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Omaha Magazine

Neutrals and Nature at Noel

Nov 01, 2022 08:08AM ● By Megan Keyser

Photo by Bill Sitzmann & Sarah Lemke

Growing up in a classic Victorian farmhouse in Red Oak, Iowa, Kristi Peters would dream of someday living in a brand-new home with fresh finishes and contemporary styling. Once on her own, that’s exactly what Peters sought. 

But years later—with a husband, two boys, and two dogs—Peters was hungry for a home with history and character once again. She yearned for that country charm and more space for their growing boys to play and enjoy the outdoors. 

In 2015, the Peters purchased a home in Armbrust Acres, a large, residential neighborhood in southwest Omaha. Built in the 1970s, the home’s interior decor was dated, but the house itself was brimming with character and renovation potential. 

Photo by Bill Sitzmann & Sarah Lemke


Immediately, the couple set about updating the home. The carpets were replaced, wallpaper was scrapped, and the golden oak stain on cabinetry and trim was swapped out for modern white. Over the years, Peters and her husband have continued to renovate the home, bit by bit. 
What really stands out about the home’s interior redesign is Peters’ reverence for nature and her knack for bringing the outdoors in. 

Peters describes her decor style as a “woodsy feel, but a little bit more glammed up.” Much of her home’s furnishings consist of neutral-colored accessories, animal statues, and unique trinkets. One of her favorite local stores to shop is the Brass Armadillo, where she’s able to purchase antiques and collectibles, then refurbish and display them in her home. She also decorates with items she plucks from the outdoors and brings into the cozy dwelling. “It creates an effect that’s calming,” she said.  

Peters’ nature-inspired decor does not ‘take a holiday’ at Christmas time either; rather it’s on full display. She decorates her Christmas tree with simple ornaments and a few crystal-drop pendants and slides pinecones and berry sprays in between branches for accent. She tops the tree with pheasant feathers (collected by her husband during his wild game hunting outings), and places an electric train set to run in circles around the base. 

Photo by Bill Sitzmann & Sarah Lemke


The rest of her home features more nature-inspired holiday touches. An asparagus fern, blooming with red berries, swings from the ceiling nearest the home’s back window. Vintage Christmas storybooks sit on display, nestled between seats in the living room. (The living room chairs, Peters explained, were purchased secondhand from a friend of her grandmother.)

The home’s staircase railings and fireplace mantel are twirled with pine branches. Nearby, the dining table is dressed in a gray, faux fur runner, topped with votive holders filled with stones and more branches. Built-in shelving and antique hutches are graced with knick-knacks and collectibles from various decades, including film cameras, postcards from the early 1900s, and worn Bibles. 

Peters often displays vintage Christmas cards with her holiday decor. “I think it’s really cool to read all of the stories that people write on the back of them. People have no idea unless they sit down and talk to people about what was going on at the time.”

Photo by Bill Sitzmann & Sarah Lemke


Stones and hand-carved statues collected and created by her children and husband also sit on living room shelves. A copy of President Abraham Lincoln’s national address rests in the entryway. Peters appreciates history and relishes decking out her home with family memories and conversation pieces. 

“I love a timeless and eclectic look,” she added. “I really like black and white. Growing up, my parents let me redo my bedroom. I had black carpeting and white walls. And all black-and-white pictures.”

She also has a love of photography. A large print of a photo she took of an elk at Wildlife Safari Park, its antlers transporting foliage from one resting place to another, hangs in her home. It’s slightly out of focus, but no matter. “It tells a story,” she said.

Photo by Bill Sitzmann & Sarah Lemke


Throughout the years, Peters has curated a home that’s filled with soothing neutral tones and antique collectibles, some of which were passed down as family heirlooms, others found at thrift stores or second-hand shops. It seems her value of all things new, so prominent in her youth, is long gone.

“The old stuff is made with much better quality than stuff today,” she said. “You can go and find things that are vintage...they’ll last an eternity, and they’re a fraction of the cost.”

Photo by Bill Sitzmann & Sarah Lemke


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