Just about everyone who walks into Hilary and Jonathan Spurgeon’s home in Gretna asks the same question.
How do they keep that gorgeous white décor clean with two kids and a dog?
That was the beauty of hiring a designer to fulfill her vision, Hilary says. Belinda Pabian of Belinda Pabian Interior Decorating and Styling was fabulous at sourcing durable fabrics.
“Slip covered and machine washable performance fabrics. The paint is wipeable as well,” Hilary said. “Everything you see is slip covered so you can throw it in the washing machine.”
It may still look perfect, but there’s been plenty of spills in the year since the Spurgeons moved to Nebraska for Jonathan’s job. He’s a federal scientist who researches fish. She’s a nursing leader with CHI Health.
Eight-year-old Zoe and 4-year-old Fletcher know they’re supposed to eat at the kitchen counter but kids will be kids, Hilary said. She also doesn’t want to tell 12-year-old Australian Shepherd Paisley she can’t enjoy a snooze on the couch.
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“It’s a place we’re still able to live in,” Hilary said. “It’s not just pretty.”
The Spurgeons loved being outdoors and hiking in the winter while living in warmer Arkansas, and Hilary wanted to bring that feeling to Nebraska.
The early 2000 Tuscan look of the house’s interior, with its yellow walls, didn’t work.
“The winter here is long and hard,” she said. “I wanted to have that light and feel of the outdoors. I wanted to be able to look out and have everything light and bright even in the winter time.”
Hilary likes to decorate for Christmas and Halloween, and the white base gives her a good canvas.
Bright pillows and accents fulfill her need for color.
“Neutrals would allow me to switch things with the season and have a timeless look but do some trends,” she said.
They also hired Nook Construction to do some work on the main floor. They painted the kitchen cabinets white, built a new range hood, added a white hexagon backsplash and updated the hardware. A two-level island was transformed into one and old cabinets in the living room were updated. Terra cotta tile floors are now oak hardwood.
The hallway and bedrooms were all painted. The outside needs painting, too, and that is on the list.
Most of the work went smoothly, although a couch and two chairs ordered in March didn’t arrive until September due to COVID-19 supply chain issues and an industry foam shortage. Hilary still laughs at the memory of Jonathan watching a game in the living room while sitting in a kids Pottery Barn everywhere chair.
Hilary already knew Pabian from when they both lived in Lincoln, so she was an easy choice for the design work.
They talked about what Hilary wanted and Hilary sent Pabian some ideas she’d seen on Pinterest and other websites. Pabian came back with a design plan, with three options for each item.
Pabian sourced everything, with her design discount making the whole project more affordable, Hilary said.
She also eased Hilary’s mind about the white fabrics. Pabian said she’ll often give customers a fabric sample to test. So far, their choices have held up to just about everything.
“I love that we live in a time when fabric manufacturers have come up with solutions where we have easy and livable, light and beautiful performance-based fabrics,” Pabian said.
Except for the furniture, the rest of the house renovation was done by May, four months after it was started. Both women are thrilled with the way it turned out.
“It just feels happy when you walk in,” Pabian said.
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