Tag Archives: the old market

The Fabric of Life

January 15, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

When Ian Rose and Robert Voelte moved to a new condo on the top floor of the historic Beebe & Runyan Lofts, northeast of the Old Market and Gene Leahy Mall at Ninth and Douglas streets, the location provided everything the elementary educators and arts enthusiasts were looking for.

“We’re able to walk to the Holland. We’re able to walk to the Orpheum, the Old Market, all the parks down here. We’re also members of Film Streams, so we can walk over there as well,” Voelte says. “And as much as we’re passionate about teaching, we’re also passionate about travel. We’re close to the airport, which makes it really convenient because we do travel quite a bit, and it’s easy to get there.”

textiles1However, the spacious two-bedroom, two-bath, 1,700-square-foot unit just can’t accommodate their entire collection of beloved artworks, furnishings, accents, and decor carefully selected over 30 years. So rather than giving up a sizable percentage of these treasures or relegating them to permanent storage, Voelte has come up with an inspired solution: change out decor and refresh the look of his and Rose’s home twice a year.

“I thought about how museums only have a small percentage of their holdings on display at any one time,” he explains. “I decided to adapt that idea for my home and only display a limited amount of my belongings at one time, rotating things in and out. I am able to appreciate my home and the decor even more because everything always seems new and fresh to me.”

The process evokes good memories of past adventures, old friends, and even the story of how each item was acquired, Voelte says. The pieces come from all over the world, and much was purchased during or influenced by travel. Core favorites include an antique Chinese chicken coop used to store dishes and linens; an antique Japanese kitchen cabinet that serves as a bookcase in the master bedroom; hand-carved one-piece spider tables from the Bamileke tribe in Cameroon; mid-century walnut Eames chairs; Akari washi—paper lantern lamps made by Noguchi in Japan; and Verner Panton dining chairs.

textiles31textiles6“I think our home is very unique,” he says. “My style is eclectic with Asian, African, natural, classic, and utilitarian themes. Authentic vintage textiles previously used in utilitarian ways—indigos from around the world, Indonesian ikats, Japanese obis, African tie-dyed raffia skirts, and Kuba cloth—are often the inspiration that begins the design process.”

It’s never quite the same look twice, Voelte adds, but he does work around his core pieces as well as some palette constants.

“In late spring or summer, the feeling is lighter and fewer items are on display. The mood is brighter with hand-dyed indigo fabrics, khakis, whites, creams, and seashells—things I associate with summer because we are both teachers who look forward to travel, socializing, relaxation—recharging our batteries,” Voelte says. “In the fall and winter, decor gets changed out, including rugs, artwork, and linens, as well as some furniture rearrangement. It is a more spiritual, reflective, introspective time, which is reflected in darker colors: purples, charcoal, Chinese red. The decor is more layered with design elements.”

The Renaissance Revival-style building in which the couple’s condo is located was built in 1913 to serve as a warehouse and showroom. The original architect was John McDonald, best known for the Joslyn Castle. The Beebe & Runyan building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. Rose and Voelte purchased their condo as a raw space following the building’s 2007 conversion.

“When we walked in, we immediately were drawn to the exterior brick wall on the west side, which has two inlaid brick arches that span three windows each,” Voelte says. “It is quite eye-catching.”

textiles1Their unit boasts sloped ceilings that reach a height of 16 feet, original brick walls, and wood posts and columns. They finished the space as a semi-open loft designed with custom finishes and natural materials like walnut cabinetry built by hand, honed marble counters, and slate tile or refinished original birdseye maple floors.

Every detail shows thought and consideration, like backsplash tiles that were hand-carried in a suitcase from California. Niche and built-in shelves highlight special artworks. “Everything has to be aesthetically pleasing to me or it won’t be in my house,” Voelte says.

The space was also designed with entertaining, especially dinner parties for family and friends, in mind.

“I love to cook, so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen,” Rose says. “Our kitchen is so open that even when you’re in the kitchen, you’re not detached from the rest of the home. I can still be in the middle of what’s going on.”

“As much as we love to travel, we love our home,” Voelte says. “We have a great life!”

Visit beeberunyan.com for more information. OmahaHome


Bad Friends

October 21, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

The Old Market never sleeps. There’s nothing like an androgynous, 2 a.m. run to Cubby’s for late-night provisions.

stylist | Nicholas Wasserberger
hair | Sandy Butt, Victor Victoria Salon & Spa
makeup | Chevy Kozisek, Victor Victoria Salon & Spa
models | Jordyn (wearing Buf Reynolds) and Benjamin
(wearing Audio Helkuik)
vintage furs | From the collection of the stylist and
The Shop Around the Corner

Special thanks to Cubby’s in the Old Market for putting up with us.




The Best View in Omaha

September 9, 2014 by and
Photography by Bill Sitzmann
Upon entering the spacious penthouse apartment of the C02 building, one is greeted by a ginormous yet unassuming bowl of Skittles. Besides getting to “taste the rainbow,” visitors also get an up-close view of any rainbows that should happen to be hanging out in the Omaha skyline, thanks to the many windows and seemingly endless expanses of outdoor living spaces. 

The story behind the welcoming candy dish? “I got it for one holiday and everybody just loved it so much that now when people come over that’s the first thing they go to,” says Christine Mackiewicz, manager of a trucking company and one half of the environmentally-conscious duo that resides in these LEED-certified digs.

She has been happily unmarried to Scott Kroeker, director of International Sales at the Lindsay Corporation, for 13 years. The couple takes delight in sharing their 3,500 square-foot space with their creatively like-minded group of design-savvy friends, many of whom happen to be redesigning their own homes. “We exchange parties,” Mackiewicz says. “We go from house to house.”

The CO2 building, completed in 2013 and designed by RDG Planning, is a new anchor of the historic 10th Street corridor south of the Old Market.

LEED Certification stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. The standard is recognized globally as the premier mark of achievement in green building.

Kroeker says that it takes considerable effort to build something that meets LEED certifications. “That’s something that I’m sure the builders will attest to. It’s an open design, modern, with lots of light.”

The couple admits the million-dollar view afforded by all of those windows can be rather distracting at times. “We try to watch television,” Mackiewicz says, “and I can’t tell you how many times we end up looking outside at something. You can’t help but be constantly distracted by what’s going on outside.”

The industrial-themed space has concrete flooring and features the wireless Hi-Fi sound system, SONOS. Mackiewicz says the tough part about having a big space is making it comfortable. “We always want someone to come in and be at home. You can sit anywhere you’d like. There’s nothing off-limits.”

The couple makes it comfortable with personal touches of artwork created by various family members, yet manages to keep it offbeat and interesting with a hint of the unexpected.

One wall houses nearly 50 of Mackiewicz’s pairs of sunglasses hung strategically on a metal frame. Besides provoking conversation, the eyewear also provides function by way of added protection after her LASIK surgery. Kroeker got the inspiration for the sunglass wall after watching CBS’s Elementary, a TV show based on Sherlock Holmes. “He had a wall of padlocks and he practices picking the padlocks,” Kroeker says.

The two bedrooms feature “freedomRail” closets that maximize space using essential design features that last. Luckily for Mackiewicz, the closets are perfect for housing her shoe collection—one that rivals that of Imelda Marcos.

She has a terrarium that has run amuk, thanks to the large amount of natural light streaming into the space.“When I was a little girl, my grandmother had one of these and she’d hide little gnomes inside,” she says. Just like her grandma, Mackiewicz’s terrarium also features a little friend—a paper snail from Mexico.

Their kitchen has an herb garden, six gas burners, and a massive pantry with an extra refrigerator to exclusively house their many wines. The room is grounded by a beautiful marble center island and includes an industrial dining table. A glass piece by Omaha mixed-media artist John Prouty (whose own home was featured in our Nov/Dec 2013 issue) hangs near the island next to a mini-collection of abstract paintings by Kroeker.

To many, the contemporary building is a welcome addition to Omaha’s Little Italy neighborhood and just one facet of a multitude of regrowth occurring in the areas surrounding 10th Street south of the Old Market.

“The neighborhood is really starting to change,” says Kroeker.

Construction is also underway at 10th and Pacific streets for the new Bluebarn Theatre. And KETV’s work on the majestic Burlington Station continues nearby.  “Right across from the Boxcar,” Mackiewicz adds, “they’re going to have that indoor farmer’s market. How exciting!”

The couple grows beets and brussel sprouts in the adjacent, professionally landscaped gardens. “They did a wonderful job,” Kroeker says. “Everything is supposed to be drought-resistant and low maintenance,” Mackiewicz adds.

Kroeker’s passions are simple—wine, cooking, art, and entertaining.

“That’s the nice part about having a space like this,” he says. “You can do all of that stuff here.”