B E FO R E + A F T E R
‘SOMEDAY’ BECOMES REALITY Couple renovates 128-year-old home into a ‘forever’ retreat. TEXT BY PAT WATERS PHOTOGRAPHY BY THOMAS GRADY/T. HURT CONSTRUCTION
he Victorian Italianate home rises like a ship above undulating farmland near Omaha. Restoring the grand dame took about 18 months, but the homeowners’ plan for it gestated for 30 years – beginning when they were dating in high school. “Whenever we would drive by I would say, ‘Someday we have to buy that house and give it some TLC,’” she recalls. “Someday” came in 2010 when the couple purchased the house. It marked the first time that it had changed hands outside of the family who built it. It was, perhaps, meant to be. Her in-laws farm nearby. And her husband wanted to expand his
family’s farming operation by the 120 acres on which the house stands. Renovating a 128-year-old home requires determination, energy and a willingness to commit time and financial resources. The couple were equally passionate about and dedicated to the project. “We never had one serious problem. We had fabulous contractors. There never was a day when someone wasn’t there. Everyone loved working on the house because it was unique.” Oh, there were minor problems – like the time when interior designer Libby Pantzlaff of Creative Interiors by Libby stepped through a weak spot in the kitchen floor. And there were bats that stubbornly refused to vacate their attic aerie.
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20 JULY/AUGUST 2014