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A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE

by Lauren Chorpening

A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains

Megan and Luke Pettipoole didn’t have to search far for their beautiful two-story rental — their current home was next door and almost identical to their previous apartment in Omaha, NE. These side-by-side 1880s duplex buildings looked the same on the outside, but their old place had been converted into a 4-plex and the apartments next door were the original 1,800-square-foot floor plan for just a little more. When one of the larger units became available, Megan and Luke jumped at the opportunity. Not only was it easy to move into since the layout of the living area was exactly the same as their previous rental, but the extra space has added to each of their lives in ways they didn’t expect.

is a People Manager for an Omaha-based software startup called Flywheel during the week. In the evenings he uses his home music studio to write songs and practice for his weekend life in Des Moines, IA. Luke is also the frontman of , a midwest-famous indie band based in Des Moines, so he travels the two hours most weekends to join his bandmates in their hub city. on the other hand, hasn’t fallen into work she loves as easily. She’s spent almost 10 years in retail working mostly as a Visual Merchandiser, always looking for the career that would spark her interest and give her more freedom. Their choice to move next door did just that. “Eventually, a bit out of frustration, , which ended up being the primary outlet for all my extra creative angst — with the purpose of using it to focus on designing our apartment. Moving into the duplex finally gave me the push to go for it. The reality is my blog sees very minor traffic, but what it did do was give me personal accountability to dream up and complete projects and a means to document them in a way that inspired me,” Megan shares. “It also helped me realize not only did I love interior decorating, but I loved the art of styling a photo shoot, writing compelling copy, and even conceptualizing advertising/marketing ideas. By putting my work out there, it’s also offered me the privilege of working with a few clients over the years who’ve entrusted me with helping them transform their spaces.” Between Luke’s extra space to work on songwriting and Megan’s inspiration to leave her day job, the move next door has been more than beneficial.

On the day they moved in, it was easy to know where everything would go. Items from the east wall in the living room in their old place would go on the east wall in the living room in their new place. Megan, however, wanted to see the new space, as identical as it was to her old home, as a fresh start. “I didn’t set out with any decorating goals at the beginning. Instead, this home has basically been my decorating canvas – a means for me to explore an interest and see what I could do with it. Luke and I are both avid thrifters so the bulk of what fills our home was sourced secondhand. I’m also very fond of mi color and pattern, so I guess in the end, what we wanted was a collected and colorful home that felt both pulled-together and inviting,” Megan shares. White rental walls are given relief with the gorgeous color combinations Megan has fine tuned over the last four years in this home. Each room has its own personality and color palette and the whole house has a stunning balance of vintage and modern. Who knew the carbon-copy home next door would result in an aesthetic that is so cohesive, yet unexpected? Lauren

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Image Above: The living room has seen a lot of placeholders come in and out. The Pettipooles’ living room changes more than any room of the house. The final mix of color, texture, style and pattern has created a stunning and inviting space for the couple and their guests.

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A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
1/13
Luke and Megan Pettipoole in their living room. Megan created the wall of art with pieces she thrifted, pieces she created and a few pieces she purchased new.
A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
2/13
"That tufted avocado green couch is one of my best finds. I’d been on the hunt for a good-looking, but comfortable sofa for years! In the meantime we ended up buying a low-quality mid-century 'inspired' sofa from a local big box furniture shop and it lasted about 2-3 years before showing its true colors" Megan explains. "I spotted this green beauty at an estate sale -- the busiest sale I’d ever been to where people were basically walking sideways to get from room to room, frenetically snatching up anything and everything in sight, and hoarding piles of stuff in a matter of minutes -- so I immediately bought it before looking at anything else in the house!"
A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
3/13
"Though it feels like a large area, there isn’t a ton of space between the stairs and front door when opened. A small console table could’ve potentially worked here, but then there’s the floor grate to contend with. I decided to just go very simple and used another scrap piece of small plywood to build a slim ledge to give the space a little definition. A mirror for last-minute checks before leaving the house is always useful. And the white tulip chair (a gift from a friend) and rubber plant round out the vignette. Of course my favorite element is probably the chandelier. Months after finishing our entry I still hadn’t found a replacement for the generic boob light that was already there. Then one day I spotted this lovely chandelier on Craigslist for $15! It’s totally meant for a dining room, I’m sure, but I love the way it works in our entry, too," Megan shares.
A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
4/13
"I try to be very thoughtful about the secondhand items I bring in the house. Even if it’s a great deal, if I can’t think of a purpose or place for it right away I usually walk away. But good art that’s unique and affordable is hard to come by, so whenever I spot something good I buy it. Even if I don’t have a spot for it [yet]," Megan shares. "I have a soft spot for floral still-life paintings and this one with its vibrant pink and green color combo is definitely my favorite. I picked it up at an estate sale a while back and don’t think I’ll ever be able to part with it."
A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
5/13
While Megan shares she has a limited knowledge on what all of his equipment does, Luke and Megan have their shared love for quality vintage pieces and scoring them secondhand. This mid-century bookshelf in Luke's music studio ties the space to the rest of the house.
A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
6/13
"This room used to be our dining room, but after years of Luke trying to squeeze all of his music stuff into the tiny room in the background we decided to make some changes," Megan explains. "The ends of the dining table I’d made got lobbed off so it wasn’t quite so long, then we moved it in front of the bay window and repurposed it as Luke’s desk. A smaller white tulip table now sits on one side of the room so we still have a spot to eat. I was resistant to the changes at first because of course I had visions of what this room was 'supposed' to be, but now that we’ve lived with it this way for a while I can honestly say it is more authentic to our lifestyle than it ever was as a dining room. And I’m learning to deal with all those cords everywhere…"
A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
7/13
The bedroom's design started out as Megan's attempt to go neutral. Her love for bold, unexpected color thankfully won out. The pops of golden tones, blue and pink in this room are beautifully complemented by the more neutral foundations.
A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
8/13
"The rug is a recent addition. I was out of town for a styling job and on a whim popped into a women’s boutique that happened to be going out of business," Megan says. "After giddily purchasing two pairs of clearance designer jeans I thought to ask about the rug they had in their fitting room…I felt pretty happy on the drive home with that 8x10 beauty rolled up in the back of my station wagon!"
A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
9/13
"I do have a thing for Hollywood Regency in small doses, so I think the bedroom kind of naturally went in that direction," Megan shares.
A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
10/13
"This is the room that receives the dreamiest natural light in the whole house. It’s right off of our bedroom, separated by a set of French doors and not a bad view to wake up to in the morning," Megan shares. "It sort of operates as my office/sewing/craft studio. For the longest time I wanted to find a beautiful old wooden desk or library table, but I decided to make do with the generic folding banquet table we had on hand. I spray-painted it white and have found after the last few years that I actually really don’t mind it at all! It’s nice to have something that isn’t too precious that I can spread out my projects on and not worry about stray paint or scratching it with scissors, etc."
A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
11/13
"When I worked on this room, my theme was 'Making the Most of a Bad Rental Bathroom' because sometimes you just have to work with what you’re given and try to make the most of it. It was one of the first spaces I tackled when we moved in, and -- influenced by the high-contrast Scandinavian aesthetic -- I painted the room a two-tone black and white. It may not be as bright and colorful as some of the other rooms in our house, but I still love how it flows with the rest of what we have going on," Megan says.
A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
12/13
The off-center light fixture in the bathroom kept catching Megan's eye, so she added a wall of vintage portraits to distract from the light and add a bit of glamor to her vanity. "I pulled the portraits from a vintage how-to magazine I’d found at an estate sale and used frames found at thrift stores to frame them. It was an inexpensive way to add some pattern and interest as well as minimize the placement of the light fixture. I like that it’s a little weird to have a wall of strangers staring at you in the bathroom," Megan says.
A Vibrant Rental for Two Creatives in Omaha, NE | Design*Droits-Humains
13/13
"What I love most about our home is all the sound and color!" -- Megan Pettipoole

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