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Omaha Magazine

A Caribbean-Inspired Dream

Sep 22, 2023 11:23AM ● By Veronica Wortman Ploetz
spaces a caribbean inspired dream tammy and mike day

Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

The Day's New Kitchen [4 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
Tammy and Mike Day have made small updates to their Linden Park home in West Omaha since 2010. 

When considering a total kitchen remodel, however, the couple weighed the substantial expense against the cost of moving to an updated home. While remodeling seemed financially prudent, the couple weighed other factors, too. “We love our location, our neighbors, and the quality of our current home,” Tammy said. The couple decided to stay and renovate.  

Harold VanDerHart of Wood Specialties drew up design plans for the new kitchen space, which involved removing the wall between the kitchen and the living room. “Initially, I was worried about losing all my cabinet space,” Tammy shared. “Harold promised I wouldn’t even notice them being gone. He was right, I haven’t missed them one bit.” 

When the wall came down, natural light poured into the once dark and dated kitchen, reminding the Day family of the bright sunlight from their beloved family trips to the Caribbean. They were inspired to bring additional coastal elements into their design and materials selection. David Dykstra of Millennium Construction served as the general contractor for the project. His team removed dark cabinets and installed new, crisp-white uppers and a custom elongated island topped with gleaming Cambria counters. The veining in the countertops mimics ripples of waves breaking against a shoreline.  

 Refinishing the hardwood floors unified the interior design’s overall aesthetic. Stripping the outdated stain color revealed a beautiful natural color reminiscent of sandy shores. Instead of selecting a trendy stain, applying a double coat of water-based matte sealant protected the surface and gave a timeless look. 

Deborah Freeman Kloster of Deborah K Interiors added sophisticated coastal elements to evoke the Days’ desire for a bright, fresh, and airy feel to their home. “We enlarged the kitchen window to the back yard, bringing in even more light to this expansive kitchen,” Kloster said. The window hosts a bird’s eye view of the family’s crystal-blue pool below, recalling the calmness of being at the seaside even when landlocked in Nebraska. Designer and homeowner worked together to bring coastal flair to the space by selecting backsplash tiles and accessories with an iridescent, mother-of-pearl finish. “The dining area chandelier punctuated the modern coastal theme and repeated the color and shape of the stove backsplash tile,” Kloster said. “Coral reef fabric on the custom cornices and pillows was a subtle way to enhance coastal elements throughout rooms adjacent to the kitchen.”

The scope of the project was allowed to swell after deciding all the hardwood floors should be updated at the same time. Relatively new carpet dissappeared from the living room and adjacent hallways. “I couldn’t stomach getting rid of all that new carpet,” Tammy confessed, so in a savvy and sustainable move, she used it to update all the second-floor bedrooms. She also repurposed a large carpet section for an area rug in the living room. 

The wave of remodeling led to the relocation of the butler’s pantry to make room for a new built-in desk area and drop zone, a refresh of the couple’s formal dining room, and the creation of a cocktail bar, which now links the kitchen and living room. An unexpected connection between old and new included the custom glass work on the cocktail bar. for which Lambrecht Glass Studio had created stained glass cabinet doors. When artist/owner Jenna Lambrecht arrived to do the installation, she recognized the work her parents had done to create accent glass flanking the front doors of the home over 20 years earlier. 

A feeling of relaxed seaside living now threads through much of the couple’s main level. The Days’ Linden Park abode never felt more like paradise. 

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