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Omaha Magazine

Little Steps

Oct 24, 2017 10:59AM ● By Lisa Lukecart

Blair Hagmann wanted to help redecorate the house. One chubby hand snatched the cream-colored privacy curtain near the front door. This blue-eyed and blonde-haired beauty missed the first few times, stumbled, but didn’t give up. She grasped the cloth in one tight fist—and pulled. It tumbled down.

Mission accomplished.

Blair, who just turned 1, has done this before. Her mother, Kristin, laughs and lifts her daughter into her arms. The Hagmann’s ranch-style house is ideal for little ones just learning to walk.

“We are lucky. We only needed one baby gate,” Kristin explains.

A house wasn’t really on the agenda after the former Kristin Stensland married Nick Hagmann, but a four-bedroom and three-bath residence in Elkhorn caught their attention.

“I fell in love when we walked through it,” Nick recalls.

The Hagmanns saw potential in the brick and light tan house, built in 2006. Yet Kristin felt the dark-green walls upstairs and the baby-blue basement just did not feel like home. The drab decorations didn’t embrace a comfortable and cozy feeling. Five months later, enter interior designer Lindsey Anderson.

The family is not into impulse shopping. 

“My husband is a perfectionist. We do things right the first time,” Kristin explains.

Nick knows he is in trouble when his wife finds an item because she waits until it is just the right fit. The couple saves money this way, but it also makes them appreciate each scrutinized purchase. 

Anderson was a compatible match as well. Nick originally opted for a travel theme, but his wife had other ideas. She wanted unique and individualized items. Anderson helped the couple find eye-catching lamps, end tables, and furniture.

Storage space is ample and necessary, especially with a child exploring every nook and cranny. A smooth wooden trunk at the base of the sofa is filled with fluffy blankets and baby books. A flat screen television sits on a black hutch, which hides electronics, more books, and remotes. A gas fireplace warms the space on chilly days. It is ideal for these two homebodies who like to relax after a long work week and watch Friday night movies with pizza or snuggle while watching The Real Housewives on Bravo.

“We make use of the space,” Kristin says.

Empty space in the glass-paneled cabinets in the kitchen were replaced with bright white decorative glassware. A snowy runner brings out the dark wood of the dining room table, along with a cotton bouquet and candles. The kitchen island countertop is a mixture of blacks, golds, and grays. Blair’s high chair is hooked on. She isn’t a fan…yet.

Kristin added weaved storage baskets with a pillow proclaiming “Home” in the front entryway. The walls in the living room, kitchen, and basement were painted a light beige. Each room is understated and utilized.

Kristin, 37, and Nick, 39, planned ahead for a possible family addition. The guest bedroom walls were coated a neutral light blue. Once Blair came into the picture, it was transformed into a nursery. Two small, lime green chairs are hand-painted with pink roses. A wide mirror provides needed depth. The chairs and mirror were created by Robin’s Nest in Springfield. Kristin’s great-great-grandmother’s rocker was reupholstered in Sioux City with a navy and white checkered cushion.

Originally, the big basement was meant to be a man-cave for Nick. The couple decided on a pool table and a floating bar, but it was never ordered. The couple is currently thinking of the space as a play area for Blair, with possibilities of a toy chest and cabinets in the room. 

“She will probably want to move down here as a teenager,” Kristin jokes.

Right now, it is the “mother-in-law suite.” The grandparents can relax in the guest bedroom. The bed is an antique from a relative, as is the distressed dresser. The bathroom and kitchen gives guests moments of privacy.

The basement still has hints of a man-cave, with a bar area that includes modern wooden stools. Nick saw the same stools at Blatt Beer and Table and searched the internet to find them.

They can also drink beers with friends while watching Husker football on the 75-inch television. The soft tan, L-shaped sofa sinks in luxurious comfort. A yellow throw and purple checkered pillows add just the right pop of color.

The three, though, still spend most of their time upstairs—cooking, hanging out, or grilling outside. The deck overlooks a small wooded area and a creek. A fence might be the next addition since Blair is getting older. Adding improvements a little at a time to the house helps the pocketbook and makes every choice meaningful.

“It just feels complete,” Nick says. “Like it’s our home.”

This article published in the 2017 September/October edition of OmahaHome.

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