A Semi-precious Living SpaceNov 01, 2022 08:08AM ● By Stacy Ashley Murphy
Photo by Bethany Gilbert
Like many home decorators, Megan Pettipoole knows one of the easiest ways to change a room is through paint. “With paint you sometimes feel like you have a sunk cost, but it’s just paint and you can change it,” Pettipoole said. And change she has—painting her dining room three times and her living room two times in the three years she and her family have lived in their petite 1923 bungalow near 50th and Center streets.
“My whole intent when we bought this house was that I wanted color,” she said, and the first few iterations weren’t working. Pettipoole finally landed on the combination she was looking for with Mint Condition by Sherwin Williams for the living room and a bold teal called Midship, an HGTV Home color by Sherwin Williams, for the dining room. “I think they relate really well together,” she said.
Pettipoole was finally pleased with the two rooms but felt something was still amiss. With a sample can of pink paint she had sitting around, she decided to create a faux trim detail in the dining room. She used painter’s tape to frame the lines and slowly went to work, completing the project little bits at a time. It took her six months, but she loves the final look.
The unexpected touches in these two rooms don’t end there. A textural piece of art hangs within the pink framing in the dining room. Pettipoole said she saw the artwork, made of old Wurlitzer organ keys arranged to look like a skull, while scrolling Instagram. It was made by an acquaintance, and he was offering if for sale. “We don’t have the budget for original art,” Pettipoole remembers thinking, “but my husband surprised me with it for my birthday.”
As a musician, her husband, Luke, has contributed other musical effects to the space. Vintage synthesizers and old amplifiers add more interest, and a console stereo doubles as a side table in the living room. In fact, most of the accessories in the Pettipooles’ dining and living rooms have been thrifted, including the unique take on a plate wall Pettipoole installed above a midcentury hutch she found at Thrift World. “I call that a hutch, but I think it’s technically a room divider,” she said. “It was one of those things where you find the perfect thing but you don’t have a truck, so you have to call in a favor to your friends.”
Pettipoole’s friends obviously recognize her unique style and love of color. The 1980s striped slipper chairs in the living room came to be hers from a Facebook Marketplace listing in Des Moines. Someone she considers an old acquaintance messaged her “these look like you.” She agreed and had another friend pick them up. Referred to as the rainbow chairs by the family, Pettipoole said they get good use as a slide for her 2 and 4-year-old daughters.
“I don’t want anything to feel too precious, and everything’s always been secondhand, so even though I love collecting and love making a home feel really polished and magazine-worthy, I want my kids to feel like they can live here, too,” she said.
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2022 issue of Omaha Home magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.