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January/February 2011

Country Retreat

Green Revival

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OMAHA HOME: from the editor JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011 VOLUME 1 • ISSU E 1 publisher

A New

todd lemke


managing editor

corey ross city editor

sandra lemke assistant editor

linda persigehl art director/graphic design

matt jensen assistant graphic design

john gawley arts editor

kim carpenter photography

image director: bill sitzmann head photographer: philip s. drickey technical advisor

tyler lemke contributing writers

leo adam biga • molly garriott heather lane • wendy townley judy horan • niz proskocil jan & dave faulkner mike becker • charlie santmire vice president

greg bruns account executives

g w e n l e m k e • gil cohen vick i voet • stacey penrod sales associates

alicia smith hollins • dara newson katie anderson FOR ADVERTISING SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION:


To subscribe to

Omaha Magazine go to:

To Call Our Own

Welcome to OMAHA HOME. OMAHA HOME is Omaha Magazine’s newly expanded home section. Many of you are receiving this as part of your regular Omaha Magazine, but you may also have picked this up at racks of home-related businesses around Omaha. This “expanded” distribution is one of the two ways our section has expanded, the other being by going from six pages to 36. You’ll still find the familiar Omaha home section feature staples of At Home and Transformations, but now you’ll also discover many other home-related articles designed to “expand’ you home experience. The content of OMAHA HOME is a mix of home profiles, trend stories, humaninterest pieces and columns all centered around the home. This issue’s cover home is a striking new home in the Omaha countryside that has a bit of the look of a Colorado ski lodge. Our four-page At Home spread gives a look at the prominent features of the home and some insight into its design and intent. At Home and Transformations are the familiar features in Omaha Home that long-time Omaha Magazine readers will recognize. New to home are such things as: a home entertaining feature; stories on home trends and green design; profiles of architect Suzan Rohrig and designer Beth Settles of Interiors Joan and Associates; and a pet feature. The driving force behind our new home section is Stacey Penrod, formerly of the Omaha World-Herald. Thanks to Stacey’s contacts and background in home-related publications, we're able to craft an informative section that presents a great complement to the rest of Omaha Magazine. OMAHA HOME will grow and evolve with the change of the seasons and the holidays to keep you informed and inspired about ways to improve your own living environment. We look forward to welcoming you back to OMAHA HOME for many issues to come. Stacey Penrod 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 68046-1208. 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


Corey Ross Managing Editor Omaha Publications januar y/februar y | 2011


OMAHA HOME: contents

FEATURES At Home: Country Retreat … H8 Trends: New in 2011 … H12 Entertaining: Party with a Purpose … H16 Architect profile: Suzan Rohrig … H20

New stores: The Afternoon, Tweed Couch, Pearson & Company … H22 Designer profile: Beth Settles … H24 Transformations: Condo Conversion … H26 Green design: Green Revival … H32 Pets: Pampered Poodles … H34

COLUMNS Real Estate: Tips for Selling Your Home During Winter Months … H19 Tech: Wireless Music in the Home … H21 Mortgage: Fundamentals of Buying a Home … H31

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OMAHA HOME: at home Story by Molly Garriott Photos by Kameron Bayne Images, Inc.




january/february | 2010

When Aaron Carlson’s client wanted to leave the congestion of urban living behind and create a rural retreat, she did not want to start from scratch completely. But nor did she want to plunk her contemporary style home in the middle of the countryside, like the mirror image of the country cousin thrust upon the big city. The result would be awkward and incongruous. So Carlson, owner of Aaron Carlson Design, and Marshall Wallman, Vice President of Design with Curt Hofer and Associates’ design build firm, hammered out a plan to blend the sleek appeal of contemporary style with the rustic charm of what Carlson calls “the lodge look.” The effect is rural ruggedness wedded to contemporary chic, a case of opposites attract in the decorating and design worlds. The setting shift from city to country was a significant change that warranted some new furnishings and treatments. But it was important to the homeowners to use as many existing pieces from their former homes as possible. Doing so offered continuity. Much of their modern art settled comfortably into their new digs with their new “neighbors.” One striking example of continued on next page

januar y/februar y | 2011


OMAHA HOME: at home


january/february | 2010

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pairing old and new is the combination of an abstract oil in brilliant shades of blue, orange, and purple over a table fashioned from the trunk and limbs of an old tree. They serve as asymmetrical legs which support a glass table top. The effect is dramatic because it is unexpected. Wallman was the principal builder on this project. He repeatedly used reclaimed wood throughout the house to soften its new construction feel and keep in tune with the home’s natural surroundings. In the master bedroom, a false half wall of recycled barn siding is reborn as the bed’s backboard. Reclaimed barn doors were set on tracks to create sliding doors for the closet and as a division between master bedroom and master bath. The kitchen cabinets are also fashioned from reclaimed wood. Wallman admits that using recycled wood is not the easiest route to go, especially on a scale this size. “It takes a while to dig around to find reclaimed wood,” he asserts. Even then, it is not perfectly preserved, just waiting to be given new life. Nails have to been extracted. It needs to be cleaned, then brushed and finally sealed. It took Marshall about a year to find all the materials for this project. Reclaimed wood found a new home in the kitchen as well. Marshall stumbled upon the hand-hewn beams now suspended from the ceiling in a salvage yard. Not merely added for architectural interest, the beams blend function with beauty in what Marshall calls a “one of a kind application.” Carved into each beam are recessed lights. Another innovative use of unexpected materials is the animal skin wall in the home’s office. Carlson mounted 6x6 inch raw hide squares on a magnetic board, creating a mosaic tribute to cattle country. The homeowners wanted their residence to be pure Nebraska, not an imitation of a mountain cabin. With details like the raw hide wall, the barn siding, and Native American accents, they were able to achieve their goal. What Carlson calls the “textures of the space”- the Navaho rugs, the stone fireplaces, the floor-to-ceiling windows that invite the out of doors inside-give the home its striking style. It’s a country retreat with all the urban amenities. And then some.





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OMAHA HOME: trends Story by Wendy Townley Photos by ?????

What's Hot for 2011 Area Experts Weigh in on What's New for the Bathroom, Kitchen and Other Areas of the Home.

With the arrival of a new year comes resolutions to make personal and professional changes. New calendars begin with the promise of upcoming events. Closets are purged and cabinets are cleaned. And let’s not skim over the eternally popular mantra of I Will Get In Shape This Year. While changes are aplenty every January, one transformation many homeowners lean toward is their spaces. Once the last holiday ornaments are stashed away for another 10 months, what remains is a clean slate that’s often due for an at-home makeover. A number of industries are seeing new home trends for the new year. One of the main reasons: Americans still continue the “nesting” trend, and find value in investing dollars – both large and


january/february | 2011

small – back into the places they call home. “People have decided that if they are going to stay in their homes, they want to enjoy them,” said Barb Ganey of Kitchens and Baths by Briggs. “And that usually means updating one room at a time.” The bathroom – one of the home’s most luxurious sanctuaries – is witness to several trends for 2011 that improve the overall look and feel of this very necessary space. Ganey says that while brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and chrome remain dominant finishes for faucets, warm finishes are making a return. Warm finishes can range from brushed bronze, brushed gold and even polished gold. “These finishes tie into the concept that faucets can be considered bathroom jewelry,” Ganey explains. “The faucets and towel bars have even become strong decorating accents.” For homeowners who want a renovated bathroom on a budget, start first with the faucets. Another relatively easy way to give any room a facelift is through a little elbow grease and a fresh coat (or two) of paint. Sandy AgarStudelska of Diamond Vogel Paint and Decorating (formerly Tretiak’s) says today’s homeowners look for longevity in paint color. While the phrase “trendy” doesn’t always pass their lips, homeowners want tried-and-true classic colors that have been updated. “Think wide stripes, damasks and paisleys,” Agar-Studelska says. “And while we are seeing colors brightening in intensity, soft muted colors and neutrals are being used most in our local markets.”

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Agar-Studelska adds that those neutrals are gray and warmer hues, while colors that occur naturally in nature are also a new, stronger focus. “Colors like blues from the sea and the sky, and greens, orange/red and purples from trees and plants are soothing and peaceful,” Agar-Studelska says. Natural hues are even finding their way to the floors. Today’s homeowners are choosing hardwoods in Birch, Hickory, Maple and even Acacia, says Darren McKean of McKean’s Floor to Ceiling. Some flooring designs are incorporating tile, which has also found its way to walls with colorful glass accents for added impact, McKean adds. “Consumers are updating their existing homes instead of building new homes,” McKean says. “New countertops, cabinets, flooring, plumbing fixtures and appliances seem to be where today’s families are spending their money. The homeowners want an updated home that makes them feel good.” Adam Patrick of Ferguson Enterprises says steam is the buzz word for 2011. Today’s appliances incorporate steam as a highly sanitary cleansing process, often used to loosen baked-on soils in dishwashers and ovens; lift soils from clothing in the washer; and refresh and de-wrinkle apparel in the dryer. When it comes to cooking, steam is a healthy alternative to microwaving and boiling, as it helps to retain the vitamins and nutrients in vegetables, Patrick explains. “Any food that can benefit from moisture-based cooking sources does very well in steam ovens and steamers built into the countertop,” Patrick says. Energy is also very important to today’s families, Patrick adds, and the appliance industry has responded by developing green products in most every category of kitchen appliance. Fireplaces have received a makeover, explains Kim Cahoy of Consolidated Kitchens and Fireplaces. More traditional designs are today being replaced with fireplace units that are more contemporary and linear, with stones or crystals in place of traditional log sets often found in fireplaces. With kitchen cabinetry, Cahoy says homeowners want functionality and the

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maximization of usable space. Features such as rollout trays, trash bin pullouts, spice racks and even recycling centers are gaining popularity in today’s kitchen remodel projects. “Consumers want more bang for their buck, and increased organization and functionality can help families run their household more efficiently,” Cahoy adds. Interior designers agree that when a room’s design elements are in order, the most important component – lighting, which spotlights the décor – is often overlooked. Denise Lane of Echo Lighting Design Gallery says homeowners are opting for more streamlined lighting with straighter, cleaner lines. “These designs give the look of being more timeless,” Lane explains. Satin nickel remains popular in light fixtures, but painted finishes in warmer hues are also gaining traction, as are chrome, older bronze and antique pewter. And the chandelier – featuring more casual and contemporary styles – is moving out of the foyer and dining room, and into bathrooms, bedrooms and even oversized closets, Lane says. Engineered granite countertops, such as those offered by Granite Transformations, are a popular trend for homeowners seeking a facelift in their kitchens, bathrooms and even basement recreation areas. Nicole Neesen of Granite Transformations says engineered granite countertops – those made with 95 percent natural products and 5 percent polymers – give homeowners an opportunity to be more adventurous. Today’s countertops are offered in a variety of colors, including golds and browns, but also in grays and blacks, which are making a comeback. Countertops installed over existing surfaces are kinder on the home and the environment, Neesen says. “And there’s less of a mess,” Neesen adds. “Innovation and technology allow people to remodel their homes with more ease.” New countertops aren’t just being installed in bathrooms, however. Neesen says homeowners are opting for finer surfaces in their home offices, laundry rooms and even around existing fireplaces.

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OMAHA HOME: entertaining Story by Linda Persigehl Photos by John Gawley

Party With A Purpose

Fall-themed Centerpieces and Delectable Desserts Greet Duchesne Fundraiser Guests


january/february | 2010

Seated, Lucille Marchese Circo; Standing at right, Michelle Circo Morrison; Standing at left, Gina Morrison McDevitt; and Lucille Elizabeth McDevitt, 10 mos.

Hosting a Duchesne Academy patron party seemed an ideal fit for Michelle Morrison, wife of Dr. Michael Morrison and a Duchesne alum and parent. “It was the perfect way for my family to give back, and to show our strong support. As an educator myself, I strongly believe in Duchesne’s philosophy on education, and want to see it continue to thrive.” In excess of $10,000 was raised at the November fundraising party held at the Morrison's home. The money will go toward underwriting Duchesne's major 2011 fundraiser, a dinner and auction entitled “Vive Le Congé,” in January. According to continued on next page

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Meghan Conway Rowen, Duchesne’s director of alumnae and special events, the night will be a celebration of the beauty and gifts of Duchesne’s rich French tradition. More than 100 were in attendance, including four generations of Circo women. (See photo on page H17. ) All three women are alumnae. Gina McDevitt is also president of the Duchesne Alumnae Board. Several other Duchesne patrons contributed their talents to the event, Morrison said. Floral designer Larry Buckley from Mulhall’s Nursery arranged all the autumnthemed centerpieces, candles and fall foliage décor. Pier and Sean Mulhall, Duchesne parents, are co-chairs of Congé 2011. “Desserts were home-made by Patricia Shea Longacre,” Morrison said. “She has two daughters at Duchesne, and her mother was an alum.” Among her offerings were Sinful White Chocolate Raspberry Bars (see recipe on facing page), and Triple Chocolate Crème Brownies. Alumnae Irene Harvey Ramsey made an array of decorative cookies, while most of the dishes were catered by alum Jenny O’Connor Warren. One of the focal points of the main table was a pair of candlesticks, given to Michael and Michelle Morrison as a wedding gift. “I chose the pattern 36 years ago, because I was drawn to their elegant French design,” Morrison said. Speaking of the Morrison party, Rowen said, “People look forward to these [underwriting] events. Those that can’t attend Congé come to this, especially older alumni. It was a beautiful event…very festive and inviting!”

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Nebraska winters can be particularly challenging when you are trying to sell your home. It requires an additional set of rules when you have to contend with the unpredictability of freezing temperatures along with snow and ice. First and foremost, a home seller needs to be aware of personal safety of folks visiting their home during an open house or scheduled showings. Driveways and sidewalks need to be free from any potential slipping hazards. Once areas are cleared, salt or sand can be used for added traction. It is a good idea to have lots of “runners” on the front step entrance and the interior entry to make sure hardwood floors and carpets are not damaged if people do not remove their shoes. The exterior of the home also needs some additional attention. Ice can collect in the gutters causing a particular problem. As the ice begins to melt, the water can back up under the roof shingles. If the gutters are not clear, water could leak into the interior of the home and result in damage to walls and windows. The gutters should be clear of leaves or other debris so the ice melt has a clear path to the down spouts. If the home is vacant, be sure to have the heat turned up to a reasonable level so potential buyers are comfortable during their visit. It also insures that there is sufficient warmth in the home to protect against frozen pipes. A seasonal furnace check is also a good idea to make sure it is in good condition and operating correctly. Another option is to have a licensed plumber winterize the home. januar y/februar y | 2011


OMAHA HOME: architect | builder | remodeler profile Story by Leo Adam Biga Photo by

Coming from a family with five generations of physicians, Suzan Karrer Rohrig said she naturally thought about following that path, but architecture, not medicine, captured her imagination. “I love what I do,” said Rohrig, a residential architect who does remodels, additions and new homes. She found herself among only a handful of women studying architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the 1970s, where an advisor discouraged her from pursuing the field. Her folks were supportive, but she said it was the words of a young surgeon who worked in her father’s practice that inspired her to continue. “He said, ‘Don’t let anybody tell you what you can’t do.’” She began her career at prestigious HDR doing building architecture. When she and her husband, Brad Rohrig, started a family, she worked part time. Desiring more flextime, she left HDR to join Bruce Frasier, a residential architect. “I appreciated him so much,” she said of Frasier, whom she considers a mentor. After 14 years with Frasier, she went on her own in 1997. Architect Toby Paul works with her today. “We do beginning to end, full service,” she said. “That way, I think people get a better product.” She describes her guiding principles as “well-crafted, timeless architecture with thoughtful design, creating balance between design excellence, functional programming, aesthetics and budget.” If she has a niche, it’s for doing additions or remodels, when only the right details will do for accentuating the character of the house and environment. With remodels, “It’s more of a puzzle, and actually I love the puzzle. That’s the fun.” Whatever the job, there are constraints. Always budget. On additions or remodels, the goal is making the finished product look like it’s always been there. Then there’s the personality of clients. “Part of my job is therapist,” she said. “Typically it’s a couple I’m working with. Sometimes their priorities are at opposite ends, and you have to kind of bring that together.” At the end of the day, her design must serve the client. “Any architect that tries to make a project a portrait of themselves is highly mistaken.” View a gallery of her work at


january/february | 2010



Suzan Karrer Rohrig

OMAHA HOME: tech Story by: Charlie Santmire, President, The Sound Environment

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One of the latest concepts in home entertainment is wireless music distribution. The big benefit is that with wireless, systems can easily fit into existing homes without major destruction and the cost of running wires. If you want to create a multi-room system, you can add rooms at any time, and each room can play the same or different music.  Some wireless products have been on the market long enough to have proven solid performance and reliability. Wireless music systems can provide music in either one room or many, and need not involve your Wi-Fi network.  That’s an important consideration because it keeps the music stream from being interrupted by traffic on your network and leaves your network free for other purposes.  Sources can range from music stored on your computer or iPod, to Internet radio and online music services such as Rhapsody.  Some of these online services are free.  They allow you to stream music that you have selected directly to your system.  These systems have great flexibility.  They include small single box systems that can operate on their own internal battery for several hours before recharging.  They can also be carried from room to room easily and have surprisingly good sound.  Other systems can connect directly to your existing stereo or home theater system with your choice of speakers.  Different versions can be created for different rooms, i.e. ultra compact for the master bath, or with larger speakers for room-filling sound in the great room.  Wireless systems start from a few hundred dollars, and are available from manufacturers such as Sonos, Arcam (the rCube), AktiMate and Tivoli, among others. For more information on choosing the right wireless music system for your home, go to or januar y/februar y | 2011


OMAHA HOME: new on the homefront Story by Heather Heier Lane Photos by

New on the Block When shopping for something special, you need special places to shop. Three new Omaha retail stores offer up something new for a decorator’s delight!

The Afternoon

Open since November, and located in Midtown Crossing, The Afternoon is a store that is filled with what can best be described as a mix of fine art objects and eclectic gifts—all the fun stuff you never knew you needed, until you saw it. The Afternoon first opened in 1962 as an art gallery that also showcased a few worldly goods, and with the new Midtown location, there are now two stores in Omaha. From the beginning they offered distinctive items, and it is clear when walking into the new store that if you’re in the market for a gift, you need look no further. With five buyers working to keep the inventory fresh and fun, The Afternoon is filled with an array of items ranging from jewelry, accessories, books, and crazy kitchen gadgets, to artisan glass, contemporary furniture, and collectibles. It is almost impossible to imagine another place where you can buy a Vita Mix blender (the kind where you can make a smoothie or a hot cup of soup), an enormous spatula (big enough to tackle even the largest flapjacks), a Blu Dot chair (affordable contemporary furnishings for home or office), and Aticus (a robot made from reclaimed parts). Let’s just say Michelle Massey, senior manager and buyer, isn’t kidding when she says, “We have a little bit of everything.” The Afternoon at Midtown Crossing is located at 3157 Farnam Street. The other Omaha store is at Westroads Mall, with another a little further north at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. Visit the website at


january/february | 2011

Tweed Couch

If you are looking for some design help, a dash of inspiration, or even a new friend, perhaps you should head over to Tweed Couch in Rockbrook Village. Diane Flynn, the kind of woman who can talk to anyone, opened her store last October and is looking forward to helping clients find their personal interior design style, and tutoring them in the art of falling in love with their surroundings again. Always artistic, Flynn gleaned her design style from her childhood on a farm in Emerson, Neb. Raised with meager means, Flynn’s mother taught her the value of making things for yourself, and always told her daughter that if you want something bad enough you will find a way to make it happen. Thanks to that advice, you can now shop in what is likely a slice of Flynn’s living room. Not stuffy or at all boardnig, Tweed Couch is filled with new pieces and vintage treasures. You will find beautiful statement pillows next to an old table that has been made into a game table. There are enormous Monopoly pieces and reupholstered antique chairs. Flynn is filling her shop with items that are unique to Omaha and will only carry one or two of each item, so people can rest assured they will not find the exact same stuff at their neighbor’s house or across town. Flynn is friendly, has vision, and can help you make a room comfy and fun with some of the stuff you already have, plus a few new additions. Tweed Couch is located in Rockbrook Village at 2806 S. 110th Court, Omaha. Call 402.502.3736, or www.

Pearson & Company

As realtors, Nancy and JD Erb know what it takes to make a house sell. So it makes perfect sense that they are now selling furniture and home accessories in their new store, Pearson & Company. Large artwork lines the walls, elaborate furniture surrounds the floor, and if you

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are looking for a Dash and Albert rug, this is the only place in town to get one. What really makes Pearson & Company special is their selection of unique, oneof-a-kind furniture. They have a blend of new and old pieces, including an 1890’s mahogany bench from the Philippines, a couple of armoires made of Colonial doors from Mexico, and an Indian Wedding Bed. They also feature repurposed furniture from a local artist—think a door made into a table or a chair made of barn wood. This is not where you go to find something specific you found at a mall, this is where you go searching for statement pieces. “We may not have the same thing twice, but it is great because we always bring in new stuff,” says Nancy. The store has a definitive rustic feel and it is Nancy’s goal to show people how they can blend rustic pieces with any décor. So why wait to stage your house until you are trying to sell it? Visit Pearson & Company and let them help you stage something you want to come home to everyday. Pearson & Company is located in The Shops of Legacy, at 16939 Wright Plaza. Check out their website at


402.331.4062 • 10811 Harrison St., Omaha, NE • flooring, cabinets, countertops, ceramic tile, window treatments, plumbing fixtures, design services & more! januar y/februar y | 2011


OMAHA HOME: design profile Story by Linda Persigehl Photos by

Beth Settles, ASID

Interior Designer Interiors Joan & Associates

Designer Beth Settles, Allied Member ASID, has been an interior designer with Interiors Joan & Associates for over 22 years. She was recently awarded the GOLD AWARD for the 2010 NE/IA ASID Project Awards, Residential Singular Space Category, for her design of the kitchen remodel of a private residence. We asked Settles to tell us a bit about herself, her home, and what inspires her personal decorating style. H24

january/february | 2010

About Me

I grew up on a farm between Tekamah and Herman, Neb. My husband, Dallas, and I have been married for 24 years. I live in northwest Omaha on a golf course with our 3 cats, Max, Iris and Lilly.

My Home

We live in an eclectic ranch style home. Our furnishings are a mix of transitional and classic contemporary. The home’s color pallet includes shades of tans and browns with accents in citrus green, orange and amethyst. Colorful, contemporary original artwork and fun accessories bring the house to life.

My Favorite Home Space

The kitchen hearth room. We both enjoy cooking, and it works extremely well for socializing. The focal point in the hearth room is the custom-made fireplace. The flat-screen TV becomes the focal point on Husker football and college basketball game days! We also enjoy sitting on our stamped concrete patio listening to our bubbling boulder water feature.


Golfing, knitting and working with several non-profit organizations. I just finished chairing the St. Andrews United Methodist Auction, Dinner and Dance, “Midnight in Paris.”

the best neighborhood specialists

Things I Collect

the best professionals

Interesting and unique plates that range from colorful, contemporary fruits and flowers to shoes, displayed on top of our cherry kitchen cabinets. I also enjoy decorating for Christmas. We have a very extensive collection of Dickens Village.

DIY Decorating Advice

I recommend a fresh coat of paint to make an impact in your home.

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januar y/februar y | 2011


OMAHA HOME: Transformations

Condo Conversion

Story by Susan T. McMannama, ASID

A Paxton pad is converted into a warm, inviting space

Artfully placed lighting

elevates the mood

and adds sparkle to the

rich dark colors

in the living room and dining room.


january/february | 2010

Moving to Omaha from Alabama for a four-year consulting position would seem a bit daunting for most, especially in the dead of winter. But as those four years come to a close, the owners of this 1,400-squarefoot condominium at the Historic Paxton in downtown Omaha are saddened to leave their newly adopted city, and the many life-long friends they have met along the way.

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Paxton Interior Designer Susan T. McMannama, ASID, worked with her clients to create a luxuriously appointed home that is comfortable, warm, spacious and personal, out of a basic floor plan and concrete walls. Choosing a color palette of chocolate brown, midnight blue, amber and cream, along with chrome, clear glass and mirror as the accents, started the process. The designer and clients spent the next few months searching for just the right furnishings and accessories to complete the design. Walking through the front door into the condo vestibule, with midnight blue walls and dark mahogany wood floors, visitors are greeted with the warmth of the homeowners’ personalities. A custom-made shelf designed by Susan McMannama, ASID, offering a place for keys and mail, also holds a treasured cloisonné lamp. Ivory, cream and white wash the guest bath and bedroom off of the entry with light and airiness. In the bedroom, a white lacquered day bed with a trundle welcomes guests, while keeping floor space continued on next page

januar y/februar y | 2011


OMAHA HOME: Transformations

Rich dark paneled

wall with attached

night stands visually

expands the bedroom H28

january/february | 2010

to a maximum. Dual white Parsons tables serve as desks; the leather and chrome chairs can be pulled over to the day bed for conversations. The adjoining bathroom is elegant with its crisp white subway tile and European-styled plumbing fixtures. The main living area is open, consisting of sitting and dining areas. Chocolate brown velvet upholstery on the sectional is paired with amber colored suede chairs, wool and silk covered pillows and a cream shag area rug. A multi-tiered cocktail table shows off the clients’ personal treasures. Goblet-pleated taffeta draperies trimmed with sumptuous ball and tassel fringe frame the view to the south. Richly textured brown and amber grass cloth glows on the fireplace wall, and is the perfect background for Omaha artist Dan Boylan’s city-scape painting. A custom mirrored shelf also designed by McMannama anchors the television. The clients love of entertaining is met with the use of the dark wood square dining table! With the need for extra storage, a traditional sideboard also serves as a buffet when needed. The clear glass chandelier adds the sparkle the clients love, while the patterned fabric on the dining chairs complement the color scheme With the opening of the Crane Coffee restaurant on the first floor of the Paxton, the kitchen area is getting less use! Natural maple cabinets and Venetian Gold granite complement the stainless steel appliances, while the ribbed glass cabinet doors play off the clear glass backsplash. A glass sculpture purchased at the downtown art fair has been installed above the cook top. The master bedroom posed another challenge – how to incorporate a king size bed in an 11’ wide space. The solution: build a paneled “headboard” with wall hung night stands, adding a bench at the foot of the bed for storage. A monogrammed duvet with a down comforter graces the bed, along with a “mink” throw. Pale silverblue walls in the bedroom and master bath coordinate with the blue pearl granite counter tops and the multi-colored glass tile installed as an accent in the shower and backsplash for the vanities. A luxurious, elegant, warm and personal home created for an extremely warm and elegant couple who fell in love with Omaha. And Omaha, them.

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january/february | 2011

STEVEN GINN ARCHITECTS when design matters


Mike Becker VP-Bank of the West Mortgage

new construction | remodel


Creating Beautiful Interiors that Inspire and Refresh

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There is no doubt we live in a different time in the housing market and the mortgage industry. However, through all of this, the fundamentals of buying a new home is something that has remained and stood the test of time in every up and down economic cycle. There are three items that will help in this process The first choice you need to make is to pick a professional realtor and mortgage banker that you can trust. They can make the buying process as smooth as it can possibly be which isn’t easy in today’s environment with all of the new government regulations. The second thing you can do is to get pre-approved on your mortgage loan. This is extremely important. Quality mortgage bankers will council you on what you can be pre-approved for so that you won’t be overwhelmed with debt. This leads to the last point. The third and maybe the most important thing is to be modest in the desires of a new home. It is easy to forget your other obligations or unexpected expenses that you might have after you move in. My wife and I have three children and the expense of children can put a strain on anyone’s family budget. If the house is going to make you live paycheck to paycheck, think of downsizing or not looking for extra amenities that drive the cost up. Remember, there always seem to be those unexpected expenses too (car repairs, doctor bills, etc). A good rule of thumb is to stay at no more than 45% of your gross income. Also, remember you don’t always have to use the full amount that the bank qualifies you for. We have many quality Mortgage Bankers at Bank of the West ready to council and help you in buying a new home. Good luck and happy house hunting… is a great time to buy. januar y/februar y | 2011


OMAHA HOME: green design Story by Judy Horan Photos by

Energy-efficient windows and appliances, original brick walls, and a well-insulated ceiling make this kitchen/dining room an eco-friendly space.

Green Revival

A view of the cubist-style green roof atop Dunsany Flats.

A more than century-old building now houses modern, eco-friendly condominiums. The year is 1901. President McKinley is assassinated. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid rob a train. A baseball team in Omaha called the Omahogs observes its first anniversary. And the Dunsany apartment building goes up at 10th and Pierce Streets in Omaha. When Syl Orsi bought the property two years ago, people told him to tear down the old building and replace it with a new one. But the developer found many good—and green—reasons to rescue the Renaissance Revival-style building and turn it into 18 modern condominiums called Dunsany Flats. (As of press time, 11 have been completed; seven units are now occupied.) “You have to be really committed to go green. Although labor-


january/february | 2011

intensive and more costly, renovating old buildings is eco-friendly… You reuse materials that are there rather than seeing them end up in a landfill,” says Orsi. The 12-inch-thick brick walls, for example, were reused. “If we tore down the building, we would have consumed energy in manufacturing and transporting the materials for a new building. Keeping original materials also adds authenticity to the building and a connection to the past.” Eco-friendly means being efficient with space. The less space used, the lower the energy consumption during construction and use. The kitchen, dining and living areas are in one room. Above the high ceilings are two layers of drywall and six inches of

FURNITURE •ART • ARTIFACTS • POTTERY scottsdale & omaha insulation, which make the units more energyefficient and deadens sound. Energy-efficient windows and appliances, high-efficiency heat pumps, and passive solar heat add to the condos eco-friendliness, Orsi says. Green Roof Cubist Style Each condo unit has a view of the colorful "green roof" that covers the parking garage. The design by Kansas City landscape architect Jeff Bruce was inspired by the cubist art of the early 20th century, reflective of the time when the building was built. The roof is composed of recycled materials and drought-resistant plants. Bruce has designed more than 60 green roofs since 1979, including the world’s largest green roof on 24 acres at Millennium Park in Chicago. Green roofs are eco-friendly, Bruce says. “They are mitigators of stormwater. Cities spend billions of dollars to manage stormwater through the EPA. Typically, green roofs will capture 75 percent of annual precipitation. In the Omaha area, that’s 35 inches per year, so the roof will probably capture 26 inches.” Green roofs with plants reduce urban heat and provide a certain degree of insulation, which reduces energy use. The roof sequesters carbon in the air, reduces air pollution and muffles sound. Green roofs protect the roofing membrane, so the life of the roof is doubled or tripled. Bruce says the initial cost is greater, “but the payback comes within 15 to 20 years.” The roof ’s art design is so unique that its manufacturer, Carlisle Syntec, recently featured it in a national advertisement. “In response to the ad, calls have come into Carlisle from all over about the roof,” says Tim Wood of Scott Enterprises, the roof ’s Omaha-based installer. Prices for the 1,053- to 1,747-square foot condo units range from $220,000 to $345,000. There are five different floor plans.




4:21 PM

The Shops of Legacy • 168th & West Center Road 402.932.5999 •

Legacy This custom Built 1.5 Story on a 1.5 Acre Treed lot with waterfall and fountain will take your breath away. Built in 2005, this home has 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and a 4 car garage, with 6724 finished square feet and is located in Legacy subdivision. With two full kitchens, a very open floor plan, walls of windows throughout, a workout room with sauna, a main floor den, a wine cellar and much more this home boasts luxury living at it’s finest.

Cindy Forehead CBSHOME Real Estate 11213 Davenport St., Ste 100 Omaha, NE 68154 Direct: 402-697-4056

For more information, see www.dunsanyflats. com or visit them on Facebook.

januar y/februar y | 2011



G R o o M i N G • D o G D ay c a R e • a c c e S S o R i e S

Story by Niz Proskocil Photos by


Pampered Poodles


3731 N. 153rd Street (153rd & W. Maple Road)

Sam and Jack enjoy a life of canine luxury

january/february | 2011

It’s certainly not a ruff life for poodles Sam and Jake. These two pampered pooches live in a posh pad— a 6,000-plus-square-foot home in Omaha’s ritzy Linden Estates neighborhood. They nosh on premium pet food from a colorful art-glass bowl and a ceramic dog dish shaped like a big martini glass that says “Mutt-ini.” They each have their own doggie-sized sofa where they kick back and relax after a busy day of sniffing, scratching, snuggling, snoozing and snacking. And when these playful pets aren’t chilling out or chomping on rawhides and squeaky toys, they’re chasing each other around their own personal racetrack, otherwise known as the family room of their owners, Jill and Richard Coyne. “Where’d you get that dryer sheet, Mister?” Jill says to Jake, her nearly 50-pound, particolored standard poodle, as he scurries from the laundry room into the hall. “He’s kind of a wild man.” Kind of spoiled, too. For all the love and happiness that family pets give, it’s hard not to spoil them a little. Or, as Jill says of her two canine companions: “I think they’re a lot spoiled.” Pet toys and plush, cozy dog cushions are scattered throughout the Coyne residence. And like parents of young kids who childproof their home, the Coynes have taken a few extra measures in hopes that their house doesn’t go to the dogs. A wooden pet gate separates rooms where Jake and Sam aren’t allowed. “They could step over it, but they never have,” Jill says. Handmade vinyl slipcovers designed to match the Coynes’ black leather couch help protect seat cushions from Jake’s teeth. “He chews anything he wants to chew if you leave it out,” she says of Jake, who turns 1 in February. Sam, 10, is the couple’s black standard poodle. Compared to his rambunctious playmate, Sam has a more laid-back, easy-going personality. Both dogs, Jill says, are affectionate, and they love attention, daily walks and chasing bunnies in the backyard. Smart, social and athletic, poodles are often misunderstood. A common misconception is that they’re frou-frou dogs. That’s probably because of the elaborate haircuts seen on poodles in the show ring, says Jill, who prefers her dogs have a shorter “puppy cut” (the hair is all one length) instead of poofy pompoms on the head, feet and tail. “People think they’re prima donnas. I think they’re beautiful animals,” she says of poodles. “I’m really crazy about these two.”

New year, new style.

It’s a new year, and it’s the perfect time to give your home a new look with the style you’ve always dreamed of. Come in today to find the area’s most unique and stylish home furniture & accessories at fabulous prices. · 78th & l · omaha H36

January/February 2011 Omaha HOME by Omaha Magazine  

January/February 2011 Omaha HOME by Omaha Magazine

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