September 26, 2019 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Sheryl and Dick Bergstrom decided to build their dream home from the ground up, but they knew it was going to take a lot of patience and attention to detail. Sheryl was up to the task. 

Drawings line the light gray walls, an homage to the time the couple spent living in Linkoping, Sweden. Just down the hall is a library with cozy leather armchairs and shelves of books stacked 11 feet high. One shelf is lined with diaries written by Dick that date back 50 years. After over a year of planning and another year to build, they finally live in the home they always dreamed they would own.

Bergstrom home library

The Bergstroms lived in Fremont for almost 40 years before relocating to Waterloo’s West Shores Lake neighborhood to be closer to family. And close they are: their daughter, Annika, resides two houses away from them.

“I was driving here every morning anyway,” Sheryl says with a laugh.

The house’s contemporary take on mid-century modern design emulates the clean, simplistic style popular in Scandinavian countries. The style emphasizes ample windows and open floor plans while accentuating the design and material usage. The richness of wood contrasts with stone, adding a sense of warmth and a homey feel.

Sheryl Bergstrom's home

Sheryl and Dick spent a year living in Sweden, where he did a fellowship in orthopedic surgery. They have since traveled to Sweden and other Scandinavian countries over 20 times and speak Swedish fluently. They loved the Northern European look so much they decided to use a similar style in their home.    

Bergstrom's home sauna

The home has three bathrooms, a sauna, and four bedrooms. One of the bedrooms is fitted with three custom bunkbeds, a toy room, and a Playstation. It also includes a small, cut-out niche next to each of the six beds for the grandkids and their friends to place phones and glasses of water. Thoughtful details such as this are in line with the efficiency characteristic of Scandinavian design.

The Bergstroms’ daughter-in-law, Renee, is an interior designer based in Denver who assisted in decorating and picking unique lighting fixtures for Dick and Sheryl’s home. One of the fixtures has lovingly been dubbed the “firecracker” by their son, Lars, due to its intricately arranged branches resembling the pyrotechnics used for aesthetic and entertainment.    

Dick has relaxed his busy schedule, but works two weeks out of each month in Morris, Minnesota. This allows Sheryl ample family time. She sees her grandchildren every day; they often get together to swim and sail on the lake just feet away from their home.

Although Sheryl often thought about building a home from the ground up, she was never sure it would come to fruition. Once it did, she wasted no time perfecting even the smallest details, from the marble flooring upstairs to the tile floors in the basement (ideal for cleaning up after her grandchildren).

Bergstrom home kitchen

“You can choose everything from colors to the wood flooring and the stone,” she says. “I picked everything from [all] that to the handles on the cupboards myself. It was something I’ve always dreamed of doing and it was really nice to be able to do it.”


This article was printed in the October 2019 edition of OmahaHome. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Bergstrom's home from outside, front