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Omaha Magazine

Welcome to My Midwest Coastal Retreat: Introducing Thyme and Theory

Jul 01, 2022 10:46AM ● By Michelle Horst
michelle horst headshot

Photo by Bill Sitzmann


 I’m Michelle Horst, an amateur interior designer with @ThymeandTheory on Instagram. I’m honored Omaha Home has asked me to share my home and decorating style with you. I have always had a love for houses and interior design. As a kid, I would ask my mother to take me to house showings so I could tour different floor plans and designs. Over the years, my love of design and decorating has only grown, and now, I love sharing inspiration with others.

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

My husband, Ryan, and I renovated our first home, and while doing so, other people kept asking why I did not document any of it. I never had a good answer. Finally, after having some health scares and wanting to keep my mind busy, I created my own Instagram account. Initially, I used my account to view home designs and food ideas. Fast forward a few months, with a baby plus another on the way, and we decided to build the home we had been talking about for years. I decided to start posting about the design-build process, sharing features and decorating ideas along the way, and the account took off.

A Midwest Coastal Retreat  

Living by the ocean as a child, I loved the water, and I wanted to carry that water influence into our home design. Luckily, Ryan was open to my design thoughts. We both wanted something modern but lived-in with a coastal vibe that let us feel like we were by the ocean, even when we were not. We agreed on an open floor plan with lots of natural light in our main living space and kitchen area.   

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

  We spend most of our time in and around the kitchen, and a perfect evening for us is opening a good bottle of wine and cooking a meal from scratch, so the kitchen was the top priority when finalizing the design. We wanted to ensure we had everything we needed for date nights and cooking adventures with our kids.  

Our kitchen island is 10.5 feet by 5.5 feet to allow plenty of space for food prep, eating, and washing dishes in the 36-inch farmhouse sink. We added cabinets on both sides of the island for storing less-used items, such as serving dishes and party and baking supplies. Pull-out spice racks flank the gas range, allowing quick access while cooking—these have become favorites of the kids, who love to be help the chef. Above the burners is a pot-filler faucet, which we use all the time. We also added extra drawers along our back wall to be used for kid items, so they could help in the kitchen and grab their own dishes. Durable quartz countertops and sturdy, easy-to-wipe woven stools complete the look.

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

To reduce kitchen traffic jams, the side-by-side freezer and refrigerator were pushed out of the traditional triangle kitchen design, and the microwave was tucked into the pantry. We’re thankful we did this now that we have had a third boy since living in the house, and there are lots of little bodies running around. And we chose 10-foot ceilings and upper cabinets extending to the ceiling to provide extra storage. I also hate to dust with a passion, so this keeps it from collecting on top of the cabinets that would never get cleaned.

In the series of Thyme & Theory columns to come, I’ll share features of my home and planning tips that others might find useful for their own home planning and interior design. I hope you’ll follow along.

For more home photos and decorating ideas, follow Michelle on Instagram @ThymeandTheory.

 This article originally appeared in the July/August 2022 issue of Omaha Home. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  

Photo by Bill Sitzmann

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