Handpainted Walls, Colorful Furniture, an Orange Stove, and More… An Old Renovated House Is the Cure for Boring Homes
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Name: Roger Stout-Hazard, Chris Stout-Hazard, with Howdy and Rooster (brother and sister goldendoodle puppies)
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Size: 1750 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, owned
Creating an elegant and beautiful home takes a certain set of skills. Crafting a home that’s colorful, bold, and vibrant takes another kind of talent. But designing spaces that combine both and are inspiring and accessible? That takes being Roger and Chris.
Yes, my love of the married design duo borders on obsession, and I have been a huge fan since I first learned of their unique brand of interior design when Apartment Therapy toured the home they shared in Austin. Then I fell in love all over again with the very “unboring” way in which they make every room a statement space when AT toured their New York state home. Now settled into their most recent house—a 1932 brick Tudor revival in a nationally registered historic neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska—they’re once again wowing with a set of decor ideas that will motivate anyone to add fun to their home.
“When moving to Omaha from New York, a short timetable (we sold our New York house in a day) and fast-moving housing market meant we didn’t have the ability to visit houses in person prior to placing an offer,” explains Chris. “So other than some blurry listing photos and a lot of Google Streetview snooping, we hadn’t seen it in person until it was ours. We knew we would be renovating the home, but the surprising condition of some rooms meant that the renovations (and deep cleaning…) had to begin immediately.” The house’s before, which can be viewed on their website, is truly something else, and makes their home’s final form even more amazing to behold.
Of course, it’s not just the couple’s own home styles that make them worth paying attention to—they also have an incredible furniture line AND a physical store full of equally bold ideas and quirky details. Need a tufted sectional the length of your entire living room? They can customize that. Looking for a specific upholstery color? They offer 1462 options. Just want beautiful furniture that’s made in the U.S. and will withstand all the abuse your family or Netflix habit throws at it? Roger + Chris can provide… and likely more.
Anyone who lives near Omaha gets the lucky chance of experiencing their furniture line’s style and stamina in person at their brick and mortar shop in the historic Dundee neighborhood. And while a pandemic isn’t a great time to shop in person, the couple is taking every possible precaution to make their shopping experience as safe as possible.
After you marvel at their most recent house transformation, take a virtual tour of their physical store thanks to some photos they provided, peruse their past homes, and poke through all their online offerings (they sell art, lighting, and accessories, too). And don’t despair if you’re looking at another empty quarantine day and wondering what you’ll fill your time with: Roger and Chris-Tris—the Chesterfield stacking game hidden on their website—is the perfect way to occupy an afternoon.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Favorite Element: One of the reasons our house remained unsold for so long (in addition to the peculiar odors coming from the kitchen) was a back “bonus room” that felt more like a punishment than a bonus. It was originally a screened-in porch that had been enclosed in the ’60s. Cheap old windows, disgusting carpet, a low popcorn ceiling, and chocolate brown walls made it depressing and uninhabitable. We completely renovated the room, removing the low ceiling to open up the rafters (which we insulated with spray foam and reapplied faux rafter on top of), ditching the little windows for two sets of French doors, and pulling up the shag carpet to replace it with VCT in a happy black and white diamond pattern. The result is a bright, open room that connects the kitchen to our back garden and offers a happy space to spend a summer afternoon.
Biggest Challenge: Making sense of the long, narrow living room. Like a lot of homes, ours has a living room that’s tough to plan out. In addition to the fireplace and three windows, we have FOUR entrances—the front foyer, a large archway into the snug, and the stair landing that leads both upstairs and back down into the kitchen. While it’s the biggest room in our small house, the layout options are constrained by the traffic flow. We addressed this by giving the one “less busy” wall weight with a huge wall-mounted DIY shelving unit and worked around the awkward shape by splitting it into a front seating area and a small dining area.
Proudest DIY: The entirety of the garden was a series of DIY projects. We moved into a house with almost zero landscaping—a few trees, a couple of bushes, and a lot of grass. All of the hedges, paths, the formal “walled” garden, the wood furniture, the gates—were all added and built by us. Of those, the folly is probably the single largest thing we’ve built—it’s an eight foot cube wrapped in wood, with its own “sectional” bench sofa inside, and surrounded by vines and hydrangea. It’s truly an escape from the world.
Biggest Indulgence: Our kitchen was uninhabitable when we moved it and all of the appliances needed to be replaced. We selected nice options for everything, but because the range is so prominent in the room, we splurged on a Bertazzoni range in bright orange. Since we were able to keep the original cabinets and did much of the kitchen updating ourselves, we felt like this indulgence was justifiable.
Best Advice: Never be afraid to change course. We initially set up the dining room with a big table and chairs, until we realized that most meals are just the two of us and that any entertaining we do rarely requires seating for eight. We instead used a smaller round table in our long and narrow living room. The dining room became what we call our “snug”—a cozy space with comfortable seating and a TV. We’ve done this a number of times—setting up a home gym in one room before moving it to another, rearranging spaces repeatedly, adjusting colors, and more. After spending some time in a house, you develop a better sense of how you use it on a daily basis. Don’t feel obligated to stick with your initial choices.
What’s your best home secret? Our upper level has three bedrooms arranged around an upstairs landing. The rooms are a little small and the many windows present layout challenges. Since it’s just us and the dogs, we removed the bedroom doors—to our bedroom, the dogs’ room, and the home gym—to improve flow, let more light into the rooms, and eliminate the awkwardness of allowing space for door swing in small rooms.
While the exterior of the house was very charming, we made an extensive number of changes to enhance the curb appeal and increase privacy. Wood trim was painted black, with downspouts painted copper. The dull front door was enhanced with lattice, nail heads, and ornate trim around the window, and copper paint applied to give it a far more appealing look. Concrete walks and steps were stained charcoal to add contrast. A privet hedge was added, as were dozens of hydrangea. Beds were created using river rock, with ground cover, pussy willows, flowering trees, and roses planted. Grass was replaced with gravel for a more formal look. A bird bath and bench create a more welcoming front yard, and a gate completes the defined area.
The courtyard cement blocks were hand-stained a mixture of tones to give them the look of cobblestone. A dozen urns and planters were added, with a variety of flowering plants and trees to create a more private seating area.
The back garden was transformed from a small lawn to a formal English garden, with thousands of plants and trees added. Maple, oak, cherry, smoke, hydrangea, arborvitae, lilac, and privet create privacy where none existed before. A large “folly” was built to create a shady, secluded area surrounded by the trees, with a custom-built bench “sectional” for seating. Another grouping of custom seating was built right outside the conservatory French doors, with a sofa and two armchairs wrapped with arborvitae. Gravel paths add definition to the garden and invite exploration through the dense plantings.
- We gave the small entry foyer definition with dramatic black paint. The entry wall features Roger’s hand-painted bunnies.
- Round mirror — CB2
- Ceiling fixture — Pottery Barn Kids
- Green paint with brown diamonds define two walls of the living room, with a DIY floating built-in on a third. The final wall, extending up the stairway, is covered in hand-painted designs in black on white.
- Sport compact modern sofa in Ludlow stain-proof fabric — Roger+Chris
- Karpen Horn Chair reupholstered in yellow wool — Mod Lines Omaha
- MCM black lounge chair and ottoman — Mod Lines Omaha
- Handmade walnut modern table — Mod Lines Omaha
- Suspended built-in shelving — DIY IKEA hack based on BESTA units with trim applied
- Speaker — Bang & Olufsen A9 with wall mount, custom cover from skiniplay.com, and Philips Hue smart LED lighting.
- Ventless gas fireplace — Rasmussen Alterna cannonballs
- A two-tone paint scheme highlights the distinctive ceiling lines of the room.
- Baxter modular sofa in Como Indigo blue velvet — Roger+Chris
- Terra cotta lion stools —Target
- Green Eames shell chair — Modernica
- Area rug — Overstock
- Adjustable wall sconces — Roger+Chris
- Electra loveseat in green faux leather — Roger+Chris
- Sprout cafe table — Blu Dot
- Panton chair — DWR
- We converted the dining room into a “snug,” or cozy lounge space with a large sectional sofa and TV. The room is filled with artwork we’ve collected / created over the years and is designed to be a relaxing space to wind down in the evening.
- Chad sectional sofa in stain-proof blue fabric — Roger+Chris
- Brass floor lamps — Roger+Chris
- Circus Stripe curtains — Pottery Barn Teen
- White cylindrical tables — RH Modern Outdoor
- The original kitchen cabinets were lovely, so we retained them, painting lower cabinets black for contrast. We added bead board backsplashes, under cabinet lighting, new counters, and all new appliances. The range had been surrounded by 1980s cabinets which we removed; in doing so, we discovered the original vent hood and restored it, painting it with stripes and applying custom laser-cut trim to give it character. The eat-in nook was enhanced with color, a drape, lighting, and art.
- 30” gas range in orange — Bertazzoni
- Yellow storage rack — Wayfair
- Brass and iron cafe table — Restoration Hardware
- Our third bedroom is too tiny to be of much use, but we realized it had enough space to convert into a small home gym. We painted patterns on two of the walls to give the room more energy and highlight the unique ceiling lines.
- Custom adjustable bench and gym equipment — Push Pedal Pull Omaha
- We transformed what was formerly an awful add-on into one of the house’s best features. Bright and airy thanks to the raised ceiling and large glass doors, it makes for a perfect spot for our piano and overlooks the lush garden.
- Baby grand piano — Schmitt’s Music Omaha
- 85” Higgins Chesterfield in Mont Blanc Emerald green leather — Roger+Chris
- Vintage yellow lamps — Etsy
- Vintage wicker chair — Mod Lines Omaha
- Orange ottoman — Urban Outfitters
- Flooring — Armstrong commercial VCT
- We kept our bedroom clean and crisp with mostly white paint contrasted against blue with a fun design. A huge DIY floor mirror reflects light from the opposing window, keeping this not-huge room feeling more spacious than it actually is.
- Gloria bed in Sunbrella Connect Fusion fabric — Roger+Chris
- Vintage green lamps — Etsy
- Era armchair with cane seat — DWR
- Carved wood bust — Junkstock
- Rook lamp — Blu Dot
- Vintage metal dresser — Uncommon Objects
- Floor mirror — DIY project
- The original bathroom was charming. It just didn’t work. We retained the original tile floor, but installed a new shower and tile and added a new vanity. We fell in love with a discontinued wallpaper design for the room; since it was unavailable, we recreated the design (more or less…) with paint.
- Vanity — Build.com
- Grand Central Sconces — Roger+Chris
Thanks Chris and Roger!