February 27, 2024


Interior Of The Road

‘Traditional with a twist’: Couple has redone Country Club home from top to bottom | Home & Garden

After seven years of updating their tudor home in the Country Club neighborhood, Tom and Elizabeth Skinner have a problem.

“We’re running out of projects,” Elizabeth said.

They’ve redone every room, just as they did in their previous home a few blocks away.


Tom and Elizabeth Skinner stand for a portrait with their dog Millie. They did many of the renovations in the home themselves.

When they realized they’d outgrown that house, they started scouting their dream block. They couldn’t resist this property’s tudor-style, its red Spanish roof, the herringbone pattern of the brick exterior and the fact that it has a two-car garage. That’s not an easy to find in that part of the city.

“We just fell in love with this old girl and thought she needed some love,” Elizabeth said.

They haven’t stopped working since. Their latest and most difficult project was trimming off a chunk off the spacious main bedroom for a bathroom and walk-in closet.

Walls were torn out and plumbing had to be run all the way to the basement.


The kitchen footprint didn’t change, but the cupboards were painted and new countertops and light fixtures were added as well as appliances.

They wanted the suite to look original to the 1920s house and it took months. Contractors framed in the rooms, leaving them a shell to finish. Although, at times, a nightmare because of the dust and disruption, Elizabeth said it’s worth every penny they spent. Tom agrees.

“That was the best idea you ever had,” he tells Elizabeth every night as they ready for bed.

Elizabeth estimates they’ve spent more than $100,000 on updates, much of which they’ve done themselves.


Elizabeth calls the powder room just off the kitchen a jewel box. The light fixture is from an upstairs hallway.

They started first with the backyard, which was more jungle than oasis. They added lighting, put in a big patio and used the pavers from an old fire pit for landscaping.

The kitchen was next. The footprint remained the same, but they added new flooring (the herringbone pattern pays homage to the home’s exterior), countertops and appliances. The lighting was changed and cabinets painted.


The paint in this room is called “Black Swan” by Sherwin Williams. “It’s a chameleon of a color. It ranges from a dark deep plum to a black, depending on the light,” Elizabeth said.

They’ve also turned the third floor into “a gorgeous space,” renovated the basement and a sun porch, updated all the electrical and did lots of painting.

A powder room on the main floor is now “a little jewel box.” The tin ceiling Tom installed in the entryway is another favorite.

“My husband has turned out to be such a handy guy,” Elizabeth said. “I’m like the idea person, and he implements it.”

She calls her style “traditional with a twist.”


The entryway, including a tin ceiling that Tom installed.

“I just like making spaces beautiful. My taste is very specific — I don’t think it’s for everyone,” Elizabeth said. “I like to add some whimsy to a space. It’s very eclectic.”

Updating their house has made them happy and always busy. Both also work full-time. Tom is a radio personality called Skinman, his dad’s old handle in the Air Force, and Elizabeth is an attorney.

She said they love the house so much she can’t imagine moving. But another project house isn’t out of the question. Maybe an acreage or an old farmhouse.


The entryway, including a tin ceiling that Tom installed.

To stay busy this summer, Tom is building guitars in the garage and Elizabeth is helping daughter Emma decorate her dorm room at Creighton. They are trying to enjoy the down time, and everything they’ve accomplished.

“I walk around the house and feel so lucky. It’s not a mansion; it’s not some million dollar property,” she said. “It’s just us.”