Timeworn Warmth

Years before moving into their custom home in Elkhorn’s Ranch View Estates, Chad and Michelle Spink were dreaming of the perfect living space. They wanted large open spaces with contemporary styling – but nothing too stoic. They wanted a modern color palate, but with an added dash of lived-in warmth.

To get ideas, the couple mined websites like Houzz.com and retailers like West Elm. Before long, they had a burgeoning folder of images and inspiration that kept growing after they bought the Ranch View lot more than two years ago. Chad and Michelle took their time, gathering ideas and envisioning an ideal home for themselves and 3-year-old son Mason. “We knew we wanted to do it once and do it right,” Chad said.

With the guidance of custom homebuilder Absolute Customs and designer Sallie Elliot, the couple’s dream came to life. Their two-story home exudes contemporary sophistication with earthy grays and the occasional pop of color. In the 20-foot entryway, large crystal orbs bounce light across the walls and the winding staircase. The spacious layout continues to the second floor, where a loft gazes upon the 20-foot great room and kitchen below. Modern touches abound: The windows feature clean lines with no trim.

The family had previously lived in a split-level home in Papillion. In their Elkhorn home, Chad and Michelle sought an open floor plan with the great room, kitchen and master bedroom – the areas they spend the most time in – all on the main level.

Elliot worked with the couple to translate their many ideas into reality. As part of the custom process, the couple chose everything in the home from tile, granite and paint colors to funky lighting and plumbing fixtures.

To bring warmth into the modern aesthetic, Elliot incorporated elements with a timeworn appearance, such as the rustic wood flooring in the great room. A well-worn dining table – one of Michelle’s favorite pieces – contrasts with more modern lines and colors.

“Having a clean, contemporary palate and throwing in some timeworn elements helps soften the feel of the space,” Elliot said.

The fireplace in the great room also incorporates hard and soft elements. The 20-foot focal point features marble-like tiles contrasted with charcoal tiles in three opposing bands. Comfy seating and an ivory shag carpet make it a cozy space on a fall day.

Other elements in the home incorporate the functional and the fanciful. An iPad wirelessly controls the sound system and security system. The mudroom off the garage features lockers for storage, while counters offer hidden ports to charge devices. An oversized garage gives Mason plenty of space to play as dad watches over (while catching a glimpse of the game on a TV with surround sound). The backyard landscape lends a touch of the nostalgic: The retaining wall was built with 60 tons of limestone from Gene Leahy Mall.

The home is also incredibly energy efficient, thanks to a geothermal heat pump system, energy efficient windows and highly rated insulation. These energy saving elements qualified the home for a low-interest loan on the improvements through the Nebraska Energy Office. The investment pays off with incredibly low utility bills.

Since moving in six months ago, Chad and Michelle are happy to find they live in a family-friendly neighborhood where kids play in the streets. As the holidays approach, the trio envisions hosting relatives in their open, contemporary home – with plenty of family warmth.

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