Tag Archives: Hotel Deco XV

Self-Made, Self-Taught, Self-Assured

December 11, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

An interior designer would have to possess an abundance of chutzpah to place a Paul Bunyan-sized silver chalice vase filled with giant sprays of faux white flowers in the middle of a hotel lobby. Eric James not only pulled it off, he pulled everything together inside Omaha’s Hotel Deco XV.


Taking his cue from the name of the historic boutique hotel at 15th and Harney streets, James created a wonderland of Art Deco décor that transports a visitor to a time synonymous with elegance and a post-World War I “anything goes” mentality. “It’s early 1930s glam and glitz, one of the highlights of my career so far,” says James, 40.

Clean lines, geometric patterns, bold accessories, and lots of mirrors surrounded by a sea of black and white, chrome and crystal, offer a stunning look into the past with a decidedly modern twist. Small crystal beads that cover one wall, a sheath of tufted velvet on another wall, and sofa pillows in hues of gray with raised fabric designs reveal James’ eye for a variety of textures.

The designer’s balancing act is evident in the accessories and sculpted art pieces found on tables, stairwell ledges, and window sills: white beside black, tall beside small, round beside square.


“As I’ve developed my business, I’ve become very good at fabrics and florals, two of the hardest things to do,” James says. “To get a style to flow with fabrics and flowers is difficult, but for some reason it comes naturally to me.”

Born Eric James Seymour in the Ponca Hills/Florence section of Omaha, the boy who toyed with the idea of becoming a marine biologist found he had a knack for taking his mother’s old decorations to create a unique, functional space in his bedroom. Pretty soon, family and friends started asking for his help with their houses.

“I’m a self-taught person, very hands-on. I imagine the whole space and then just do it,” he says. “It’s my passion.”

After spending two years in management and sales at the now-closed Z Gallerie at Village Pointe, James 10 years ago started his own business, Interiors by Eric James, and dove in headfirst.


Traditional? Sure. Contemporary? Absolutely. Funky? Why not? Rustic? No prob.

“I’m working on a farmhouse in rural Iowa that started as a kitchen remodel and has turned into a whole house remodel,” James says. “We built an all-season room with raw wood flooring—knots and cracks and all. The room has exposed beams throughout, a wall of jagged stone, two oil-rubbed bronze chandeliers, and high-back wing chairs of cowhide. Very unique.”

One of James’ greatest assets involves the ability to listen to a client.

“I asked him to style our house and his ability to interpret our wishes and bring them to fruition was awesome,” raves Chris Hamilton, a hair stylist. She says James preferred to work while they were out of the house, “so when we walked in, the transformation was just incredible.”

James’ upbeat, positive personality, his willingness to please a client (“I never argue with people,” he says), his eclectic designer palette, and “reasonable prices” keep new and repeat customers calling.

“I’ve never had an unhappy client,” he says. “If I did, I couldn’t sleep at night.”  OmahaHome

Visit interiorsbyericjames.com to learn more.


Staycations Just For Mom

May 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

All busy moms—stay-at-home and working mothers alike—need to break routine and get away from it all once in a while. There’s no shame in admitting it. Even a single night away from home can do wonders to reinvigorate your spirit and help you gain a better perspective on all you have to be grateful for. In the end, you’re a better parent for having taken a little time for yourself.

But getting away doesn’t have to mean boarding a plane or spending a fortune. There are plenty of great staycation options here in Omaha, ideal for a quick romantic escape with your significant other or a fun girlfriends’ weekend.

If you’re always talking about all the great places and events in Downtown Omaha you’d love to take in (but never do), and you appreciate the finer things in life, then an overnight at Hotel Deco XV (15th & Harney streets) might be just what you’re looking for. With an Art Deco design, 24-hour room service, and valet and concierge services available, you’re sure to feel like a special guest at this AAA Four-Diamond boutique hotel. All of its 89 elegant rooms and suites are furnished with plush beds and luxurious linens, and each is decorated a bit differently, making every stay unique.

Hotel Deco’s location downtown makes it a convenient spot to call “home” if you wish to take in a musical or theatre performance at the Holland Performing Arts Center or Orpheum Theater, an art exhibit at KANEKO or the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, or a riverfront walk or stroll over the Pedestrian Bridge. You’re also just steps away from the historic Old Market District, which houses several of Omaha’s best restaurants, dozens of pubs and wine lounges with live entertainment, eclectic gift and antique stores, clothing and jewelry stores, and even several yoga studios, salons, and day spas.

If you’re a lover of old homes and prefer the charm of a bed and breakfast, then a stay at the Cornerstone Mansion in Midtown might be your perfect destination. Just north of Dodge off 39th Street in Omaha’s Gold Coast neighborhood, the 10,200-sq-ft home built in 1894 is on the National Register of Historic Places. The home features seven guest rooms, each with a private bath and décor true to the period. Some rooms also have a fireplace, sun porch, desk, oversized claw-foot tub, and views of neighboring Joslyn Castle and its beautifully landscaped six-acre estate. Guests are encouraged to peruse the books in the library, play a tune on the grand piano, enjoy a chat in the parlor, or relax in one of the garden gazebos. A continental breakfast is also served on weekdays, and a full gourmet breakfast in the formal dining room on weekends.

While many guests find so much to take in at the mansion that they don’t leave, others that wish to venture out have many options nearby. Joslyn Art Museum is just a five-minute drive away, and Midtown Crossing, with its casual and fine dining, movie theater, park, cocktail lounges, and retail shopping, is just a few blocks’ walk down Dodge. Cornerstone is also a 10-minute drive from the Omaha Community Playhouse, TD Ameritrade Park, CenturyLink Center, and all the venues in Downtown Omaha, so the opportunities are almost limitless!

If for you, a getaway is simply code for a weekend shopping spree, then a stay in West Omaha may be more your style. The Hilton Garden Inn (near 180th just south of Dodge) is conveniently located next to Village Pointe Shopping Center, which offers a plethora of shopping for mom—accessories and apparel, home décor, jewelry, and lotions and potions, as well as a hair salon, nail salon, gourmet ice cream and chocolate shops, and several great sit-down restaurants featuring delicious appetizer and drink menus. The center also features a 16-screen state-of-the-art movie theater, the Funny Bone Comedy Club, and hosts a Saturday morning farmers market and free Saturday night concert series in the summer.

Back at the Garden Inn after a day of shopping, you can enjoy a dip in the hotel’s heated pool or soak in the whirlpool (some suites even have whirlpool tubs in-room!), then retire to a white, duvet-covered bed—with no risk of a child joining you at 3am—and wake refreshed the next morning, ready to hit the fitness center for an uninterrupted workout, grab a bite at a nearby café, and venture out to the stores for more retail therapy.

Book your staycation today. You know what they say…when Mom’s happy, everybody’s happy!