READ

Essays / Creative Writing

Bourgeois Boheme

Deborah Kass,  feel good paintings for feel bad times. Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans. I turned thirty-two in August. That event bookended a summer full of conversations with my good friend, Amanda. We kept coming back to the idea that we were feeling a bit stagnant personally (though not necessarily professionally) and would bounce ideas Read the Rest…

The Words They’ve Read: Jessica McKay

When I asked COOP’s editor and founder, Jessica McKay, to discuss the books that have impacted her life, I fully (yet foolishly) expected titles on interior design, gardening, and food. A quick scan of the five titles below shows just how wrong my thinking was. “When I began narrowing down my list, I felt incredibly overwhelmed,” Read the Rest…

Birdhouse + hutch

I met the gentlemen from hutch just over a year ago. Birdhouse had been asked to help stage a press tent for the Maha Music Festival last summer, and while we were brainstorming interesting furniture stores to tap into, I remembered that hutch had just opened up at Midtown Crossing. They had great pieces and Read the Rest…

Stefanie Monge on Mindfulness in Real Life

Over the years I’ve practiced yoga sporadically, but it never became a consistent part of my life until last year. I was going through some pretty difficult personal issues and my best friend (a seasoned yogi) recommended that I take some classes. She thought it would help me focus on my inner strength and create Read the Rest…

The Words They’ve Read: Steve Gordon Jr.

Calling Steve Gordon Jr. a graphic designer only tells part of his story. In fact, it doesn’t even come close. Known best by his other moniker, RDQLUS Creative, Gordon is a constant observer of his surroundings and their textures. His creative client work is various and wide-reaching. His modest clothing line emphasizes clever messaging. And he is Read the Rest…

Making Omaha

I’m not sure if it is how I was raised, studying sociology in college, or just a compulsion to have a great conversation about doing big things, but I’ve always looked at the world through a macro viewpoint. Most of my motivation actually stems from wanting to be part of a real-life Captain Planet experience – Read the Rest…

My Florida Connection

Endless scorching asphalt, blistering sun, massive crowds, and pretty pink princess overload. String bikinis, red Solo cups, wet t-shirt contests, and well-tanned hard bodies. Golf carts, cabana wear, shuffleboard, and retirement communities. Growing up, these were the things I thought of when someone mentioned Florida. None of them sounded the least bit appealing to me. Read the Rest…

Printed Words on Parade

I still recall the cover, deep red and worn and not at all striking or memorable in design. Bennet Cerf’s Book of Laughs was a title I discovered at my grade school library sometime in the late 1980s. Something about the quips and clever one-liners caught me. The library tracking card affixed inside the front cover featured Read the Rest…

Kim Reid Kuhn: Making Marks Everywhere

I met Omaha artist and gallery owner, Kim Reid Kuhn, a few years ago in her gritty studio space above the Boiler Room. I’d seen her paintings before and was really drawn to her graphic work. So I contacted her to see if we could collaborate on a custom piece for a design client. She greeted Read the Rest…

Making the Creative Process Tangible

I met Heather Kita of Heather Kita Jewelry Design this past fall when she participated in the HOME event by Birdhouse Interior Design at Omaha’s Sweatshop Gallery. At first I wasn’t sure how we would incorporate handmade jewelry into a curated space staged as living and dining rooms. But I was assured by Kim Reid Kuhn, Sweatshop Read the Rest…

The Resurgence of Handmade

Colorful skeins of yarn have slowly, seemingly effortlessly taken up residence in my home. I can’t quite pinpoint when my casual interest in knitting transformed to a full-time hobby. But I can tell you that, on likely a subconscious level, I had grown increasingly weary of digital devices and can’t-quite-touch data that seemed to dominate Read the Rest…

The Craft of the Cocktail

There is little question that the food the Boiler Room has served for the past few years is crowd pleasing. Patrons and critics alike agree the menu is on par with other great restaurants in much larger cities. The decor – which, as you might imagine, I always notice – is charming in the sunken Read the Rest…

Brent Crampton: Mixing Beats and Beliefs

Imagine a bar, dance, and live music venue where truly, emphatically, everyone is welcome. And imagine that its founder is a DJ whose beginnings as an adopted child allowed him to embrace diversity, creativity, and new experiences in a global fashion. Imagine no more. House of Loom is the place; Brent Crampton, the face. We recently caught Read the Rest…

What. Women. Where – Anne Meysenburg

Introducing Anne Meysenburg of Omaha, NE. I met Anne through a mutual friend and I was immediately a little intimidated by this  power house of a woman. She was well spoken and knew a lot about Omaha. I found myself in conversations that she was in just to get to know her a bit more. Read the Rest…

Friendsgiving

A couple of weekends ago I had the pleasure of attending my first official Friendsgiving hosted by my good friend Amanda. It was a delightful experience! I found it especially enjoyable this year because I have no family residing near me to spend time with during the holidays. (I did just make my way back Read the Rest…

New Design Packages at Birdhouse

Typically when I’ve been working with local (Omaha-area) clients in the past I’ve offered more full-service design help or consulted for them on various projects throughout their home. As my client roster got larger, I couldn’t take on the smaller design jobs because it became tricky to navigate where that consulting time would be spent. Read the Rest…

Movin’ Right Along

Friends and total strangers on the Internet, now that I buttered you up with Monday’s delightful and uplifting news, I should probably also share some other major changes happening at Casa de McKay. I’ve been trying to work up the courage to write this post and … I basically still don’t have it. So, I’m Read the Rest…

Ch-Ch-Changes

I opened Birdhouse just about four years ago. I’ve loved designing projects and working with local artists for these past few years. But working for yourself in a creative way can feel overwhelming and sometimes isolating. To me, it’s so much more fun to bounce ideas off of other people and I always feel like Read the Rest…

A Random Roundup

Recently, I’ve noticed some products that I’ve used over and over and are making me happy. Since I always love to find out about new things, I thought I would share them. 1. Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes and 2. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oatmeal Mask. My sister-in-law introduced me to both of these. The makeup Read the Rest…

It’s the Instagram Show

I finally got an iPhone this year. Yes, 2013. (Let the mocking and shock commence.) My Blackberry had to go because it just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. With the iPhone I got a really good camera that I could use for work snapping photos of fabric samples, before room layouts, lighting, and everything Read the Rest…

The World of Original Art – Let’s Talk Money

While attending college in New Mexico I studied studio art. This meant I alternated between art history courses and a myriad of art classes focusing on mediums from painting to ceramics. I tried my hand at drawing with charcoals and pastels, oil painting, and photography. I was not good, but I wasn’t horrible. People didn’t Read the Rest…

2013

Last year I started working with a local furniture maker (other than the very talented Peter Cales). I saw that he had mentioned on social media how he was starting a co-working space for wood and metal workers and I wanted the details regarding such an interesting new concept. The more I heard, the more Read the Rest…

Pinterest Potluck Party

The idea struck me–like most good ideas tend to do–early one morning in the shower. While vigorously shampooing and deeply conditioning, the theme of an upcoming family get-together crystallized in a few brief seconds. Rather than hosting the standard potluck dinner with my mom, aunt, two cousins, and a good friend, I quickly decided to enhance the Read the Rest…

Check This Out – Copy Cat Chic

Check out this blog that posts lower priced options of high-end furniture and accessory pieces. I’m not advocating brands like Restoration Hardware who tend to knock off designers and market them to customers as if they were original creations. But, I do know the widely varying markup that stores calculate to make a profit. Since Read the Rest…

Check This Out – The Midwestyle

Occasionally we here at COOP like to dip into our bag of sites that inspire us and share a similar vision. The Midwestyle is all about being stylish on a budget while living in, well, the Midwest. The flyover states tend to have a reputation for a lack of pretty much everything, and style is no Read the Rest…

Why My Home is Sweeter Than Ever

It is Sunday morning, blissfully early. The home I have known for the past ten years is quiet. The kind of quiet I savor on mornings like this. I sit here with a mug of pumpkin spice coffee, wrapped in my plush purple robe, and take in my relatively new surroundings. Up until a few Read the Rest…

Check This Out – Tartelette

Those of you that know me well know that I love macarons. Love them. I came across Tartelette while looking for blogs to follow that seemed to be more knowledgeable when it comes to these delicate cookies. The author, Helene Dujardin, is originally from Provence, now living in the US. She’s a professional food stylist Read the Rest…

Check This Out – Good Life for Less

  This BLOG has great tips for women who want a stylish wardrobe without breaking the bank. Ladies (and gentlemen if you want) spend the weekend and get some great ideas for updating your closet.

Thirty

The week before my fifteenth birthday I was nervous but excited, and counted down the hours until the big day. Fifteen meant I could head down to the DMV with my dad and receive that little card that told the world that I, Jessica McKay, could legally drive an automobile. I could drive to school, Read the Rest…

Nora Knew Best

Celebrity deaths never impacted me until the June 26 passing of beloved writer Nora Ephron. Most fans know Ephron from her female-focused film hits, including Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Julie and Julia, and When Harry Met Sally. And although I, too, covet those cinematic moments, it is Ephron’s writing that grabbed my heart Read the Rest…

Check This Out – Whole Larder Love

Go here! This blog is right up our alley. Very cool concept, tasty looking recipes and some amazing photography. You want to jump in his world and join him on his journey.