Tag Archives: OmahaHome

A Seasonal Step Up

October 3, 2018 by
Photography by John Gawley

This fall, there will be plenty of time to cruise the streets and check out reddening leaves and autumnal lawn displays. But you might just want to stop, roll down your windows, and take a closer look when you head by Tim Dymek’s home in the Aksarben neighborhood. 

Last fall, pumpkins and decorative gourds covetously took up the front garden bed, decorating the side of Dymek’s front walk. Yellow, pink, and orange chrysanthemums expertly played along. A fall wreath with a pop of bright orange gourds tied his small front porch to the rest of the display. More miniature gourds sprawled up and down Dymek’s steps, and gorgeous asters and mums hung lazily from oversized black pots. For Dymek, the goal of his front lawn is to provide something good to gander at. 

“When I drive around and I see somebody that has a really nice house…I’m always attracted to that,” Dymek says. “Things look much more inviting when you walk up to a house and it looks nice from the outside.”

With a change in temperature comes a change of mood. Each season, for the last decade or so, he mounts a new display. In winter, there might be evergreen and birch branches bedecking the facade. As the warmth of spring settles in, the flowers warm up too. Impatiens, begonias, and other colorful flowers all rise to greet the heat beginning in early May. 

Stroll around the back of Dymek’s home and there are more of the same eye-catching arrangements transforming his back deck into an inviting oasis. 

Tucked quietly back from the street, his partially hidden porch allows him to lounge, keep an eye on his 1-year-old German shepherd, Olga, and enjoy a cool drink with friends. White cloth patio chairs with brightly colored striped pillows intermingle with potted clusters of petunias and marigolds, arranged just the way Dymek likes it. He selects colorful items, things that will pop against the dark slate gray siding of his house. 

“I just want things to be comfortable,” he says.  

 Dymek has been making changes to his neat, tidy, eclectic home since he first purchased it more than 25 years ago. Before buying, he visited the house a few times as a party guest. When the owner decided to sell the 1940s home, she called Dymek personally to offer it to him. He bought it that same night. 

“I never looked at another house,” he says. 

When Dymek began work on the home, it was kind of a clean slate. He livened it up, giving it a cottage-like feel with cobblestone pathways and, of course, his signature lawn displays.

Dymek’s house serves as an outlet for his creativity. His background is in commercial art; it’s what he studied in college. His paintings cover the walls of his home. But within his creative lawn displays, there is also an air of fastidiousness. Colors coordinate, edges align, and everything always seems to be in just the right place. The playful but meticulous nature of his outdoor arrangements reflect the aesthetic of the rest of the home. 

“I like things to be tidy,” he says. “I guess I run kind of a tight ship.”


This article was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Aksarben Nouveau

September 24, 2018 by
Photography by Amoura Productions

This home was purchased with a vision of what it could become, and an appreciation for the promise in its old bones.

My clients wanted to move from out west to the up-and-coming Aksarben area. But their new-to-them older home was built in 1948 and in need of a lot of love. There had been very few updates made to the house until we got our hands on it. 

The front door originally opened into the living and dining space, which then led to a wall with a simple, cased opening into the kitchen. The original kitchen was closed off from the rest of the house; it was choppy, dark, and had very little cabinetry. 

The first step was to completely clear the space. We removed the wall separating the kitchen from the rest of the first floor and opened up the staircase in the center of the home. After removing the walls, the kitchen was reconfigured to bring in additional storage and extra counter space so the young couple could simultaneously cook and entertain.

We incorporated a modern, traditional feel throughout the kitchen, with marbled quartz countertops, a soft-gray subway tile backsplash, and clean white cabinets that extend to the ceiling to emphasize height. To break up the light colors, touches of gold were incorporated into the space with the lighting and gold hardware used on the cabinetry. 

This view showcases the newly opened staircase with the cedar beam accent. The dining space is now completely open to the kitchen.

We accented the newly open staircase with cedar beams to bring in a natural element and create some interest in the center of the home. This serves as a transition piece between the living room and kitchen and is a great conversation piece when they are entertaining. 

Throughout the entire interior of the home, we refinished the original wood flooring, replaced the doors, and added crown molding. All of the walls were painted a soft gray to create a light and airy feel throughout the main level of the house. The home is simple and refreshing with neutral colors, natural light, and pops of color mixed in with pillows, artwork, and gold finishes. 

A view from the great room into the dining space and open kitchen showcases how open, light, and airy the space has become.

The homeowners now have an updated, modern home in an established neighborhood in the middle of the city. Their goal was to capture the character of the neighborhood without sacrificing the amenities. We were able to achieve this by opening up the floor plan, reconfiguring the kitchen, and adding a master suite on the first level of the home.


Meet the Designer

Alexis Trout (Allied ASID, D3 Interiors) began her design career in 2012 and joined D3 Interiors in 2014. Since that time, she has worked on a diverse range of residential and commercial projects. Her goal as a designer is to create lasting relationships with her clients, bring a fresh creative eye, and create inspiring spaces.


Visit d3interiors.net for more information.

This article was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Tip Top Living in Nodo

September 19, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

It’s an indisputable fact, according to Scott and Sara Baker. Their apartment north of downtown has the best views in the city, bar none. 

With their oversized living room windows offering sights of the Omaha skyline stretching from the Missouri River to midtown and their balcony overlooking the Loess Hills sweeping up to the horizon, it’s hard to argue against their logic. If nothing else, it sure beats staring at white picket fences and manicured lawns. 

“We both came from the suburbs wanting a change, and I think the most surprising difference has been the sounds,” says Scott, Omaha store director for Nebraska Furniture Mart. “We traded leaf blowers, barking dogs, and kids playing outside for motorcycles, ambulance sirens, and plenty of hustle-bustle.”

The Bakers wouldn’t have it any other way. And plenty of other Omahans echo that sentiment, if the deluge of developments in the North Downtown (NoDo) neighborhood is any indication. From the revelry of the Capitol District to apartment buildings and hotels cropping up seemingly overnight, the transformation of this space promises a new urban center. Old Market, you’ve got some competition. 

“It’s been fun to watch restaurants, bars, companies—you name it—all come in so quickly,” Sara says. “Three years ago, it was ratty buildings and parking lots. Now, it’s just beautiful.”

Extending from Creighton University’s campus to the CenturyLink Center (now known as CHI Health Center Omaha), NoDo comprises approximately 80 blocks and has been central to the history of the city. The area is even credited as the spot where Omaha’s first subdivision, Scriptown, was founded in the mid-1800s. 

Today, NoDo is known as a haven for the ultra hip (à la the Slowdown and Hot Shops Art Center) and uber chic (think riverfront condos and youth-driven apparel retailers), but for 75 years it was home to Squatter’s Row, a village of shacks made from materials found in the city dump. For those lucky enough to call Omaha home in the late 1800s, they would also know this area for its notorious red light district, “the Cribs”—home to more than 100 brothels. 

Even the Bakers’ complex, the Tip Top Apartments, has a unique history. It was first constructed in 1916 as a factory for the Ford Motor Company, meaning the Model T may have been produced in what now is Sara and Scott’s bedroom. Paying homage to the past, a water tower bearing the Ford name still stands atop the building.  

“When I moved in, I liked the history of the building and even the fact that it was sort of off the beaten path and the area was a little more gritty,” Scott says. 

Oh, how times can quickly change. So what’s new in NoDo? Seriously, what isn’t? Bringing new meaning to “build it and they will come,” the Capitol District has become Omaha’s newest hotspot. While not all of the district’s planned establishments are finished, visitors today will find an upscale Irish pub, a country music bar, and a Wall Street-themed watering hole where drink prices rise and fall depending on popularity. 

Beyond residential and entertainment use, the vibrant area has also increasingly become home to commercial properties. In December 2017, Kiewit announced that the company is moving its headquarters just west of TD Ameritrade Park. With the addition of a parking garage for employees, construction costs are estimated as high as $76 million with a completion date as soon as 2020. 

“Hopefully this is the start of a positive cycle—these new businesses moving down here will bring people and they, in turn, will figuratively usher in even more development,” Sara says. 

The Bakers are most looking forward to a proposed makers district. According to a conceptual document from Future Forward LLC, a Peter Kiewit Foundation-led investor group, this district would include public event space, gardens, and retail kiosks, all designed to establish a creative community for entrepreneurs and artists alike. 

“A place like a makers district could give Omaha something it hasn’t seen before,” Scott says. “I found that if you ever get tired of living in suburbia, a move to North Downtown right now is good for the soul. No matter what you like, there are things to do and people to see everywhere.”

Just as it was hard to imagine the potential unearthed from NoDo’s transformative revival, the Bakers never pictured enjoying life east of 72nd Street so much. Heated and cooled underground parking? The Tip Top’s got that. A shorter commute for both of them? Check. Impeccable people-watching from the comfort of their own couch? Ding-ding-ding!

“We were empty nesters who just wanted an adventure,” Scott says. “The plan was after a year or two of living together here that we’d build a house or buy something cool like flipping an old gas station or something industrial. But this view, well, it’s pretty tough to leave.”


This article was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

If the Glass House Fits

September 12, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Midcentury modern was the look Jon and Jamie Jacobi were going for when they built their 1 ½ story home in The Prairies near 220th and Pacific streets last year. The couple appreciates the resurgent design style’s clean simplicity and contemporary feel.

To achieve that look, the Jacobis chose to incorporate glass into many of the home’s features. Most notable is a 36-foot-long catwalk with glass railings that runs the full length of the second floor. 

“At first we were going to go with a steel railing with cable spindles, but then decided glass was the look we really wanted,” Jon says. “We had seen [glass railings] in Vegas at Aria and the Cosmopolitan casinos and really liked them. The catwalk runs right through the middle of the house, so you can overlook the main level on both sides. It maintains the open look that we wanted.” 

Elite Glass of Omaha provided the glass panels and railing installation, while Glass Vice USA of San Diego provided the hardware clamping system. Sales manager Corey Matteo with Glass Vice USA says the use of glass railings and balusters in homes is growing nationwide. “They’ve been popular in homes near water, or with a view, such as those in Florida or Colorado. But we’re selling more in the Midwest and everywhere these days because they offer a lot of value. They’re an engineered product, so there’s no fabrication needed. And they’re made of a sustainable material and they last forever.”

For safety reasons, the Jacobis opted for 42-inch-high railings, a bit higher than the 36 inches that residential building code requires. With two small children, ages 2 and 4, they were concerned about the kids climbing them and dropping things over the sides. They also went with tempered glass, sometimes called safety glass, which is many times stronger than regular glass and poses less risk of injury should a panel break.

Each panel is topped with a slender cap railing made of stainless steel and features two small vice clamps. “When you look at it, all you see is the glass,” Jon says. “They look almost free-floating.”

The Jacobis added a midcentury modern flair to the home’s exterior as well, installing two 18-foot-high glass curtain walls spanning 16 feet on the front of the structure. The glass walls are slightly tinted to help prevent furniture and flooring from drying out or fading from sunlight.

“I had seen curtain walls on two other homes and loved the commercial storefront look,” he says.

While privacy might be a concern for some—“The house is wide open. You can see through the house, front to back”—the Jacobis don’t find issue with it, for now. But they had the forethought to have the home wired for large, power window blinds should they change their mind in the future.

Jon says the glass installation process was pretty seamless. “The materials all seemed well put together, very strong and safe.” But there were a few things he’s learned along the way. “When we engineered the catwalk, we had to create a really solid sub-floor to anchor the bolts that hold up the heavy glass panels. It created a little challenge for Profile Homes, our builder.”

He also learned that with two small children, the glasswork requires a lot of TLC. “You’re constantly cleaning the glass for smudges and handprints.”

Despite the added care, Jon is satisfied with their design choice. “The finished look is priceless. And the dog [they have a Westie] loves being able to see all the action.”


This article was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

DIY Birdhouses

September 5, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Mark and Leslie Kwasnieski want birdhouses to be properly crafted and well-kept so that every bird can find its own comfortable home. 

“When you drive around in the country, a lot of the birdhouses you see on fence posts belong to bluebirds,” Mark says. “Cowbirds then come in and lay their eggs with the bluebirds, so the bluebirds take care of the cowbirds’ eggs and raise them—because the cowbird is much bigger, when it gets older it pushes the bluebirds out of the nest causing them to die.”

Leslie continues: “That’s why you tailor the hole to the bird.”

They educate people on birds and birdhouses through the Nebraska Master Naturalist Program. The nonprofit program is dedicated to training environmentally conscious volunteers in the classroom and the field.

Leslie holds a master’s degree in biology. She initially joined the program to work with recovering birds of prey at Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery. Encouraged by the experience, she became a board member of the Nebraska Master Naturalist in 2011. 

Nowadays, the Kwasnieskis often visit local nature centers and preserves with their grandchildren. Mark has even held demonstrations on how to build a small and simple birdhouse roofed with a license plate at Heron Haven Nature Center in West Omaha. 

The couple donates their birdhouses to Nebraska Master Naturalist programs, such as those at Hitchcock Nature Center, Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, Glacier Creek Preserve, and Heron Haven. 

Mark says anyone with $4 for materials, a basic understanding of craftsmanship, and the necessary tools can build a birdhouse topped with a license plate.

Materials:

  • One 1-by-6-inch (actual width is 5 ½ inches by 72 inches), 6-foot-long cedar fence picket (dog-eared). “Make sure the wood is cedar because cedar has natural oils in it that keep insects from eating it,” Mark says.
  • One old license plate (this can be picked up at a thrift store or garage sale)
  • Four roofing nails
  • 14 (1 ½-inch) deck screws

Tools:

  • Table saw or handsaw
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Hammer
  • Electric drill with a 3/8-inch and 1/4-inch drill bit and a 1 ¼-inch hole saw
  • Screwdriver or bits for the drill.

Instructions:

Step 1: Measure and cut the board. Starting at the bottom of the picket, cut two 6-inch-long pieces for the sides; cut another 6-inch piece for the bottom; and cut two 9-inch-long pieces for the front and back. 

Step 2: On the 9-inch pieces, measure 6 inches from the bottom and make a mark. Do this on both edges. From those marks, make lines to the top center of the boards with a ruler. The lines will be at 45-degree angles from the 6-inch marks (for a 90-degree roofline). Cut the wood along the lines. 

Step 3: Select one of the 9-inch pieces as the front of the house. Measure 3 inches from the point and mark. Cut an entry hole using the 1 ¼-inch hole saw on your drill. 

Step 4: Pre-drill six holes, three on each of the edges of the front of the house with the 3/8-inch drill bit. Attach the two 6-inch pieces to the edges of the front of the house with six screws, making all of the bottoms even. Repeat to attach the back of the house.

Step 5: Place this framed birdhouse on the remaining 6-inch board. From the top looking into the birdhouse frame, outline the inside with the pencil so that you know how much material to trim away. The board should fit into the base of the birdhouse. Drill four 1/4-inch holes in the bottom piece for ventilation and drainage. Use two screws to attach this to the rest of the frame, one per side. 

If the bottom has a loose fit, you may need an additional screw on a third side. Remove the screws in the spring to dislocate the base for cleaning.

Step 6: Bend a license plate in half from short end to short end until it reaches a 90-degree angle, making sure it is still readable, and place it atop the birdhouse. You’ll need four roofing nails (two for each side) to hold the license plate tight on the birdhouse. You can use exterior caulk to seal the license plate to the birdhouse frame and fill in under the roofing nailheads.

Step 7 (OPTIONAL): If you want to add a perch, you can use a nail, screw, or a twig. Drill a hole based on the size of what you are using. Pound the nail partially in or add the screw. If you use a twig, make the hole then glue the twig into the hole with waterproof glue. 


Visit snr.unl.edu/naturalist for more information about the Nebraska Master Naturalist Program.

This article was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Elderberry Bounty

August 20, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Foraging berries is one of many underappreciated outdoor activities that Nebraska offers. Putting one’s kids to work on a ripe berry bush with a couple of pails will give them an opportunity to appreciate the natural world. 

Finding berries to pick is not difficult. Berry farms are plentiful in the state, and even roadside ditches offer opportunities to pick berries for those who know what to look for. Elderberries—for example—are plentiful, often seen, and often overlooked.

Paul Read, a professor of horticulture and viticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who grows elderberries, says they are a native small fruit in the genus Sambucus. The common American elder shrub, Sambucus canadensis, has a semi-woody stem from which foliage and a “cyme” (a type of flower cluster or “inflorescence”) grows. The semi-woody stem contains a soft, white pith at its center. “When I was a kid, we used to remove it [the pith] and make whistles,” Read says. The stem can support a shrub 12 or more feet in height. 

The small, sweet-smelling white flowers are “umbrella-shaped.” The cyme contains many small flowers that develop into deep-red to black individual fruits, which are no bigger than a quarter inch in diameter. In midsummer, the odds are that anyone driving around the countryside could find elderberries in bloom on roadsides and in ditch banks. In the fall, the clusters of dark fruit weighing down the plants give them away. 

Elderberries make fine jellies, jams, pies, and wines. The flowers can also be made into wine. Aside from tasting good, elderberries are healthy. Read says that elderberries have many of the beneficial characteristics generally expected of fruits and vegetables. In addition, he adds, elderberries are one of the fruits highest in antioxidant content. Elderberry products, such as concentrated juices, have found their way into the health food market. 

Read does not forage elderberries because he has a cultivated “Adams” elderberry growing in his garden. He says there are other “cultivars” (varieties) available including “York” and “Nova.” However, foraged elderberries will be pretty similar to cultivars. 

“Birds love them both,” he says. Foragers should expect to compete with birds for perfectly ripe berries. When cultivating, throwing a net over the plants will help keep the birds out.

Elderberries are easy to incorporate into the home garden. Read recommends spacing elderberry plants out in a field and cutting them back each year so the height is uniform. 

Whether homegrown or foraged, harvest elderberries when they are very dark in order to benefit from the increased antioxidant content and enhanced flavors. He adds that they are not difficult to grow or harvest, and most commercial elderberries are harvested by hand.

Consuming the fruits of your forage will connect you to the source. You will know the environment. You will know your environment. In the cold sterile aisle of the grocery store, it is easy to forget: Nourishment comes from the earth.


This article was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Wolves at the Door

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

How can someone armed with an unwieldy and imprecise piece of modern technology, such as a 20-inch electric chainsaw, create woodcarvings so meticulous in detail they look real? It takes a person with the eye of an artist and a deep well of physical stamina and self-discipline. Omaha business owner Todd Lavigne exemplifies those qualities. 

Just inside the garage of his ranch-style home overlooking the Elkhorn River Valley stands the apex, thus far, of Lavigne’s 20-year chainsaw career: a life-size carving of two wolves standing on their hind haunches, snarling and grappling for supremacy. 

The symbolism of the powerful image doesn’t take long to sink in. 

“The light-haired wolf represents good. I named him Francisco, after the patron saint of all living creatures,” explains Lavigne, 51. “The dark wolf is Diablo. If you look closely, you can see the evil wolf is getting pushed back a little.”

The struggle between good and evil took 13 months to complete. Lavigne says bringing definition to the sculpture “was insane because I’m trying to get two animals to twist around one another.”

Lavigne’s fascination with wolves began with a phone call 15 years ago. Yellowstone National Park commissioned his business, American Fence Company, to design and engineer the pens used to reintroduce wolves into the park.  

He came away from that project with an emotional reaction to these “mystical creatures” of ancient lore, inspiring a work of art so stunning most people who view it can’t believe the sculpture comes from a single stump of white pine. 

The skeletal and muscular systems are anatomically accurate, the teeth and fangs spaced precisely inside the mouth. The hooded eyes have a gleam and the thick fur lies in natural patterns, as if Lavigne poured coats of lacquer over the animals’ embalmed bodies.

The detailing separates Lavigne from his chainsaw-carving contemporaries. 

“After I rough it out with the chainsaw, I use a second and third level of smaller hand tools for grinding and cutting,” he explains. “Some mimic a dentist’s drill.”

While the wolves remain in the garage due to past difficulties moving the sculpture, other wood-carved animals greet visitors inside the home. A walk along the living room hallway reveals a mountain lion stealthily descending a tree trunk.

Behind it, an image of Lavigne’s yellow Lab, Lilly, leaping in midair, her mouth ready to catch a Frisbee. 

A black Lab with a highly polished coat rests peacefully on the floor of the living room. “That’s Jazmine,” says Lavigne, clearly emotional talking about his late dog.  “She suffered from seizures her whole life but she really kept me grounded. She died midway through the carving.”

Lavigne’s ability to capture the essence of his subjects relates to the life he led before taking over his father’s fence company almost 20 years ago. 

He grew up near Q and 204th streets when the land held nothing but farms. As a country kid, drawing and motocross occupied his time until he entered the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a psychology major, eventually earning a master’s degree. 

His professional life may have taken a U-turn, but Lavigne’s artistic side has kept the stress of running a company with 330 employees, eight branches, and an online fence product store at bay. 

“Being a psychology major, I’m big on meditation,” he says. “I do this woodcarving for my own sanity because it’s as close to meditation as you can get.”

The chainsaw carvings remain a labor of love. He doesn’t sell or display them, but he has given many of his bear sculptures away. As for the wolves, they’ll always stay close to Lavigne, a daily reminder to fight the good fight. 


This article was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

OmahaHome Entryway

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

For me, fall is the embodiment of comfort. I love the warm and cozy feeling of autumn snuggled in between the harsh Midwestern summer and winter. 

The first sign of dropping temperature starts to turn my mood. But—like all lifelong Midwesterners—I know how fleeting fall can be. Some years you blink and it’s gone, almost like we skipped the season altogether.

How lucky are we in Omaha to have the astonishing beauty of the leaves changing in every color under the sun, not to mention the football, tailgating, bonfires, and—of course—food!

Fall also brings its own unique home-decorating opportunities. For an example, take a peek at Tim Dymek’s cozy home in this issue. His quaint and perfectly manicured residence captures the pure essence of this season. Seeing photos of his patio just makes me want to grab a fuzzy throw and a good book, and make myself at home.

Whether you have a historical mansion, a downtown apartment, or a custom-glass house (we cover them in this issue, too), the beauty of fall has something for everyone—just like every issue of OmahaHome. So, grab a cozy throw and cuddle up by your fire pit and enjoy.

And, as always, thank you for reading! If you have any comments or story ideas, please contact me at sandy@omahapublications.com.

P.S. On a personal note, Sept. 6 is my father’s 80th birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad! Growing up on a farm in Iowa was a gift that taught me to be humble, hard-working, and resourceful. Thank you! 


This letter was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Living Room Staging

June 26, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Staging can turn a house into a home. It all starts with first impressions.

“Staging” is a real estate industry term that means preparing a home for viewings (in-person) and photography (for online for-sale listings).

When done right, the prep work helps prospective buyers to imagine themselves actually living at the property. Staging requires attention to interior design, furniture placement, decorations, lighting, and landscaping, among other factors.

You don’t have to be a professional designer to stage your home for sale. But if the task sounds laborious, there are professionals eager to accept your business.

Tara Legenza and Julie Radke are two independent stagers in the Omaha area. Speaking with OmahaHome, they share how they entered the field and reveal some of their staging secrets.

Legenza and Radke have both prepared living rooms as samples to showcase their passion for staging. When looking at Legenza’s design, notice how bookcases and coffee tables are kept clean and strategically balanced to consist of books and minimal decor that would suit most buyers. In Radke’s work, consider her careful use of color, accents, and furniture placement.


ReDefined Interiors By Tara

Tara Legenza

How did you become interested in staging homes?

I went to school for art but quickly found out I needed to make more money. I worked in corporate marketing for 10 years until I had my second child and quit. I wanted to have the work-life balance in a field that would call to the creative side I had suppressed all those years. After researching, I found that becoming a home stager and decorator would allow for this. Staging can be challenging at times, but seeing the homeowner’s face and appreciation when it sells quickly (and they’re in their new home) is worth it!

What is your secret to successful home staging? 

It’s really dependent on the homeowner being open-minded and not being offended when asked to box up their décor and personal mementos. Once a stager comes to the home, you have to think of yourself as already moved out. It’s no longer your home—it’s just a house. If a homeowner can get into this mindset, things come together quickly and are more successful and profitable for them.

Can you share any anecdotes from your staging work?

There was a retired couple—living behind Papillion-La Vista High School—who tried selling their home without staging it, but they did not have success. After taking the house off the market for a couple of months, they decided to hire me before putting it back on the market. They were anxious to move into their newly built home. After boxing up several collectibles from their travels, rearranging the furniture for a more open feel in the living room, family room, and dining room, and staging an empty room as a bedroom, we were able to put it on the market for more than they had originally asked just a few months prior. The home was on the market for a couple of days and sold for 3 percent more than the asking price in 2017.

 

Rate: $150 for two hours

Phone: 402-203-0270

Email: redefinedinteriorsbytara@gmail.com

Website: redefinedinteriorsbytara.com


Stage It! Home Staging and Redesign

Julie Radke

How did you become interested in staging homes?

While working my previous job in the real estate industry, I used to open new offices and design them. I soon discovered this was my passion. I am a visual person with ideation as one of my top strengths. Home staging allows me to use this talent every day.

What is your secret to successful home staging?

There are many factors that come into play with successful staging. The job calls for creativity and talent for design, but it also requires business savvy to maintain a warehouse of inventory while staying on top of billing and contracts. Also, day-to-day tasks need attention to detail; for example, being able to coordinate all aspects of individual jobs that range from booking trucks and movers to making sure everything is completed in accordance with the real estate agent’s timeline for listing. Changing direction quickly when things are challenging is key.

Can you share any anecdotes from your staging work?

One vacant property that I staged in the Aksarben area had been on the market for five months with no successful sale. After I provided the furniture and staged the main living area, kitchen, and master bedroom, the home received multiple offers and sold within one week in 2015. The homeowner benefited by having a better visual to market the property and compete with other staged homes in the area. The homeowner selling the property had already moved out of state and was making two house payments. They needed to move this property asap. Once staged, it sold above asking price quickly.

Rate: $100 per hour (occupied) with a two-hour minimum, additional costs associated with rental furnishings and accessories as needed; $800 and up (vacant) depending on size of home, number of rooms furnished, and rental needs.

Phone: 402-312-9229

Email: julier@stageitomaha.com

Website: stageitomaha.net


This article was printed in the May/June 2018 edition of OmahaHome.

A Throne Room Fit For a King and Queen (or a Doctor)

April 27, 2018 by
Photography by Paula Moser

As a bastion of repose from the outside world of work and worry, home spaces have the power to flush away the anxieties of the day.

And when it comes to relaxation (and flushing), nowhere is this more essential than the so-called “throne room.” But some bathrooms are more deserving of such regal classification than others.

When Dr. Nicole de Rosa and husband Dr. James Padussis first moved into their home in the Loveland neighborhood, the bathroom lacked a bathtub and its stylistic atmosphere was caught in the 1990s. The couple contacted Courtney Otte of The Modern Hive Interior Design Studio to make their dream bathroom into reality.

Otte sought to integrate the bathroom with the rest of the home’s midcentury aesthetic while also leaning toward a more modern finish. The updated space features soft brown wood in the custom-built vanity with floating medicine cabinet mirrors. The wood complements the white Cambria quartz of the countertop in a pleasing harmony of warmth. This fusion of design elements extends throughout the bathroom.

White Calacatta porcelain tiles—matching the vanity—cover walls inside the transparent walk-in shower (encased entirely in clear glass). The shower walls meet wooden wall panels on one side (where a large bathtub rests) and white walls on the other (where the shower door opens). The white-on-wood motif also connects the bathroom to the rest of the home’s interior design.

In addition to the calming tones of the space, recurring colors and geometrical patterns offer a modern flair to the room. In the backsplash behind the sink, a black strip of small hexagonal tiles cuts through the wall of white, rectangular subway tiles. These black hexagonal tiles appear again above the head of the tub and inside the shower in functional recesses (cut into the marbled-white porcelain tile). White hexagonal tiles with hints of gray appear on the floor, spreading out from underneath the bathtub like a puddle of shapes spilling organically onto the floor’s gray and rectangular stone framework.

“The master bathroom renovation has given us increased practicality, privacy, and luxury,” de Rosa says. “We love that the design has retained a midcentury feel but has translated…into a more modern, more glamorous room.”

At the center of the luxury and comfort of the room is the traditional white bathtub, which gives the room a weight of personality, a presence of calmness, and a separation from the outside world. The traditional “throne” is tucked behind a wall for privacy.

The renovated bathroom provides de Rosa a welcome escape from the rigors of her job. Regarding her prized addition to her home, she admits that the room “serves as a sanctuary for relaxation for me, and baths are incredibly important to my stress management needs.”


Visit themodern-hive.com for more information about the interior design firm involved in renovating this bathroom space.

This article was printed in the May/June 2018 edition of OmahaHome.