On Display: Katie & Kenny Keuck's Eclectic CondominiumAug 29, 2022 03:42PM ● By Kara Schweiss
Photo by Kenny Kueck
Katie and Kenny Keuck’s first-floor condominium is on a quiet brick street a few blocks west of Downtown Omaha, but it sure gets noticed.
“We have a lot of gawkers driving by really slowly: ‘Is that a business or a residence?’” Kenny said.
“We’ve had people come up to the door and try to open it,” Katie added.
The condo’s main living and kitchen areas, fully exposed by the building’s vast storefront windows, are especially visible. (Privacy shades conceal the space when desired.)
The Keuck condo is housed in the circa-1910 Swartz-Driscoll building, formerly a printing company and leatherworks. Designed by the same architect as Boys Town’s Father Flanagan House and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in South Omaha, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The building was rehabbed, and five separate condo shells were finished by late 2019. This was great timing for the Keucks, looking to downsize from their large West Omaha home, Kenny said, with a young-adult son ready to leave the nest and a teenage daughter old enough to appreciate downtown living.
“We’d been actively keeping our eye on the downtown market for years,” Katie said. When the residential spaces were listed, the couple acted quickly and secured their first choice.
The Keucks served as designers and turned the 1,188-square-foot shell into a two-bedroom, two-bath home. Nook Construction was the general contractor.
“It took us basically a year from the date of close to move-in, in January 2021,” Kenny said.
“We had to utilize every square foot of space we had,” contractor Matt Nook added. “A small space is always a challenge, but they got everything they wanted.”
The must-have list included new wood flooring, a wood ceiling, and exposed ductwork. The Keucks wanted to reveal vintage brick underneath layers of paint on the exterior wall. They also wished to showcase the row of large windows and keep the main entrance on the facade.
Placing the hallway—instead of bedrooms and bathrooms—along the windowed brick exterior wall was an important step.
“We wanted the natural light to be able to flow into the living area,” Kenny explained, adding that uncovering the brick wasn’t easy. “They worked with it a few months to get the paint off, but it turned out really well for us.”
The unsightly ceiling was covered with 120-plus-years-old salvaged wood from the recent demolition of St. Agnes Catholic Church. “It looks amazing,” Katie declared. “It looks original.”
Downsizing meant no dining room, so the kitchen island was sized with ample seating in mind. Only a few pieces of furniture made it over from their old home.
“That was fun, to completely shift and do a totally new style,” Katie said. The Keucks’ living space includes an eclectic mix of custom, vintage, and new pieces from various retailers. The focal point is a collection of art, personal artifacts, and photos arranged on the wall above the sofa.
The fun living space fits their artsy new neighborhood, which Katie said offers many opportunities to make new friends. “It’s a community we never expected or knew about until we moved here.”
This article originally appeared in the September 2022 issue of Omaha Home magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.