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Omaha Magazine

Our Home, Our Way

Jun 26, 2015 04:55PM ● By Elena Kerwin
The first time that I drove through Fairacres, I fell in love with the neighborhood and instantly knew that my husband, John, and I would one day make our home there. Only a few years later we found the perfect house: a Mid-Century, two-story home that needed a complete renovation.


The residence came with a gorgeous European crystal chandelier that had been retrofitted for electricity. It became my favorite element in the space and served as something of an inspiration to guide me in the broader design task ahead.

Other major influencers were our art collection and one-of-a-kind, heirloom collection of vintage traveling accessories amassed from many global wanderings. And we both love entertaining, so these multiple themes acted as our starting point. The canvas for much of the work would be a sleek, Parisian motif where white walls are generously accented with moldings as the backdrop for the artwork and surrounding furnishings. Additional crystal chandeliers above streamlined furniture completed the look, one of a timeless European vibe that is at once classic and eclectic in evoking the best of world design.

Carrying on that idea, the entry area is executed in a time-honored diamond pattern of black-and-white marble to accentuate the French doors that we felt were perfect for a sense of the dramatic blending with the understated.

For the living room, we selected a Barbara Barry sofa and chairs that employ natural colors, but in multiple textures so as to add visual interest. The accent tables are a mix of espresso finish, brass, glass faux paint, and antique mirror. When taken together, the surfaces reflect a mash-up of Moroccan, Art Nouveau, and modern classic styles, all framed by an antique secretary and miniature chair that belonged to John’s family.


Every room needs a statement piece, and ours is an Asian-inspired Indochina Century Furniture cocktail table. Besides being a beautiful object in its own right, it grounds the space and acts as a balancing agent against a nearby masterpiece work by Fernando De Szyszlo, perhaps Peru’s most noted artist.

The adjacent formal dining room was mainly designed to showcase the aforementioned chandelier. The Drexel dining room set came from the Dalliance collection, which is described as a timeless design with hints of glamour. The vintage-inspired, reclaimed wood sofa table showcases the travel theme by housing a collage of art by local artists from their favorite vacation places.


The black and white kitchen was a major reconstruction; the floor was completely gutted and replaced with our favorite Carrara-honed marble with black granite diamond decorations. The same marble was used in the backsplash, and the counters were done in absolute black granite to complement the butcher block that came with the house. The breakfast nook was updated with black fabric and finished with red, black, and white pillows made and signed by a local artist.

The final touches were the Louis Ghost arm chairs by Philippe Starck. Never afraid of strong statements, the bold accent color here was a vibrantly striking pop of red.

John and I are very pleased with the results, and it’s somehow very strange to write about our place this way for a magazine. After all, we just call it “home.”




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