By Emma Bowen Meyer
For The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — Using elements of design she learned from the workplace, Jahnae Erpenbach has decorated her home to create a chic yet comfortable atmosphere for family and friends to enjoy.
Often the joy of spaciousness can be a challenge to furnish, but she has risen to the task with professional-looking results.
“It has a lot to do with my business,” said Jahnae, general manager of gaming at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino. “Over the years I’ve had to redesign restaurants and VIP lounges and entry ways. So I’ve spent a lot of time with designers. The trick is trying to find the thing you want or need to fill a specific spot.”
Sometimes she even enlists the help of her reluctant son, Drake, 16, and his friends.
“We have made it a game on occasion,” she added. “I’ve told them the size and color of what I’m looking for and we spread out in the store to see who can find it first. I had a particularly hard time finding furniture because of the scale of the (great) room.
"We ended up with our Austin Powers chair because we needed something big to balance with the smaller pieces.”
Beginning with a gorgeous home and perfect layout, the Erpenbachs had to change few of the basic elements of the home. The eye-catching entryway walks into the great room, which combines the one-of-a-kind kitchen with a stunning living room.
“This big room is one of the reasons we bought the home,” said Curt, Jahnae’s husband of 18 years. “It’s great for entertaining. The home is very unique and the builder didn’t cut any corners.”
Custom cabinets were made inside the home and curve around corners. Even the island features rounded cabinets. Granite countertops from India top them for a fantastic finish. The kitchen is simply a showcase.
Columns, thick crown molding, built-in shelves and bookcases and plenty of mirrors add character and style to the living room. By using the same colors here and in the kitchen, Jahnae unified the entire space.
'Felt like a party'
While she busied herself looking for the perfect furnishings and décor, Curt turned his attention to the back yard. Behind the house was some land, but it was all wooded.
“It felt like we had no yard and boys have to have a back yard,” he said. “We lit both sides and burned it out. A friend and I came out with chain saws and got rid of everything.”
The fire department did attend to ensure the safety of all.
“We couldn’t even see the back fence before,” said Curt, pointing to the lovely brick wall built to mark the edge of the subdivision. “We play football and entertain out here now.”
The family arrived in Anderson from the Chicago area six years ago so Jahnae could open the casino as vice-president of marketing. She specifically wanted to live within the city limits, so they chose a home in the charming Deer Creek addition and Curt quickly secured a position as an RN in surgery.
“It is important to me to live in the town I work in,” said Jahnae. “I wanted to be involved in the Chamber and other organizations and be ingrained in the community. When we came to this house, it felt like a party. It’s so open and has the Italian influences. It felt like we were supposed to live here.”
“Mom saw the closet in the master bedroom, fell on her knees and said: ‘This is it,’” said Drake, adding that the closet rivals the size of a small bedroom.
“That’s a true story,” admitted Jahnae.
With plenty of space for the three of them (and all of their clothes) and even an overnight guest or two, they are at home and comfortable in their well-appointed Anderson home.
Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.