February 25, 2019 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Classic femininity with a masculine twist. That was the vision for Tricia and Jeff Hultgren’s basement renovation last year.

The “his and hers” vibe is immediately apparent to those stepping down the cream-colored, carpeted spiral staircase, descending into the lower level of the Hultgrens’ home in the Shadow Ridge neighborhood of West Omaha.

There is a luxurious bar area equipped with exquisite white marble countertops, dark hand-painted cabinetry, and bright lights hanging from the ceiling. There is double wall shelving lined with various types of liquor and assorted Moscow Mule mugs—the signature of a top-shelf home bar.

The bar area is one of many focal points in the renovated basement, and it embodies the purpose of the remodeling effort: to finally have a space to live and entertain in.

basement bar area, blue velvet stools

“We would never entertain before because the space was ugly,” Tricia says. “But now we can have things going on down here.”

Aside from the aesthetic appeal of a renovation, the Hultgrens wanted to enjoy the basement area of the home. The space, which once provided a glorified playroom for their two sons and a workout area for the couple, is now a focal part of the 18-year-old home.

To tackle this project, the homeowners enlisted help from interior designer Janine Dunn, owner of Interior Spaces. Having worked on other spaces within the Hultgrens’ home, they already had a working relationship based on mutual trust. That trust and collaboration led to a $200,000 facelift.   

Tricia says the “ugly, orangey-maple wood, top-of-the-line 2000s” space became a much more livable part of their home.

“It was very dark before, and we lightened everything up. What makes it special is that we worked with the bones of the house and didn’t move any walls,” Dunn says. “Tricia has classic feminine taste, and Jeff wanted it to feel more masculine. I think we did a great job of achieving both.”

gold longhorn skull, above floating shelf

The former playroom and home gym remain, but they received a serious upgrade. Likewise for the modern centerpiece of the basement—an entertainment space with a whopping 75-inch flat-screen TV over a gray, stacked stone backdrop.

Below the enormous TV is a floating fireplace mantle with hand-painted shelving that matches the bar. The shelves are lined with various pieces of home décor that look spectacular in the natural light pouring in from the basement windows’ plantation-style shutters.

“It’s my favorite part,” Tricia says. “I love the lighting, the bar, and the lights, but that wall is the wow factor.” 

From Jeff’s framed golf pin flags (collected at courses they’ve visited nationwide), to the Iowa State memorabilia (reminding the couple of when they met during undergraduate studies), down to the gold-and-black tile of the nearby bathroom, this renovated basement gives a personal foundation to the family home.

Five months, a small fortune, and hours of planning have given the Hultgrens a space where they are proud to host guests and—more importantly—live in.

“You take pride in a renovation,” Tricia says. “You take a lot of joy and pride in that.”


 Search for “Interior Spaces” on Facebook for more information about the designer responsible for this renovation.

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