November 22, 2013 by
Photography by Tom Kessler

The best in penthouse living requires the skillful acquisition of only those belongings that fit and work well within the limited parameters of one’s unit…or the selection of a designer who can magically make a space as beautiful as it is functional.

Lisa Cooper, Allied Member ASID and professional interior designer with Interiors Joan and Associates, was the point person for this stunning renovation. Starting with a Downtown Omaha space that had a strong architectural shell, majestic scale, and soothing symmetry, she transformed it into an executive-style penthouse that capitalizes on the historic and authentic features of the Beebe+Runyan Building.

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Cooper’s vision for this unique home was to give the architectural elements, furnishings, and artwork the space to breathe, thereby    highlighting the openness of the space and encouraging the appreciation of an overall theme, rather than merely a collection of individual parts and pieces.

Innovative design concepts were thoughtfully integrated into the design, with the intention of creating a luxurious, executive-style space for business entertaining or family gatherings. The goal and end result was a signature look that would translate well into a space that also functioned well for 
everyday life.

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Interiors Joan and Associates and the project’s contractor, Corey Spader of Site Construction Inc., worked meticulously to achieve the homeowner’s vision of creating an open space. Walls are kept to a minimum without losing the functionality of what walls do in defining a certain “roomness,” all while juxtaposing modern amenities against the historic elements of the building itself.

The 3,000 square-foot penthouse features polished concrete floors, original wood beams extending from the floor to the 13-foot ceilings, walnut wood floors, original brick, and custom shutters.

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The professional kitchen area was designed with custom-made walnut cabinets featuring exotic wenge veneer accents as a backdrop to showcase such amenities as an espresso maker, oversized refrigerator, Miele appliances, professional range, and titanium granite countertops that were imported from Italy. The large island and barstool seating area provides a perfect arrangement for entertaining and cocktail events. A custom-made wenge dining table with a travertine stone inset top sits below an overhead light fixture featuring rustic steel and Orleans glass, setting the perfectly elegant perch for diners to enjoy a panoramic view of the Missouri Riverfront far below.

The modern, linear fireplace serves as a focal point for the space. Crafted of polished concrete cladding and surround with quartzite tiles laid individually by hand, the fireplace cleverly disguises a mechanical shaft while providing an ambient glow for both the dining and seating area.

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The office area was resourcefully designed to do double duty as a guest room. Architectural Lighting Resources coordinated the penthouse’s lighting schematics, and the under-lit walnut flooring in the den is one example of their impeccable expertise. The space also features a pullout custom-made Murphy bed and built-in cabinetry, allowing additional room for storage of both clothes and office supplies. An adjacent bathroom boasts a hand-poured concrete ramped sink and floor-to-ceiling glass tile.

The great room area and its media components serve as a perfect gathering space for relaxing or business presentations. Ever mindful of the desire to balance convenience and functionality, located close by is a wet bar serving area featuring a nickel-hammered sink and cantilevered solid surface.

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The master bedroom features a masculine, rift red oak bed, handcrafted by local artisans, and a bird’s-eye view of CenturyLink Center and the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. Walnut sliding doors allow the space to be open as needed and private only when required.

A spa tub, honed basalt sinks, shellstone countertops, and floor-to-ceiling tile with ample linen storage make the master bathroom a serene retreat. In developing the master bath design, transoms were used to pierce the space with natural light. It also features a large walk-in closet with custom-made shelving and racks with a conveniently located, stackable washer and dryer.

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Finishing touches and thoughtful details give the penthouse’s industrial, masculine edge a touch of refinement. Highly polished barstools are upholstered in warm graphite. A camel-wrapped sectional with shearling black sheep pillows and a one-of-a-kind cocktail table from Mexico are just a few of the notable pieces in the project’s design.

The finished product is an upscale condo unit that is truly beautiful yet eminently livable. Once a raw empty space, this penthouse has become a spectacular living area with intricate detailing in design, deluxe furnishings, and intelligent functional 
concepts.

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.

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