An Entertainer's Dream: The Laibles’ Northwoods Home Gets an Elegant Update Just Perfect for Engaging GuestsApr 30, 2021 01:03PM ● By Megan Keyser
Photo by Bill Sitzmann
When homeowners Rod and Barbara Laible joined together in 2017, they were ready to make their Northwoods Estates home their own. With a grand renovation plan and the assistance of an esteemed designer, the couple turned the slightly dated ranch-style house into an internationally inspired home ideal for entertaining.
The house was built in 2007, when light floors and orange tones were popular. Fast forward 10 years, and the need for D3 Interiors designer (and business acquaintance) Lisa McCoid’s eye seemed obvious, as the couple wanted to update the home’s color scheme and create a better flow throughout the main floor.
“How do we take a space that’s divided to make each area unique and special and work into the bones of the house?” McCoid asked.
At the time, the fireplace was a brick mantle and drywall. The kitchen was shut off from the all-seasons room. And bright shades of green and yellow enveloped the walls. “I felt like I was living in a box of Starbursts,” Rod said.
The renovation involved dropping the kitchen cabinetry, adding a hood above the stove, reconstructing seating areas, and allowing for easier flow between rooms.
A floor-to-ceiling fireplace was built, which now immediately draws attention upon entering the home. The remodel also opened the entry space with giant floor mirrors propped onto the walls. Wraparound cabinetry was restained and walls were repaneled. And in the kitchen, a new textured backsplash and light fixtures helped update the room.
“The banquette, hood, and fireplace are the focal points of the space now. Here, they cohesively exist in one space. They complement each other,” McCoid said.
Take note of the frequent gold “garnishments.” Barbara was inspired to add these by a magazine she studied while visiting her home in Naples, Florida.
“We brought in brass without it being overwhelming. It’s like jewelry on an outfit. Those final details took it a step further,” McCoid said.
Business and pleasure take the couple all over the globe, which has allowed them to experience “so many areas of influence” that they wanted to bring into their Omaha home. Cue plans for a sunken kitchen, representative of a swim-up bar and of “pool and grilling vibes.”
They also added a doorway off the kitchen to the all-seasons room. “We do spas when we travel and wanted to be able to hot tub and sauna,” Rod said.
Step out the couple’s back door and you’re greeted by the first hole of a 9-hole golf course, inspired by their activities in Scotland. You’ll also find an amphitheater that’s hosted weddings (including the couple’s own), sprouting musician fundraisers and extravagant ‘Gatsby’ parties with scotch and cigar bars, live bands, and hundreds of 1920s-attired guests.
“We designed with entertaining in mind. When we entertain, we do it big. We like luxury,” Barbara said.
Together, the couple shares five children and 10 grandchildren.
“We used the old dining room table to eat, but everyone was always in the kitchen. At that time, there was talk of two islands, and I felt there wasn’t enough room,” Barbara remembered.
Now, the one-of-a-kind curved banquette table expands for group dining. The living room ottomans can be brought together as a large piece or separated for guest seating. A large shelving unit, installed in the seating area, houses a big-screen television.
Natural light seeps into the main living area throughout the day, and remote-controlled blinds allow for privacy in the evenings. Wide hallways stretch the full length of the home.
“Having a lot of tone-on-tone materials brings a real elegance, like using accents of brass or gold and blue. We also kept the really rich, warm stain color balanced,” McCoid said.
Being comfortable in the space, just the two of them, was equally as important as catering to large events.
Appliances are hidden behind wall panels. Abundant cabinetry allows for functionality, storage, and efficiency. Triple-tap the dishwasher and it drops down from under the counter.
The galley sink is 5 feet long and includes a built-in strainer and dual faucets, one for prep and one for dishes.
Four low, swivel chairs allow for comfortable seating in front of the fire and coordinate well with other furniture, including deep, cushy couches, also set up in conversational fashion.
Walking through the space, you’ll see a jaguar statue purchased during a stay in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and a piece of driftwood visiting from their home in South Dakota. The couple plans to purchase a home in upstate New York. Surely a piece of that home will enter this space someday.
After three years of planning and executing the renovation, the space is finally done. “It’s one large space with multiple functions. It’s gorgeous. It ties together,” McCoid said.
Business and pleasure take the couple out of Omaha, but, according to Barbara, “Northwoods is always home. It’s so good to get back.”
Lisa McCoid and Alex Trout, designers with D3 Interiors, were recognized with two Gold awards at the 2020 Nebraska/Iowa Chapter ASID Project Awards for their main floor remodel and kitchen redesign of the Laible home.