues under the tenure of Denmark’s new ambassador, Lone Dencker Wisborg. Photo: Bob Narod, 2018. 

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