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Byron Dorgan: The prairie populist who added an 'oversized chandelier’ to his four-and-a-half-bath home in McLean

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Byron Dorgan was a “prairie populist,” his Senate colleague Tom Harkin told us open Dorgan’s retirement. Liberal writer David Sirota gave Dorgan the same label.

Dorgan’s wife Kimberly is a longtime lobbyist, currently running the lobby operation for the American Council of Life Insurers — which lobbies to protect the populist death tax that pads the profits of life insurance companies. And, of course, as soon as Sen. Dorgan retired, he joined a lobbying firm, too.

The Dorgans are staying in the house where they raised their kids — a 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath 3,800-square-foot home on a cul-de-sac in McLean, Va. But they’ve upgraded the home, and it’s beautiful enough that Home & Design Magazine did a tour of it. Some highlights of this Prairie Populist home:

Now, ochre walls and new hardwood floors warm up the family room and an oversized chandelier “brings the focus down to the level in which you live,” says Staszak….

Fabulous new finishes, from Costa Esmeralda granite countertops to a travertine backsplash, update the [kitchen] with style.

In the living room, which opens to the study, Staszak mingled diverse furnishings and fabrics, creating a surprisingly harmonious effect. Asian elements (bamboo-legged stools and a Chinoiserie print) contrast with French bergères, a sisal rug and pillows in a formal brocade….

One of the new investments is a Habersham secretaire in the study, paired with Dorgan’s chair from the Senate floor.

A soaking tub, marble floors and an oversized shower with a mosaic-tile wall create a pampering refuge.

Here’s the populist part of their $1.2 million home: contrasting their Habersham secretaire are many of their old pieces of furniture, just reupholstered.

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