Editor's note: This story was originally published in Inspired Living Omaha magazine in 2012.
* * *
Ed Shada, an executive at Great Western Bank, and his wife, Bailie, have the best of rural and city living on a secluded hilltop in Council Bluffs: A short walk or drive to restaurants, stores and work; and Sunday morning serenades of train whistles and church bells.
Yet the 90-year-old, two-story house the Shadas bought when Ed first returned to Nebraska for a job 10 years ago wasn’t quite what the couple had in mind for a permanent home. That required a year-long renovation that expanded the house on three sides, added 3,500 square feet and nearly doubled the living space.
The hallmark of the renovation is an expansive kitchen and adjoining dining room, separated only by a partial wall into which is tucked a two-way fireplace. Floor-to-ceiling windows running the entire 52-foot length of one wall open the space to the terraced backyard, trees and changing seasons.
“The room explodes into the outdoors,” Ed says. “It’s like living in the trees.”
The Shadas enjoy cooking and entertaining, and the kitchen-dining room can easily handle 70 to 80 people. A six-burner gas cooktop – one of the home's professional-grade appliances – faces the curved breakfast bar and the windows so the cook doesn’t feel isolated from his or her guests.
The Shadas’ partners in the renovation were Bryan Zimmer, The Architectural Offices; contractor Chris Rochleau, Cherry Ridge Construction; and designer Jenn Carroll White, Interiors Joan & Associates.
This story originally appeared in the January-February 2013 issue of Inspired Living Omaha, a publication of the Omaha World-Herald.