Capturing real smiles, real moments, and real memories

Making our house our home…

We have been so fortunate to meet and be working with Jessica McKay, owner of Birdhouse Interiors and Birdhouse Collectible. Jessica and I met pretty randomly over a year ago and became fast friends. We are both in the creative industry, own our business’ and have similar work ethic and goals. And to top it all off – we both married guys from Shenandoah, Iowa – what are the odds? Jessica is from New Mexico originally but now lives with her husband in the Country Club area of Omaha. She is an incredibly talented and sought after designer with a really strong business sense.  Her style and approach to design is unique and something that Omaha was seriously lacking. Jessica actually takes the time to work with each of her clients to find out not only their needs for their space, but she finds out WHO they are, and then works that all into the design to create a space specific to their personality – and oh yeah – she does it all based on the budget you have to work with.

My dad would tell you that I have champagne tastes and am living off beer money. And not even the good imported type of beer but more or less a Milwuakees Best type of beer.  And he’s probably right.  As much as I would love some of the finer things in life – at this point we have to focus our finances on raising our 3 {almost 4} kids, their activities, our business’, and everything that goes along with that.  So when it came to spending money to redo our home – it just didn’t happen. Jessica came along and helped me “repurpose” things we already had {one of her specialties}, choose paint colors, re-stage the furniture, and choose things for the house that would make the biggest impact.  I honestly can’t even begin to say enough about what she did – for the first time in my life I love my home and I couldn’t be happier and it feels like us.  Here are a few before/after pics and below I will write up what we did.

PLEASE check out Jessica’s site and blog to see her other work.  We do a lot of her portfolio pictures so I have the pleasure of getting to go into her clients homes once the space is complete and see what she’s done.  She also has a shop {Birdhouse Collectible} downtown in the Mastercraft building – do yourself a favor and drop in there some Saturday to check it out – it’s a beautiful store.

Without further ado…

What we did:

– Furniture layout: by restaging the furniture – who knew what a difference this would make. We flipped around the couch and chair, got rid of the hideous ottoman, and moved the bookshelf.

– Paint: we repainted all the walls and chose a light gray color with a hint of blue. Making all of the walls the same color completely changed the house. It lightened and opened everything up.

– Lighting: for the lamps on either side of the couch we swapped out the lamp shade for a white drum shade {which was about $13 at Target} and brought the other lamp down from up stairs.

– Coffee Table: We found this solid wood table at a thrift type store for under $40 and it just happened to be the perfect size for our space.

– Artwork: the bird picture above the couch was done by Dana Damewood who is another Omaha area photographer, and the two pictures on either side of it are mine. One is of my bro and I when we were little and the other is of my grandparents when they were dating – which is one of my very favorite pictures of all time. Other pictures around the room are of our grandparents and parents when they were young, and one of my own pieces of fine art taken of the Beetison House.

– New chairs: I despised our dining room chairs and I found these perfect wooden chairs on Craigs List and paid $100 for all 4 – which if you have ever shopped for chairs – you know what  a steal that is.  You have most likely seen the yellow chair in my photo shoots – I love the old chair and we had it in the studio. It completes the space in the room and although someday I would like to replace it with a nicer chair – it’s great for now – and it didn’t cost us anything!

– Pillows: My newest obsession. It’s amazing how much pillows can change up the look of a space by bringing in textures, colors and patterns. The ones I have are super cheap ones I found – but Birdhouse Collectible has an AMAZING selection of the most gorgeous pillows.

– Window Treatments: The drapes were the biggest “splurge” – I used money from my Grandparents at Christmas to purchase them. I still didn’t have to spend a ton – but anytime you have to buy 8 panels to cover 4 windows it costs a little. But they are so worth it. First off they are lined which means after three and a half years my neighbors can’t see directly in our back windows and we aren’t blinded every evening as the sun goes down. Secondly I loooooove the peacock color, and last but not least – the length. We got the 95″ length and hung them up higher which was incredible the difference it made .

– Dining Room: We brought the giant mirror down from the studio and hung it in the living room which helps open the small room and bounce the light around and then repainted the bench from our entry way white and put it in the dining room under the mirror. Which is also where we keep the kids shoes and so it’s perfect right by the door leading out to the garage.

– The Dresser: I saved the best for last. The white dresser under the tv in the living room made the very biggest difference in the room. AND – I got the dresser for $30 off Craigs List and about 3 million cans of spray paint later – voila.

Jessica also recently helped us update our stairway. I HATED our stairway – it was empty, dark and boring – and I went up and down it 100x every day.  We repainted it (the same color as the living room) and Jessica went through our frames and hung them for us. I love it now – the kids love it, it’s so fun to see my favorite pictures and our family and friends pictures every time I go up and down the stairs now.



2 responses

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  2. Pingback: Birdhouse Interior Design » Blog Archive » Making Your House a Home

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