Thursday, July 01, 2010
Treasure among the trees
John and Denise Stroebel’s hunt for the perfect retirement spot ended with the model home at LakeWatch Plantation
Forty-five houses later, their confidence was waning.
The agent suggested they look at one more possibility – the model home at LakeWatch Plantation.
the last home,” Denise Stroebel said. “We were going home or to look in
Located on a gently sloping lot bordered by deep water, the house had everything the Stroebels wanted – four bedrooms and baths, large closets with numerous built-ins, and spectacular trim and cabinetry. In addition to the leafy treehouse-like view from the living room, they loved the open floor plan, high ceilings, travertine marble and oak flooring, and beautiful kitchen and family room cherry cabinetry. There was a downstairs media room, a temperature-controlled wine cellar and even an elevator that would come in handy later when Denise broke her foot just before they moved in.
“The house was perfect; we even liked the soft earth tones of the wall colors,” said Denise.
Because it was a model, the house came with furniture, wall decorations, even towels and sheets. Between the home purchase in May and John’s retirement from chemical company Rohm and Haas in August, the couple came on weekends to enjoy the lake.
“It was so easy with the house being furnished and ready,” said Denise.
By November, the Stroebels had sold their home in
through their children that the Stroebels were first introduced to the South.
Daughter Jennifer attended Vanderbilt in
had grown up in
“Imagine, we had never even been to this lake before, and we ended up buying a house here on our first visit,” said John.
Denise, a native of
bought me a CD with surf sounds to satisfy my love for the sound of waves
breaking. I must admit that the lake is more serene and peaceful. We like
having a nice backyard, being in a quiet cove and living just five minutes from
thing lacking when the Stroebels first looked at the house was an area for the
woodworking shop John desired. After discussions with builder David Perdue and
With a new wall erected, the garage was downsized to two-car width and a 900-square-foot airy workshop was created. John uses the shop to indulge his woodworking hobby, which has spanned 30 years. Among the furniture he’s created for the house are a jewelry chest; a sideboard made of tiger maple; a coffee table of bubinga (an African hardwood) with onyx insets; and their unique kitchen table that he made to match the cherry cabinetry.
Denise said she loves the woodshop location because it’s nearby but not in the basement as it was in their former home.
“No more ‘NEEEE-OOOW’ of hearing that saw going,” she said.
Both Stroebels raved about the beauty of the area.
“The mountains, the water, the views. It’s just spectacular,” said Denise. “We had no idea it would be this beautiful.”
John has already put together a DVD — his photos set to music – about the lake
and its beauty, which he copied and sent to friends and relatives with a note
reading: “This is your invitation to come visit us at
The Stroebel home and seven others will be featured on the Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour Oct. 1-2. The event, now in its 20th year, benefits several local charities. All homes are accessible by car and by boat. The Stroebels’ cove is near R37. Home Tour tickets are $25 in advance and will be available for purchase starting in mid-August. For more information, visit smlcharityhometour.com.