May/June 2011 Omaha HOME by Omaha Magazine

Page 1

May/June 2011

European influences create an elegant yet intimate home

Ultimate Backyard Challenge

Landscaping Pros' Picks


A Publication of

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Would you like an outdoor living space the whole family can enjoy? Whether you are looking for a simple fire feature or an elaborate full kitchen, we have you covered. Every detail is considered in our unique design process which allows endless choices on shapes, sizes, appliances, countertops, exterior surfaces and more. We will work within your budget and offer experienced advice throughout the project.

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For a limited time only, qualified buyers can take advantage of our fabulous financing programs, with down payments as low as 5% 402.934.6450 200 South 31st Avenue


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Sales Center Hours Mon - Fri 10am - 6pm Sat & Sun 12noon - 5pm

1 bedroom starting at $169,900 2 bedrooms starting at $246,900 3 bedrooms starting at $531,000

This is not an offer to sell, or solicitation of an offer to buy, real property. Purchasers should review the Federal Property Report prior to signing a contract. No federal or state agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. Prices, plans, products, and availability are subject to change without notice. Artists’ renderings are shown for illustrative purposes only. Designated Broker: Sandra S. Lent, Shoreline Marketing, Inc., 360 N. Michigan Ave. Ste. 910, Chicago, IL 60601, (312) 750-1610. Š2011 Midtown Crossing, a Mutual of Omaha Mixed-Use Development. All Rights Reserved. All contents herein are copyrighted and may not be used without permission.

OMAHA HOME: from the editor M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 1 VOLUME 1 • I S S U E



todd lemke

Embrace the


managing editor

corey ross assistant editor

linda persigehl contributing editor/account executive

stacey penrod art director/graphic design

matt jensen assistant graphic design

john gawley photography

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

tyler lemke contributing writers

molly garriott • traci osuna angelika stout vice president

greg bruns

I live in a wonderful, historic neighborhood where the houses are close together, there are large trees everywhere and rows and rows of inviting front porches line the street. It is truly a classic Norman Rockwell neighborhood. When Spring arrives, you immediately see all of the traditional signs: the kids are out in numbers, joggers and bikers fill the streets and sidewalks, and the front porches are being prepared for spontaneous neighbor visits and gatherings. Winter hibernation has finally come to an end and it's time to refresh and restore, and this edition of Omaha HOME has plenty of ideas to do just that. This is our third issue of Omaha HOME, and we hope that you've found the magazine to be informative and inspirational. This issue is heavily focused on the outdoors. We provide you tips for building the ultimate backyard kitchen, highlight some new outdoor products, and share with you some favorite plant selections of local landscapers. We also reveal the winners of the Ultimate Backyard Challenge and supply photos of the winning projects, which will hopefully inspire you to take a second look at your backyard and dare to dream of your ideal outdoor living space.

account executives

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

alicia smith hollins • dara newson katie anderson

Moving indoors, this month's "At Home" feature is a beautiful example of "living larger on less square footage." Homeowner Chris Webster was gracious enough to allow us to photograph her and her home, built by Archistructure. The wonderful crown moldings, rich wood floors, granite countertops, and French décor show that it is all about the details and not about the square footage.

Omaha Magazine

We thank you for your readership and are grateful for the overwhelming positive feedback we continue to receive. We would love to hear from you about any interesting stories you may have regarding businesses, products or people here in our community because Omaha HOME is all about supporting Omaha. Any comments, requests or submissions can be sent to

Here's to a Spring and Summer full of gatherings with family and friends! Enjoy!



To subscribe to 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 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


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 may/june | 2011


OMAHA HOME: contents



Feature: Up to the Challenge .................................... H14

Room Spotlight: Outdoor Kitchens ................................................. H10

Products: What's New .............................................................. H36

Cover Story: Castleford Cottage ........................................ H18

Design Profile: Sandra Lassley ........................................................ H12

Landscaping: Pros' Picks . ................................................................. H40

Remodeler Profile: R.D. Schuller, Inc. . .................................................. H26

Entertaining: Symphony Support ............................................. H42

New on the Block: Glass, Gifts & Goodies ........................................ H28

Neighborhood: Hawaii 68046 ........................................................... H44

Transformations: Beauty Reclaimed ................................................... H30

Staging: Staging Strategies ................................................ H48

COLUMNS Tech: Outdoor Sound Systems . ......................... H11 Real Estate: The Dollars are in the Details ................. H24 Energy: ENERGY STAR Home Benefits . ............... H38

Cut Home Heating costs Forever!

Pets: Rua................................................................................... H50

Designing Your Home to Perform Simply and Beautifully

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OMAHA HOME: room spotlight Story by Linda Persigehl Photos by

(Outdoor Kitchen)


Outdoor Kitchens It seems every good party ends up in the kitchen, and more often these days, that means outdoors. Elaborate outdoor kitchens allow master grillers to work their culinary magic, without sacrificing convenience, creature comforts, or the company of mingling guests! We asked local outdoor kitchen retailers for their tips on creating an ideal outdoor cook space. Here’s what they came up with: • First, decide if you want to build a custom grill island on site, or buy a prefabricated island. Prefab islands need only be installed, come in a variety of island sizes and configurations, and generally cost less than paying a contractor for a custom-build. (Of course, you can always build one yourself! Tutorials are available online.) Cultured stone, stone veneer and brick are popular exterior finishes. • Several lines of drop-in grills are on the market, ranging in size from 24” to 60”. These grills fit right into your custom or prefab grill island, and can be tailor-made with different components to meet your cooking needs, including electric burners, searing burners, a rotisserie, etc. • DO NOT scrimp on the grill components! Opt for premium quality. They’ll offer heavier-duty burners and cooking grids, more substantial handles


may/june | 2011

and trim pieces, and a more polished finish on the welded seams. These features will help the grill look and perform better over the years and save you on repairs. • In positioning your gas grill, be certain to place it at least 3 feet from the house, and 8-10 feet if using a charcoal or wood pellet-burning grill. Avoid facing the back of your grill to the north. Strong winds can push high heat toward the front of the grill, causing your control panel and electrical system to melt. Also, be certain to allow sufficient space between the grill and any covering above. A hood vent, UL-approved for outdoor use and mounted above a grill, will help redirect moisture and smoke away from the house/patio cover and may be required. • Ample prep/work space and serving space on/ adjacent to the grill island is key. Hard, nonporous granite makes the best countertop material for outdoor use, as it provides easy grease cleanup and stands up to the elements. Concrete countertops,

treated with a liquid sealant twice a year, are also a good option. The island should also include drawer or cabinet storage for cooking utensils, plates and glassware, serving dishes, etc., for easy, buffet-style eating. • Outdoor refrigerators and sinks are not must-haves for a grilling island, but are recommended for convenience and food safety’s sake. Bartending centers, including “keg”erators, food warmers and pizza stations are just a few of the other amenities available for your outdoor kitchen. Position a few comfy patio chairs nearby, install a backyard sound system and set out a couple of appetizers, and you’ll be sure to have company while you cook! Thanks to Dan Gould of Outdoor Kitchen (Bel Air Plaza) and Todd Lewis of Outdoor Room (Rockbrook Village) for contributing information for this article.

FURNITURE •ART • ARTIFACTS • POTTERY scottsdale & omaha PearsonLogoEPS.eps



OMAHA HOME: tech Story by: Ken McEwen Nebraska Furniture Mart

4:21 PM

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

Live Outdoors OutdOOr Kitchen & PatiO

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As the TV commercials say, you’ll know when the time is right. You know, relaxed on your comfy patio with a fine cabernet; gazing at warm summer starlit skies; mood music softly drifting across the deck . . . Hey, Wait-a-minute! Where’s the music? Having the right sound in your outdoor entertainment mix is a must for the truly complete and functional patio. And, beyond hauling out the boom box, there’s a host of exciting new ways to bring your ideal sound outside. Today’s creative advances in outdoor sound design can have your patio rockin’ and rollin’ in no time, and in unobtrusive, attractive style, too. Totally weatherproof outdoor sound elements are not only of the highest quality; they are becoming art forms in their own right. That planter on the patio containing the begonias — that’s actually a speaker. Over there in the garden, those rocks are speakers too! Speakers are strategically placed, flooding each area at just the right volume for each occasion. And, they’re easily controlled remotely or by conveniently placed volume controls. According to Jim Lind of Nebraska Furniture Mart, designing the outdoor sound system is oftentimes the last consideration of the homeowner who is building or adding to their outdoor entertainment area. “That’s a shame,” Lind says, “because outside of a great ribeye, sound can be what really pulls the party together.” Lind, Electronics Design and Installation General Manager, says that his group can accommodate your outdoor entertainment system needs from start to finish — from creative design help with proper equipment to professional installation by savvy NFM sound technicians. may/june | 2011


OMAHA HOME: design profile Story by Linda Persigehl Photos by

Sandra Lassley Lead Artist Fe Fi Faux Studios, Inc.

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started.

I was born in South Dakota, and my

father moved here when I was two

years old to start his paint contracting

business, Stiefel Painting and Decorating.

Sandra Lassley founded Fe Fi Faux Studios. Inc. in 1989 after she bought her first home and desired to make it resemble the photos in a home magazine. Her father, a painter, told her that faux finishes, plasters and decorative painting for walls would be the wave of the future, and Sandra realized the powerful impact texture, color and depth could have on a space by applying a beautiful specialty paint or plaster finish to the walls. Fe Fi Faux has been the recipient of two fauxcademy awards for the creation of unique decorative wall finishes. H12

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My mother was a seamstress who

designed her own clothes and patterns

and ran a custom drapery business. She

repainted the flowers on bedspreads and wall coverings to change the colors. I

was greatly fascinated with my father’s buckets of colors, potions and glitter. Entering the creative field was a destiny for me.

In 2001, my husband Jeff left his own

business as a contractor to join Fe Fi Faux,

and now what one of us doesn’t dream up the other one does. Jeff is the crew foreman and

has more than 10 years of extensive experience in the building trade, making him a perfect fit

at Fe Fi Faux Studios, Inc. His knowledge and talents are a welcome addition to the crew.

Creating Beautiful Interiors that Inspire and Refresh Who’s your clientele? We have a large client base and

their spaces range from small to very large homes, condos,

apartments and vacation homes.

We also design wall finishes for

Mon-Fri 9-6, and Sat 10-2 12123 Emmet Street • 402-498-8777

commercial spaces. Our finishes are applied not only to walls but furniture, columns, front doors,

railings, light medallions and more…

just about every surface imaginable.

Describe your approach to your work. Nothing excites me more than a

fresh raw space and possibilities! From the first consultation I

really try to get into my client’s head and see what she has that represents her, her passions

and likes - what car she drives, what handbag she carries, what

color she is wearing, etc. Small things add up. I encourage her

to gather photos from magazines of rooms she likes even if she

cannot pinpoint what she likes in particular. Eventually a common

thread will show itself. Tying all these things together is what

jump starts the creative process, and I am then equipped with the

information I need to help empower my clients to make appropriate

informed choices for their spaces. But I address more than walls. Furniture and its arrangement,

art, accessories and lighting all

play a huge part in overall design. Involving the client in this way

makes it exciting and makes the

final outcome a reflection of their personality, not mine.

Your home...your builder.

Exceptional. 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, we provide a one-ofa-kind experience in creating your once-in-a-lifetime home. Your wants, your needs, your style, your preferences – everything we do at Curt Hofer & Associates is advanced with the thought of you in mind. The result? Your home...your builder. Exceptional.




Your home...your builder. Exceptional.

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


To find out more about Fe Fix Faux Studios, go to

may/june | 2011



Up to the Challenge The work of father-and-son team Jim and Justin Hampton of Paver Designs earns top honors in the Ultimate Backyard Challenge Story by Corey Ross Photos courtesy of Watkins Concrete Block Co. OVERALL DESIGN EXCELLENCE Paver Designs


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Before joining his son in the patio design business, Jim Hampton was a biology teacher at Springfield's Platteview High School. He discovered his second career one summer when he decided to build his own patio. He liked the worked so much that he chose to retire from teaching and eventually join his son, Justin, who was doing similar work, in business together. Thirteen years after forming their company, Paver Designs, the father-andson team can tout their work as among the best. They’ve been named the winners of the 2010 Ultimate Backyard Challenge by Watkins Concrete Block Co.

Justin Hampton

Their winning entry was a patio redesign for John and Bev Bogatz that involved replacing a worn wood deck with decorative concrete pavers and splitting the space into a patio and gazebo. The patio incorporated serpentine accent bands of contrasting paver colors. “They wanted a larger, more usable space,” Justin Hampton says of the Armbrust Acres home. “And we did some custom insets in the walls using a triple border with three different colors. We had wanted to do that and someone finally let us try it.” Their skillful work, creativity and attention to detail won the judges over and earned the Hamptons $8,000 in merchandise from industry suppliers. They were part of a field of 15 competing in the fifth annual contest. The Hamptons built their business on the basics – patios and retaining walls – and then expanded into more elaborate, artistic work. It began with cutting flames around a fire pit for one job, then doing vines and leaves for another. They then installed the Thunderbird for Bellevue West High School. Justin Hampton says there’s currently a high demand for firepits, fireplaces and outdoor kitchens. The project for the Watkins contest came about after doing the family’s driveway the previous spring. The Bogatzs asked the Hamptons to re-do their patio. “They gave us a general overview of what they wanted and we came up with the design,” Justin Hampton says. In a competitive market, winning the contest helps with marketing and name recognition, Hampton says. “Watkins does a really good job of promoting the contractors. It helps to get your work out there, for sure.” The Hamptons take on 25 to 30 projects a year but turn down a lot of jobs, Justin says, because a two-man crew can only handle so much. Even then, they find themselves working long hours. “We try not to keep track (of the hours),” Justin Hampton says. “It’d probably be depressing if we knew how much we were putting into it.” And how did the Hamptons celebrate winning the backyard challenge? “We went back to work with the next day. There’s not much time for celebrating.” A look at the other honorees in the Ultimate Backyard Challenge can be found on pages 16 and 17. may/june | 2011


feature UNIQUE ROOM DESIGN Keystone Design Center

ATTRACTIVE DESIGN ELEMENTS Ahern Hardscape Garden Design

Gary & Jody Crone



Joe Vasko

About the Ultimate Backyard Challenge.

Two landscape architects judged the 15 backyard projects entered last fall in the fifth Ultimate Backyard Challenge contest sponsored by Watkins Concrete Block. The contest rules were scaled down to accommodate current market conditions but that allowed the number of entries to increase. Projects were 3,000 square feet or less and could include retaining walls, concrete pavers or natural stone. Projects must be cleaned, sealed, landscaped and incorporate landscape lighting to qualify. Contractors pay a $500 entry fee and are given professional photography of their projects. Photos are promoted through Watkins website and on the showroom flat screen. These pages show the projects also honored in the contest besides the Hamptons’ winning work.


may/june | 2011


Make a

Grand Entrance Security - Beauty - Function

Tom Ahern

a division of Johnson Hardware Co.

10635 Birch Street • Omaha, NE 68134 (3 blocks N. of Maple) Phone: 402-445-2596


Trent Reimer

402.331.4062 • 10811 Harrison St., Omaha, NE • Jim Gryczanowski

flooring, cabinets, countertops, ceramic tile, window treatments, plumbing fixtures, design services & more! continued on next page

may/june | 2011


cover story


may/june | 2011

European influences create an elegant yet intimate home

Story by Molly Garriott Photos by When applied to scoops of ice cream, your bank account, or IQ, bigger is better. Yet there are times when smaller is the way to go. Case in point: taxes, bills, and waist size. Numbers should be absolute, yet they’re often relative. Architect Brad Brown, owner of Archistructure, says the current trend in home building and renovations is living larger on less square footage. “It used to be that lesser square feet meant a lesser quality home,” he states. “This is not the case anymore. Cost per square feet is irrelevant.” He likens this concept to car buying: you don’t ask the car dealer how many dollars per pound your car is. Similarly, you don’t determine value of a home by square footage price. Increasingly, home owners are opting for less square footage, but the space they do have is highly usable and includes better quality finishes. Case in point: 20-foot entryway ceilings are in less demand as homeowners shift this unusable square footage into their living areas. Master suites, kitchens, and great rooms are the rooms of focus now. This is exactly what Chris Webster had in mind when she sold her large home overlooking continued on next page

may/june | 2011


cover story


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Visit our showrooms inside and out! Meet the Contractor Saturdays starting April 9th from 10:00 am to 12:30. Visit with a contractor about your backyard project. Open to the Public Mon-Fri 8-5 and Sat 8-1

14306 Giles Road • Omaha, NE 68138 402-896-0900 •

continued on next page

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cover story


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Virtually Any Surface

Champions golf course and built her 2900-square-foot home a stone’s throw away at Champion’s View. After her husband passed away and her son entered college, Webster wanted a home to reflect this new stage of life, one that was “just for me,” she confides. The result of nearly a year’s planning and building is Castleford Cottage, a home that Webster says feels more intimate, in fact cozier, than her previous home. The name is a nod to her Angloheritage. Her maternal grandmother’s family hails from England’s Yorkshire region. When Webster was considering a name for her home, she simply opened an atlas to northern England, closed her eyes, and randomly pointed to the map. She landed on a small village called Castleford. Fleur-de-lis are sprinkled throughout the house, recalling her French heritage on her paternal grandmother’s side. Webster has a penchant for French country décor, preferring it to sleek, modern design. Though most of her house is painted with soft colors, she broke form with her dining room. “I wanted something dramatic,” she says but confesses the rich, terra cotta color frightened her a bit at first. But she is happy with the outcome, thinking the hue is a striking compliment to the French blues and soft grays elsewhere in the house. Her late husband possessed an extensive book collection. So in lieu of a traditional living room, Webster opted for a library in which to house his prizes. “Other people have art and antiques; I have books,” she explains. She also loves her walk-in pantry in the kitchen. It affords her ample storage and alleviates clutter in her kitchen. Large pantries such as Webster’s allow homeowners to cut back on the number of cabinets in their kitchens, thus allowing them to spend the money saved on upgrades, says Brown. Webster loves to sit and read the paper at the large island made of carved cherry wood and topped with black granite. She also relaxes with a good book in front of one of the home’s two fireplaces. She says building this home by herself was a “leap of faith.” But some leaps are worth taking. When she settles in for the night after a busy day or prepares Thanksgiving for her family in her new kitchen, she is glad she jumped.

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OMAHA HOME: real estate Story by Cindy Forehead Realtor, CBSHome Real Estate

The Dollars are in the Details: “Getting Your Home Ready for Sale” In today’s market, preparing your home for sale by taking care of the details can mean the difference between a quick sale and having your home on the market longer than you want. Start with the outside “curb appeal”, so when potential buyers drive by your house they say, “Wow!” Hire a landscape company or do it yourself. Trees, shrubs, and beds are freshly mulched; around the front door planters can be filled with bright flowers (real or silk or a mixture of both) to give it that special look. Make sure your front door shines. Once inside, go room by room. Take out excess furniture, personal photos and items. If you do not feel comfortable staging, your realtor can recommend a stager. Make sure that your windows are washed and clean. Because wallpaper is a very personal choice, remove most wallpaper and replace it with paint. When repainting, use "Pottery Barn colors" that are softer and warm. Avoid stark white and cool colors. Don’t forget to paint storage rooms, furnace rooms, and garages. Your home will be competing with new construction homes. Finally, go through each room and detail it. Replace burned out light bulbs, make sure the window treatments are clean, replace any broken electrical covers or cover cable hookups, clean baseboards and re-stain if necessary. Closets should be orderly with no items on the floor, and storage areas neat. Vacuum and clean the furnace, change the filters, clean hot water heaters, and vacuum the ceilings in any unfinished rooms. Buyers have a hard time imagining new carpet, paint, or any type of repair; they only see dollars they will have to spend. It is better to replace carpet rather than give carpet allowances. If you replace, choose a neutral color. Your home is a large investment; with some preparation, you can maximize the price and sell in a timely manner. For more information on selling visit my website at Preparation is better than luck…


may/june | 2011

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OMAHA HOME: architect | builder | remodeler profile Story by Linda Persigehl Photo by

Master Remodeler R.D. Schuller, Inc.

A work ethic born from an Iowa farming background and an ability to persevere has made R.D. Schuller one of the mainstays in the Omaha remodeling business.


may/june | 2011

With 38 years in the market under his tool belt, Schuller has truly seen it in all in the Omaha homebuilding industry and continues to be a leader in home transformation from his location at 2315 S. 168th St. Schuller's company came into existence 38 years ago after Schuller suffered a leg injury that prevented him from physically working in the business. Schuller said, “In recovery, I was encouraged by family to start managing my own projects, and we now specialize in residential remodeling and interior finish work. We provide for all facets of the construction industry and to the entire Omaha area, but mostly focus on mid-town and west Omaha.” Schuller’s customer base is vast, ranging from minor remodeling for homeowners to sophisticated additions, kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. They also build new custom homes up to the range of $3 million. Some of Schuller’s first jobs involved dental offices, a real estate firm, and hair salons. Schuller said, “Having been in the industry for this long, it is always gratifying to get the call from a repeat customer, some of whom have even left the area and moved back ready to start yet another new endeavor. Reminiscing with these clients and catching up on their home adventures gives me a history and purpose in the profession. Watching the owners delight as an existing space is transformed is very gratifying.” Schuller added, “Having my son Jake involved in the company since 2005 has been a daily reassurance to me. There’s trust factor in knowing that he represents me and our company to the best of his ability is worth everything. Jake has also been Vice President of my company since the year 2008.”

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OMAHA HOME: new on the block Story by Angelika Stout Photos by

Glass, Gifts & Goodies Looking for a chandelier that will impress for your dining room? Or new wall art to add interest to your entryway? Two new home retailers offering unique selections of home accessories and art may have just what you need.

awe-inspiring chandeliers; there’s also a variety of decorative wall plates and table art, such as colorful bowls, clams and vases. Every piece in the shop is hand-blown and sure to achieve the wow-factor you are looking for. Not looking for glass? Diva House of Glass also features beautiful hand-painted oil murals in various sizes with a decorative metal wall mount included. Diva House of Glass always has the customer in mind. Resident artist Kathy McEachen can help in designing a custom chandelier for your home and in making the right design choices for your decor. Each piece of a chandelier comes in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Diva House of Glass will even help in the installation process; they’ll work with your own electrician to mount and hang your chandelier for a minimal service charge. And with hand-blown table art glass starting at just $59, there’s something for every price range at Diva House of Glass. Their whimsical pieces make a perfect gift or a beautiful addition to your own home.

Diva House of Glass

2615 S. 156th Circle (Behind LaRue Coffee) Jim and Lesa Modde got their foot in the door with Diva Girl Purse Party, a retail purse and fashion business the pair started in their garage. The couple expanded, launching Way Too Diva, a wholesaling branch of their purse business. Today, the Modde’s also have Diva House of Glass, a retail store offering whimsical and unique hand-blown glass pieces to brighten your home, specializing in customizable chandeliers. “In our travels we came across this type of art, and we wanted to bring it back to Omaha,” says Jim, a native Nebraskan. Jim and his sister, Kathy McEachen, who serves as Diva House of Glass’s resident artist, say their biggest inspiration was their mother, who was always creating different projects. Many of the pieces are in the vein of world-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly. Their goal is to “bring this type of art to everyone for an affordable price.” As you enter Diva House of Glass, the first reaction is one of jawdropping awe. Breathtaking, multicolored chandeliers immediately catch your eye, some with delicate floral designs and others with intricate, bold horns. But Diva House of Glass offers more than just


may/june | 2011

To a T

156th & Pacific (Pacific Crossing Shopping Center) Teresa Williams, new owner of To a T boutique, formerly Janke Gallery, has jumped into the retail scene feet first. A native Nebraskan, Williams formerly owned a Jazzercise center in Gretna. After getting out of the fitness business, Williams fell into ownership of the distinctive Omaha boutique in November 2010 and decided to rechristen the store something more reflective of the wares. Hence the new


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name: To a T Gifts and Goodies. Her cozy, earth-toned shop exudes fun from every corner. As you walk in the door, colorful glass pieces catch your eye and unusual gifts and knickknacks adorn the tables and walls. The upbeat music puts you in a good, fun-loving mood. To a T’s unique wares echo Williams’ fun and spunky personality. Her shop features many pieces from local artists and vendors, including a variety of accent pieces, wall art and wall plaques. Williams loves unique pieces and models her business after that—she only orders one or two of most items in her boutique. She describes her shop as filled with “pieces you won’t find everywhere else.” One of her goals is to keep the shopping experience fun for her customers. Williams’ favorite part of the job is what she calls “personal shopping.” She loves helping customers shop for that piece that might tie the whole room together. Some of her most popular items include metal-wrought crosses, picture frames, and decorative glass fusion platters and plates. To a T features a variety of décor and gifts for all price ranges. Designing a nursery? You’ll find lots of adorable baby décor and oh-so-soft stuffed animals for you bundle of joy to cuddle up with. Going to a housewarming party this spring? Be sure to stop by To a T and check out the extensive selection of wine accessories; delightful hand-painted wine-toppers make a great house-warming gift! • We work with all insurance companies for water restoration

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may/june | 2011


OMAHA HOME: Transformations

Story by Mary Pazderka Murphy, ASID Photos by Joanne Cordwin

Beauty Reclaimed

Attention to detail returns a 70-year-old home to its original splendor The large area rug unifies and anchors the casual warmth of the fabrics in the living room.


may/june | 2011

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These homeowners were passionate about reclaiming the beauty of their 70-yearold home and called Mary Pazderka Murphy, ASID, of the Interior Design Group, after this restoration project was underway. Murphy realized immediately that the homeowners understood that paying attention to details had indelible consequences that would be cherished long after the project was complete.

Many of those details were yet to be decided, and Murphy had to learn the scope of the project, make design decisions and get to know her clients all simultaneously. The client made it happen by bombarding Murphy’s email with everything that had been done, was being done and everything yet to come. continued on next page

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


may/june | 2011


OMAHA HOME: Transformations


may/june | 2011

Audio Visual equipment is contained in a custom-designed cabinet

Combining function with is what we do


best! Mulhall’s

(402) 496-0700 • 120th & Maple •

SUMMER’S CALLING. THE MILLARD LUMBER DESIGN CENTER. Inspiration is a short drive away. Enjoy your summer in style with a new deck from Millard Lumber. Explore our extensive line of decking options throughout the Millard Lumber Design Center. Our team of deck experts can make your deck a focal point for your outdoor living. We can design, estimate and even install your new deck. Visit our Design Center showroom to make your selection process an easy one. We have an unrivaled range of choices for your new deck - from wood to all types of composite decking, with a huge selection of colors, styles and accessories that include railing, fasteners, lighting and MORE. There is no end to the possibilities! We offer: Free design consultation and assistance • Computerized layouts • Free onsite estimates and measurement verification • Guaranteed installation • Your construction and remodeling partner, From Start...To Finish.

12900 I Street, Omaha, NE Hours: M-F 7am-6pm. Sat 8am-3pm Phone: (402) 896 - 2800 Online:

continued on next page

may/june | 2011


OMAHA HOME: Transformations

Antique sink

Custom designed walnut “armoire” closet doors

Living room


may/june | 2011

Entry ceiling details, adapting an antique light fixture, verifying a custom stair railing design, to do or not to do doors on the corner hutches, selecting flooring and determining start/stop points and finalizing fireplace surrounds were some of the decisions to be made. For the owners, an important detail was realizing their vision of making the entry closet doors look like an antique armoire. Thanks to one of the owner’s impeccable ability to convey her dreams, Murphy was able to design and provide a detailed drawing of the owner’s vision. With the expertise of many craftsmen, their beautiful walnut armoire replica came to life. The owner loved sleuthing out light fixtures, hardware and other antiques to personalize her home. So Murphy was kept busy consulting her clients on their findings while space planning the living room and selecting fabrics to reflect the owners’ desire to have a beautiful yet put-your-feet-up livable room. Though at first fabrics for the living room seem formal, red chenille instead of velvet and a burlap textured background on the main sofa dress down the formality. All electronics hide inside a custom cabinet designed by Murphy and the owners’ antique hardware adds the finishing touch. The client’s “always dreamed of ” library book shelves set the stage for the inviting office/sitting room off the master bedroom. Walls are glazed with Venetian plaster and an antique desk sits as a focal point. A new fireplace and custom designed printer stand, also by Murphy, finish off this cozy space. The powder room is a melodic combination of the client’s antique finds. The marble wall’s silhouette echoes the shape of the sink and in the baseboard. The trompe l’oeil ceiling medallion anchors the antique chandelier and red walls make everything pop. A true collaboration between owners and designer, along with the owners’ passion for their home and ability to convey their vision, awakened the beauty of this home.

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Transformations is a regular feature of Omaha Home that spotlights a local interior design transformation by an ASID designer. The copy and photos are provided by the designer. Homeowners’ names may be withheld to respect privacy.

may/june | 2011


OMAHA HOME: products


Local retailers share their favorite new products for outdoor living spaces

Enjoy a view of the Tuscan countryside or an ocean sunset with Outdoor Canvas Art by Artefx. These sharp, vibrant photographs are digitally reproduced and printed on artist canvas, then coated with UV and Waterproof lacquer to prevent fading. Stretched and gallery wrapped on 1 ½” all weather stretcher bars, they can be placed in any outdoor location with direct exposure to the elements, such as by the pool, in an outdoor kitchen, or on a balcony, porch or patio. Available in 30” x 40” horizontal or vertical styles for $229.99. Mulhall’s 120th & Maple (402) 496-0700

Aztec Sun & Moon Wall Art. Add stunning design to your garden with this stylish piece of wall art. This Aztec Sun & Moon is made from steel, welded and hand finished with antique gold, silver and bronze. A perfect choice for your wall space indoors or out. Sturdy construction and easy to hang using the keyhole slot on the back. 26”W x 24”D. 7 lbs. Available in stores or online at $49.99 Earl May Garden Center 9229 W. Center Road 402-391-9778 14005 “S” Plaza, Rt. 26 402-895-1146 The perfect addition to any garden, ceramic gazing balls will add a splash of color right where you need it. These sturdy ceramic pieces with a fabulous glazed finish will provide conversation and beauty for years. Indian Creek Nursery 303 N Saddle Creek Rd, Omaha 402-558-5900


may/june | 2011



Ponds Waterfalls Your backyard opens a world of possibilities... Let Carson Enterprises design and build your imaginings…

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Visit our outdoor showroom located on the corner of 216th & West Maple Road. may/june | 2011


OMAHA HOME: energy Story by: Renee Jacobsen OPPD

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ENERGY STAR Home Benefits Add Up

Buying a new home is usually the biggest purchase a person makes in his or her lifetime. For the home you buy to be a smart investment, it should be highquality, high-performing and environmentally friendly. The ENERGY STAR for New Homes Program can help you build a home that meets all of these criteria. OPPD works with professionals in the home-building industry to aid in the successful completion of an ENERGY STAR home. Homes that earn the ENERGY STAR certification meet rigorous guidelines for energyefficiency and are tested by an independent home energy rater. ENERGY STAR homes are at least 20 to 30 percent more energy-efficient than a standard home. This high efficiency is achieved through a variety of features, including tight construction and ducts, effective insulation and high-performance windows. Builders of ENERGY STAR homes may also qualify for a $2,000 federal tax credit. To learn more about the program, visit energystar. To find local ENERGY STAR builders, visit For additional information, call OPPD’s Renee Jacobsen at 402-636-3541 or email rmjacobsen@


may/june | 2011


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For more than 20 years, Omaha Magazine has brought you stories of the city’s most fascinating people and interesting places. Every great city has its own distinctive flair for living and Omaha is no exception. Every two months our award-winning writers, photographers, columnists and designers bring you captivating stories on home and garden, leisure life, food and dining, style, the arts, entertainment and travel, as well as compelling features on the area’s most interesting people and places. If it’s Omaha, it’s in Omaha Magazine.

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may/june | 2011


OMAHA HOME: landscaping Story by Linda Persigehl

Malus sp. ‘Orange Crush’- Multi-Stem (Orange Crush Flowering Crab) Dependable bloomer, fabulous flower color, wonderful form, and diseaseresistant. A tree for every season. Bryan Kinghorn Kinghorn Gardens 402.457.6492

Pros'Picks Garden centers offer a plethora of plants these days. In fact, the options can be overwhelming for the novice landscaper. So what do we do? We opt for the same-ol', same ol' shrub roses, day lillies... plants we see everywhere and KNOW we can grow. We asked some local landscape designers for their picks on lesser-known, easy-grow varieties ideal for residential use. Here are just a few ideas to add interest to any yard.

Coral Bells (Heuchera) and its cousin, Mukdenia Great additions to the landscape bed. Their colors range from dark burgundy to chartreuse green and complement other perennials such as hosta, astilbe, brunnera, daylilies . . . the list goes on. Once established, spring clean-up is usually the only requirement to keep them looking nice. Coral Bells tolerate a wide variety of conditions, part shade to part sun – and the dark-leaved varieties are especially tolerant of more sun exposure. Perfect for eye-catching color. Beautiful! Kyle Canoyer Canoyer Garden Center 402.932.0555


may/june | 2011

PeeWee Oakleaf Hydrangea ‘Pee Wee’ is most noted for its compact size (typically grows to 3-4’ tall and 3’ wide). It’s an upright, deciduous shrub with a rounded habit. ‘Pee Wee’ differs from the species in that it grows much smaller with smaller leaves and smaller flower panicles, and has a more restrained habit. Elongated, pyramidal panicles of mostly sterile flowers appear in early summer and bloom for 6-8 weeks. Flowers emerge white, gradually fade to pink and turn brown by late summer with good persistence of the brown seed panicles into winter. Distinctive, deeply-lobed, somewhat coarse, deep green, oak-like leaves (to 5” long) turn attractive shades of bronze, maroon and purple in autumn. Mature stems exfoliate to reveal a rich brown inner bark which is attractive in winter. Sean Mulhall Mulhall's 402.496.0700 The Cornus Alternifolia (Pagoda Dogwood) Underused plant, that will do well in Omaha. It is hardy to zone 4a (-30f ). It is a large shrub that can be tree formed into a small specimen tree reaching 20’-30’ in height and spread at maturity. It blooms an unspectacular late spring green tinted white but flowers are not the lure of this fantastic addition to the protected garden. It is the structure of the plant that calls out to be placed in a special location in the garden. When giving enough room, some protection from winter wind and summer afternoon sun, it branches out into multiple flat tiers of foliage. Its shape and form are well suited in an Asian influenced setting or in the margins between shade and sun in a Midwest garden that relies on natives. Additionally, its sculptural trunk and branching light well at night and provide a real focal point in a smaller garden. Michael Becker Estate Gardner 402.289.0688

Wine ‘n’ Roses Weigela Wine ‘n’ Roses Weigela has dark, burgundy/purple foliage that acts as the perfect background for its pink flowers that bloom in the spring. Because of its color, this shrub stands out from the usual greenery in the landscape. Growing to approximately 5’x5’, it is a versatile shrub that will fit many spaces and provide multi-seasonal interest. Bobby Byers CM’s A Cut Above 402.738.1718

may/june | 2011


OMAHA HOME: entertaining Story by Linda Persigehl Photos by

Love Your Symphony Dinners

Bob & Elaine Fenert

Symphony Support Two symphony benefits provide patrons with inspiration and ideas for elegant entertaining Members of the Council Bluffs Guild of the Omaha Symphony showed their strong support by turning out Feb. 5 and 19 for the organization’s “Love Your Symphony Dinners,” which allow guests to enjoy gourmet meals served in the private homes of members. The home of Bob and Elaine Fenert of Council Bluffs was one of seven homes hosting the traveling dinner party Feb. 19. The couple had fun incorporating the symphony theme, using musical instruments as table centerpieces, broadway show-inspired plateware and piano keys serving dishes. Deb Bass and Dan Ozayin, along with co-hosts Jay and Kathy Schuster, also hosted one of the dinners. Given a Roaring ‘20s theme, the dinner had hosts dressing the parts of showgirls and gangsters, while pink feathers, white pearls and touches of gold gave the dinner table an elegant yet fun flair.


may/june | 2011

L-R: Jim Peters, Kathy Dessonville, Dan Ozaydin, Jay Schuster, Kathy Schuster.

Table Art 2011

About 350 supporters also came out to attend Table Art 2011, the Omaha Symphony’s annual patron party. The event included a preview party on March 31 and a luncheon on April 1, both held at the Georgetowne Club in Omaha. Table Art featured tableware from MacKenzie-Childs and Borsheims Fine Gifts, and showcased unique and elaborate table art creations as well as fabulous displays of historical china. Guests were also treated to demonstrations on creating floral centerpieces and mixing the perfect cocktail, as well as a food demonstration presented by Brandeis Catering’s sous-chef. Both the Symphony Dinners and Table Art served as fundraisers for the Symphony’s music education programs in Omaha and southwest Iowa communities, which benefit an estimated 40,000 children annually. Table Art Co-chairs, L-R: Lindi Janulewicz, Donna Foley, Kris Patton, Liz Crosson, and Sheila Nelson

may/june | 2011


OMAHA HOME: in the neighborhood Story by by Wendy Townley Photos by ????? Story Corey Ross Photos by

Hawaii 68046

You won't confuse the climate for the island namesake, but for residents of Hawaiian Village, beachfront living is paradise

Photo courtesy of Bob Wilson


may/june | 2011

Interior Accent Decor & Floral Design FREE In-Home Consultation

As he greets me in the front yard of his Hawaiian Village home, resident and retiree Bob Wilson takes the moment to make both a joke and a point. “Do you know why we have front yards?” he asks. “Because we have to.” Indeed, life at Hawaiian Village in Papillion is decidedly lived to the rear, where the overwhelming majority of homes back up to the spring-fed lake that provides much of the area’s ambience, recreation and entertainment. Founded 40 years ago, about 15 miles south of Omaha, the area has blossomed into a lake haven for retirees and families with small children, the two demographics that largely populate the area’s nearly 200 homes. The Hawaiian Village name suggests paradise and the Hawaiian theme is gladly carried out by residents who accent their beaches with thatched roof huts and hold Hawaiian luau-style barbeques. During the summer, when lake activity and beach backyard entertaining are at their peak, the area does its best to become a Midwestern version of its namesake. “In the winter, though, it gets just as cold up on the hill in Omaha as it does here,” jokes Wilson, who’s had a home in the area for 20 years and lived there half that time with wife Mary. RE/MAX Realtor Peg Maloney is another long-time resident and says the low turnover in the area, and communal lake living, have created a close-knit community that allows for as much social life as residents care to have. “We have a very active social committee and there’s usually a party in one cove or another,” she says. “A lot of residents hire a band on a weekend and neighbors will contribute to the cost. There are tennis

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Remarkable Dale Siebler Custom Built Dream Home. Million Dollar View of Lake Zorinsky with easy access to walking trail. Top of the line amenities throughout. Gourmet kitchen. Main floor master has marble fireplace, sitting room, lofted home office, 2 walk-in closets & whirlpool tub. Three of the four bedrooms have loft space, all bedrooms have bathrooms & walk-in closets. Lower level features wet bar, fireplace, recroom, game-room, exercise room and walk-out. Incredible inground pool with all the toys. This home is truly one of a kind!

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may/june | 2011

in the neighborhood courts, a sand volleyball league and Bunko nights. “You can be as involved as you want, or not, and nobody is going to judge you.” And if you prefer to experience the great outdoors in solitude, you can do that as well. The lake association keeps the lake stocked with walleyes and wipers (a white bass/striped bass hybrid) for fishing, and wild turkey and deer are plentiful in the area. The nearby Platte River is also a destination for migrating birds and attracts the occasional bald eagle. The Hawaiian Village Lake Association sets the rules for boating and monitors activity closely. Taking a lesson from the fate of Lake Zorinsky, Wilson says the association has vigilantly guarded against zebra mussels. “We’re very concerned and are taking precautions so that doesn’t happen here. They’re marching across the Midwest and we don’t want them here because they’re very hard to get rid of,” says Wilson, a member of the association. Wilson says the lake is mostly six and eight feet deep, but does drop to a depth of 40 feet. The pricing of lake living? Homes in the area range from $250,000 to $400,000 and spend a fairly average 85 to 120 days on the market, Maloney says. “But one sold recently in four days,” she says. “It depends on the price.” Maloney says the area went through two bursts of home building, one in the '70s and another in the '90s, giving it a diverse range of homes, featuring an array of architecture, styles and elements. Another draw to the area for families is Westmont Elementary School, a smaller school with an enrollment of 230 that allows for more individual student attention. “And the school bus comes to your house,” Maloney says. For secondary, kids attend Platteview Senior High School in Springfield, Neb. The neighborhood is most active for the fourth of July, and it does hold a big organized Easter egg hunt in the spring, but mainly the experience is the one Maloney looks forward to every weekend. “Any given Sunday is my favorite time,” she says. “That’s when our family gets together, and it’s just a relaxing, peaceful time.”

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. 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.

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To Be the Leader in Home Inspection Services & to Provide Protection Beyond the Inspection • Ph: 402-393-3696 • Fx: 402-393-3137 (402) 709-0970 may/june | 2011


OMAHA HOME: staging Story by Traci Osuna Photos by

Staging Strategies Selling your home in short order and for top dollar may be as easy as following these simple tricks

They say that home is where the heart is. That may be why the idea of staging a home in order to sell it can become a very personal and, at times, emotional, experience for the seller. “The purpose of staging a home is to get it decorated enough, and not be taste specific, so that the architectural features of the home show,” explains interior designer, Wendy Shaw, owner of Shaw Designs. She explains that buyers should be able to envision their own furniture and tastes in the house, rather than be bombarded by the seller’s preferences. Sallie Elliott, an ASID Allied Member who owns her own design business and works as a real estate agent with Prudential, knows


may/june | 2011

• Declutter • Depersonalize • Accessorize • Natural Light • Showcase Natural Features • Update w/ Modern Touches

exactly what it takes to sell a house in today’s market and says that staging is essential. “Basically it’s a ‘Twitter’ world,” she says. “You have one second to capture somebody’s attention.” If a buyer walks into a house cluttered with personal items and overrun with dated décor, “they’ll just move on to the next one because there’s more out there.” Diane Gernstein, an ASID Allied Member and co-owner of Interiors Joan and Associates, also works with clients, suggesting ways to update décor and minimize clutter. She says current color trends are neutrals such as grays, taupes, beiges and white. “It’s not that it’s extremely exciting, but neutral does not bother anybody.” The women offer their professional staging services and expert advice to sellers who want to make their house stand out among the city’s many listings. Elliott says that sellers considering hiring a home stager should contact a professional or ask for a referral from their real estate agent. “A lot of people say they like to decorate,

but staging is different than decorating in that it directs the buyer through the house to its architectural features and tries to hide the negatives.” She advises her clients to keep colors and furnishings neutral and transitional in style. She refers to the Pottery Barn concept as a guideline: “comfy, warm, with something modern mixed in with it.” Shaw explains that she spends two hours with each client, walking through the entire house and taking an inventory of what pieces can be used in new ways and what may need to be changed. “Many people have all the right things, but they don’t know what to do with it,” she says. “Arrangement is key…you can have all the right stuff, but if it doesn’t flow right and isn’t accessorized nicely, then it doesn’t work.” Following the walk through, Shaw presents her client with a detailed report, listing her suggestions. If the client requests additional help, she will help with the changes, for an hourly fee. Staging a home can involve anything from simply rearranging furniture and adding a few

accessories, to repainting walls, re-carpeting rooms, and replacing outdated fixtures. Understandably, people get frustrated when they realize that they have to make changes to their home before they can actually sell it. “But I tell them, ‘Everything you’re doing…packing it up and putting away, and getting it absolutely sparkling… has to be done at some point. If you’re doing some of it now, you’re saving that time later.” She also wants people to know that staging almost always costs less than the first price reduction. Shaw explains that often times, the real estate agent will pay for her services as part of their client’s marketing package. Elliott says that she is currently offering staging as a value-added service to her real estate clients. In this housing market, it is essential to catch the eye of potential buyers right away. Whether you decide to do the handy work on your own or prefer to hire a professional to add the finishing touches, seeking the advice of a expert stager will undoubtedly save you both time and money in the end.

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Story by Molly Garriott Photos by

Dori Bergman and Rua

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Rua, a rambunctious miniature Goldendoodle, greets me at the door of her owner Dori Bergman’s home in the Deer Creek neighborhood. As I enter, Dori reminds Rua (which means “red haired” in Gaelic) what they have recently learned at Puppy Pre-School about greeting their guests. Once inside the open ranch home, the breathtaking view of the Deer Creek Golf Course —visible through floor-to-ceiling windows— is the first thing you notice. And Rua’s toys, scattered in front of the windows, show that she appreciates the view as well. As Dori and I sit down, the puppy scurries about the home, racing up and down the stairs. “She has the run of the house,” says Dori, though baby gates keep certain rooms off limits. Pretty much wherever Dori or her husband, Doug, are, there Rua will be. The eight-month old puppy, which the Bergmans welcomed into their family last September, is already a well-seasoned traveler. “We’ve taken a couple of trips,” shares Dori. “[We] flew out to California, …then to Florida. Within 10 days, she’d been from one coast to the other.” Dori says that Rua has already been in eleven states and is the ideal travel companion, whether by car or by plane. Still, Rua’s favorite place to be is home. When she’s not jet-setting across the country, Rua enjoys relaxing in Dori’s whirlpool tub. “[One] night, I was filling my big corner Jacuzzi tub. She did a vertical leap of 24 inches onto the tub; she looked at me and jumped in,” laughs Dori. Quite a feat for a pooch with eight-inch legs. Dori shares experiences with Rua on, a social networking site for fellow Golden Doodle owners. “I probably have hundreds of pictures [of Rua],” admits Dori. “I might be just a wee bit obsessed, but she’s my girl.”

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may/june | 2011


It’s good to be home.

Open. Light. Inviting. Lavish. Airy. Home. Come in today to order the seasonÕs most unique and stylish patio furniture & accessories at fabulous prices. á 78th & l á omaha á (402) 331-8480

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