Style and Substance Magazine

Showcasing Distinctive Homes of Central Illinois
Published by the Peoria Journal Star
Vol. 4, Issue 3, June/July 2009

Relaxed Lakeside Retreat

A Resort-inspired Community in Dahinda, IL

Who wouldn’t dream of a relaxing weekend vacation retreat at Dahinda, Illinois’ popular resort-inspired residential lake community — Oak Run? For one couple — originally part-time residents who called Oak Run home on weekends and holidays — after living in Metamora and then China, they were lucky enough to be able to settle into the serene lakeside lifestyle full time.

Tucked away off the beaten path, the beauty of nature captivates the senses as you make your way to Oak Run down a peaceful twolane country lane. And aside from dodging the occasional wild turkey in the road, the trip is stress-free. In fact, this remarkable 600-acre horseshoe-shaped lake is one of the largest in central Illinois, with roughly 600 homes situated around it.

One of these homes, a captivating, cottageinspired sprawling four-bedroom ranch, takes strategic advantage of the breathtaking scenic views from every possible vantage point. The 30-year-old home that originally sat on this site however, “missed the mark” on capturing the view, with an awkward layout that didn’t fully face the lake.

Even though that home had served its purpose as a comfortable weekend getaway, it proved insufficient as a primary residence, so a fresh start was in order. Talks of remodeling and adding on came to light, but with the existing footprint of the house, it would be impossible to gain access to the view. After considering the options, shopping around for bids and arriving at the decision that a complete re-build was in order, the old house came tumbling down in one day’s time.

The right fit for the job was undoubtedly Worthington Builders — a Kickapoo-based construction firm owned and operated for 30 years by Kent and Lynn Worthington.

“Kent has an excellent reputation as a builder in this area and he clearly saw the potential to maximize on the lake view by repositioning the home on the lot,” the homeowners explain. “He was able to stake out a new footprint so we could easily envision how a brand new home could take far better advantage of the site.”

In September 2007, work on the house plans began. “Kent’s goal was to create a ‘wow factor’ for our home,” they explain, “with a clear view to the lake, unobstructed by a deck or patio furniture. Kent really puts himself into the project, building a home he would like to live in. He personally oversaw every aspect of the project, and the trust he instilled was very important, considering we were out of state during most of the construction.”

Relaxed casual cottage charm welcomes guests. Earthy design elements, including shake shingle siding and stone veneers, allow the home to blend into its naturalistic setting, while Prairie-style windows, a covered porch and varied roof pitches, enhance the home’s charming appeal.

Inside, a wide-open layout offers unspoiled views through the back window wall to the lake beyond. An uncluttered, uncomplicated, inviting layout puts the mind at ease, creating a comfortably relaxed “permanent vacation-like vibe.”

With 2,500-sq.-ft. of living space on the main floor, and 2,000-sq.-ft. of finished living space on the lower level, this home offers plenty of “room to roam” for overnight guests and family members alike.

The grand main floor living room boasts a soaring 20-ft. vaulted ceiling that gives the illusion the home is in fact three stories, when viewed from the rear lakefront façade. Here, a spacious wraparound covered deck is the ideal spot for outdoor entertaining, especially on July 4th, when an annual fireworks display is shot off over the lake.

In the main floor living room, nine ft. walls, a large stone fireplace, arched room openings (a Worthington Builders’ trademark) and an impressive window wall with an arched top window, create drama. Worthington and the homeowners have added solar film to these windows, which offers 99% protection from harmful UV rays. In fact, several Energy Star rated products were use in the construction of this Worthington home, such as energy efficient wall and ceiling insulation, an energy efficient HVAC system and energy-conscious doors and windows.

The gourmet kitchen/dining room boasts an elevated 10-ft. ceiling with tray detailing over the dining table, featuring a Khaki painted inset illuminated by rope lighting. Rich Brazilian cherry flooring and a view to the deck complement the casual dining area adjacent to the kitchen.

An open showpiece, the kitchen features exquisite cinnamon nutmeg stained cherry cabinets, a sprawling work island, Black Galaxy granite countertops and a backsplash accented with stone fleur-de-lis detailing. A professional stainless appliance package, complete with a convection oven/ microwave, a wall oven and a warming drawer, round out the luxury kitchen amenities.

Extra square footage was added to accommodate the sumptuous master bathroom that features a luxurious oversized soaking tub, a spacious walk-in shower with a granite seat and spa-like rain head, beautiful cherry cabinetry, cultured marble countertops and a soul soothing earthy color palette.

Downstairs, the quiet open lower level is perfect for overnight guests, with French doors leading out to a lakeside patio. This living space is home to a guest bedroom and a gaming area with a stately old jukebox, pinball machine and a table for playing cards. In the main living room, the homeowners have decorated with some of their favorite furniture and art pieces, including overstuffed leather couches, an exotic burled wood armoire/bookcase, wildlife photos and animal carvings.

Overall, the transformation to this incredible new Oak Run resort-inspired retreat sets the scene for captivating natural vista views from nearly every angle. And with a vision toward the future and wholehearted trust in their contractor, together, Worthington and the homeowners eliminated an awkward layout and maximized the stunning lakeside views magnificently.