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Omaha Magazine

Our Forever Home

May 13, 2016 11:56AM ● By Tamsen Butler

The designing of this condo was 40 years in the making. The homeowners became friends with designer Marilyn Hansen in 1976, and began relying on her for advice on everything from furniture selection to roof shingle color for their home. In 2014, the homeowners decided it was time to downsize to a condominium. They turned to Hansen to not only help select the condo, but also to make it a place they would want to live for the rest of their lives.

The task fell on Hansen to integrate the “old” with the “new.” This meant figuring out how to fit the homeowners’ favorite pieces from their home into the condo without making everything feel crowded, which was not easy.


Luckily for Hansen, the homeowners valued clever storage solutions and embraced her space-saving ideas such as an office tucked away behind what appears to be a hall linen closet. No space is wasted within this condo, allowing the homeowners to keep some of their favorite pieces from the previous home without giving the condo a cramped feeling.


The condo exemplifies its design by having an open feel to it. Intricately laid floor tiles gently navigate the path from the foyer into the kitchen, and then right into the living room—which has carefully selected shades that allow a peek at the impressive view even when they are pulled down. The tile work was done by Hansen’s son, Peter. He also created the fireplace and was responsible for the tile work on the balcony. The balcony itself happens to be one of the homeowners’ favorite aspects of the renovation. The balcony tiles are laid in an unexpected, non-symmetrical way that suggests an artist was responsible.

“Marilyn can get it done right the first time,” the homeowners say, adding that Hansen also has an innate ability to select colors. Both homeowners admit being particular in their tastes, and appreciate Hansen’s ability to transform the condo into a place they’re happy to call home.

Neither homeowner wanted anything “trendy” within the condo, so Hansen was careful to stick with classic pieces that draw attention without being up-to-the-minute.

Hansen intentionally designed the lighting within the condo to be highly customizable. This way the homeowners would be satisfied whether they wanted an evening with soft lighting, a brightened ambiance, or something in-between. Along with the neutral color schemes, this gives the condo an overall welcoming feel.

“It’s all very livable,” the lady of the home says. “I like the easy maintenance.” Hansen and the homeowners were very forward-thinking in their planning, because the homeowners have no intention of moving again. Now that all the major renovation work is complete, only a few small tasks remain. The couple can reminisce and chuckle about the small bumps along the way. For instance, they almost bought a grey couch that Hansen found so appalling she affectionately dubbed it “Mouse.”  For now, the homeowners lounge on their non-grey couch and watch the sunset from their picturesque views from their forever home.   OmahaHome


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