Tag Archives: room

How to Make a Coffee Filter Lamp

February 21, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Light is to what punctuation is at the end of a sentence.

If I had my way, there would never be any traditional lighting—especially fluorescent lights, as they are often too cool and tend to distort (in my opinion, making everything look worse).

So, when deciding upon lighting options for the room that I am remodeling, I opted for a softer look to establish a welcoming mood.

This soft accent light will not be the primary light source in the room; rather, it will be more of a glowing art installation hanging in the room.

There will be plenty of natural light coming through the large window as well as several other lamps in the room.

I truly feel that without choosing the correct lighting in the beginning, the whole room won’t have that wow factor in the end.

My inspiration was something I saw on the internet several years ago. At the time, I didn’t have the space to make it work. But I do now!

The final renovation of the room will be unveiled in the grand reveal to be published in the January/February issue of Omaha Home.

Remember, you do not have to compromise beauty and function for cost. Do some research and find what fits your space and style. Try out your own DIY project. That’s what this year-long project is all about.

ITEMS NEEDED:

  • Paper lantern (I used a lantern 16 inches in diameter.)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Large package of glue sticks
  • Basket-type coffee filters (I used 800.)
  • Patience (The project can take approximately 6-7 hours.)
  • LED light with remote or single-socket pendant light. Both are extremely inexpensive. There are many options. To be safe, please do your research. You don’t want to create a fireball!

DIRECTIONS:

Step-1: Fold or crinkle each coffee filter at the bottom.

Step-2: Glue each filter directly to your paper lantern.

Step-3: Place as many filters as close together as possible.

Step-4: Cover the entire surface of the paper lantern.

Word to the wise: If you want to take this project on, I suggest watching online tutorial videos for added guidance. Simply searching for “coffee filter lamp”  tutorials online proved to be extremely helpful for me. The project is simple, but it can be very time-consuming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article was printed in the March/April 2017 edition of Omaha Home.

 

Mike and Lynne Purdy’s Electrochromic Dream Home

February 20, 2017 by
Photography by Colin Conces

It’s immediately clear that Lynne and Mike Purdy’s beautiful northwest Omaha home is something special. However, the longer you stay, the more you zero in on the many small-yet-mighty details that make it so.

“It’s those little details that make it just right,” Lynne says. “There’s a reason for everything we did design-wise, and there isn’t one thing we’d change.”

That includes everything from smart windows and touch faucets to 18-foot ceilings, a shades-of-grey palette, pocket doors, waterfall counters, hidden kitchen outlets, a programmable doorbell, a fireplace in the wall that serves two rooms, and bathroom drawers customized to the sizes of Lynne’s hair products, among other distinct aesthetic and utilitarian touches.

The Purdys, who met on a fortuitous blind date in 1977, are self-described “empty nesters” and transitioned to their home in Deer Creek Highlands in March 2016, after breaking ground one year prior. Mike, an architect and president of Purdy & Slack Architects, designed the home based upon he and Lynne’s extensive, collaborative exploration of what they wanted in their next home.

First, the couple knew they wanted to live on a golf course, so when they found a Deer Creek Highlands lot they were smitten with, they persevered in attaining it. The community is home to the third nine of the Arnold Palmer-designed Players Club at Deer Creek golf course.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better neighborhood or better neighbors,” says Lynne.

Mike’s design was informed by the logistics of the site.

“Lynne wanted an open plan with our master suite adjacent, so we had the floor plan in mind,” he says. “I wanted to keep the views of the golf course, plus the sun in the wintertime comes up on the axis of the large window and the great room.”

Mike refined his design until it was everything the Purdys wanted and he received approval from the neighborhood’s architectural review committee.

“The challenge was creating something unique and contemporary, but not so radical it wouldn’t blend with the neighborhood, and also something that facilitated the way we want to live,” Mike says.

Mike also designed the Purdys’ previous home, where they raised sons Bryan and Keith and lived for 28 years, but the couple says it was a family house, not an empty-nester house.

“It was a beautiful home, but our family grew, then left. Our current home is an adult house, but still with room for the kids to come visit,” Lynne says.

Indeed, the downstairs bedrooms, family room, and walk-out patio are designed to welcome Bryan, Keith, and their own expanding families, including Keith’s 4-year-old identical twin daughters, whom Lynne says “love coming to Gaga and Papa’s house.”

Mike embraced his creative side while designing the home.

“With architecture, you try to get a reaction from people,” he says. “It’s like a piece of art—meant to draw out emotion and create conversation. That’s what I tried to do with the house.”

“One of the design elements I wanted to do was to hide the front door so there’s a little bit of mystery as you approach the house the first time,” Mike says of the slightly obscured front door that bucks street-facing tradition. “It creates a different experience, and then you make the turn into this big space, so it’s kind of a surprise.”

The first thing visitors will notice upon entering—after the Purdys’ adorably petite white pup Holly—is the 16-foot-wide, 18-foot-high, attention-commanding window that overlooks the golf course from the rear of the house. What you wouldn’t immediately notice or know is that the window panes are SageGlass, an electrochromic glass that can be set to various levels of tint via an app. The window can be dimmed by row or pane, or even programmed to react to the level of sun or clouds.

“It’s a commercial-grade glass we’re putting in some of our office buildings. They don’t require blinds and save energy from heat gain,” Mike says. “In wintertime we keep ours mostly clear to maximize the heat gain. In summertime we keep it pretty dim so it doesn’t heat up the home as much.”

Mike estimates that within 20 years most new windows in homes will be this type of dynamic glass.

“It’s newer technology, but I expect it’ll become standard and you’ll find it in the houses of the future,” he says.

Whether through the giant window or from the glass-railed cantilever deck outside, the Purdy home’s crown jewel is the incredible, ever-changing view that’s shown Lynne and Mike sublime sunrises; pop-up “lakes” born of hard rains and golf course curves; wildlife like ducks, hawks, and frogs; and confused golfers seeking errant balls.

“We’ve enjoyed every season here,” says Lynne. “In the morning I have my coffee and look out the windows … it’s just beautiful all the time, whether it’s a layer of snow or a sunny summer day. And relaxing on the deck after a stressful day is the best. In the summer we’re out there every night.”

Speaking of nighttime, Lynne says the home is prettiest after sunset when the flameless candles and decorative lit-glass spheres she’s placed throughout the house turn on. Just like everything else, that’s by design.

“You come home at night, and you want a relaxing space space. The soft light gives you that,” she says. “That’s also typically when you entertain, and I want everyone to feel relaxed and at home when they visit.”

Visit purdyandslack.com for more information about the homeowner’s architectural firm.

This article was printed in the March/April 2017 edition of Omaha Home.

Shining Light

August 14, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Before 1986, respected Omaha artist Allan Tubach did his painting in the basement of his Normandy-style stucco home in Dundee. The light was mostly artificial, maybe a bit dungeony. It wasn’t at all ideal studio space, especially for an artist known for the vibrancy of his work.

In fact, as Tubach realized later, the basement environment gave a bit of a brownish, earthy tinge to his earlier paintings. Basically, the work during his subterranean phase didn’t pop like it does now. Even the horizon line was different because of the high windows.

“The work created down there many times had much higher horizon lines and tended to be a bit darker,” Tubach says. “Sometimes an artist doesn’t realize how much his or her work environment impacts their work. It can be profound.”

In 1985, Tubach left his home space for an 8-month residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. There, in a gray-floored space overlooking a dark alley, his art took on a grayer tone. Bricks began to show up in his work.

The next year, Tubach asked his good friend, noted Omaha architect Jack Savage, to help him with his light problem. The solution: An airy, two-story, 700-square-foot addition to the back of the Tubach home with a balcony, a floor of handmade tiles, and, most important, a two-story bank of windows on the north side of the house that bathes Tubach’s workspace and easel in ample, gentle, natural light.
The room’s walls are lined with dozens of Tubach’s distinctive works. Most of his creations imagine a sort of nexus between the architecture, art, people, and landscape of towns and cities throughout the United States and Europe. He has created more than 950 paintings exploring the United States, 350 of them representing Nebraska. (Dozens can be seen in public spaces in Omaha. Tubach has painted works for the Omaha Symphony, Opera Omaha, and the Joslyn Art Museum, to name a few).

Most of those images were created in this studio in this light. Many seem to shimmer in the light in which they were created. The paintings are vital and bright. They are a reflection of his studio.

“My palette suddenly shifted to the surroundings,” Tubach says. “Sky blues, lots of trees. More subtle changes suggested by the rust-colored tile floor. Even the colors and shapes of the place insinuated their way into the work.

“This room is in every one of my paintings,” he says. “My work can’t help but be a direct reflection of this space.”

Off-Limits Oddity

February 7, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

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This edition of “Room” explores one of the many mysteries of the Joslyn Castle. Exactly how the family used the fourth-floor Turret Room has been lost to history. Shown here in the perfectly octagonal room is the dog collar of Modjeska, the Joslyn’s beloved St. Bernard. The pet was named for Sarah Joslyn’s friend, the Polish-born Shakespearean actress Madame Helena Modjeska. It is said that on the most ethereal of midnights, Modjeska’s keening howl still echoes from the this long off-limits aerie.

Okay, so we totally invented the ghostly half of this story, but it doesn’t change the fact that there is something downright otherwordly about this space, one that is both a literal and figurative highpoint of the Joslyn Castle.

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Journey into the Arcane 


November 12, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

In this issue we introduce a new department simply called “Room,” an exploration of the most intriguing rooms in Omaha.

The male half of this pair of doctor homeowners had since childhood been fascinated with the marvels of what is known as a wunderkammer (“wonder room”). The idea is that of a Renaissance-era cabinet of curiosities whose contents often defied description but generally dwelled in the arena of archeology, natural history, works of art, geology, ethnology, and relics of all kind. He began by commissioning a masterful carpenter to transform an otherwise bare room of his Elmwood Park home into this classic, Holmesian library. The rest of the story is best told in pictures during a journey into the realm of the esoteric and the arcane.

numbered

  1. After Mantegna by Kent Bellows
    The homeowner delivered the eulogy for the artist who died in 2005. This is one of several works inscribed to him by the artist.
  2. Mogollon culture vessel circa 800 A.C.E.
    The American Indian culture known as the Mogollon lived in the South-
west from approximately 150 B.C.E. until sometime between 1400 and 
1450 B.C.E.
  3. First edition copy of Lolita
    Predating by a full three years its 1958 American release by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel was first issued in paperback by Olympia Press in Paris.
  4. Bison antiquus horn core
    Excavated by the homeowner along Pony Creek near Pacific Junction, Iowa, the Bison antiquus is an extinct sub-species of the significantly smaller present-
day bison.
  5. Fossilized mammoth tooth
    The mammoth weighed up to 10 tons and had tusks as much as 15 feet long. The beast went extinct over 11,000 
years ago.

 

Create the Perfect Study Room

August 16, 2013 by

It’s already hard enough to get kids to study when they’re at home. After all, they’ve just spent several hours at school, and all they want to do now is relax in front of the TV or play outside with their friends. But homework always comes first.

Most kids do their homework in their bedrooms, on the living room couch, or at the kitchen table. Yeah, that’s a bad idea. Their beds remind them of sleep; the couch reminds of them of watching TV (if they’re not already); and the kitchen table reminds them of eating. These locations are recipes for distraction. What they need is a designated study space in their home.

Have an extra room in the basement or a guest room that hasn’t been used in months? Turn it into a study room for your kids! A place where they can go that can help them focus on doing a good job on their homework, as well as finishing it before the next day’s bell, can help them bring home better report cards.

Here are some great tips for creating the perfect study room in your home:

  • Only use furniture that applies to what kids will need for studying—desks, supply bins, bookcases, lamps, a comfortable chair, and maybe even a beanbag chair for reading. Absolutely no TVs!
  • Paint the room with solid colors. Neutrals always work, but primary colors like red, yellow, or blue will keep them in “school mode.”
  • Use décor that continues the theme of studying and learning. A chalkboard or dry erase board would be good, as well as a wall clock. If you want more art as inspiration, find educational posters or search through Pinterest for other great decorating ideas.

Whatever you decide to do with this study room, just remember that the point is to help your kids focus.

Arranging Wall Décor

January 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

It might seem like it’s less stressful to just throw photos and artwork up on the wall quickly to get decorating out of the way, but it won’t be in the long run. You’ll always notice that one frame is slightly higher than another, or that the pictures don’t really fit the theme of the room. Besides, the point of decorating your walls is to emphasize a room’s décor—not to simply fill wall space.

Here are some tips for hanging arranging photos in your home:

  • Before you put holes in the wall, figure out your photo or artwork layout. If it helps, cut shapes of the frames out of paper and tape them to the wall to get a feel of the space. Keep arranging until you find the right layout, and then hang the real frames.
  • When hanging frames in rows, make sure they are level and identically spaced.
  • Create a theme when hanging smaller photos or artwork together. For example, pictures from all of your vacations can be grouped together.
  • Wall décor should be between 66 and 75 percent of the width of the furniture they are above, as it will better utilize the wall space and bring balance to the setting.
  • Hang larger photos or artwork of landscapes on the wall to make a small room or small area look bigger.
  • Find similar color frames when hanging photos or artwork in the same area. The frames don’t need to be the same style, just the same color, as it will make your walls look less cluttered and more organized.

Remember the biggest rule of decorating your walls—if it doesn’t have a purpose or a meaning, don’t hang it on the wall.