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Omaha Magazine

A Blue Sage Creek Social Club

Feb 24, 2023 12:51PM ● By Veronica Wortman Ploetz

Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

Husband and wife team Jon and Rachel Henne coupled their strengths and individual expertise to build their new two-story contemporary home in the Blue Sage Creek neighborhood of Elkhorn. Rachel had been noodling on the design since 2019. Jon agreed to move with one caveat: the new home needed to have a golf simulator area. Challenge accepted. Rachel designed each space within the home with intention. Together, they brought a vision to life that invites and delights family, friends, and neighbors. 

Jon's family has owned a commercial construction business for 35 years and, although the company has never dabbled in residential work, his established relationships with subcontractors and suppliers in the industry certainly aided his custom home-build. Rachel drafted the architectural plans and served as the general contractor of the project, managing the job from start to finish.  

 “Each area of our home is designed for function and to be used by our family,” Rachel said. The main floor features a great room, open kitchen with large island with bar stools, and side dining alcove. “We have no formal dining room because our family is more comfortable utilizing the kitchen island or eating dinner and playing UNO with our boys at the alcove table,” she said.

Nearly floor-to-ceiling windows fill the main level with natural light. A home office, the primary bedroom with ensuite, and a primary closet with an attached laundry room complete the first floor. The unique laundry placement—near the front of the home, just off the main staircase—allows easy access for all. “This makes it easy for the boys to help with their laundry,” Rachel added. A sliding barn door keeps its location hidden from visitors.

When adding finishing touches, Rachel trusted the expertise of Nikki Skomal, senior designer and director of commercial design at JH Interior Design, to collaborate on the concept, lighting, plumbing fixtures, and hardware. “We were very much a team throughout the entire design process. Rachel would come to me with inspiration or something that she loved, and I would find elevated products and materials to really make each individual area unique,” Skomal said.
The home’s contemporary glam theme utilizes a combination of simplicity and elegance, accenting neutral base materials with high-contrast elements that stand out. 

“The bones of the house are intentionally kept neutral. The same stone and floor tile is used throughout the home to make spaces feel connected,” Skomal explained. “High-contrast elements include luxe doors, custom art features, wall textures, old gold lighting, cooler and darker cabinets, and metal hardware, which work in concert to create a bold and timeless look.”  
 The same design elements are applied and repeated throughout the home, Skomal explained.
“We used a warm gold finish on the fixtures throughout the house. Adding warmth in the metal really helped to contrast the dark cabinetry. We found pieces that looked like jewelry to add to each room,” she said.

The great room features a stunning 20-foot stone-face fireplace, from Baltazar’s Stone. (Stone is also used on the home exterior and throughout the home design.) The primary bedroom, bathroom, and closet spaces strike a sensational balance of romantic and masculine energy using a bold jewel-tone paint color, ‘Cascade,’ by Sherwin Williams. Light fixtures beaming a warm amber glow, and dramatic installations of carefully chosen fabrics create a retreat from the ordinary. 

Up the stairs and across the atrium catwalk are two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a bonus flex room used as a play space. “This is [the kids’] space to spread out all of their toys and be creative,” said Rachel, who admits she’s very neat and likes a dedicated space for fun messes. The floor-to-ceiling cabinetry is painted a playful Benjamin Moore ‘Deep Royal’ and stores large bins labeled for quick and easy toy cleanup. Lucas, 6, has an interest in dinosaurs and engineering. Large T.rex tracks march across the navy and bright-green accents in his room. Tyler, 4, is a creative free spirit whose room is decorated for adventure with a Route 66 sign and Disney’s Cars wallpaper. “Our boys are best buddies and love being together. As a family we spend most of our time with them in their space,” Rachel said. 

A venture downstairs to the basement reveals a collection of show-stopping spaces for socializing and entertaining a wide variety of guests. The rounded, stacked-stone bar extends from a backdrop of a high-gloss tile wall and custom panel-ready cabinetry that sparkles with chic, glamorous vibes. The three-screen TV lounge area is perfect for keeping an eye on several sporting events simultaneously or for catering to both adult and childrens' programming when hosting families. 

One quarter of the basement is dedicated to the promised leading-edge golf simulator, with several leather club chairs for players on-deck. For the curious, there’s even a spectator bar overlooking the simulator. 

The Henne family hosts neighborhood potluck parties and family celebrations in this fabulous space. “We’ve opened our home to friends, family, neighbors, work colleagues for all sorts of events,” Rachel said. “We like knowing there is something for everyone when they come to our home. It is important everyone feels comfortable and welcome.” 

When the snow melts in Blue Sage Creek this spring and the landscapes start to bloom, the party will continue with friends and neighbors migrating to the Henne’s backyard to enjoy their putting green, basketball hoop, ping-pong table, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, and eventually, their swimming pool and slide as well. The opportunities for building community and making memories are seemingly endless. Rachel’s vision has become reality.  

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2023 issue of Omaha Home magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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