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Omaha Magazine

Corners & Keepsakes

Feb 22, 2024 01:30PM ● By Amanda Yong
amanda yong frances in dundee omaha home april march 2024

Photo by Amanda Yong.

Frances in Dundee: Corners & Keepsakes [4 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
Welcome, kindred spirits, to our 1912 Dundee home. We’ve named the house “Frances” as she’s such a character in our lives. Being of an established age, she’s got her whims and fancies, which we’ve happily (and sometimes begrudgingly) listened to, and I’d like to think she’s pleased with us so far. 

For the past five years, myself, my husband, two dogs, and two cats have enjoyed life within these walls. We’ve embarked on restorative changes big and small, from gut renovating the kitchen and main bathroom on the structural end of the spectrum to painting walls and hanging art on the decorative end. (The trim was already painted white. It’s still a beautiful feature of the house as it is, with eight-inch baseboards, a six-inch crown, and classic craftsman window trim.) 

I’ve enjoyed sharing the journey on an Instagram account called “thebirdsdothus” after the Robert Frost poem:

I Slept all day,
The birds do thus
That sing for awhile
At eve for us,
To have you soon
I gave away—
Well satisfied
To give—a day.
Life’s not so short
I care to keep
The unhappy days;
I chose to sleep.

I started the page shortly after we settled in, and things began a bit shabby and hodgepodge. With nine-foot ceilings, arched doorways, two sunrooms, and wood floors throughout, I knew from the beginning that this home could be something special. In bringing new life to this old house, I’ve wanted to cultivate a cohesiveness, a coziness, an elegance, and remind Frances of how lovely she is. 

Previous layers of renovations have been peeled back for a more timeless design. Maintaining the closed concept layout and keeping all original features have been priorities. I lean traditional in décor style, but in a laid-back kind of way in which I focus more on atmosphere and what connects emotionally rather than staunchly sticking to a specific era or style. 

Most corners are filled with keepsakes I’ve come across in dusty antique shops, triumphantly obtained from Facebook Marketplace after invariably asking for measurements, or are sentimental tchotchkes that have been in the family. A Chinese silk passed on from my grandma is displayed in the living room; an oak-and-cane accent table from my great grandma claims the center of the foyer; an antique dinnerware set from my husband’s paternal grandparents is displayed in our dining room; books read by my mom as a teenager sit on my shelf as well-loved favorites… 

Memories live in each object—I believe this is what makes a home. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed starting this renewal, and I think Frances has enjoyed being a brief side character in your day today. 

Frances is a historic home in Dundee being affectionately restored and cared for by homeowner Amanda Yong and her husband, Kyle Dworak. Follow the couple’s journey in Omaha Home and on Instagram @thebirdsdothus.

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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