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Omaha Magazine

A True Passion Project

Sep 22, 2023 11:22AM ● By Jenna Gallagher
a true passion project october 2023 kim rowell

Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

Kim and BIll Rowell's Barrington Park Ranch [12 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
Kim Rowell’s career at Cox Communications, where she currently serves as vice-president and market leader, has given her and husband, Bill, the opportunity to live in many different states, but she’s long had a fondness for Omaha.

The couple owned a condo in the SoMa community in Downtown Omaha from 2014-2016 before Kim’s work brought them to Atlanta. When the Rowells had the opportunity to return to Omaha in 2020, they jumped at it and sought a place with plenty of room for entertaining and hosting Kim’s parents and her sister’s family, who all live in Kansas City.

They purchased their nearly 5,000-square-foot Barrington Park ranch, built in 1992, sight unseen, having only toured it via FaceTime. “We loved the neighborhood and all the trees, and we liked that it was a ranch because we travel so much. It’s nice to not have to carry suitcases up and down stairs,” Kim said.

Planning to stay long term, the couple began an extensive renovation that included opening up the main level, reconfiguring the primary bedroom, and adding a screened-in porch, a feature they’d always wanted.

An accomplished baker, Kim makes full use of her kitchen, designed by Tiffany Williams at Tangerine Designs, with countertops by G.M.S. Wërks, and cabinetry, including a custom floor-to-ceiling china cabinet, by Meadowlark Renovations, who also created custom built-ins for the lower level and did construction throughout the house.

The Rowells credit the success of the project to the talent of everyone involved, however it’s clear that Kim’s leadership skills played an important role. Like all great managers, she believes in hiring the best and empowering them to do their jobs. 

 “I really appreciated the trust Kim and Bill placed in me and the creative freedom that trust allowed,” said designer Jacque Christensen, whom the Rowells enlisted to design the home’s interiors. “One of the things I love about this project is the relationships we built. Kim and Bill are good people, down to the core, and all the teams involved were so kind, creative, and collaborative.”

The Rowells and Christensen agreed that the home should have an elevated feel, with personal touches and plays on color and texture. “We worked with a lot of wools, mohairs, and sisals and incorporated a mix of traditional, timeless patterns with a little bit of quirk. Not everyone appreciates that, but Kim was ready for it,” Christensen said. The design palette included charcoal, dusty blue, and cognac with pops of seafoam and rust. “The goal was to create a sophisticated sanctuary, so that when Kim comes home from her busy day, she could feel at peace and be able to recharge,” she explained. 

 The tone for the home is set immediately in the front room, nicknamed “The Ladies’ Library” by Kim. “This is the third house where we’ve had a ‘Ladies’ Library.’ It contains all our favorite things from our families, our life together, and our travels. I love to curl up in there with a cup of coffee and just be,” Kim said.

The room’s show-stopping mural, “The Golden Age,” an homage to women celebrating each other and the arts, is a collaboration between the artist, Jackie Gendel, and Peg Norriss for interior design retailer Schumacher and was hung by Omaha-based Willy Nilly Wallpaper. Custom window coverings by Kathleen Connor feature a hand-blocked floral design that Christensen described as “feminine, but also kind of edgy and cool.” 

 The room makes a light-hearted counterpoint to the moody elegance of the dining room, just across from the foyer, where soaring walls painted in “Black Fox” from Sherwin Williams change color from brown to grayish-green, depending on the natural light. Traditional, skirted chairs from Lee Industries complement the dramatic effect.

One place where Christensen kept the drama to a minimum was the primary bedroom, where cognac-colored Thibault grasscloth on the walls dampens sound and contributes to the spa atmosphere Kim desired.

Throughout the home, Christensen incorporated pieces that had been in the Rowells’ families for generations. Kim’s childhood bed—part of a pre-Civil War set passed down from her mother’s side of the family—looks custom-designed for a room festooned with Fern Gallery wallpaper by Sanderson. “Jacque had to work pretty hard to get me to sign off on that paper,” Kim said, laughing. “But now I adore it.”

In a guest room that channels a British hunting lodge, Kim points out a dresser that belonged to her great-grandparents on her father’s side, complete with her great-grandfather’s cigarette burns. “No matter where we live, we always have to have a place for this in our home,” she said.

The residence has already gotten the stamp of approval from Kim’s parents. “My dad is generally very understated, but he loved it. And my mom says that the whole family is coming back for Thanksgiving.” 

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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