Birdhouse in Your Soul

Birdhouse Interior Design nests in North Downtown

When asked to describe her personal aesthetic, Jessica McKay of Birdhouse Interior Design quickly summed it up in one word: “Opposites.” But this description doesn’t fully encompass McKay’s talent for mixing old with new, or the way she adds heavily patterned textures to classic lines. In addition to achieving aesthetically pleasing discord, such themes as historical significance and locality are evident upon walking into McKay’s showroom, Birdhouse Collectible. Originally from New Mexico, McKay landed in Omaha after earning a Bachelor’s in Studio Art and Sociology in her home state. While an Americorp Vista member, McKay began to realize her true passion, and unknowingly took steps leading to her interior design career. Shortly after her move to Omaha, McKay purchased and completely renovated her first home. This led to assisting friends with their decorating needs and taking interior design classes, and then to her career. However, the artistic side of McKay began to bloom early; she recalls growing up in an environment full of fabric samples and design books. “Interior Design was always there,” McKay recollects. “I just didn’t see it as the form of art I wanted for my career.” Over the past three years McKay founded Birdhouse Interior Design Consulting and most recently opened a showroom in the Mastercraft building in North Downtown Omaha. The Birdhouse Collectible showroom features local artists’ installations, repurposed furniture, some new pieces and vintage accessories for the home. Birdhouse Collectible is full of unique treasures, and visitors are almost guaranteed to find a completely different showroom with each visit. Upon entry, one’s eye could be caught by anything from a striking powder blue velvet lounge chair to a sparkling set of vintage Hobnail glass decanters. Most of the furniture is one of a kind. Buyers will be pleased to find an attached story of where each piece was found and who previously owned it. “All the pieces in the store truly have stories,” McKay says. “That’s the beauty and excitement of this type of approach to interior design.” In addition to furniture, McKay features the work of local artists in Birdhouse Collectible. “Our goal is to have five or six shows a year, and to focus on a different experience than a Grande gallery type space.” Her showroom now features the work of Rebecca Herskovitz, Paul Konchagulian and Adam Nielsen, among others. One of Konchagulian’s standout pieces is a large, must-see wooden house on a rocking horse-style base. When McKay posted a photo of this piece online, interest was immediately sparked with questions pouring in as to its purpose. While the exact “purpose” of the wooden house and many of the most eye-catching pieces are unknown, her philosophy on art is clear. “The only thing that really matters is how it makes you feel, and anything you hang on your walls should make you feel something, because otherwise it is just decoration,” explains McKay. “Art should not merely be decoration hung to match your couch, it is a statement on your aesthetic, but ultimately it is your personal statement to others.” Birdhouse Collectible will host an art show Dec. 11, featuring all new work by Adam Nielsen. While the world of interior design may seem exclusive and intimidating to some, McKay’s goal is to take away any uncomfortable preconceptions of the process her clients might have. “My job is to help define your space,” says McKay. “I meet with you, get to know you and your aesthetic, ask about your needs and wants, then help you achieve that.” In addition to “opposites,” McKay draws inspiration from the idea of collections and how they fit into each client’s unique space. “Style is not definitive, and we named the showroom ‘Birdhouse Collectible’ because each person collects their style throughout their life,” explains McKay. “We think your home should be built of collected pieces, full of soul, due to the fact that they have been lived in, cared for, and recreated.” And for anyone fearful of losing their personal style in the commotion of a space redesign, McKay wants you to know her job isn’t just to make things pretty. “[Our job] is making your life and your space highly functional and practical as well. Point is, if you are going to drop some serious change on your home design, why wouldn’t you want someone who does it for a living to help you avoid some costly mistakes? And all the while, making it beautiful and looking like the best version of you.” Jessica McKay is available for consultation by appointment. Birdhouse Collectible is open Saturdays 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Mastercraft Building in North Downtown, 1111 N. 13th St., Suite 123. Visit or contact McKay for more information at or 577.0711.

posted at 06:20 pm
on Wednesday, November 10th, 2010


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