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Omaha Magazine

Undercover Charm: Soffits, Storage & Other Essentials are Hidden in Plain Sight

Apr 30, 2021 12:55PM ● By Julie Hockney
white marble kitchen with midcentury barstools

Photo by Tom Kessler

A busy Omaha family of four came to me with a few big design goals for the main floor remodel of their Tomlinson Woods home. In expanding the kitchen, there were two major space-planning solutions we came up with. One was to not make the kitchen too open and use the last six feet of space for a hidden office/dog zone/pantry, all in one. This way, clutter can be tucked away, yet accessible. (With the way we designed the cabinets to conceal the pantry entry, you don’t even know it’s there!) Our second solution was to remove all the upper cabinets from the exterior elevation, allowing the windows to extend down to the countertops. This allowed us to bring the outside in. In addition, we brought in the proper finishes to highlight our solutions: black painted trim to frame the trees outside, and crisp white painted cabinets to make the room feel airy and expansive.  

  Our biggest challenge was addressing the soffits. We were able to remove all except for one, mandated by the HVAC system. We quickly reworked our cabinet elevation on this wall to help it disguise the soffit by standing proud of it. We also made sure the small portion of exposed soffit was painted to make it virtually disappear with the cabinets. It worked like a charm.

Photo by Tom Kessler

 The overall color palette for this project was soothing, yet sharp. The existing solid red-oak floor got stripped down, and a custom stain was used to give it the appearance of white oak. Mixed-metal hardware highlights bright chrome and subtly introduces burnished gold, while complementing off-black metal pendants. Light painted walls with crisp-white trim, a warm, dark-stained, rift-cut oak island, and a hood were the next layer. The grand finale was the natural quartzite countertops that were so exquisite, we had to take them all the way up the backsplash as well...no other backsplash would be able to compete. The results were stunning!  

jh Interior Design received a Silver award for this project at the 2020 Nebraska/Iowa Chapter ASID Awards last September.

Photo by Tom Kessler

 Meet the Interior Designer

Julie Hockney

Allied Member ASID

jh Interior Design Studio

When mapping out a plan for my future 20 years ago, I never imagined my life as it is today. After earning a bachelor’s in music education from the University of Kansas, then attending Watkins College of Art in Nashville and earning an associate’s degree in interior design from Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, I founded jh Interior Design in 2007. As a one-person company, I set out to conquer the design world…from my basement. Since then, the firm has grown to nine designers, and we’ve recently expanded our retail showroom and taken on larger projects nationwide. I absolutely love designing for people and it shows.

This article originally appeared in the May issue of Omaha Home. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.