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Omaha Magazine

Double Heart Farm: Our Living Room Conundrum

Feb 25, 2021 02:12PM ● By Chris Stout-Hazard
red velvet chairs in blue painted room

Photography by Chris Stout-Hazard

My husband, Roger, isn’t from the Midwest. So, when browsing hundreds of online classified ads to find a vintage table, he may not immediately realize that said table is located in a tiny town in western Nebraska...or Iowa...or Kansas.


But Roger, when he has found that perfect piece, is more than willing to travel for it. If you want to know why we’ve been running up the miles on our pickup truck, blame our living room.

Our old farmhouse is a traditional American Foursquare, with its spacious living room running front-to-back and opening onto the side porch. Like many living rooms, ours is beset with multiple design challenges—two entrances, windows on three sides, a fireplace, and a long, rectangular configuration. How do you work with this difficult layout without blocking walkways or underutilizing portions of the room? Our solution was to draw inspiration from a few favorite, if far-flung, sources:

 • Casually elegant, historic Connecticut estates, which gave us the idea to paint a diamond pattern on our wood floors 

• Dramatic English manor houses, which led us to infuse the walls and ceiling with color and pack the room with artwork

• Boutique hotels from New York and Seattle, which inspired our unconventional furniture layout that maximized seating without resorting to a sectional or two sofas

We initially planned on more involved renovations, like covering the textured plaster ceiling with beadboard and revamping the brick fireplace. Instead, we opted to save time and money by working around these features. A simple coat of paint gives the textured ceiling—the source of nightmares for many—a stunning refresh. 

 Removing the dated fireplace doors and styling the mantle with a pair of lamps gives it a new lease on life. A lot of paint, our existing collection of artwork and lighting, Roger’s vintage finds plucked from small towns, and new Roger+Chris furniture complete the room. Without too much fuss, our spacious but unremarkable living room is transformed into a comfy, compelling space.

Until next time, Roger and Chris, at Double Heart Farm. 

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This article was printed in the March/April 2021 edition of Omaha Home Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.