Though the crux of Ben Rhodes and his wife Ann Norris’ politically related work rests in Washington, D.C. and overseas — he as a podcaster unraveling international news and foreign policy developments, she as a senior adviser on global women’s issues — the couple have chosen to bunk up in a pied-à-terre in the seaside Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice, just a literal quick skip from the bustling restaurants and galleries of Abbot Kinney. The couple paid about $2.9 million for their new house, records reveal.
Built in 1923 and updated through the years, the attractive bungalow features almost 2,000 square feet of living space spread across two levels adorned with custom bleached oak floors, wood-beam ceilings and designer lighting throughout. An inviting brick porch spanning nearly the home’s entire width greets; from there, two sets of French doors open to a living room sporting a vintage fireplace flanked by built-in bookshelves and an adjacent dining area.
An ensuite bedroom lies on the way to the main living area, where a high-ceilinged and skylit space is anchored by a gourmet kitchen sporting an eat-in island and SubZero, Wolf and Bosch appliances. The adjoining family room includes a wet bar, and opens via a trio of French doors to the private backyard. A small office space is also tucked away on this level.
Upstairs, the spacious master retreat holds court with a bath featuring a dual custom-built vanity with Caesarstone countertops, limestone floors, and designer Grohe and Toto fixtures. Accessible from the master bedroom, or by a separate set of stairs from the main floor, is a roof deck ideal for relaxing and inhaling ocean breezes; other outdoor offerings include a backyard living room and al fresco dining area adjoining a flagstone patio and small patch of grass, plus a detached one-car garage and “plenty of room” for a pool, per the listing.
A native New Yorker, Rhodes spent eight years as Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, which means he penned almost every foreign policy speech the former president delivered. Today, he’s most known as a main host of Crooked Media’s weekly foreign policy podcast “Pod Save the World” with former White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, in which the pair unravel international news and foreign policy developments.
Norris, meanwhile, grew up in L.A. and graduated from UCLA before going on to serve as a former senior foreign policy adviser to Sen. Barbara Boxer. These days, she is a senior adviser to the U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, Catherine Russell, with a focus on empowering adolescent girls, gender-based violence and gender issues in the Afghanistan and the Asia-Pacific region.