Vistas and Vintage CharmJul 01, 2022 10:45AM ● By Hannah Amrollahi
Photo by Bill Sitzmann
Overlooking the valley where the Elkhorn and Platte rivers meet, the Bogseth family ranch home in Gretna combines sweeping vistas and a farmhouse aesthetic with a contemporary style. “Our realtor identified the property and within 20 minutes of being here, we decided this is where we wanted to land,” Barry Bogseth said.
The Bogseths are high school sweethearts from the banks of the Elkhorn River in West Point, Nebraska. Barry’s job with MetLife Investment Management took the family from Kearney to Richmond, Indiana, then to Overland Park, Kansas. “We always thought, potentially, we would come back [to Nebraska] to retire,” Shelley Bogseth said. “It’s important to be close to family.” The couple have two grown daughters; one in Kearney, Nebraska, and one in Ankeny, Iowa, outside of Des Moines. Omaha offered a middle ground between the two.
After years of looking for the right property, and with a grandson on the way, the Bogseths wanted a quick build. Matt Ramm, vice president and project manager with Echelon Homes, could deliver. They broke ground in April 2020 and finished in eight months, well under the customary one-year quote many custom builders give. “We schedule a build a little differently,” Ramm explained. (That was before all the supply chain issues started, he later qualified.)
Shelley started with a clear inspiration for the exterior of the house—a mixture of white-painted wood shingles and horizontal siding. The look helps draw attention to the home’s gables, while a cascading roof, breezeway, and dramatic porches provide the home with a sense of height and movement. “I’ve always dabbled in design,” Shelley said. “We’d always wanted to do [a home] from scratch.”
The house is designed to be aesthetically pleasing from all angles. Driving up to the home, one is compelled to explore multiple views, like circling a Renaissance statue. A dramatic gable over the back porch is supported by rustic stone columns, and landscaping with local prairie influences surrounds the home. Atop the detached garage sits a cupola and weathervane reminiscent of the farm homes of the Bogseths’ childhoods. “That was something we wanted to have,” Barry said. “In the garage, I have a weathervane from the 100-year-old house I grew up in.”
With a clear vision of the exterior, the Bogseths worked with VirtuActive 3D Drafting & Design to lay out the interior. A large, open plan allows entering guests a clear view into the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Large windows provide ample light and access to the lot’s stunning vistas, while reclaimed-wood beams add a bucolic feel to the design. “I’ve always liked a mix of old with new,” Shelley said.
The striking living room fireplace was a “labor of love” for Ramm, who tested several mock-ups and used wire brushes to hand-scrape the intentionally over-grouted stonework. “I was trying to make it look 100 years old,” Shelley said, “and they pulled it off.”
Throughout the home, white stone, wood, black iron, and light-stained leather elements create cohesion across the space and warm the minimalist color palette. The stone backsplash in the kitchen mirrors the fireplace, while the range hood complements the rustic wood of the beams. “We worked hard with the cabinet maker to get the color just right,” said project designer Alex Trout with D3 Interiors.
Shelley and Trout worked to source materials and tie up details for the design that juxtapose rustic and modern elements. The main floor furniture is a mixture of new sourced pieces, antiques, and the Bogseths’ favorite old furniture and accessories. “You adapt [furnishings] and use them in different ways, if you love them,” Shelley said.
Antique wooden cutting boards, rolling pins, and a bread bowl purchased 30 years ago in Lexington, Nebraska, add a country flair in the kitchen, while less-sightly appliances are stored in the butler’s pantry. “The floor plan is so open, I wanted to hide all the typical kitchen stuff,” Shelley said. “For entertainment purposes, it’s nice to have a place to tuck stuff back.”
The bedrooms are simple and elegantly appointed, making for relaxing, sleep-centered spaces. In the primary bedroom, a minimalist metal four-poster bed and a rustic wooden bench, along with exposed beams, carry through design elements. The room also boasts window views over the valley. The primary bathroom has a stone floor and enclosed, spa atmosphere with dual sinks. The primary bedroom closet has its own washer and dryer, showing careful consideration for convenience. “I’ve been saving pictures forever,” Shelley said of her home-planning effort. “It’s all houses [in her phone’s photo gallery] until the baby [arrived].”
Shelley incorporated artwork by Deb Presutto, whose etherial, gray-toned landscapes mesh with the home’s color palette. She also took creative ideas from interior designer Shae McGee, who Shelley said she followed online long before her Studio McGee home decor line debuted at Target. “I’ll wake up at three in the morning and she’s on her phone looking at inspiration and photos,” Barry said of his wife.
Fortunately, the Bogseths’ home-building materials were bought ahead of skyrocketing costs. “We hit the timing right,” Barry said. “We saw the old economy and the new economy” during the build. They experienced the market fluctuations first-hand, however, when it came to buying furniture and final touches.
Now, the home shows the presence of their visiting grandson, with a changing table in Shelley’s craft room upstairs and a large storage space waiting to be filled with toys—under the basement steps, inconspicuous in the downstairs TV den and bar. Barry is settling into retirement and his new workspace in the large, detached garage. The couple enjoy spending time outdoors, catching the sunrise and sunset whenever they can. “We enjoy sitting on the front porch and we enjoy sitting on the back porch,” Shelley said. “We were looking for a view.”
The Bogseths appreciate the quiet of small-town living with the conveniences and amenities of a metropolitan area closeby. “Omaha is going to continue to move west,” Barry said. “It’s good to identify where you want to be and let the city come to you.”
Coincidentally, also closeby are Matt Ramm and family, who purchased a home in the same development around the same time as the Bogseth build. “We’re basically neighbors,” Ramm added.
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2022 issue of Omaha Home. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.