Palatial Living

It’s rare in Omaha to find an acreage merely minutes from the city. But just north of Elkhorn in Bennington is a 14-acre property off a paved road. At the end of a stately driveway lined with maple trees sits a 7,400 sq. ft. home reminiscent of a European chateau surrounded by a lush lawn and natural grasslands that all make for a truly unique living experience.

Homeowner Brian Gill purchased the home in 2012. He had been looking for an acreage that his family could enjoy but still be near the city. He said the property had everything they were looking for—a warm feel inside with plenty of room to spread out, and ample room for his two sons to run and play outside without having to worry about busy streets filled with traffic.

Gill hasn’t made any modifications to the home since purchasing it since he felt it was well built and well decorated. The original design plan was from Kansas City and custom built on the acreage. There are a number of features he likes, one of which is simply the symmetrical layout. The home is positioned so that the driveway ends in the middle of it, with two garages on either side and a cupola in the center of the house that provides a bird’s eye view of the entire property.

“The dual garages are really nice from a functionality standpoint,” Gill said. “And having a walk-out basement is great because you can see the entire acreage even from downstairs.” The basement’s 1950s theme includes a full kitchen and drive-in style movie theater room. “It’s fun to have movie nights and be able to grill hamburgers or make pizza where it’s out of the way.”

The main floor provides plenty of space for entertaining as well but still has a cozy feel. The spacious kitchen includes granite countertops, high-end stainless steel appliances, and birch cabinets. The dinette off the kitchen provides an old-world feel with stone walls and hand-painted ceiling. “It’s a comfortable, relaxing place to eat everyday meals, not a formal dining room,” Gill said. “You can watch the sun come up in the mornings as you’re eating breakfast.”

A sun room sits adjacent to the kitchen where Gill said his family grows herbs, and off to the side is a covered deck. Part of the backyard is fenced so pets have an enclosed area on the property. A wrought iron spiral staircase off the main level leads to a hardwood-covered landing area that can be used for a pool table or other entertainment space.

The house includes six bedrooms—the master on the main floor, four bedrooms on the second floor, and one in the basement. “With six bedrooms it’s perfect for a larger family or to have extended family stay,” Gill said. All eight bathrooms have water filtration systems, and the house uses geothermal heating, which Gill said is efficient and economical.

Living on an acreage also has benefits such as the ability to be close to wildlife and away from city lights for stargazing. “The kids play with frogs in the pond, hang out in the air conditioned tower tree house, and roast marshmallows in the bonfire,” Gill said. “We’ve even had deer come right up to the windows.”

With all of its unique interior features combined with the acreage and proximity to amenities of the city, Gill said it’s ideal for anyone who wants more space without the crammed feel of most neighborhoods. “As Elkhorn continues to grow, it’s an ideal location,” he said. “There’s nothing like it in the area, and that’s hard to find.”

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