Page 1

July/August 2011

Always Local, Always Beautiful

Botanical Abundance Richard & Brenda Todd’s Pepperwood Backyard

creating the

Perfect Patio Estate metals’

Tom Schlosser Six Great Gadgets For

Summer Entertaining

A Publication












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  july/august  •  2011

Omaha Home: from the editor July/August 2011 VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 4 publisher

todd lemke managing editor

corey ross assistant editor

linda persigehl editorial assistant

bailey hemphill contributing editor/account executive

stacey penrod art director

john gawley graphic designer

katie anderson principle photography by

minorwhite studios, inc. s c o t t d r i c k e y, b i l l s i t z m a n n contributing writers

molly garriott • angelika stout m a r i l y n h a n s e n , FA S I D meghan townley vice president

greg bruns account executives

gwen lemke • gil cohen vicki voet • paige edwards sales associat

alicia smith hollins technical advisor

tyler lemke warehouse distribution manager

mike brewer for advertising subscription information:


To s u b s c r i b e t o

Omaha Magazine go to: Comments? Send your letter to the editor to: All versions of Omaha Magazine are published bimonthly by Omaha Magazine, LTD, P.O. Box 461208, Omaha NE 680461208. Telephone: (402) 884-2000; fax (402) 884-2001. Subscription rates: $19.95 for 6 issues (one year), $24.95 for 12 issues (two years). No whole or part of the contents herein may be reproduced without prior written permission of Omaha Magazine, excepting individually copyrighted articles and photographs. Unsolicited manuscripts are accepted, however no responsibility will be assumed for such solicitations. Best of Omaha®™ is a registered tradename of Omaha Magazine.

Owned and managed by Omaha Magazine, LTD

Oh, the Joys

of Homeownership!


t’s officially summer.

As excited as I get every year for the weather to turn warm and sunny, for the opportunity to golf, ride bikes, spend time by the pool and socialize, that same excitement wanes a bit with the reminder of all the new tasks and responsibilities that come along with the change of the season. Mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, planting flowers, fertilizing, cleaning out the garage, putting winter clothes away for storage, transporting kids to all of their summer commitments, is just the beginning of the list. The other day my daughter called her friend sharing with amusement that I was out on the roof cleaning out gutters. Last month I had the privilege of participating in this years groundbreaking / wall raising for Women Build, an annual homebuilding event for Habitat for Humanity. This event is different than their others in that the homebuilding team is made up entirely of women from our community. I was greeted with a hard hat, tool apron, nails, hammer and everything I needed to start building a home. Yes, that morning I helped nail in all of the floor boards and even had the privilege of raising the first wall (see page 30). It was really pretty exhilarating! Participating with a group of women to help build a home for a family in need truly puts homeownership into perspective. No more complaints from me! Summertime is a time for transformation!

In this issue we will take you into a few of Omaha’s fabulous backyards. Thank you to the Penry’s for allowing us to see their fantastic backyard oasis, and to the Todd’s, who participated in this year’s Munroe Meyer Garden Walk. Deb Kirchner from Mulhall’s pulls together elements to show us how to create the “Perfect Patio,” and several retailers from Omaha share with us the newest products for entertaining. As you flip through our magazine, you will notice that we continue to grow, change, and evolve. We welcome John Gawley as our new Art Director. His goal is to give our magazine a national look while keeping the local appeal. As always, thank you for taking this journey with us. I love to hear about interesting people, products and businesses in Omaha. Many of our ideas come from you! Feel free to contact me with any ideas, submissions or comments at Have a fabulous summer!


Stacey Penrod, Account Executive and Contributing Editor for Omaha Home Omaha Home appears as its own magazine and as a section within Omaha Magazine. To view the full version of Omaha Magazine, or to subscribe, go to july/august  •  2011 


Omaha Home: contents FEATURES


Cover Feature_ __________________ 14 Botanical Abundance

Room Spotlight_ _________________ 10 The Perfect Patio

Home Away From Home___________ 40 Retro Luxury On The Road

At Home________________________ 18 A Natural Beauty

Design Profile_ __________________ 12 Tom Schlosser, Estate Metals

Outdoor Elements________________ 42 Fabulous Front Doors

Feature_________________________ 30 New Habitats

Builder Profile___________________ 26 Alan Hans, Advantage Development

Green Design_ __________________ 44 ZNETH, Zeroing In

Outdoor Living_ _________________ 35 Jeanne Penry’s Backyard Oasis

New On The Block_ ______________ 28 Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Entertaining_____________________ 48 Gadgets for Summer Entertaining


Transformations__________________ 32 Extreme ‘80s Makeover

Pampered Pets___________________ 50 Rosie & Ruby

Tech_ __________________________ 24 Outdoor Lighting for Security and Scenery

At Home

The Perfect Patio

Estate Metals

Gardening______________________ 25 Going Green Fencing_________________________ 46 Pine or Cedar?

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Omaha Home: room spotlight Story by Linda Persigehl • Photos by • Patio furnishings & styling provided by Deb Kirchner, Mulhall’s


Perfect Patio

Bring the inside out



urnishing the perfect patio is simple —

decorate the space much like you would your indoor living areas.

Add some sparkle to the setting using

iridescent ornamental balls as a centerpiece. A flickering flame from a tabletop firepot adds drama.


W e at h e r proof p i l l ow s and cushions add to the

“cozy factor” of the space, and keep guests lingering long after sunset. Blown glass solar sticks in neighboring planters light the way. H10 

  july/august  •  2011



Home: room spotlight

Update Your Home We make it easy!

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Choose durable, stylish foundation pieces, such as chairs, tables, or

a couch. “Anchor” the space with a large area rug. Then “layer” with outdoor accessories to soften the lines and add color and personality.




Arrange furniture close together to make socializing a

breeze. Prop open an umbrella to shade guests from the sun. Circle around a fire pit to stay warm on cool nights. Position a water feature nearby for ambiance.

Thank you for voting us Best of Omaha!

Lighting —whether from a

solar lantern (pictured), outdoor lamps, citronella candles or string lights —helps create a relaxed atmosphere.

5 (402) 709-0970 july/august  •  2011 


Omaha Home: design profile Story by Linda Persigehl • Photos by


Tom Schlosser

Estate Metals

What’s your personal background?

Describe your work.

I grew up in Milbank, S.D. I received a B.F.A. with an emphasis in sculpture from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a Masters from Northern University in Art Education. I was Chairman of the Art and Computer Graphics Dept. at College of Saint Mary in Omaha for 33 years. I was a charter member of the Artists’ Coop in the Old Market. I’ve shown my work at Joslyn Art Museum and many other venues. For the last 15 years, I have been more involved in commissioned artwork. I am married to my wife, Ann, who’s also my business partner. We have three children and a dog, Zak, a springer spaniel.

Sculptured metal railings have reinvented the concept of metal rail designs. They are a perfect vehicle for taking art outside to enjoy year round. We started with interior and exterior rails but have expanded the artwork to planters, three-fold screens, wall art, fireplace screens, pool and air conditioning screens, pool rails, room/space dividers.

When did you decide to launch Estate Metals?

When we built a new house in 2005, I designed art rails that fit the environment of a small lake with abundant wildlife in the area. Many people urged us to start a business so others could have the opportunity to enjoy functional art. Ann and I started Estate Metals, llc in 2006. Our first two clients were residential. Our third client was the City of Bennington, where we built over 1,000 feet of commercial art rails for their downtown renovation. Our youngest daughter, Sarah, is a practicing artist and a designer, and helps provide ideas and drawings. Our kids, Michael and Amy, have also worked with us on large projects.

While I’ve been creating sculpture and other mediums all of my adult life, I became interested in the technology that enables my designs to be cut from metal exactly as I render them. Various metals are used and a combination of materials, i.e., cast bronze, wood, glass, ceramic, can also be incorporated into the finished project. The metal artwork is finished with a beautiful powder coat paint which is available in thousands of colors, textures and finishes. What is it that you like about what you do?

Schlosser stands over the art railing he designed for the City of Bennington’s downtown renovation project.


  july/august  •  2011

It is satisfying to stimulate the viewer’s imagination and work with each client to choose an existing design or to modify or create a unique design for their environment. The enjoyment our clients derive from making

Your home...your builder.


a unique, individual statement that is an extension of themselves and their environment gives me enjoyment, too. What inspires your design work?

Our artistic railings and accessories, like all works of art, have subject matter, form and content. Our tag line is “Art Meets Function” with particular attention and emphasis on the negative space being equally important as the positive space. Nature and the environment are important to me as well and inspire many of my designs. Tell us about your own home’s décor.

Our home is very open to the outdoors and the decor is very eclectic. We have a large collection of art with good representation from local artists. When we built our house, we incorporated my art in several ways: the powder room vanity is made of cast bronze branches, the side glass on either side of the front door is etched from a design I did that matches our deck rail, there is a painting in the ceiling over the dining room table, a backlit large stained glass piece in the lower level bar, and a carved wood door.

Selecting a builder is as much an expression of taste as it is a statement of confidence. No one understands this better than Curt Hofer & Associates. As one of the area’s most respected custom homebuilders and remodelers, we provide a one-of-a-kind experience in creating your once-in-a-lifetime home. From individual rooms, to how these rooms come together to create a home, to the landscape and exteriors that immediately bid you welcome, the team at Curt Hofer & Associates knows how to bring the best ideas to life – yours. The result? Your home... your builder. Exceptional.




Your home...your builder. Exceptional.

2332 Bob Boozer Drive Omaha, NE 68130 Phone: 402.758.0440 n


july/august  •  2011 


Omaha Home: feature Story by Corey Ross • Photo by & MMI Guild

Botanical Abundance

Richard and Brenda Todd’s Pepperwood backyard is a lot of garden squeezed into a cozy space


t’s hard to imagine much more garden being squeezed into the cozy confines of the backyard of Richard and Brenda Todd’s Pepperwood home. From the flowerbeds that line the fence to the self-watering pots of annuals that hang above the beds to the flora that accents the waterfall and pond, there’s little outside – or above–the garden’s red brick walkway that isn’t green and growing. The Todds have been avid gardeners ever since they moved into their home in 1983, but are especially so since their three children are grown and no longer live at home. “We had to do something once the kids were gone,” Richard Todd explains. The Todds’ backyard was one of the five gardens that comprised this year’s 43rd Annual MMI Garden Walk in June. The walk supports the Munroe-Meyer Institute’s programs for genetics and rehabilitation. The walk is the first time the Todds have opened their garden to the public, but people have been noticing it for years, Brenda Todd says.

to be continued on page H16


  july/august  •  2011

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“People walking by will make comments or even leave notes on our door about how beautiful it looks,” she says. “It makes you feel good, and we enjoy people enjoying it.” Former neighbor Kim Bainbridge, an MMI board member, recommended the Todd’s home for the tour and is in awe of all the couple has accomplished. “I initially watched the Todd garden grow along the back fence line–which is how many of us added flowers to our houses in Pepperwood,” Bainbridge says. “As they added gardens along 150th Street, things just kept being added. We moved to another area, but I would always drive by their house (since it is a corner lot) to see what they added.  What has always impressed me the most about their yard — they took a very small yard and made it into an oasis.” Brenda Todd says she spends eight to nine hours a day in the yard during the summer. “I do the planning and planting,” she says. “(Richard) does the big projects.” Those would be such things as installing the pond and brick walkway, both of which he did entirely himself. This year, an outdoor kitchen is in the works. As for the contents of the garden, the three overhanging maple trees somewhat determine the botanical mix. “Because of the trees, we use mostly shade flowers,” she says. “But anything we can get to grow, we’ll try.” Richard is retired from the Air Force. The family once lived for five years in Japan and elements of Japanese garden are reflected in the lanterns that adorn the pond. Brenda also accents the garden with sculptures and various art objects, such as glass swirls, she purchases throughout the year. She says after decades of labor, the garden is finally coming close to completion. “It now looks the way I’ve always envisioned it,” she says. “And we’ve done it entirely ourselves. We’ve never hired a landscaper or anyone.” But the time spent has been worth it – and it’s been a lot of time. “It’s a labor of love,” she says, before joking, “or insanity.”

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Omaha Home: at home Story by Molly Garriott

Photos by

A Natural Beauty

This mid-century traditional home, sprinkled with touches of nature throughout, is so inviting, you just may want to pull up a chair and stay.


he road leading up to our homeowner’s property is a quiet, gravel lane, totally unexpected for its bustling midtown neighborhood. It’s an inviting, two-story family home, white with black shutters, built in the 1940s. It’s period perfect. You half expect a young Cary Grant, circa the “My Favorite Wife” years, to step outside for his morning paper in a silk dressing gown and perfectly pressed PJs.

july/august  •  2011 


cover story: castleford cottage

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Instead, a very cheerful Gordon setter named Sparky greets visitors with a nudge to encourage a pet or two. Though Scottish, not British, and not as handsome as Cary Grant, his friendly demeanor and welcoming ways match his master’s take on home decorating. It’s a home in which you instantly feel comfortable.

“Some would call it chopped up, but that’s not how we see it.”

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The home sits on nearly an acre of land dotted with mature trees, patios, gardens, and a lawn expansive enough to host baseball tgames and Easter egg hunts, house homemade forts, and boast beautiful gardens. She points out a curious variety of trees: pines and honey locusts, red bud and hazelnut, Chinese chestnut, and Nebraska’s second largest Champion pecan tree. When the homeowners bought the house in 1987, they were only the third owners. “This house had great bones,” the lady of the house says. Its six bathrooms were a bonus as well. She owns that it is what she calls an “old-style house,” with many walls and doors instead of large, open great rooms. “Some would call is chopped up, but that’s not how we see it.” Does she have a defined style? Not really. But that does not mean her home isn’t stylish. Her entryway offers a striking welcome. Oak floors are painted in a modified Harlequin pattern, offering visual interest to an otherwise soft palette of creamy walls. A lightly stained Grandfather clock keeps melodic time. As if she were bringing the outdoors in with her, she papered the front door alcove with black and white botanical renderings of various trees.

july/august  •  2011 


Omaha Home: at home Pg. H22: Top—a wide galley-style kitchen affords plenty of room for multiple cooks. Cabbage leaf ceramics add a pop of color against the white tile backsplash. Bottom left—Contemporary cone-shaped sconces bookend a gold-leaf bathroom mirror. A glass-top vanity with wrought iron legs that resemble branches holds the single-basin sink. Bottom right—A print of Mallard ducks and an old pine farm table lend a country feel to the kitchen area. Pg. H23: Right—A Harlequin pattern adorns the wood floor entryway. An antique grandfather clock greets guests. Bottom—Hunter green furniture and valances lend warmth to the living room.

“The yard has dictated the colors of the house,” she explains. Her large living room mixes neutral browns and creams with deep green upholstery on the two couches that flank the original fireplace. Bunnies perch on the mantel. An aviary print hangs over the fireplace. Bird statues rest on a nearby table. The natural world is as much at home inside this house as it is outside. The homeowner likes the contrast between casual and formal. In her dining room, traditional, formal furniture juxtaposes with a casual, sisal rug. In her kitchen, she pairs pine table and chairs with an antique brass chandelier purchased from Katelman’s Antiques during her kitchen renovation in 1989. The original kitchen only had a tiny breakfast booth in which her children could eat. They expanded the space, absorbing the old maid’s quarters and the first stall of the garage in the process. Though completed over 20 years ago, the room does not have a dated look at all. It is timeless white with contrasting drawer pulls. For a shot of color, she relies on her collection of green cabbage leaf platters, pitchers and bowls. “We like what we like,” the homeowner says, when asked to describe her decorating philosophy. Just a few moments in their cozy home conveys that what they like is casual comfort, the natural world, and creating an environment which calls on family and friends to nestle in to absorb the beauty around them.

july/august  •  2011 


Home: tech Story by Doug Dushan, Echo Tech

Clean green.

Outdoor Lighting for Security and Scenery


hen asked about outdoor security lighting, most

people think of those obtrusive motion-sensing fixtures that come on when you take out the trash out. However, when done right, exterior lighting can not only beautify your home’s appearance, it can also increase the security of your family. When looking for a home to burglarize, criminals will seek a dark home. They like to hide in the shadows. The best solution is to take those shadows away. Illuminate the obvious places such as doors and low-lying windows with up-lighting, and light pathways to guide the steps of your invited guests. Not only will it look great from the street, it will send the burglar looking for another home. Sorry neighbor! A home automation professional can assist you in simplifying home technology and managing lighting tasks. Using Lutron’s RadioRa 2 System, outdoor lighting can be easily controlled, eliminating the days of driving up to a dark home. A built-in astronomical clock can bring the lights up at dusk and slowly fade them toward the dawn. It can even be “zoned” so that pathways and garden lighting will turn off late at night, leaving security lighting in full force. Best of all, it is retro-fittable, so existing homes can benefit from this system as well. A technician must simply replace the old light switches with radio frequency system dimmers and programs it to the client’s lifestyle. To find lighting for your home and yard, visit EchoTech’s design showroom at 120th and I St., or call us at 402-334-4900. H24 

  july/august  •  2011

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Home: gardening Story by Rob Elder, Omaha Organics

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Going Green

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he “go green” movement is

not just a fad, it’s the future. What’s more natural than incorporating the green lifestyle into your soil, grass, and garden? An easy way to accomplish a “green” yard is by nourishing it with organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizer is derived from natural materials such as plants and/or mineral material that undergo little or no processing. An obvious benefit of using organic fertilizer is that it is safer for people, pets and the environment than traditional synthetic fertilizers. And unlike synthetic fertilizers, organic fertilizer continually builds the soil, improves soil structure and increases soil’s ability to hold moisture and nutrients. It’s also more difficult to over-fertilize soil using organic fertilizer. An effective organic lawn care program ideally consists of a soil test, multi-step fertilizer applications, top-dressing, and fall aeration. A commonly overlooked component of soil maintenance is a soil test, which measures the chemical structure and nutrient balance of the soil. It is also necessary to evaluate thatch levels, soil compaction and root depth. For the best results, organic fertilizer applications should consist of granulated corn gluten and an alfalfa fertilizer. Corn Gluten is a natural pre-emergent promoting continuous greening, as well as providing resistance to heat, drought, and heavy foot traffic. Alfalfa promotes seed germination and root development as it nourishes poor soil by boosting nutrient absorption. A top-dressing application serves as a nutrient rich soil amender. Finally, aerating loosens compacted soil, increases oxygen to roots, improves water and nutrient infiltration, encourages strong root growth, and breaks up thatch build-up. For more information on organic lawn care, visit or call 402-991-9273. july/august  •  2011 


Omaha Home: architect  |  builder  |  remodeler profile Story by Linda Persigehl • Photos by & Alan Hans


Alan Hans

Advantage Development

Tell us a bit about yourself.  

I grew up in rural Springfield, Neb., where I attended school. I graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and returned to make Springfield my home. My office is located on Main Street, where our lab, Sugar, and I begin every day.


  july/august  •  2011

What inspired you to become a builder?  

Growing up in a farming community, I learned to work with my hands at a very young age, and the value of honest hard work. While working through college, I had a 70+ year-old mentor, Bob Sikyta (Mr. B). Mr. B had been in business for over 50 years and survived the good times and bad by being honest and hardworking, and through building a solid reputation.   He said do the right things right and the rest would take care of itself.  The education that I obtained through our almost daily “lunch lessons” was priceless. Tell us about your company.

It seems like yesterday, but I started Advantage Development over 12 years ago. We are primarily a custom homebuilder and have consistently built 20-25 homes per year all over Omaha and surrounding areas.  Our homes range from $300k to over $1 million.   We have been very fortunate to experience growth and success through the referrals of our past clients. What do you like best about this business?

I love the creative side.   We want every one of our homes to reflect the person we are building it for.  We incorporate unique and innovative ideas into every one of our homes so each is set apart from any that surround it.  Trying new things and merging their ideas with our expertise is one of the most rewarding things we do.  What advice do you give those looking to build a home these days?

Do your research. I believe a quality homebuilding experience comes from the homeowner understanding what is going into their home, and setting forth clear expectations.  The average home takes five to seven months of construction, and a good relationship with the builder from the start is imperative for a daily working relationship.



THE FLATIRON BUILDING 1727 HOWARD STREET OMAHA M-F 10:00/5:30 SAT 10:00/2:00 402 763 4449 july/august  •  2011 


Omaha Home: new on the block Story by Bailey Hemphill • Photo by & Katie Anderson


Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Gateway I-80 Business Park, 6780 S. 118th Circle


olly Johnson has been working with Ferguson Enterprises

for eight years. She previously worked as a trainee, a showroom consultant, a customer service representative, and was eventually promoted to her position today as manager of the newest showroom location—Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. The new gallery is located in a 13,000 sq. ft. building, which was gutted and transformed for the expansion of the showroom. Not only is the new showroom


  july/august  •  2011


triple the size of the original facility, but it also offers a larger selection of plumbing, lighting, cabinet, and appliances, a working kitchen and shower areas used for demos and builder/designer training, and a relaxing waiting room with an espresso maker, built-in refrigerator stocked with drinks, lounge chairs, and a TV for showroom customers. The showroom offers a wide variety of product lines in addition to a vast selection of plumbing and lighting. Customers can customize new construction or remodeling projects easily with the options for kitchens, bathrooms, and plumbing; and they have the opportunity to not just make selections for indoor lighting fixtures and appliances but outdoor as well. As for specific products, Johnson says that there has been an increase in green products, which has been noticeable in the market over the past few years. “We offer lower consumption toilets, faucets and showerheads, energy star-rated appliances, and energy-efficient lighting.” Johnson says that, beyond being the biggest and most beautiful showroom in the market, her showroom is unique because it always has the latest, updated showrooms with brand new products designed specifically with customers in mind. She wants her customers to see as much product as possible and be able to customize for their individual needs. Also, most competitors do not offer plumbing, lighting, and appliances together. Most people often have to visit several locations to get all of these products, but with Ferguson they are all in one convenient place.

WATER EMERGENCY? MOLD EMERGENCY? WE ARE THE SOLUTION! We Can Restore Your Home To Pre-Loss Condition! Carpet Cleaning Carpet Stain Removal Carpet Repairs Carpet Restretching Mold Remediation • We work with all insurance companies for water restoration

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july/august  •  2011 


feature Story by Angelika Stout • Photos provided by Habitat for Humanity & John Gawley

Contributing Editor Stacey Penrod, far right, participates in Women Build 2011.

New Habitats Builder Blitz Homes

Two Habitat for Humanity projects create 31 new homes for those in need


asten your tool belts and take out your hammers—Habitat for Humanity’s

summer building campaign is in full swing. The 14th annual Women Build season kicked off Mother’s Day weekend, and the annual Builder’s Blitz took place in June at 17th and Manderson Streets and saw seven new homes constructed in seven days. Combined, the two projects will create 31 new homes for needy. Women Build is a summer-long home-building program that’s unique in that the construction crews are made up entirely of women. No construction experience is necessary to participate and many skills are taught on site. (However, Habitat does offer a series of workshops on construction basics, including drywalling, framing, painting, siding and roofing every April for those looking to hone their skills.) Habitat Director Amanda Brewer says Women Build “gives women an opportunity to do all facets of the construction process . . . and it’s really empowering.” And the result of all of your hard work, time and effort? A brick-and-mortar house for a family in need! Women Build’s efforts have helped to provide over 1,800 homes to poverty-stricken families around the world. On the crew sites, you’ll find the homeowners building right alongside the women crews, as every homeowner is required to complete 350 sweat equity hours before taking ownership of the house. A ceremony is held after the final details are finished to dedicate the home to the family. “I am moved to the core every time I attend a Habitat Home Dedication. The ceremony is beautiful, plus there is nothing but smiles on everyone’s faces,” says Lisa Lackovic, 2011 Habitat


  july/august  •  2011

Thank You Omaha!

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20 11 •

Board Chairman. This special ceremony celebrates the sense of pride and accomplishment Habitat families feel in their new home. In addition to the required sweat equity hours, all partner families continue their partnership with Habitat by maintaining a 30-year, zero-interest mortgage. And some continue their relationships with Habitat by continuing to give back to the community. Lackovic recalls the inspirational story of a Habitat homeowner; “She now serves on our board and has built her career at a local bank and raised a loving family. . . I was moved to tears when she told her story. She is truly a living example of how Habitat for Humanity can offer a ‘hand-up’ with zero-interest loans and help turn people’s lives around.” Thousands of people, volunteers and partner families alike, have had their lives positively impacted by Women Build and Habitat for Humanity. The most rewarding part is “you get to see lives change, the volunteers’ and the families,’” said one volunteer. Often, new friendships are built and old ones are renewed on the construction site. Norma Fletcher, a long-time Women Build volunteer who has helped to complete 12 homes since 1999, recalls past builds: “There are many memories of times working with other ladies, enjoying conversations while we work at our tasks. . . I have made some great friendships through Habitat that get renewed every building season.” Women Build is about empowering and including women to fight the poverty-housing crisis. A great way to get involved is to volunteer with a group you are already a part of, such as your book club, knitting circle or even a corporate team. Although the Women Build 2011 season has officially started, it’s not too late to get involved this year. Construction work continues every weekend through Sept. 30. To learn more about Women Build or to sign up for a shift, go to The seven builders who participated in the Builders Blitz were: Charleston Homes, Kiewit Building Group, Lueder Construction Company, Lund-Ross Constructors, Meyers Carlisle Leapley Construction, SL Jensen Construction and Vantage Design & Construction.







Trees Shrubs Perennials Garden Center Lawn Care Design/Consultation Landscaping Bulk Materials 4 Blocks North of 156th & Fort


july/august  •  2011 


Omaha Home: transformations Story by Marilyn Hansen, FASID, The Designers • Photos by Tom Kessler

Extreme ‘80s Makeover

This Coronado Condo near 90th & Dodge gets a major update

Before images of kitchen and and living room, right; after makeover above/left.


  july/august  •  2011

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s much as condo living has grown in popularity, it is hard to believe these units were built in the late ‘80s. The “before” pictures give you a good view of what was considered cutting edge at the time. The condos have spectacular views and fireplaces and are conveniently located. My clients loved the convenience and the atmosphere of the condos; however, the kitchen space was confining and difficult to maneuver in. Add the element of a wheelchair and it is obvious the living conditions could be better. First, we explored opening up the wall between the kitchen and living room. This had a wonderfully dramatic effect. Suddenly, the view was opened up and the kitchen no longer felt constrained. The plumbing to the condo above was enclosed in a column separating the living room from the kitchen. The ceilings are concrete, which meant track lighting was the most efficient option for lighting along with spectacular sconces on the column. Fireplace designs have changed dramatically since the ‘80s. We took the opportunity to raise the level of the firebox, realign the chimney through the roof, and resurface the hearth with Galaxy Black granite. The glass chips actually seem to be on fire. The kitchen was completely revamped and

july/august  •  2011 


Omaha Home: transformations

The high-gloss “The Art of Landscaping Redefined”

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solution to unify the two spaces. designed to fit the client’s needs. Higher toe kicks, lowered cooktop and oven, and a circular island at the counter’s end made it efficient. Adding the dramatic granite and metallic glass tile backsplash gave the room an exotic touch. The client’s antique family heirlooms were of primarily natural finished Bird’s Eye maple. As a result, the high-gloss Bird’s Eye maple cabinets were a perfect solution to unify the two spaces. The lower cabinets’ doors and drawers were covered in a durable laminate. It is easy to see that an efficient design can be beautiful and dramatic yet practical. All views of the seasons are spectacular and catch your eye the moment you enter the foyer. My clients love their new interior that is urban and an excellent space for entertaining. H34 

  july/august  •  2011

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Omaha Home: outdoor living Story by Molly Garriott • Photos by

Jeanne Penry’s Backyard Oasis


’ve mixed contemporary with

traditional art in my house,” admits Omaha interior designer, Jeanne Penry. To wit, original art by Terry Rosenberg and Steve Joy keeps company with English chintz. So it is not that surprising that Jeanne and her husband, Bill, carried this propensity to shake things up out of doors when they were planning their backyard relandscaping. The result: a serene, backyard oasis that mixes water and stone, incorporates both shade and sun plants, blends east coast architecture with Asian accents, and provides a sanctuary for humans and animals alike. july/august  •  2011 



  july/august  •  2011

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The Penrys brought in 45 different species of trees from the state of Washington. It’s a United Nations of trees. The couple began the landscaping project two years. They had a full acre with which to play, a rarity in their Dundee neighborhood, Penry says. A hill in their backyard became the perfect spot for an elevated waterfall. They carved out three levels and brought in slate and field stone from Arizona and Colorado. For added visual interest, Penry incorporated copper sheeting for the backdrop of the falls, treating it so the metal would retain its original hue and not oxidize to an aged verdigris color. They also brought in 45 different species of trees from the state of Washington. It’s a United Nations of trees with local tri-beech and indigenous maples intermingling with Japanese maples, Bosnian pines, Serbian spruces, and a massive Gouty fir. Shade garden stalwarts like fern and hostas provide a soothing green backdrop for English cottage



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Pg. H35—An elevated waterfall, composed of slate and field stone from Arizona and Colorado, sits on a hillside in the Penry’s yard. Pg. H36, Top left—Penry dutifully waters the annuals and perennials in her flowerbeds. All varieties were carefully chosen and planted in patterns to ensure blooms and color all season long. Top right and bottom left—Stone statuary are incorporated into the lush landscape. Bottom right—Asian influences — in plant selections, architecture and artwork — are found throughout the backyard.

july/august  •  2011 


Home: outdoor living

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Penry enjoys some leisure time in one of the several patios spaces situated throughout her expansive backyard. The full-acre lot is unique in her Dundee neighborhood.

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garden favorites like Knock-out roses, bleeding hearts, hydrangeas, and salvias. Penry planned her gardens with care to ensure season long color. As the bleeding hearts fade, the mini iris come into bloom. Roses and impatiens provide summer-long color until the purple coneflowers join them in July. Seated on one of her outdoor patios, it’s difficult to believe you are in one of the city’s densest neighborhoods. The soothing sounds of water playing across stone, the soft greens and splashes of color, and the captivating blend of deciduous and fir trees are a haven in a hectic world.

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Omaha Home: home away from home Story provided by The Linen Gallery • Photos by

Retro Luxury On The Road



  july/august  •  2011

eacock Alley, an upscale bed and bath resource based in Dallas, has hit

the road with a restored 1977 Airstream trailer named “Steel Magnolia.” The silver bullet-shaped vehicle made an appearance in Omaha April 29-30 during the Berkshire



Ponds Waterfalls Hathaway Shareholders Weekend as part of the company’s Silver Home Tour. Peacock Alley’s co-owner, Josh Needleman, says the tour is a trunk show of sorts, “hitting the nation city by city, store by store, giving customers a rare opportunity to learn about the Peacock Alley lifestyle and our wonderful collection of linens. And have a little fun doing it.”
 Just like Peacock Alley’s fine linens, the Steel Magnolia is sleek with classic styling. The Airstream is equipped with two beds, a full bath, a kitchen and a lounging area, and features soft, neutral fabrics, bedding, pillows and bath linens from the high-end maker throughout. Visitors to Regency Court Shopping Center were allowed to tour the vehicle, displayed under a tented canopy. Surely, modern road travel has never been so luxurious and comfortable!

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july/august  •  2011 


Omaha Home: outdoor elements

Five Fabulous Front Doors That Say “Welcome”

Outdoor Spaces Building Supply

Marvin Window & Door store

Pella windows & doors

Beautiful custom wrought iron doors are 100 percent handmade. Made of 14 gauge high quality iron, weather-tight sealed and insulated, iron doors are available in a number of finishes. Independent operating windows are available in multiple glass and glazing options. The possibilities are endless! Showroom 13951 Valley Ridge Dr. 402.932.9571

Beauty, durability, quality, this Arch-top French door from Marvin Windows and Doors is just one of over 11,000 standard and unlimited custom doors available to choose from. Visit our showroom at 13819 Industrial Rd.

This Classic Pella eyebrow-top Mahogany solid wood entry door provides the artisanship and character you need to turn your house into a home. With True-Divided-Light grilles and exquisite detailing, this entry door is as distinctive as you are. To see Pella’s complete line of wood, fiberglass or steel entry doors, visit our showroom at 98425 S. 142nd St.


  july/august  •  2011

An attractive front entrance not only adds to a home’s curb appeal, but can also boost its perceived market value. Five retailers gave us their picks for front doors that make a great first impression.

The Olde Wood Mill

Millard Lumber

Impressive entrance doors make a statement about your home and you. They are the focal point of your home’s exterior. This double-entry door s a custom-designed 7ft x10ft. size – arched head, solid mahogany frame, doors and trimwork. These 2¼ in. thick doors are enhanced by the use of projection moldings and beveled insulating glass. Showroom at 20314 Roberts St., Elkhorn.

Since pioneering the fiberglass door industry in 1983, Therma-Tru has redefined the entryway with its high style, high-performance products. Our Door Designer is the perfect interactive design tool to help you visualize the possibilities of a beautiful, new Therma-Tru entryway on your home. Go to to explore all your option or visit Millard Lumber’s Design Gallery at 12900 ‘I’ St.

july/august  •  2011 


Omaha Home: green design Story by Meghan Townley • Photos by

Parmley, in green, with the ZNETH Team

ZNETH, Zeroing In

A four-year joint UNOUNL venture has resulted in Omaha’s first ‘zero net’ house


  july/august  •  2011


ood from a reclaimed gym floor and recycled glass from what would’ve

been discarded doors and windows aren’t your everyday building materials, but in the future University of Nebraska-Omaha and University of Nebraska-Lincoln students are building, they will be. UNO and UNL have teamed up to build ZNETH (Zero Net Energy Test House). The project is a collaboration of students, teachers and industry professionals all working together to produce a zero net house, meaning a home that will produce more energy than it uses. Dr. Avery Schwer, professor and graduate chair at the Peter Kiewit Institute, led the project, which is located in Aksarban Village. Research and planning phases began in the fall of 2007. The project was completed in June. “One of the goals was not to complete the house too quickly so more students could be involved,” Schwer said. “This is a living laboratory. We wanted to stretch it out.” The project involves students from UNO and UNL majoring in architectural engineering, construction engineering and construction management. According to Schwer, the house will earn the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating for homes and will be the first residence in Omaha to receive the LEED platinum rating. Shawn Parmley, from Parmley Interior Designs, is the head designer for ZNETH. Parmley says that one of the goals of the project was to make the house transitional and welcoming. “We wanted to show folks that you can be green without being extra modern,” said Parmley. Parmley and the team wanted ZNETH to mimic the Aksarban neighborhood style. “It plays on the craftsman and bungalow vernacular of this neighborhood,” said Parmley. The flooring in the main part of the house is made from bamboo and the basement floor is made from cork, which are both rapidly renewing resources. One of the bedroom’s flooring is reclaimed wood from a junior high gym, and the kitchen countertops are made from recycled glass.

Interior Accent Decor & Floral Design FREE In-Home Consultation The team tried to use as many recycled materials as possible. “These are tiles, doors and windows that would have most likely been thrown out,” Parmley said. Schwer explains that the building envelope (how the building is constructed) is very important in the LEED process. “Before you start adding your geothermal or solar panels, the most important thing is your building envelope,” she said. ZNETH uses ICFs (Insolated Concrete Forms) for the walls. “This gives it an excellent building envelope. The walls are a foot thick.” Another important part of the building envelope is the insulation. ZNETH uses sprayfoam insulation, which gets into every gap to create an airtight envelope. In order to keep the air quality clean—another important step in the LEED process—the house is equipped with an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator). “We want to make the house right to conserve heat and cool air, but also to be safe,” Schwer said. “If it is too tight, then the air quality is not healthy. “We use ground source heat pumps by utilizing the temperature in the ground to cool and heat the house. The house is heated and cooled by using a geothermal heat pump. Brad Corey, a Ph.D student who worked on the project, said, “This [a geothermal heat pump] can cut your heating and cooling bill in half.” The team also installed a wind turbine on the roof. The house will use wind, solar and geothermal energy as needed. “We use everything that we can from nature,” Corey said. ZNETH has a gray water collection system, which means the wastewater from the bathroom sinks and washing machine will be used to flush the toilets. “By reusing this water,” Corey says, “it can save you about 8,000 gallons per year.” While ZNETH is done with construction, Tim Hemsath, a professor in the college of architecture, explains that another project is in the works. “This was the first of several prototypes that were working on. ZNETH II will be another hands-on opportunity for students.”

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Nature’s Intent Landscaping “Where the principles of art & nature meet”

Home: fencing Story by Mike Welniak, S & W Fence Co.

I Professional Landscape Design and Construction Services Burton Kilgore UNL Horticulture Alumni 402.926.9790

Jake Foutch UNL Horticulture Alumni 402.321.7996

Visit our Kohler Registered Showroom 13827 Industrial Road • Omaha NE (402) 330-3400 •

Pine or Cedar? f a new wood fence is part of your

plan this summer, you may be wondering whether you should choose cedar or pine. Well, the answer is both. Cedar has long been the industry standard for wood fencing because of its natural resistance to decay and rot. However, much of the cedar on the market today contains sapwood which does not possess the same level of decay resistance as true heartwood cedar and could decay within a year or two. Most experts use pressure-treated Northern Pine posts because they will not decay in the ground as quickly as cedar. Pressure-treated Northern Pine posts can last for 100 years and usually come with a manufacturer’s warranty of at least 10 years. In addition, pine is faster growing and more replaceable than cedar, so choosing pine may also be better for the environment. Cedar is a softer wood and is not as equipped to hold the load of a fence. Choosing rails made of a structurally stronger pine, such as kiln-dried Douglas Fir, will prevent the rails from sagging and splitting under the weight of the fence. While pine is a better choice for the structural elements of your fence, cedar boards should be used as the pickets because they have a nice appearance, they weather well, and they are durable against the elements. Pine pickets can be used but they are not as aesthetically pleasing as cedar, and they do not take stain as well and will have a tendency to warp. By choosing the right combination of cedar and pine woods, you will ensure that your fence will endure the test of time and the elements! To learn more on fencing materials, visit or visit S&W Fence at 15803 Pacific St. Call 402-333-5722 for a free estimate.


  july/august  •  2011

Financial Solutions Tailored To Your Needs. Attentive Personal Service, Every Step of the Way At Bank of the West, we offer a choice of products and services to help you achieve your financial goals. For over 135 years, Bank of the West has been helping customers make the most of their money. Our experienced Private Banking Relationship Managers are dedicated to helping you develop a comprehensive plan to build and manage your finances.

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Call one of the bankers listed below today and explore the possibilities of how we can help with your private banking and home financing needs.

Private Banking Jeff Hoffmann • (402) 918-5470 Residential Construction Lending Matt Brown • (402) 918-5407

Mortgage Banking Anita Pryor • (402) 473-0813 Nancy Thompson • (402) 918-5696

©2010 Bank of the West. Loans and available rates are subject to credit approval. Certain conditions and restrictions apply. Relationship Pricing requires applicants to maintain a Bank of the West personal checking account with a debit card and automatic electronic mortgage payments.



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Omaha Home: entertaining Photos by John Gawley

6 Great Gadgets for Summer Entertaining

(and you can find them all right here at Omaha retailers)

The Fruit Infusion Pitcher’s clever design lets you infuse an endless variety of flavors into cold beverages—from cucumbers in water, to lemons or berries in lemonade, to mint in tea, to fruit in sangria, and more. Removable fruit infusion rod screws into pitcher lid, 93oz capacity and BPA free! Sale price $24.99. Category One Gifts & Gourmet at 10922 Prairie Brook Road, Rockbrook Village.


  july/august  •  2011

Vacuvin Glass Markers come in a set of 12 unique characters and feature suction cups that stick to any smooth surface. They’re an easy, fun way to mark your glass, avoid confusion at parties, and encourage reuse of glasses and lessen your wash load. Dishwasher safe and food approved. Not suitable for kids under 3 years. $7.99 at Spirit World, 7517 Pacific Street.

The Zoku Quick Pop™ Maker freezes ice pops on your countertop without electricity. Quickly make striped pops, yogurt pops or (for the first time ever at home) flavored core pops. The unit can make up to 9 pops in 30 minutes, before refreezing the unit again. Includes 1 Quick Pop Maker, 6 sticks, 6 drip guards, and 1 Super Tool for $49.99.  Offered at Category One Gifts & Gourmet at 10922 Prairie Brook Road, Rockbrook Village.

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The Play & Freeze® Ice Cream Maker allows you to make ice cream without electricity— just add ice and rock salt in one end, and ice cream mix in the other, then have a ball as you shake it, pass it or roll it! Try flavors for our included recipe book, or use Flavor Fountain flavorings (sold separately). Ball is lightweight, portable and easy to clean. Comes in Original $29.99, or Mega. $39.99. Available at Canfield’s Sporting Goods, 8457 West Center Road.



When the wine glasses are tipsy, just push these SteadySticks into the ground almost anywhere for a spill-free experience. Made of durable stainless steel. Easy to anchor into the ground with a simple push. Set of 2, $19.95. Available at The Gadgeteer, 7317 Douglas Street.

AMAZING PRICES ON ALL STOCK ITEMS • Large Quantities of Boulders Shipped In Daily • Variety of Colored Flagstones • Multiple Varieties of Ground Covers and Fill Materials

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The Fire Wire is a stainless steel flexible grilling skewer that allows you to more effectively use space on your grill. You can bend it, curve it or arrange it in a spiral. Skewer tips hang over the edge and remain cool to the touch. To marinate meats and veggies, load up the Fire Wire and place in a plastic bag. Dishwasher safe. Set of 2, $11.95. The Afternoon, 3157 Farnam St, Suite 7101, Midtown Crossing, 10000 California St., Westroads Mall.

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Omaha Home: pampered pets Story by Linda Persigehl • Photos by • Provided by Bark Avenue Grooming & Daycare


Susan Knapp, Rosie and Ruby

Rosie & Ruby “The Greetin’ Wheatons”


  july/august  •  2011

isitors to the home of Susan

and Bob Knapp are typically met enthusiastically at the door by Rosie, 14, and Ruby, 12, the couple’s two soft-coated Wheaton terriers, named for the copper-red coats they had as puppies. “They jump up at people…they’re nicknamed ‘the Greetin’ Wheatons,’ and they live up to the name,” says Susan. The Knapps, who live in a walkout ranch near 91th & Harney, joke, “You might say we built this home for them…We just live here.” The home was designed with many dog-friendly features, including tile throughout the main living area, their own private room just off the kitchen, and a bench seat at a picture window that provides the pooches prime viewing of the fenced yard and wild animals that frequently visit. “They’ve cornered many a opossum in our backyard. If they spy one, it takes an act of God to get them back in the house,” Susan says. The Knapp’s home also has two doggie doors, which while convenient, has a down side as well. “The doors allow them to go in and out, which is a mixed blessing. Once, I came home to find one of them had found a dead bunny and brought it inside and laid it on our bed!” (No wonder—Wheaton terriers were originally bred in Ireland to catch rodents, rabbits and squirrels.) For the Knapps, though, experiences like those are just part of a normal day of pet ownership. “We know…we’ll always have dogs.” ”

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July/August 2011 Omaha HOME by Omaha Magazine  

July/August 2011 Omaha HOME by Omaha Magazine

July/August 2011 Omaha HOME by Omaha Magazine  

July/August 2011 Omaha HOME by Omaha Magazine