When designing a home for a family of four, thoughts of baby-proofing, durable upholstery, and easy-to-clean floors naturally creep in. However, just because a home is made for a family doesn't mean it can't still be elegant, a point proven by this gorgeous 8,600 square foot Lincoln, Nebraska home designed by Brianna Michelle Design.
The six-bedroom home boasts a stunner of an entry, a two-story great room, a playroom, and a home gym. Though originally built in 2003, this show-stopping home was remodeled in 2019 for a family who relocated from Florida.
"Sunshine was important, and we didn’t want them to have to leave it behind," Brianna Sheehan, design principal of Brianna Michelle Design tells MyDomaine. "Maximizing the natural light was one of the priorities for us during the design process. When we started, the home was very traditional: lots of oak, wainscot, and closed defined spaces. As part of the renovation, we made the home more transitional with a classic aesthetic."
Keep scrolling to see how this luxurious home keeps it kid-friendly without sacrificing style.
Though the home was only built in 2003, Sheehan led a massive renovation to customize the space for the family's needs, even in the entryway. They extended the entry out five feet and created an open two-story great room for a high-impact entry with plenty of sunshine.
"This was key to bringing in the natural light and enlarging the view of the backyard to be seen from the entry," Sheehan explains. "The takeaway here is that you can make one change work for more than just one space. For example, the additional five feet impacted the exterior, the entryway inside, as well as the great room."
The great room basks in neutral colors but the floor-to-ceiling windows and the bold fireplace makes a huge statement. For a designer like Sheehan, having input from the very beginning made a huge difference in the design of the home.
"This project was an ideal scenario as a designer. I was brought in during the buying process and as we walked through homes we exchanged ideas and a vision before they finalized the transaction."
The kitchen comes complete with a bar and wine fridge, perfect for a family who enjoys entertaining.
"Much of the inspiration came from conversations with the client and understanding how they live, how they entertain, and their needs as a family," Sheehan tells MyDomaine. "I was fortunate to have worked with the family when they were living in Florida, so I had a good idea of what they were looking for before we started the process."
The kitchen can easily be the most-used area in the home, and Sheehan designed it with that in mind.
"We updated the layout to work better with the open concept and a family with young children," Sheehan explains. "We positioned the sink in the middle of the island facing the great room providing a perfect view of the rest of the home."
Much of the home was updated to fit an open-concept aesthetic, with one room flowing easily into the next. In the kitchen, this meant prioritizing an eat-in dining area, perfect for busy weeknight family dinners.
"The kitchen is the heart of the home and often the gathering place when you entertain," Sheehan says. "Make it welcoming and comfortable."
Sheehan worked closely with the family to deliver a home to fit their style and needs.
"It was a very collaborative process," Sheehan says. "I knew what they wanted and ran with it. We brought it to life through the construction process and updating the flow of the room from one to the other and truly making it functional for the family."
The renovation included moving the primary bedroom to the back of the house and updating the layout.
The term “Primary Bedroom” is now widely used to describe the largest bedroom in the home, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term “Master.” Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.
"By moving the bathroom, we were able to establish a more organized layout, including expansive vanities, a private toilet room, and even a roomy shower," Sheehan says. "While we didn’t add any square footage to the suite, we made each of the key uses (i.e. the closet and bathroom) much more functional."
The walk-out basement includes oversized couches and a full wet bar, perfect for entertaining.
"The lower-level was transformed to be less of a basement and much more of a third floor, adding a half bath, a guest suite, an exercise room, a laundry space with lots of windows, and doors leading to the backyard," Sheehan says.
Sheehan's decorating advice is simple; it all comes down to preparation and a little soul-searching.
"Create a plan, understanding what you want out of a project is most important," Sheehan recommends. "For this family, we knew they wanted to have more children, they wanted a nursery close to the primary bedroom, and they also wanted to be in an established neighborhood with good schools."
Sheehan has simple tips for making a home family-friendly, including making sure there's plenty of room for storage and choosing furniture and finishes according to the family's needs.
"Make sure every family member has a place they can call their own and add their personality into the detailing of that room," Sheehan recommends. This sweet children's room includes plenty of personality from the stuffed moose head to the lantern as a nightstand lamp.
Sheehan's final piece of advice for any major renovation project? Prioritize.
"Go about your renovation ideas with key details or elements in mind from most important to least, so your lifestyle goals can be captured," Sheehan says.