September 26, 2019 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Sand Creek Post & Beam of Wayne, Nebraska, provided the homeowner (who prefers to remain anonymous) with custom plans for the residence, built in 2015. Dwayne Lang, owner of Lang Enterprises of Papillion, was the builder and a design consultant. In total, home construction took two years.

The first things one notices upon entering the great room is its massive size and expansive feel. The nearly 2,000-square-foot room boasts 40-foot ceilings and features several structural wood trusses. “A crane was needed to put the trusses in place, which weigh 7,000 pounds each,” the homeowner recounts. “Being that it took place in winter, it was quite a job.” The entire interior of the home was constructed from reclaimed barn wood, lending a great natural warmth to the space. “Four or five barns are represented in just our home,” he adds. “We purchased it all from a local vendor, who harvested it from about a 40- to 50-mile region.” Reclaimed barn doors are used as well to separate the great room from an adjoining office.

The jewel of the room is an expansive wood-burning fireplace, featuring a floor-to-ceiling natural stone wall and a giant 14-foot by 5-foot granite hearth, chosen for its soothing marbled earth tones. The homeowner himself made the substantial mantle from a Douglas Fir beam, to which he took a torch and burned for effect. Artisan Steve Nollette of Nollette Metal Works of Blair designed the rustic mantle hardware, as well as forged the tree-inspired metal accents on the glass fireplace doors.

Another standout feature is the lengthy copper-top island/bar. “When we installed the copper, it was all bright and shiny,” the homeowner says. “We decided to let it age, and with water marks and use it lost its sheen and developed this great patina and character. We decided we liked it so much, we left it.” Stools with spiraling branch legs, also fashioned by Nollette, allow guests to cozy up to the bar.

The homeowner found the room’s six wagon wheel-esque rope and metal chandeliers online but altered them to have the desired effect. “We actually hung them upside down so they wouldn’t create shadow rings on the floor,” he says. “And we installed them with a dimmer, so we could put out ambient light.” The chandeliers, the lights in the dormers and canopy, and the entire house is equipped with LED bulbs, which use significantly less power and generate less heat, reducing cooling costs.

Builder Dwaine Lang's barn, above view

The homeowner says he is not a fan of clutter, so furniture and accents in the space are minimal, yet meaningful. A long slab of black walnut harvested from the property, which the homeowner kiln-dried, sanded, and finished with butcher block oil, provides bar seating behind two overstuffed chairs. An antique fire extinguisher, old-fashioned washboards, and a large, ornamental tree fashioned from branches and dressed in LED glimmer string lights lend warmth and a bit of history to the vast space. A cowhide accent chair, chosen by designer Libby Pantzlaff with Creative Interiors by Libby of Omaha, adds a bit of whimsy to the room.

Combining the large, airy barn design with natural materials and artisan touches, this great room serves as the ideal family gathering place for this homeowner, their kids, and myriad pets.


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

Builder Dwaine Lang's barn