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March/April 2013 VOLUME 3 • ISSUE 2
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March/April 2013 VOLUME 3 • ISSUE 2
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and I know conventional wisdom tells us that as we get older, time appears to speed up even faster. Living here in Nebraska, it seems that’s exactly what happens—you blink and the snow is melting and the grass is turning green, and it’s only February! But springtime is a time of renewal, so as the weather warms and the skies brighten, it’s only fitting that we feel the need to ‘fluff our stuff’ or introduce a trendy, new furnishing or two to our homes. Here’s an idea: Introduce aqua blues and spring greens to your home décor. With outdoor colors coming inside, how about bringing in a piece of outdoor furniture, too? Perhaps a wicker table or maybe a teak chair? It will bring in a new, interesting texture to the space. Mix it up! Speaking of greens, check out some of my finds in our Hot Products section, pg. H48. Some are indoor, some are outdoor, and I even have something for you men. Also inside this issue: an article on landscape planning for your yard with tips from Robert’s Nursery and Canopy Gardens; a neighborhood profile on Indian Hills Village near 84th & Dodge; a great DIY piece on Pam Mertz and her beautiful textured dining room ceiling; and much more. For more inspiration, plan on touring the 2013 Designer Showhouse. It’s a great activity to enjoy in the spring, and you'll get lots of ideas for decorating your home while supporting a worthy cause—maintaining an Omaha treasure, the Joslyn Castle. For details on the Showhouse, see our Home Happenings section on pg. H38. And you’ll see much more about the Showhouse, including sneak peeks, designer info, and history, in our May/June issue. It’ll be here in the blink of an eye. Happy Spring!
Sandy Besch Contributing Editor, Omaha Home
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HGTV’s House Hunters is looking to feature interesting homebuyer stories from the Omaha metro! Sallie Elliott, an Omaha Realtor and HGTV Area Expert, will review story submissions and coach top prospects in auditioning via video for the show. If interested in being a part of this exciting journey, please contact Sallie Elliott at 402-630-5953 or sallieelliott@ absoluteregroup.com www.OmahaPublications.com
Omaha Home: contents departments
Thank You Omaha!
OF GREAT SERVICE 1963-2013
Planning Your Yard's Next Season
H10 Design Q&A: Amy Boesen, Decor & You
H14 Builder Q&A: Ted & Jerry Ramm, Ramm Construction, Inc.
H22 New On the Block: Kirkland's, HomeGoods, Pier 1 Imports
H38 Home Happenings: Restore Omaha,
Omaha Home Show Designer Showhouse,
British Regency, French Chic At Home with Julie Kenney in Dundee FURNITURE •ART ARTIFACTS • POTTERY scottsdale & omaha LEE Industries Custom Upholstered Furniture Dealer
Visit Our Online Store!
H32 Neighborhood Profile: Indian Hills Village
H40 DIY Project: Pam Mertz's Copperpenny Ceiling
The Shops of Legacy 168th & West Center Road 402.932.5999
H45 Hot Products: Spring Forward
columns H35 Entertaining: Choosing a Sound H42 Transformations: From Average to ASID Award-Winning Design www.ReadOnlineNow.com
System for Your Patio/ Outdoor Space
Maintenance: Vinyl siding 101
In-House Design Service
march/april • 2013 H9
Omaha Home: design q&a Story by Linda Persigehl • Photos by Scott Drickey and provided by Michael Borman Home Photography
Amy Boesen Decor & You
The Omaha design professional welcomes a decorating challenge.
s a designer with Decor & You, Amy Boesen helps clients struggling with
decorating dilemmas, frozen with indecision, or just facing empty space, create wonderful environments to work and play—and at any budget.
march/april • 2013
Thank You For Voting Us The Best Home Accessories Store in Omaha.
Q: What is Decor & You, and what services do you offer?
A: Decor & You is a national franchise based in Southbury, Conn. I am the owner/ operator of a local franchise territory. Decor & You designers work with clients in their homes and commercial spaces to help them create spaces in which they love to live and work. Typically, clients work with us on projects that fall into the following broad categories: 1) color and finish selections and space planning, 2) window coverings and decorative window treatments, 3) accessorizing, which includes art/mirrors, lighting, area rugs, decorative accessories and more, and 4) full room(s) design, including all of the above as well as furniture. Q: Give some reasons why homeowners would hire a Decor & You consultant/designer?
A: Some people call us because they have a fear of color and need an expert to show them the possibilities. Others hire us because they lack the time and expertise to tackle a decorating project and they fear making costly mistakes. Still others have concern over the health of their families and the environment and want to work with a professional who is certified in green decorating practices. Many times people need a master plan so they can bring their decorating dreams to life one phase at a time. We listen very carefully to the needs of each client and we design a space unique to their needs and personality. There is no one “look” that typifies a Decor & You design. We’re rather chameleon-like in that way. Q: What career/work experience did you have prior to becoming a Decor & You franchisee/ decorator?
A: My bachelor’s degree (from the University of Nebraska) is in Textiles, Clothing and Design, with an emphasis in fashion design. After graduation, I decided to stay locally, and interior design was not a viable career choice in Omaha at that time. As such, I took a job with a printing company and five years later, began work with First Data Resources, where I spent the next 15 years. A round of corporate downsizing in 2003 gave me the opportunity to choose >> www.ReadOnlineNow.com
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Home: design q&a << a second career, and I chose to revisit my creative roots by pursuing interior design. Q: Why did owning your own Décor & You franchise appeal to you?
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A: My husband will tell you that I like shiny things, so being surrounded by beautiful things was definitely a draw! This business allows me to marry my creative side with my background in client relationships and business management. It also allows me schedule flexibility so I can spend time with and enjoy family, church, friends, and community service organizations. Q: What education, training, and talents do you offer as a designer?
A: Aside from my bachelor’s degree in Textiles, Clothing and Design, I am a Certified Interior Decorator, a Green Accredited Professional, a Certified Color Expert, and a Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Specialist. My talent lies in seeing the potential in every space and each object in that space and using them to their best purpose. I truly believe in designing with the quote from Louis Sullivan in mind, “Form follows function.” Q: What is the biggest problem homeowners come to you with?
A: If I had to choose one, I would say that it’s the lack of a master plan. I also think that’s the biggest decorating mistake most people make. When they take a myopic view of their room—say, purchasing a single item like a sofa hoping it will make a dramatic change in their room—they often find themselves dissatisfied, but they can’t put their finger on the reason why. A master plan helps them see the possibilities for their completed room and gives them a roadmap for how to tackle the project in stages. Q: Share a special design challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it.
A: One of my favorite stories is of a couple who wanted me to display in their great room every family portrait and candid photo taken in their 20+ years of marriage. The husband suggested we frame all of them and run them up the walls on either side of the fireplace all H12
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A sampling of Boesen's design projects in the Omaha area.
the way to the two-story ceiling. But this solution conflicted with the other request of the couple, which was that I make the space feel formal, yet inviting. After asking them to cull through the photos, they presented me with an envelope with the 200 or so photos most important to them. Through the use of frames on the wall and on floating shelves and the creative use of tabletop photo frames and albums (including a digital frame), I was able to incorporate all of the photos in a tasteful way, but it was a challenge. Whew! www.ReadOnlineNow.com
Q: Tell us a bit about you personally.
Q: How would you describe your own home design style?
A: My family moved to Omaha from Salt Lake City, Utah, when I was a sophomore in high school. With the exception of a one-year stint in Boston the following year, I have been in Omaha ever since. My husband, Dennis, is a banker and we have two adult sons, James and Derek. We have two Scottish Terriers named Dexter and Stewart and a “mystery” breed of dog whose markings resemble a black and white cow, hence his name “Moo.”
A: My own design style tends toward the contemporary side of transitional. I enjoy finding the balance between classic and contemporary furnishings, typically unifying disparate elements through the use of color. I enjoy whimsical touches, especially in accessories. Oh, and I’m a fabric junkie, so I enjoy mixing textiles to achieve a blend of color, texture, and pattern.
march/april • 2013 H13
Omaha Home: builder q&a Story by Linda Persigehl • Photos by Bill Sitzmann and provided by Ramm Construction, Inc.
Red Ramm, at right, with Jerry Ramm
Ted & Jerry Ramm
Ramm Construction, Inc.
uilders Ted and Jerry Ramm have a long family legacy in residential construc-
tion. Several generations of Ramms have built homes in the Omaha metro, dating back over a century. Today, the brothers head up Ramm Construction, Inc. We asked Ted Ramm to share with us a bit about their business, their family history in the trade, and just what’s in store for home construction in the months to come. Q: When did you and Jerry start Ramm Construction, Inc.? What kinds of homes do you build?
A: We established Ramm Construction in 1999. Both Jerry and I are owners. We build 20 or so homes per year in the Omaha area, specializing in ranch and two-story homes in the $250,000-$600,000 range. Our “Normandy” model home is at 3116 N. 192nd Ave. in the Elkhorn View Estates subdivision in Elkhorn. H14
The fourth-generation home builders find their niche with young families.
march/april • 2013
Q: Tell us a bit about your family history in the trade. How did you get your start?
A: Jerry and I were born into this business. We are actually four generations deep in homebuilding going back to the 1800s. Joseph Ramm, our great grandfather, moved to Omaha from Germany in 1905 and began a homebuilding business. His son, Al, continued the tradition, as did his son, Thomas Ramm, our dad. Dad built about 10 or so homes per year his entire career, right here in Omaha. In Dad’s www.OmahaPublications.com
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business, we performed a big percentage of the work ourselves, including framing and finish carpentry, cabinets, roofing, exterior decks, siding, and hardware installation. We literally grew up on and around the jobsite. We were trained as carpenters in the business we love. Dad is an incredible role model.
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Q: How do the two of you share the responsibilities of managing the family business?
A: I act as project manager on our homes. I oversee the sales, and I’m the customer’s start-to-finish contact, helping with design, pricing, design and finish selections, contract modification, customer support, etc. I have a Construction Management degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Jerry has 15 years’ experience running a framing crew and is an accomplished trim and framing carpenter. He performs most of the trim carpentry on our homes. Jerry’s duties also include acting as job superintendent. We both offer day-to-day supervision [at the jobsite].
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Q: Who make up the majority of your clients? Have you focused on that segment of the market?
A: Our niche seems to be with young families. Both Jerry and I are married with children, and I feel like I can relate very well with young, growing families. We feature great family plans and build in many >> www.ReadOnlineNow.com
march/april • 2013 H15
Omaha Home: builder q&a Thank you for voting us Best of Omaha 3 years!
www.moveflatrate.com (402) 709-0970
<< subdivisions in the Elkhorn area and West Omaha popular with young families. My mother has told me that it is a privilege to build homes for people…You are fulfilling a basic need of shelter and that is very special. I enjoy getting to know our customers and becoming part of their lives. Q: What is your forecast for the Omaha housing market in the next year or so?
A: We are very bullish about the housing environment. We have experienced strong sales over the last six months or so, especially in the Elkhorn area. We are fortunate to offer lots in most of the Elkhorn neighborhoods, including the recently developed Andersen Meadows on 178th and Blondo, and Windgate Ranch, which will have buildable lots later this year. The combination of the low interest rates, an elevated housing demand, and the strong economy in Omaha make it a great time to build.
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Q: Tell us a bit about the two of you personally, and what you’re involved in locally.
A: I was the 2011 Metro Omaha Builders Association president and a longtime board member. I’ve performed as both an estimator and project manager on multi-million-dollar commercial construction projects as well. I’ve also been mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands for 15 years, and been head coach of multiple kids’ sports teams, including soccer, basketball, and baseball. I currently coach my son’s sixth grade baseball team. I can’t wait for it to warm up and hit the baseball diamond! Jerry is married with two children. He’s an avid outdoorsman who enjoys fishing and hunting as well as attending sporting events. He also likes to build things even in his spare time. He volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. www.OmahaPublications.com
Omaha Home: feature Story by Chris Wolfgang • Photos by Bill Sitzmann , Colin Conces, and provided by Robert's Nursery
Planning Your Yard’s Next Season
Above: Canopy Gardens' owners Mercer Gunnels, seated, with Nick Irwin. www.ReadOnlineNow.com
n the spring, a homeowner’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of the perfect backyard retreat. With apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson, we provide a few first steps toward realizing those outdoor dreams, thanks to two local gardening experts. Have a plan. Robert Kozol, of Robert’s Nursery, Lawn, and Landscaping in Omaha, suggests getting out the camera from the very beginning. “Don’t just get the pictures that you like,” he says, “Get the ones you definitely do not want to see in your own yard.” If you’re planning a large-scale update, both Mercer Gunnels of Canopy Gardens and Kozol advocate hiring a professional. You just can’t beat the experience of a pro or the depth to which they’ll go to hammer out the finished feel, the timeline, and the budget. Whether or not you go with a professional landscaper, you’ll need to consider the following elements as part of your plan: • Color • Fragrance • Maintenance • Entertaining demands • Privacy To efficiently address all facets, Gunnels recommends designing your landscape digitally first. “Computer-aided design is very >> march/april • 2013 H17
Omaha Home: feature
<< efficient and easy to make changes on the fly,” he says. “This makes it easy to have several ideas designed on one property.” Having the ability to adapt ideas easily also offers more creative wiggle room for the designer. Be thrifty. If you’re the type to get your hands dirty with a little DIY, consider handling the “destruction” phase yourself. Tearing out old walls, uprooting plants, and breaking up concrete usually require more strength than training, so Kozol suggests that those who are game could save a little money taking on those tasks themselves. Another dollar-saving tip comes from Gunnels, who strongly advocates choosing as many native plants as possible for your landscaping. That means sticking to stock that’s not only grown in Nebraska but comes from seed that hails from the state as well. “This ensures the likelihood >> H18
march/april • 2013
Above: Landscaping sketch by Canopy Gardens.
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Omaha Home: feature Top: A finished landscape design by Robert's Nursery, Lawn & Landscaping. Below: Landscape design by Canopy Gardens.
<< that the plant will have a full and successful life with fewer tendencies for disease and pest damage,” Gunnels says. “These native plants also take a lot less input and care as they live here naturally.” But feel free to choose specimens at your leisure. For those on a tight budget, Kozol recommends installing new landscaping in phases. “We might not install some plant materials until two or three years after the first beds and hardscapes,” he says. Build a backbone. Both Kozol and Gunnels emphasize that putting in new landscape is a process requiring patience. So take your time with possibly the most important step: Installing the hardscapes. These can include: • Sidewalks • Retaining walls • Patios • Waterscapes • Permanent planters or raised beds “The hardscapes need to have both form and function,” Gunnels says, “just as anything does in the installation of your space.” If you have the time, observe your yard over the course of a full year before putting in anything permanent. Know where the light and shade will be particularly in summer and fall to avoid, for example, placing a sidewalk in your best sun or putting a raised bed in partial shade. Be flexible. “We have been in business for seven years, and I cannot remember one installation that went in perfectly with no changes,” Gunnels says. “It’s just part of the process.” He recommends viewing these surprises as opportunities instead of setbacks. Kozol agrees that no matter how thorough the plan, all the prior experience in the world won’t guarantee a flawless process. Keep in mind also that your property will be an ugly duckling before it turns into a swan. For large-scale projects, you might feel your space is all but invaded by landscaping and construction crews. Face it with deep breaths and visions of the beauty of a fully grown landscape. “Your home doesn’t begin at the front door and end at the back door,” Gunnels says. “Your style, beliefs, and lifestyle should shine through in your outdoor space.” www.ReadOnlineNow.com
march/april • 2013 H21
Omaha Home: new on the block Story by Linda Persigehl and Mary Quinn • Photo by Bill Sitzmann
3 National Retailers Expand in Omaha.
HomeGoods 12955 West Center Rd. Montclair on Center 402-334-6287 M-Sat/930am-930pm; Sun/11am-8pm
Kristine Kleindienst, store manager of Kirland's on left.
Kirkland's 12226 K Plaza, omaha L Street Market Place 402-334-6795 M-Sat/10am-9pm; Sun/12pm-6pm
fter a few years absent from the Nebraska market, national home décor
retailer Kirkland Home is back with a larger, more convenient store in the L Street Marketplace shopping center at 120th & L streets, Omaha. “The new location is really centrally located in an area with lots of shopping, and provides a much larger footprint than the store [formerly] at Village Pointe,” said store manager Kristine Kleindienst. “Our showroom is at least double the size of the old location (about 9,300 sq.ft.), which means much more merchandise.” Framed art, mirrors, accent rugs, , and artificial floral arrangements are just a few of the home décor items Kirkland's carries, all at very affordable price points. The store also offers many gift items and holiday and seasonal items, such as garden accessories. Company sales are very promotion-driven, Kleindienst said, “which prompts many of our customers to come in often and find a good variety of things on sale.” Kirkland's closed its Village Pointe store a couple years ago when the national chain underwent a restructuring. “For us, I think the recipe for success was finding the right location, which is what we have now. Customers are coming in and saying they love the bigger store, and that the parking is so much better,” Kleindienst said. The Tennessee-based specialty store chain has more than 320 stores in 35 U.S. states, primarily in the southeast and east. “But Kirkland's is growing more in the Midwest,” said Kleindienst, a 16-year veteran retailer. “The company sees a lot of potential for more stores in markets like Sioux Falls and especially Denver.” For more, visit www.kirklands.com. H22
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omeGoods, which specializes in bedding, furni-
ture, and housewares, prides itself on selling affordable home accessories and having a frequently changing inventory. HomeGoods operates the home furnishing sections of TJ Maxx n' More and Marshalls Mega Stores, with 400 stores across the U.S. as of September 2012. With its headquarters in Framingham, Mass., items as well as the store itself have been featured on HGTV shows and decorating blogs. Founded in 1992 and now operated by TJX Companies, HomeGoods has been leased in the former Sports Authority space in the Montclair on Center shopping center near 132nd and West Center Road. This makes it the first store in Nebraska, and only the second location in the Midwest (Kansas City). HomeGoods promotes themselves as having "Unique Home Decor and Affordable Home Furnishings," according to their website, and they offer decorating tips for every space from the bedroom to the backyard. Interior designers and lovers of décor alike can use a series of items from the store to express their design style and keep up with the latest trends in housewares without breaking the bank or traveling several hours. For more information, visit www. homegoods.com www.OmahaPublications.com
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ith the growing popularity of Oscar® parties, as
well as tea parties inspired by the hit PBS British drama Downton Abbey, the market for table settings, home décor, and dining furniture has greatly expanded; so much so that a new Pier 1 Imports has opened in Shadow Lake Towne Center. Alex W. Smith, President and CEO, says, "We are pleased to bring this new Pier 1 Imports to Papillion and hope that our new location will inspire customers to discover the eclectic and fun merchandise that is unique to Pier 1 Imports." Customers can shop for items for their dining room, living spaces, home offices, and more at the new store, which will be the fourth location in Nebraska and third in Omaha (72nd & Dodge, Village Pointe). Established in San Mateo, Calif., in 1962, the original Pier 1 Imports catered to hippie baby boomers and included incense and love beads. Now, with over 1000 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, Pier 1 specializes in imported home furnishings and décor, i.e. furniture, table-top items, seasonal décor, and decorative accessories. So whether you're in the market for a new set of teacups or even a dining room table, Pier 1 is sure to make your Oscar® party or any gathering a major hit! For more information, visit www.pier1.com www.ReadOnlineNow.com
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Omaha Home: at home
Story by Molly Garriot • Photos by Bill Sitzmann
British Regency, French Chic At home with Julie Kenney in Dundee
y favorite thing in life
is to read a book and be cozy,” confesses Julie Kenney. So when she is designing a space in her Dundee home, she thinks, “Would I want to sit here and read a book?” Thus, it is no surprise that one of her mostloved spots in the house is a small chair and robin’s egg “poof,” as she dubs the felted, flower ottoman, tucked by the fireplace in her living room. On cold, rainy days, a crackling fire with cup of tea and engrossing book are the tickets to contentment. Kenney and her husband bought the Georgian brick 13 years ago. Though the architecture is purely British Regency, her interior decorating is unabashedly French chic. She mixes wood, iron, and upholstered furnishings and is drawn to crystal chandeliers and light fixtures. Silver-framed >>
march/april • 2013
Flowers provided by Kyle Robino, Old Market Habitat
march/april • 2013 H25
Omaha Home: at home << snapshots capturing family and friends are clustered on a French country side table, and works by local artists Paula Wallace and Dan Boylan hang conventionally on walls and unconventionally from molding and overlapping windows. Kenney would call it “shabby chic,” though even a cursory peek into her foyer would indicate it is more “chic” than “shabby.” Kenney only fills her home with items she loves, though the space for which they are intended is rarely where they end up. “I buy things because I like them. Then, I find a place for them,” she reveals. The sideboard in the entry called three other spots home before landing in its present location. But it shouldn’t get too comfortable there; Kenney has a propensity to move smaller pieces of furniture and decorative accents around. It keeps things feeling fresh in her home, she says. She also likes to pair investment pieces with inexpensive finds. To wit: the high-back upholstered couch facing the fireplace and the chair kitty-corner to it in the entryway. The couch was a substantial purchase. Its Old World character and metal stud trim caught her eye. But then while perusing the nooks and crannies of McMillan’s Antiques on 50th and Leavenworth (the day the Kenney family moved into the house, no less), she spied her sofa’s black sheep of a step-brother—a slightly banged-up wingback chair very nearly the same color with almost identical bronze-stud trim—and >> H26
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Above: Green walls painted in stripes and a white beam ceiling create a vibrant dining room space for gatherings. The home’s blue and white awning can be seen through the room’s window, lending more visual interest. At left: Red and black room finishes with gold accents, fine antiques, and a large landscape oil painting create an Old World feeling in the home’s front living room.
402-492-8800 www.HeartlandLawnsOmaha.com www.ReadOnlineNow.com
march/april • 2013 H27
Omaha Home: at home << promptly purchased it for a song. But that is Kenney’s way. Be open to possibility. Look for fun additions in the most unlikely spots. The crystal chandelier in the dining room is a modern (albeit a good one) replica of a French antique. She made the chairs at the ends of the table her own by reupholstering handme-downs from a friend. The hanging light fixtures on either side of the bed in the master bedroom were castoffs from another friend who thought them “God-awful.” Kenney didn’t. She snatched them up off her friend’s front stoop (literally) like a wideeyed kid given free rein in a candy shop. Whimsy is important to Kenney. Function does not preclude fancy; utilitarian does not mean ugly. After searching for a canister set in vein, Kenney decided to store her dried goods in glass containers. Cluster them on an antique silver tray and you’ve added another layer of interest. The greenery adorning her kitchen light is last Christmas’ mantel >>
At right: A bay leaf mantelpiece from last Christmas serves as decoration on a kitchen light fixture. Kenney also uses dried leaves from the arrangement in her cooking. Far right: White cabinetry abounds in the home’s kitchen and butler’s pantry, making storage of serving ware and food prep for entertaining a breeze. H28
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Omaha Home: at home
At left: Kenney has fun elegantly decorating small spaces, such as the nook off her home’s entryway and the powder rooms. Above: A beautiful chandelier and curving stairway greet guests in the home’s foyer.
march/april • 2013
Far right: Every room in the Kenney’s home features unique, custom window coverings that add layered texture and drama. Ornately patterned paper on both the walls and ceilings can be found throughout as well, adding more visual interest.
<< decoration. “I use the bay leaves in soups and cooking all year,” Kenney shares. And the miniature serving platters filled with lemons and limes? They are actually antique silver ash trays. So, yes, they come out at parties still….But to a healthier end this time around. Small spaces are her favorite. Sometimes it’s just a nook she has created in a larger room: her www.ReadOnlineNow.com
reading spot or her children’s computer space, tucked into the corner of her living room and delineated with a book shelf “wall.” Sometimes it's an actual room. Guests, she says, gravitate to the butler’s pantry during gatherings, with its Toile paper and dimpled and dented concrete countertops. She is particular to her office space off the master bedroom. The walls are painted black and
white stripes—“because I’ve always wanted a black-and-white-striped room”— and the ceiling is papered. An oversized red, lacquered mirror which was intended for her foyer adds a dramatic pop of color to the room. Large or small, home for Kenney is where her family gathers. “I would rather be home than anywhere else,” she contently confides. march/april • 2013 H31
Omaha Home: neighborhood profile Story by Molly Garriott • Photos by Bill Sitzmann
march/april • 2013
Indian Hills Village A Haven for Omaha History Buffs, Modern Design Lovers, and Families Alike
A residence off 89th & Harney Streets in Indian Hills Village. www.ReadOnlineNow.com
ith subdivisions and shoppi ng
centers cropping up in onetime croplands west of the city, it is difficult to remember that the Crossroads and Westroads Malls were once shopping meccas located on the edge of town. But as the city developed west in the 1950s, families sought the quiet living of suburbia. Only suburbia wasn’t 204th Street; it was 90th. Neighborhoods like Indian Hills Village, tucked between Harney and Dodge and 84th and 90th Streets, were born. Forged over 50 years ago, Indian Hills Village was advertised as an “ultra-modern community,” a forerunner of the avant-garde concept that is mixed-use development, says Darcy Beck, Realtor with DEEB Realty and resident of the Indian Hills neighborhood. >> march/april • 2013 H33
Omaha Home: neighborhood profile << So what is considered hip and 'au courant' now—mixed-use developments like Midtown Crossing, for example—actually has its roots in the past. Mixed-use development refers to the combination of complimentary commercial, residential, and rental properties in one neighborhood, Beck explains. Barbara Naughtin has a long-time connection with Indian Hills Village. Her mother and step-father bought a low-rise condo in the neighborhood 30 years ago. Now she and her husband, a Westside graduate who hails from the area, have lived in Indian Hills for the last seven years. As a member of Restore Omaha, she played an integral role in the October 2012 Mid-Century Modern tour of homes. Naughtin is a history buff who attributes her affinity to Omaha’s colorful past to her own family’s connection with it: “My great-great-grandfather was the first Omaha blacksmith in the 1850s.” Not that long ago, Regency was in “West Omaha” and land beyond 132nd was still farmed. Boys Town was “out in the country” and driving to Elkhorn was considered a “trek.” Such was the case for Indian Hills in the '40s and '50s. During World War II, Harold W. Glissman carved an 18-hole public golf course out of farmland between Dodge and Harney streets and 84th and 90th streets. If you were not a member of one of the country clubs, golf in Omaha was limited. But Indian Hills Golf Course offered players the chance to take in panoramic views of the growing city while satisfying their need to hit a little white ball around an undulating course adorned with over 500 evergreens. The course was situated on the city’s highest point, 88th and Indian Hills Drive (now the location of the Lincoln Financial Group business complex). Thus, players claimed they were “golfing the hill” as they set out for a day on the links. Green fees were only 50 cents for Saturday mornings and weekdays, and $1 for Sundays, giving credence to the course’s “Poor Man’s Country Club” nickname. The clubhouse sat where Swanson Towers, a neighborhood anchor, currently resides. In the early 1950s, the golf course was sold to Gilbert and W. Clarke Swanson who recognized that the city was expanding westward. The brothers envisioned a business and residential development and secured the services of Leo A. Daly architectural firm to help them realize their dream. Leo Daly, whose company has been >> H34
march/april • 2013
Home: entertaining Tim Balvanz, Product Specialist, Custom Electronics, Inc.
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Choosing a Sound System for Your Patio/Outdoor Space
anna be able to crank the tunes at your summer backyard bash? Or enjoy
some soothing jazz with a glass of wine on your patio after a long day at work? Then investing in a quality outdoor sound system should be on your to-do list. There are a number of factors to consider before selecting an outdoor speaker package. First, the level of performance or sound quality that you are looking for. Let’s assume that only one pair of outdoor speakers is needed for adequate coverage of your deck or patio area. You can probably find models from $119 for a pair, but if your want good quality sound and years of enjoyment, don’t cut corners here. Plan on spending between $400-600 for a pair and you’ll be a lot happier with your purchase. If your outdoor space is larger, you might want to invest in additional speakers strategically placed throughout. Outdoor speakers are usually offered in either a black or white finish, with the white finish being paintable to match exterior colors. They typically offer the ability to tilt or slant the speaker to aim the sound closer to or further away from your home. This is handy when neighbor’s homes are nearby and you want to avoid blasting sound into their backyard. If you’re mounting the speakers under an eave or on an exterior wall, rely on a good quality 14-gauge wire. Make sure it’s CL3 rated to meet fire code, since you’ll most likely be running the wire through the walls of your home. Most CL3 wires are paintable to match your home color. In new home construction, the wires can be run ahead of time, allowing them to be hidden and eliminating the need to paint them later. Something else to consider is controlling the volume. You could just run the wires directly to the speakers from the stereo receiver, but then you’d have to run back inside to where the equipment is located every time you wish to adjust the volume. Using a local volume control is preferable. While weatherproof outdoor volume controls are available, we generally prefer to locate the volume control just inside the deck/patio door to avoid another opportunity for cold air and moisture to enter the home through the exterior wall’s vapor barrier. When choosing a stereo receiver, be aware that most outdoor speakers are efficient enough that 40 to 100 watts is more than enough to drive a pair. So wattage is not usually an issue, unless you’re running more than one pair of speakers at a time. Odds are that you will never be driving the speakers at the higher wattage range, unless you’re prepared to invite the entire neighborhood over for beer and iced tea. On the subject of the so-called wireless speakers...There is a bit of a misnomer here. They will require a transmitter, usually located near your equipment rack, that sends the signal to the wireless speakers. All speakers require power to drive them. Regular outdoor speakers get their power from the wires connected to the receiver's speaker terminals. Even wireless speakers will require power of some sort, probably a 12-volt adapter that will need to be plugged into an outlet nearby. This approach is not very conducive to Nebraska and Iowa’s inclement weather and is therefore not recommended. The only wireless speakers that we do recommend are ones that work with Apple's Airplay™. The technolgoy allows you to send music from a Mac or PC running iTunes, or an iOS device, directly to the speakers and control it from those devices. There are also third-party applications that can add AirPlay functionality to Android devices for a price. Some of these types of speakers will work standalone, but many require them to be connected to a Wi-Fi network in the home. Some may also have rechargeable batteries in them, so they can be more portable for use at parties and such, or to bring sound to other parts of the home. The best performance usually comes from the speakers that require a connection to AC power. They will always have power and you don't have to worry about the battery running down at an inopportune moment. For more information on outdoor sound systems for your patio/outdoor space, contact Custom Electronics, Inc. at 402-397-4434 or online at www.customelectronics.tv march/april • 2013 H35
Omaha Home: neighborhood profile
<< located on Indian Hills Drive since 1959, developed Indian Hills to accommodate all income levels. Swanson Tower was created as the area’s high-end, high-rise living option. Condos appealed to middle-income residents. Apartments filled the housing gap as the most economical option. Single-family homes were also constructed with over 80 percent of the homes boasting two-car garages. A church (First Covenant), school (Swanson Elementary), shopping center, hotel (the now defunct Indian Hills Inn), and park rounded out the development. “If you are not looking for cookie cutter, you might be looking for Indian Hills,” says Beck. Two-story, multi-level, and ranch all coexist peacefully, a melting pot of H36
march/april • 2013
architectural styles. She and her architect husband were drawn to the collection of flatroof homes in Indian Hills. “Move over, Brady Bunch,” she laughs. These homes featured heavily in the Restore Omaha Mid-Century Modern Tour. The “ring leader” of these homes was Mike Ford, who built his home on 89th and Harney in the Mid-Century Modern style in the early '60s. Not wanting his house to be the sole example of modern architecture on his block, Ford bought four additional lots and enlisted Stanley J. How, Jr. as architect of each. Sam Mangiamele designed their interiors. Sadly, not all architectural and historic gems of the area have survived. The Indian Hills Theater was built in 1962 for $1 million.
It boasted the largest Cinerama, floor-to-ceiling movie screen in the country. Sitting in the theater was the visual equivalent to surround sound. In its heyday, ushers wearing tuxedos would escort movie goers to their reserved seats. The theater closed in 2000 and was demolished the following year despite protests from its Omaha fans and Hollywood’s elite. Timeless. That is still how Beck describes Indian Hills though: “It’s a remarkable chameleon, able to change and grow and reinvent itself for 21st century living while retaining its original appeal and historic relevance. I guess they knew what they were talking about when they dubbed it the ‘ultra-modern community’ back in 1953.” www.OmahaPublications.com
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march/april • 2013 H37
Omaha Home: home happenings Story by Mary Quinn
Events In Your Neck-of-the-Woods
Omaha Home Show March 21-24
H Restore Omaha Conference and Exhibition March 1-2
he care and restoration of Omaha's beautiful, turn-of-the-Century homes are key to preserving the history of our city. A variety of workshops and exhibits will be available to old-home owners and enthusiasts at the Restore Omaha Conference and Exhibition March 1-2. This Expo will host national and local speakers on preservation, provide ongoing workshops, and feature exhibits for companies and organizations specializing in the needs of old-home owners. The Friday Night Reception and Tour will be held at Omaha's historic Scottish Rite Masonic Center, a 1914 Neoclassical Revival building designed by John Latenser that has been completely restored. From 7 to 10pm, attendees will be able to visit on all four floors and enjoy food and drinks. The main event, the Saturday Conference, will take place at Metropolitan Community College's South Campus on Saturday, March 2 from 8am to 4:30 pm. Here, visitors will have the opportunity to network and mingle with other owners and enthusiasts of historic Omaha homes. Conference Keynote Speaker and nationally recognized urban planner Nore' Winter will also be presenting. He will discuss his work as an authority on preservation, developing master plans, redevelopment projects, and urban planning guides, with over 25 years’ experience. Winter is the president of Winter & Company, Urban Design & Historic Preservation, where he provides services to communities with distinctive natural settings and traditional neighborhoods which seek to protect their heritage. Following the conference, all attendees are invited to share their current restoration projects in five minutes or less at the Restoration Jam. Recurring F-Sat. $25-60. 202 So. 20th St. 2909 Edward Babe Gomez Ave. Open F/7-10pm; Sat/8am-4:30pm. For more information, visit www.restoreomaha.org
march/april • 2013
ome design, like fashion,
is constantly evolving. From building to landscaping to remodeling, new ideas are circulating every year, and what better way to view these ideas than at the Omaha Home Show! This year, Omaha's biggest show for anything landscaping, gardening, building, design, and decorating will be held at the CenturyLink Center Omaha. Exhibitors from the Omaha, Lincoln, and Council Bluffs areas will be featured, including home builders, remodeling contractors, developers, and architects. A Landscaping Competition will also take place, where 10 area professionals will build complete on-site landscaping concepts such as outdoor gardens, patios, outdoor kitchens, and outdoor living spaces. Judges will decide on a winner and prize money will be awarded. The Pet Zone will be featured, where adults and children alike will have the opportunity to see live pets, learn about local rescue pets, and learn how to adopt a new pet. And various companies will be exhibiting pet-related products and services for those who may already have pets of their own. Enjoy the latest trends in home design with the entire family at the Omaha Home Show. Featured professionals will include Advantage Home Improvement, Champion Window, Deancraft Decks, Landscape Illuminations, Malibu Sunrooms, and Valley Boys Roofing. Whether you're planning to build, need ideas for remodeling, or just want to talk design, a slew of exhibitors will be available to you! Recurring Th-Sun. $9 adults, $5 children. 455 N. 10th St. Open Th/5-9pm, F/noon-9pm; Sat/10am-9pm; Sun/10am-5pm. For more information, visit www.omahahomeshow.com www.OmahaPublications.com
ASID & Joslyn Trust Designer Showhouse May 2-19
Lewis Art Gallery Every Style & Price of Original Art • Unique Accessories & Gifts Lamps & Furniture • Custom Framing
maha's Gold Coast is
known for its remarkable, NeoClassical revival-style homes that continue to stand the test of time (with a little help of course). This year's Designer Showhouse, hosted by ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and Joslyn Castle Trust, will take place at the Smyth House May 2-19. Guests are invited to attend various events and tour the historic home, originally purchased by successful Irish immigrant Constantine J. Smyth and his wife, Kate, in 1906. After at least two rumored visits by President Woodrow Wilson and barely surviving the Easter Sunday tornado of 1913, the Smyth House still abounds in character today. Originally the site of the 1980 Designer Showhouse, the current owners of the Smyth House, Robyn Tait and John Campbell, will be opening their infamous home to the public for the 2013 Designer Showhouse. Twenty local interior designers will be given a room where they will design their own ideas for restoration. Designers will display a theme, a color scheme, and keep to the time period of the house while also including modern amenities. Other events/features will include tours of the house, a cafe/boutique, wine tastings, and jazz brunches. All proceeds will help preserve another architectural gem, Omaha's Joslyn Castle. Recurring daily. 710 N. 38th St. For more information, visit www.joslyncastle.com www.ReadOnlineNow.com
8600 Cass Street 402.391.7733 • www.LewisArtGallery.com
march/april • 2013 H39
Home: d•i•y project Story by Linda Persigehl • Photos by Bill Sitzmann
d•i•y Copperpenny Ceiling
am Mertz expresses her cre-
ative side through home decorating. She enjoys watching DIY Network and HGTV, perusing home interiors magazines looking for projects, and decorating her Papillion home of 10 years. And she’s also not afraid of a design challenge. “I definitely like tackling a project,” she said. “I’m not intimidated by them. I think I have a gift for decorating…I can walk into a room and picture how a space will look if I do this or that with some end tables or paint on the walls. But I admit I’m more of a big-picture person…not as good with the accesssories.” When a tour through some Street of Dreams homes led Mertz to a fascination with faux finishes on the walls, she put her mind to learning how to do several painting techniques. “A girlfriend taught me some skills…rag rolling, feathering…and I had a knack for making it look professional. I did it in my home, then I started doing it for friends.” During some time off work (she works fulltime as a UPS driver), she took a week-long class learning about plasters, glazes, and other materials and techniques for wall and ceiling treatments from local decorator Kelly King. The class was not cheap. “It was $1,500, but I figured if I could learn to do it myself, it would save money in hiring a professional,” Mertz said.
march/april • 2013
The first project she tackled was her dining room ceiling. It was not an easy undertaking. The process took nearly 30 hours over two weekends and involved plastering cheesecloth to the ceiling in various shapes, then pulling it off, sanding it until smooth, adding a glaze, painting it a copper-penny color, then trolling on a topcoat to fill in the cracks. “I learned the plaster technique on a paint sample board standing up on-end,” she said, “so doing this on the ceiling, over my head, was much harder. When I was done I looked like I had cake batter all over me, and I thought I’d have permanent neck damage.” Still, Mertz said the ordeal was well worth the effort. “It turned out beautiful. A lot of that has to do with the products I used (which she special-ordered online), but [they] make a huge difference.” She recommends the Blue Pearl metallic and pearlescent paint line. Since then, Mertz has gone on to apply textured finishes and faux paint to walls and ceilings in many other rooms—“I used a metallic copper in my kitchen, a paint technique in the master bedroom, a suede finish in another…[The finishes] give the rooms a depth and warmth I love.” While Mertz gets a lot of requests from friends to do their homes, she admits she doesn’t have much time. “I may take up more projects when I retire, which I hope to do in less than three years.” She admits faux finishing is not a home project for just any do-it-yourselfer. “If you are not a patient person or detailed person, it’s not for you,” she warns. “You have to be willing to do it just so or it won’t turn out the proper way. “And you can do too much. There are ways to do techniques more subtly.” www.ReadOnlineNow.com
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Omaha Home: transformations Story by Michele Hybner • Photos by Sarah Conrad, Impressions Photography by Sarah
From Average To Asid Award Winning Design H42
march/april • 2013
o you know the feeling when
you build up the courage to get a new hair style and then suddenly it seems your existing wardrobe now looks tired in comparison? This, in the same sense, can happen when updating the finishes and décor in your home as well. You decide to update one element and then you begin to notice that there are other areas which also deserve a fresh look. The aforesaid scenario is exactly what happened after my clients had new porcelain tile installed in their kitchen, dinette, and foyer areas in their home. The couple agreed it was time to continue updating their home (which they had built in Elkhorn, approximately six years prior). Finding the right direction >>
meet the designer
Michele Hybner, ASID, D3 Interiors
Transformations is a regular feature of Omaha Home that spotlights a recent project by a local ASID interior designer. The copy and photos are provided by the designer. Homeowners’ names may be withheld for privacy.
march/april • 2013 H43
Omaha Home: transformations
<< and time to devote to such an undertaking seemed overwhelming for them as they both work outside the hom and are extremely devoted parents to their two young sons. They didn’t know how or where to begin. They decided it was best to seek the assistance of a professional interior designer whom they felt could help them realize the potential they both knew their home had. They invited Michele Hybner, Allied Member ASID, Interior Designer with D3 Interiors, over to visit about the scope of their project and requested her professional guidance with remodeling and redesigning the main floor of their home. Topping these homeowners’ wish list was adding a fireplace to their great room. I, therefore, designed a feature wall which became the focal point in this space. The once barren wall is now complete with a linear gas firebox, ledge stone from floor to ceiling, and a recessed niche for their 55” flat screen television. I flanked the fireplace with new custom built-in cabinetry which offers much needed storage and display space. We pulled up all of the wall to wall carpeting on their main level; in its place went a dark (pre-finished) 6” wide plank, hand-scraped, bamboo wood floor. We removed the light fixtures in the study, kitchen, and dinette areas and updated them with burlap covered drum shade pendants in the study and kitchen and added a two-tone chandelier >> H44
march/april • 2013
BEFORE: Red is an active color said to stimulate your appetite, so it is not a bad choice for a kitchen or a dining room. However, because our goal was to tone down the existing golden maple cabinetry and millwork in this home, I selected a new neutral paint color for these spaces.
AFTER: Guests will linger longer when your dining spaces offer comfortable seating. Maintenance of upholstered seating is made easier with a coat of fabric protection. Utilizing a patterned fabric (especially for the seat cushions) will also help disguise stubborn spots and spills.
homeowners fall into the trap of positioning their furniture up against the walls in their rooms. This put the existing furniture in their Great Room too far apart—the result is an open and uninviting space.
AFTER: This room went through the biggest transformation of all of their spaces on the main level – now the homeowners have an intimate and cozy setting - perfect for conversation, relaxing, and watching television.
BEFORE: I suggested removing the dated glass block that was featured in the wing walls and dividing wall between their kitchen/ dinette and great room. We shortened the dividing wall and I had the arch removed between the kitchen and foyer/ hall.
AFTER: The foyer now has the “wow factor” the couple wanted with a fresh coat of paint, new artwork, and a bubbling fountain - which sets a relaxing mood when you enter their home. This space was not functioning well for these homeowners nor did it give the first impression they were going for as guests entered their home – they asked me to give it polish and purpose.
march/april • 2013 H45
Omaha Home: transformations 7.
BEFORE: This space was not functioning
<< from Currey and Co. in their dinette. I suggested removing the dated glass block which was featured in the wing walls and dividing wall between their kitchen/dinette and great room. We also shortened the dividing wall to garner more room for their counter stools to push back and we had the arch removed between the kitchen and foyer/hall. I specified the same neutral ledge stone (from their fireplace) to wrap the two wing walls and the dividing wall between the adjacent spaces visible from the foyer. The inspiration for my design work comes from many sources; I have been inspired by a client’s favorite travel photos, a treasured heirloom rug, a collection of pottery and dishware from Mexico, a homeowner’s heritage, etc. The color palette for this particular project was inspired by the subject matter found in a piece of art work from the homeowners’ existing art collection. I specified a subtle variation of earth tones for the walls for each of the spaces on their main floor. The warm walls offer a quiet and sophisticated backdrop for the punctuations of saturated color (reds, peacock blues, and greens) brought into the design with new case goods, artwork, and accessories. This ASID award winning remodel/redesign included creating spaces in my clients’ home which now function much better for their family plus they actually look like an extension and reflection of this stylish couples’ unique personal taste and flair. H46
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well for these homeowners, nor did it give the first impression they were going for as guests entered their home. They asked me to give it polish and purpose.
AFTER: The study now has ample storage and display space and it makes a great first impression.
Omaha Home: maintenance Story by Paul Taylor, Pyramid Roofing Inc.
Vinyl Siding 101
ome improvement season is fast approaching! The warm weather pushes us to get outside and take care of those much-needed home improvement projects. If your list of projects includes painting your house or updating the exterior of your home, vinyl siding could be your solution! There are many benefits to installing vinyl siding on your home: • Maintenance - Vinyl siding is virtually maintenance-free. It eliminates the task of painting your house year after year. It's easy to maintain and easy to clean, often with just soap and water. • Durability - Vinyl siding is durable and is built to withstand the change in temperatures that Omaha experiences from season to season. It is manufactured to expand and contract with the changing weather conditions. • Appearance - Vinyl siding panels come in longer lengths to help give a more “seamless” look to your home. Vinyl siding comes in many different style and color options. Many manufacturers now have software that enables you to upload a photo of your home and allows you to change the style and color to envision what your home could look like. • Cost - Vinyl siding is a cost-effective way to improve the look of your home. It is also a means of reducing your energy costs. Many vinyl siding brands are pre-insulated to help with energy efficiency. To learn more about the advantages of vinyl siding or for answers to other home improvement questions, call 402-502-9300 to request a FREE, no obligation appointment with a Pyramid exteriors estimator. www.ReadOnlineNow.com
Always Local, Always Beautiful May/ June 2012
al, Always Always Loc
September /October 2011 Always Local , Always Beau tiful
A Home For All
n Ginn’s Innov
Backyard Challenge “Band of Brothers” Ction
Kitchen Remodel neighboRhood pRofi
Field Club Historical Dist
ASID Project Awards
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Omaha Home: hot products Photos by Bill Sitzmann & John Gawley
Spring Forward Preparing for Life Outdoors
Wrought Iron Garden Chair in Lime Green, 33” Tall, $86.
Small Bee Burlap Pillow, $19.99. Woven Pillow with Dragonfly / Greenery Print, 17”x15”, $42. Woven Pillow with Red Lady Bug Print, 17”x15”, $42. Available at NJ & Co. 17650 Wright St. #4, Legacy West. 402-502-1962. www. njandcompany.com
V i n tag e Green Glass Bo t t le / Vase , 2 2 ” T a ll , $49.50.
Available at Blooms. 1 0 9 2 3 Prairie Brook Rd., Rockbrook Village. 402-991-2300. www. omahablooms.com H48
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Double Dragonfly Accent Sticks, Made of Silverware, $49.99 each.
Available at Wild Birds Unlimited. 10923 Elm St., Rockbrook Village. www. omaha.wbu.com
Ceramic Garden Seat / End Table in Teal, 20” tall, $265. Ceramic Sculped-Leaves Vase in Teal Small 12”, $89.95 and Large 16”, $97.50. Available at Beyond
the Vine. 2520 S. 130th Ave., 402-397-4585. www. gobeyondthevine.com
Granite Bird Bath w ith V ine Metal Stand, Stands 27” tall and bath is 20” wide, $329.
Available at Wild Birds Unlimited. 10923 Elm St., Rockbrook Village. www. omaha.wbu.com
The Big Green Egg Pac k ag e $1,140.
Includes The Big Green Egg and accessories in large options, 20 lb. bag lump coal, box of fire starter, and complimentary ash tool. Available at Outdoor Kitchen & Patio. 12110 West Center Rd. #707, Bel Air Plaza. 402333-2282 www.outdoorkitchen.com
Cement Statuary Bi rds, Approx . 14”x14” each, $52/ set.
Available at NJ & Co. 17650 Wright St., #4, Legacy West. www.njandcompany.com www.ReadOnlineNow.com
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CuStom DeSign · Home Theater · Lighting · Control Home Automation · Motorized Shading
402.334.4900 4315 S. 120th Street
march/april • 2013
Your home... your builder.
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 and remodelers, we provide a one-of-a-kind experience in creating your once-in-a-lifetime home.
2332 Bob Boozer Drive Omaha, NE 68130 Phone: 402.758.0440 n
From individual rooms, to how these rooms come together to create a home, to the landscape and exteriors that immediately bid you welcome, the team at Curt Hofer & Associates knows how to bring the best ideas to life – yours. The result? Your home...your builder. Exceptional.
BUY WITH CONFIDENCE! 4 4
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Exclusive lot purchasing. Go ahead. Pinch yourself. The reality is you’re closer than ever to building the home of your dreams. Imagine being immersed in the spirit of country living that brings with it the ideals that are most important to you – nature’s most spectacular landscapes.
It begins right now. Call Today!
For additional information: 402.255.5750
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Pella Windows and Doors of Omaha and Lincoln offer a wide range of energy-efficient windows and doors, so you can spend less on your heating and cooling costs, and have more for other things that matter to you. We’ll help keep your home – and your budget – comfortable.
Thank you Omaha!
888-419-6802 • pellaomaha.com Omaha 9845 South 142nd Street | Lincoln 6891 A Street, Suite 118, Clocktower Center
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