True Original

It’s hard not to do a double take passing by Tom O’Niones’ home situated in Cambridge Village north of Evansville.

The size of the home may be the first thing that catches your eye, or it could be the large fountains rising up out front. It may even be a glimpse of the resort-style backyard. All in all, it’s hard to not take notice of the home.

“I was looking at a lot of places to move. I looked at downtown Newburgh, Indiana. I looked in Victoria Estates. I looked in McCutchanville. And it didn’t match me, or I just couldn’t make it work,” says O’Niones. “And I started coming to Cambridge a lot. It was just so cool. You’d go to the club house here and people were so welcoming, so friendly. People were so nice, eventually I asked myself why I was looking anywhere else. I knew I wanted to live here.”

O’Niones, who grew up just north of Vincennes, Indiana, and owns and operates Transcendent Healthcare, LLC, broke ground on the construction on his 2-acre property in late 2017. The construction took a total of 24 months and resulted in a 10,000-square-foot home that reflects different themes throughout. O’Niones designed the two floors, basement, and garage of the home, with H.G. McCullough Inc. providing blueprint direction and finalization of the design. For the build, O’Niones called on Ron McGillem, R.A. McGillem Custom Homes in Newburgh. The end result is a home unlike any other.

“This is not a copycat of any house, so therefore none of the blueprints can be used for other houses either,” he says. “It’s all about balance. I make no secret about it — I work hard, and I play hard.”

Touches of this balance can be seen throughout the property. Entering the home, the sheer size of the space never escapes the mind. However, through design and interior decorating, O’Niones has made his home feel cozy, close, and comfortable. After he moved into the home in December 2019, he held an open house for friends, family, and neighbors in Cambridge Village to come tour the home. He was surprised when 350 people came by.

“They didn’t know what to expect when they came to the house,” says O’Niones. “They said they knew it would be beautiful and such, but honestly, they said at the end of the day it felt like home.”

The first floor greets guests with an open living room area, featuring plush seating and a remote-controlled fireplace. A small bar and open lounge to the right take the place of a traditional formal dining space, a decision O’Niones feels adds to the comfort of the home.

The large kitchen offers intricate cabinetry furnished by Jeffery and Joshua Dickman of Jedi Renovations, Inc., dark countertops, and a walk-in pantry large enough to fit a double-door freezer. With views of the backyard and Cambridge Golf Course, the kitchen also leads to a small, outdoor patio nook.

“Honestly, I just created it to be my domain,” O’Niones says of the small alcove. “I love this area. In the beginning of the planning, people encouraged me to put a staircase right there to get to my backyard, but I didn’t want that. This is my enclosure.”

Back inside, the left wing of the home finishes out with a guest bathroom and a laundry room before leading back to the garage. And like all areas of his home, O’Niones was sure to utilize the space of his garage effectively. 

He points out a Dodge Demon, one of the fastest production cars ever made; a cherry red Shelby Cobra, complete with white racing stripes; a 2010 Chevy Camaro, the first to come out replicating the classic 1969 Camaro; and a few off-roading vehicles. But his pride and joy sits at top. 

“It’s a 1969 Indianapolis 500 pace car convertible Camaro with a 396 engine and orange interior,” says O’Niones with a grin from ear to ear. “I’ve always wanted that car. I had a diecast of it, had that photo on the back wall of it for years. It was one of the first cars in my collection.” 

Each part of the home speaks to the intent and personality O’Niones has. In the right wing of the first floor, the master suite of the house starts with a large walk-in closet and a master bath showcasing a seven-jet shower. The master bedroom offers large open views of the backyard and the golf course across the lake.

Upstairs, an open lounge area that overlooks the living room is flanked by two guest bedrooms each with different designs. O’Niones modeled the far-right bedroom after a page he saw in a magazine with silver and purple colors. The first bedroom at the top of the stairs boasts 60-percent silk carpet.

Walking through the living room, down one of the two split staircases to the basement, a different theme emerges from the house.

“Coming down here, this speaks to a lot different personality,” O’Niones says. “Down here, it becomes a whole different house.”

And it is easy to see the change. A sound system, which runs through the entire home, generally plays classic rock music. A bar to the left offers a place for drinks for friends and guests. A comfy movie area is set up on the left, and further into the basement, a game table sits surrounded by a photo mural of mobsters.

The downstairs also includes a wine room, a storm cellar, an exercise room, and an extra bedroom suite, which he often opens up to friends and business associates who visit.

The room for his two pups Finn and Molly, however, reflects just how important the two King Charles Cavalier dogs mean to him. The room is the safe haven for Finn and Molly if there are guests about and provides a comfortable spot for the dogs to stay should O’Niones run out of the house quickly for an errand. The two 7-year-old dogs run the house, however, and O’Niones wouldn’t have it any other way.

“As you go through the house, you’ll see, I love my dogs more than anything,” he says.

The final breath-taking aspect of the home lies outside the back door. O’Niones describes his backyard as a resort oasis.

A large pool sits in the center and is adorned with small fountains. Landscaping completed by Ben Bush Landscapes of Newburgh, Indiana, includes a rock waterfall and various tropical plants. A hot tub sits with elevated landscaping around and a large umbrella for shade. And an outdoor kitchen and bar rounds out the picturesque resort feel.

O’Niones even had a fountain installed in the lake directly behind his home, offering yet another beautiful element to his view and the view for the golfers at Cambridge.

“I think the backyard is one of the most impressive parts of the home,” he says. “It’s an oasis.”

Though some may think the home is too large for comfort, O’Niones’ style, personality, and design have allowed for the house to feel anything but too large. From memory cabinets containing photos, items, and memorabilia from his father’s time in the Navy, O’Niones’ love of Camaros, and various family vacations to the pictures and decorations that pay homage to Finn and Molly, there’s an air of cozy comfort to the home.

“I think when I say it is 10,000 square feet, it’s easy to say it’s too big,” he says. “But living in it, and I think it’s because of the way I designed it to be big and open, it doesn’t seem too big.”

» Get the full tour inside the September/October print edition of Evansville Living.

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