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Omaha Magazine

ASID Award Feature: Country Meets Western with Classic Touches

Feb 22, 2024 01:21PM ● By Brianne Wilhelm
Photo by Tim Perry Photography.  Contractor KRT Construction. asid award feature prairie ridge road renovation

Photo by Tim Perry Photography.

Contractor KRT Construction.

ASID Award Feature: Country Meets Western with Classic Touches [4 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
We all want a home that feels as though it was made for us. The interior design community was still working with the many homeowners who struggled through the COVID shut-down, when it became exceedingly clear how poorly many homes functioned for their lifestyles. Shortly after that time, I was asked to assist with the renovation of a beautiful home owned by friends, where I had been welcomed as a guest to plenty of parties and casual gatherings. Built in 2008, the home is a custom ranch with soaring ceilings. Tucked into trees on over five acres outside Omaha, its many amenities were perfect for this active family, but their kitchen and main floor just weren’t meeting their needs. Improving function, storage, convenience, and updating the aesthetics were the goals for the project. 

The opportunity to update a home like this was a dream come true given my love of remodels and renovations. Investing in existing homes with purposeful design choices is more sustainable and can be a rewarding choice over moving or building new, especially when the homeowners love their current neighborhood and are willing to live among temporary chaos. After thoughtful discussion and taking inventory, I developed a new kitchen layout concept to provide better flow and easier access to appliances. The previous layout and tiered ‘batwing’ island forced all activity and access to all major storage and appliances to one tight zone. The new cabinet layout includes a huge island for family dinners and baking. A 48” commercial gas range was a dream addition for this family, who love food and preparing meals. A large pantry cabinet on one wall and deep drawers in the base cabinets provide more functional storage than standard base cabinets with doors. The new layout and design featured in the upper cabinets and hood embrace the 12’ ceiling height and create a focal point to balance the opposing great room fireplace. 

In the adjacent great room, a new wine bar with floating shelves above doubles the great room storage and is perfect for entertaining, bringing guests out of the kitchen to enjoy the full space. The new furniture layout and furnishings provide better flow. Finally, a full wall of functional built-ins was added to the otherwise blank front corner office; the family can now use the office to read, do homework, or take work calls behind closed doors. The contractor, KRT Construction, and their cabinet shop, were instrumental in bringing to life all of the drawings and concepts. 

 The design vision for this remodel was country-meets-western with classic touches. All finishes, furniture, and fixtures were selected to embrace the family's love of Nebraska farm culture without feeling too over-the-top country. A painting of a white barn they already owned provided the color palette for the entire project. Newly finished hickory floors, brighter neutrals on cabinets and furnishings, and the satin bronze hardware finish bring brightness and contrast to the rich, waxy leather and dark iron accents. Smooth ceilings painted a light off-white, fresh wall paint, and the newly finished hickory floors throughout help to brighten and make the whole space feel updated. 

For this family, the temporary chaos paid off. In an unexpected twist of fate, a decision to move back to their family farm in central Nebraska provided the opportunity for a new family to benefit from the improvements made to the home. As a designer, it is rewarding to see how this next family is enjoying the space and have made it their own. 

For more examples of Brianne Wilhelm’s design work, visit

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2024 issue of Omaha Home magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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