Refreshed look for Panorama lakeside property.
Story by Carol McGarvey
Photography by tim Abramowitz
Featured in September/October 2021
After 30 years of owning a lovely waterfront home at Lake Panorama in Panora, Diane and Gene Loffredo felt it was time to refresh and rethink their space.
“On Labor Day in 1991 we came out at the invitation from friends for a boat ride,” Diane explains. “We brought along our two young sons, and we fell in love with the whole lake experience out here.”
Gene says, “We had been looking for a lot for about six weeks. We and our Realtor found this prime lot in the dark with a flashlight. The home was built by the late Bill Priestly, who built a number of homes out here.” What really sold Gene, who has retired as CEO of the family business, Loffredo Fresh Produce, on the property was the 45-minute drive to their home in West Des Moines.
In 2012 they remodeled the kitchen, removing a peninsula, adding a beautiful island, as well as installing white cabinetry and new woodwork.
What they wanted
Now they have three grandchildren and a fourth one due soon. They knew what they wanted—a new master bathroom with double vanity, walk-in shower, and stackable washer and dryer; another bedroom; and another bath on the lower level. Gene was leery about starting such a big undertaking during the COVID pandemic. Upon recommendations of friends in Des Moines and at the lake, they entrusted their wishes to Rob Walker, sales and service manager of Beisser Lumber in Grimes and its BLC Projects division.
Beisser added 20 feet to the front of the home, creating a den-style room with a sofa sleeper and a built-in desk, moved some doors, and built a larger master closet. Under that room addition Beisser also added storage. “You never can have too much storage,” Diane insists. The project also opened up the screened porch, removed French doors, widened the doorway space, and turned the porch into a full-fledged sunroom.
Plus, to create an airy, open feel, they added rhombus-style windows above existing ones to fill the space of the A-frame pitch of the roof and to create more sunlight exposure. The room opens onto a deck.
Diane called upon the services of her longtime friend, Linda Johnson of Interior Design Solutions, for some help in choosing paint. “She is wonderful at picking paint colors for walls,” Diane says. For the record, Johnson chose Gossamer Wings, a Sherwin-Williams soft gray color.
For the new transitional style, she chose Nagano basketweave chairs backed with exotic wood. The four chairs are the just-right look for the new room. That room doesn’t require lots of furnishings, Johnson explains. “Nature is the artwork for that space.”
The Loffredos opted to whitewash the red brick fireplace for a more modern look in the welcoming living room. Comfortable seating offers spots for watching television or reading. A white table and six chairs in the middle of the room is perfect for sit-down meals or serving buffet-style.
Two guest rooms now provide extra space on the lower level, one with bunk beds for sleep-overs with the grandchildren, plus a new bathroom with a second stackable washer-dryer. The new family room opens to the patio outdoors. A gray sofa with blue pillow accents sets the tone of the room. The artwork has a nautical theme. A brightly colored rug is great when the children come inside.
Their pie-shape lot includes a firepit in one area. The patio under the sunroom features daylilies, hostas, and boulders installed by Ted Lare Design + Build several years ago.
Four wicker chairs sit around a glass-topped table, just right for coffee or lunch in full view of the lake. Down the hill at lakeside are more chairs for sitting at water’s edge. “It’s great to sit there and enjoy the breeze,” Diane says.
Take a ride
The pontoon at dockside awaits riders. “It’s fun when a neighbor calls and says to take the pontoon to a certain spot to listen to a music concert,” Gene says.
Diane says that longtime neighbors make lake time a fun time. “We all know each other after being fiends for so long.”
Rob Walker says, “It’s a really great space. What we did I feel really works. We totally understood each other on this project. Our subs were here when they said they would be. It’s all about communication. That’s the key to making a project like this work.”
According to Gene, “Everyone kept on track. They were so good about making decisions. Everyone out here recommended them, and that says a lot.”
“I’m just thrilled with the finished product,” Walker says. •
- Remodeler BLC Projects
- Paint color for walls Interior Design Solutions
- Boulders Ted Lare Design + Build