Three years ago, Lorrie and Andy Williams built a villa that was supposed to be their forever home.
“You are going to drag me out of here only to a nursing home or a funeral home,’’ Lorrie remembers saying. “I’m not moving again.’’
Several factors converged to make her change her mind.
Lorrie’s mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and Lorrie wanted to be more available to help her parents. The couple, who love to entertain, realized that they only had room to feed eight. The villa was just too small.
Last March, they found another possibility — a ranch in Huntington Park in northwest Omaha. Although there was a little too much brick on the exterior for Lorrie’s taste, the interior had the potential to be everything they needed, with some major work.
That didn’t scare Lorrie, a partner and owner of Fluff Interior Design. She was excited about turning it into a new forever home for her and Andy and her parents.
With its two full baths, two large bedrooms, a laundry room, a living room, a new fireplace and lots of natural light, the already updated basement was perfect for Lorrie’s parents. They just had to add a kitchenette in what had been a regulation dart alley.
The basement had its own zero-entry from the fourth garage bay, so the two couples can have complete privacy when they want or can easily see each other for meals and conversations.
“It’s perfect for multigenerational living,’’ Lorrie says. “I just love it and love having them with us during this season of life.’’
She and Andy lived in the basement for 4½ months while they tackled the upstairs remodel and the addition of the kitchenette in the basement.
With the help of David Thoms Construction, they renovated every room on the main floor except for two bedrooms.
They opened up the wall between the kitchen and living room, leaving just a fireplace in between. They raised the headers on doorways, added wood flooring, redid the laundry room and guest bathroom, replaced doors and trim throughout and gutted the kitchen and master bath.
The remodeled kitchen now includes an 8-foot-plus island and a large custom farmhouse table.
“The island will be a fabulous and functional feature when we can entertain again,” Lorrie said.
A walk-in shower with body sprays replaced a dated cloverleaf tub in the master bath. A custom vanity and tower built by Thoms adds stylish and abundant storage space.
Black shiplap in the master bedroom is another custom touch that Lorrie loves.
The Williamses had originally planned to wait on the master bath, but Thoms convinced them it would be smarter to do everything at once. Lorrie is glad he did: It’s now one of her favorite spaces.
With the interior done, Lorrie would like to tackle the red brick exterior. She’s just not sure what they want to do to tone it down.
“My husband isn’t on board yet, but I really want to paint the brick,’’ she says. “Many people love the natural brick, but it’s so much red. I’m from Texas, and I also love brick, but this is a lot. Maybe we’ll add some stone to break it up.’’
Post-pandemic design: A rethinking of floor plans
The coronavirus pandemic could affect how people design their homes in the future.
“The desire to have a completely open floor plan is fading,’’ said Lorrie Williams.
That’s because with the virus, families are spending more time together at home.
Parents may need a quiet place to work while kids are doing remote schooling or making noise in the kitchen.
“People are wanting a little more separation in their spaces rather than a huge open great room area,’’ Lorrie said.
For the Williamses, a floating wall provides the perfect amount of separation between the living room and kitchen.
While considering your options, Lorrie recommends working with an interior designer to make sure your needs are met, not just now, but in the future.
“Whether it’s new construction or a remodel, a poor floor plan or the wrong finish choices can really impact the value of your house,’’ she said.
“I think a lot of people live with house regrets. When you are already investing tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, it makes so much sense to make sure you are going to love it when it’s done.”