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Opinion / Analysis / Essays

May 20, 2004

WEST ROXBURY - Not everyone gets to attempt home improvements with an advisor from Home Depot looking on, but Bianca de la Garza does. Of course, upward of 100,000 television viewers are watching too.

De la Garza, 28, is a reporter and anchorwoman for Fox 25 News who also does home-improvement segments that air on Saturdays. The idea is to show viewers that relatively simple tasks, for which you could easily shell out a chunk of change to a professional, are manageable by the ordinary homeowner.

So far she has stained her deck and hung a glass chandelier above the dining room table in the 1938 Tudor-inspired Colonial she shares with colleague and husband David Wade, the evening news co-anchor. On Saturday, those who tune in can watch de la Garza seal her driveway.

"It's so easy," she said of projects like changing a light switch or tiling the backsplash for a sink. Asked if she aspires to become the next domestic diva (read: Martha Stewart), de la Garza quips, "there's a little bit of a opening there."

Wade, who turns 31 Sunday, and de la Garza were married a year-and-a-half ago. They both studied broadcast journalism at Emerson College, but didn't meet until they were competing street reporters at the ABC (her) and Fox (him) affiliates in Albany.

Wade, who grew up in Somerville and Tewksbury, landed a job in Boston, but she followed an opportunity in San Diego. They kept the long-distance romance alive until Fox 25 hired de la Garza, a Milton native. "We're very fortunate," said de la Garza. And, as they do for each other with some regularity, Wade finished her sentence. "It can take years and years before you can break into a market like Boston," he said. "The news director gets hundreds of tapes a week from people who want our jobs."

These days Wade and de la Garza are lucky to see each other. Though they both work evenings, they work only three days in common, so mornings are their family time. "Our friends ask us to dinner and I have to say, `No, but we're great at brunch,' " de la Garza said.

They often spend mornings in the kitchen or on their deck. They gutted the kitchen the instant they bought the house. "We were at Home Depot the day we closed," said de la Garza. The old cabinets were dowdy, and the new decor has a certain flair. "I like antique pieces and I try mixing them up with some funky pieces," she said. "I love decorating with color, even if it's super bright." The sunroom, which the couple painted, is pink salmon punched with lime green.

He is the better cook of the pair, according to de la Garza. "I have to focus on one dish and if I forget to add one ingredient it distracts me," she said. "He can just whip something up."

Another improvement they made to the 1,800-square-foot house they have owned for just over a year is a window seat that became "instant cat space" for their Persian named Nacho.

Wade, who displays seven of his eight Boston/New England Emmy awards on a floor-level shelf in the living room (his parents have the eighth), is working on some short stories, a children's book, and a novel set in the broadcast-journalism world.

The couple doesn't get a lot of time to watch TV. When they do, they go to the basement where they have a high-definition, rear-projection 53-inch Pioneer Elite, tied into a surround-sound home-theater system. They use it mainly to watch movies and sports events, although they have been known to watch each other deliver the evening news when one is home and the other is working.

All articles © Eric Goldscheider

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