Omaha natives Jeff and Andrea Cohn always knew they wanted to build their dream home on an acreage in west Omaha. They also knew the process would take time and patience—and neither of them wanted to settle for anything less than what their family desired. Fortunately, their dream quickly became attainable in 2011 when a three-acre property in Skyline Ranches became available.
Skyline Ranches, which has become one of Omaha’s most sought-after communities, was developed in the 1970s as one of the first equestrian communities in the U.S. Today, property in this neighborhood is extremely rare to come by, so the Cohns quickly snagged the land with hopes of one day building their vision.
It wasn’t until 2016 that the Cohns officially embarked on the build process for their modern farmhouse home. The couple enlisted Marshall Wallman with M. Wallman Design to not only design the home but style all of the interior elements as well. Built by Curt Hofer & Associates, the 6,000-sq. ft, 1.5 story home was crafted with family and utilization in mind.
“We wanted the house to feel warm, welcoming and informal for our family and friends,” Jeff Cohn said. “We also designed the spaces to keep everyone together.” The Cohns successfully did just that with the open main floor, which consists of a great room, flawless kitchen and eat-in dining area, den, and two bathrooms. Even the smallest details carry out the modern farmhouse theme, making the space feel authentic and comfortable.
Also on the main floor is the master suite, including a bathroom that embodies serenity. The wooden beams on the bedroom ceiling, which originally came from Cohn’s great-great grandfather’s barn, bring a special touch to the space too.
“I wanted to incorporate the wood because it’s a piece of my history,” he said. “My great-great grandfather was the first generation to move to Nebraska from Illinois. The barn was built in the 1920s and disassembled in the late 1990s. Luckily, the wood was saved, and now it lives on in our home. It feels like we’re getting back to who we are.”
Even with the rustic details, the house remains smooth and modern. The house is also considered a “smart home,” as the entire property can operate via voice command functions. The upstairs was specifically built with their children in mind. Each room is oversized and features a full bath—ideal for the present as well as in the future when the kids bring their families back to visit.
Downstairs, the space can serve as either a private 600-sq. ft. guest suite or a lounge area for friends and family. The entire space features a big screen TV, bar/kitchen, game room, bedroom and bathroom. That’s not all the lower level has to offer, though, as the home is also equipped with a 20×15-ft. virtual reality room for gaming and other activities.
The property also features a 2,400-sq. ft. fully finished outbuilding. On the inside, a bathroom, changing room, basketball court, pickleball court, CrossFit gym and storage area make the space one of Cohn’s favorites. Also outside, the family’s entertainment is endless with a play set, trampoline, hot tub and pool. The Cohns enjoy the many faces of wildlife that frequent the backyard like swans, Canadian geese, horses, deer, turkeys, and foxes to name a few.
“Our home backs up to 60 acres of green space that is managed by Skyline Ranches,” Cohn said. “The neighborhood has full access to this space, which includes a pond, two corrals, a Quonset building, picnic area, playground, fire pit, and a horse-jumping area. There are also 17 miles of horse trails interlaced throughout the community. We have all of this and we are still within 15 minutes of the city.”
Along with more space to breathe, the Cohns enjoy the uniqueness that the neighborhood offers. Each home has been built by different builders and none look alike. Some homes were constructed in the 1970s, while others are undergoing million-dollar renovations. Cohn said the family was also sold on the area because of the Elkhorn Public Schools District.
Cohn, who is also the founder and owner of kwELITE Real Estate, said there really is no better place to put down roots, grow a business and raise a family than west Omaha. “When we were looking for a place to build our home, we always knew it would be in west Omaha,” he said. “This neighborhood has a sense of community that almost feels old-fashioned today. Everyone is friendly, helpful, and you feel safe. We knew it was the perfect place for raising our children and we’re so glad to call this home.”