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For the past 10 years or so, Bob and Gail Hedges have been living their dream. As the co-owners of Cascade Ranch near Lake Sanchris in Rochester, they not only live in a rustic yet lovely oak log home, but also have been operating one of central Illinois' most impressive equestrian centers.


About 40 minutes from Springfield in rural Petersburg, Kevin Purcell and Lucia Meijer call a very special place home. Visitors can't help but be impressed with the house that sits at 17257 Altig Bridge Ave. - but first they have to find it.



Visitors to the Springfield home of Dr. Mike and Nadine Neumeister can tell they are in for a treat even before they step into the well-built brick house at 1049 Williams Blvd. in Springfield.


Doug and Sue Reynolds' home is both regal and inviting. From the spectacular brick-fronted arched entryway to the lovely but simple back patio and everywhere in between, it offers both the elegance and comfort people expect from homes in Springfield's Panther Creek subdivision.


Just about everything outside Jack and Debbie Robertson's home on Springfield's west side brings to mind the word "nature." 

From the dark wood siding to the expanse of property that features both abundant trees and a creek that runs nearby - even the address, 1 Woodview Lane, lets visitors know that the Robertsons just prefer to be outdoors.



Tucked in tiny Waterford Place, across from Pasfield Golf course off Lawrence Avenue, sits a masterpiece of a home at 708 Lismore Lane. Re/Max Realtor Mary Jo Welch describes the French country home as "formal without the fuss" - and she's right.



If Springfield has its very own Camelot, it might just be the magnificent home and estate of Coyn and Susan Richardson. It's a place that is parklike on the outside and nothing short of spectacular on the inside.


Jim and Kathy Comrie, but especially Jim, went to a lot of open houses looking at every detail of those homes before they had their house on Old Bachelor Trail built.

Then, with the help of Phil Zinn and Zinn Construction, they had their dream home - with all the bells and whistles - ready about a year ago.

When Mike Monseur and John Leskovisek bought their home on Fairview Lane overlooking Lake Springfield, it had no landscaping and needed a lot of work.


When Sean Cowan’s parents wanted to move out of their turn-of-the-century Victorian to something different, but still incorporate some of their old furnishings, it seemed natural they would contact their son.


Mother Nature may have slammed Springfield with a snowstorm in February, but spring is just a step away in the home owned by Max and Cheri Hammer at Panther Creek.

In the case of the Lowder home on Pleasant Dale Road in Girard, less really is more. The 3,000-square-foot residence is low to the ground but high in energy efficiency. Some might call the design "mid-century modern," yet the materials that went into making the home are reclaimed, and in some cases, a hundred years old.


David and Eileen Crabtree were taken by the lovely stone homes in France, but they also wanted the formality of a brick home. Their residence on Old Salem Lane in New Berlin is the perfect blend of formal and warm French provincial styles.

Rick and Karen Branham's cabin in the country is an inviting oasis of comfort and rustic elegance carved into the Waverly countryside.

From the welcoming circular driveway to the pool-scaped backyard, Brian Huff's home is luxurious, tasteful and elegant.

Being built into three hills makes getting to the McCoy home an adventure in itself, but the trek up the drive is worth it.

The DiCensos knew exactly what they wanted in their 3-year-old home on Dogwood Hills in Panther Creek.

Sunrooms have grown up. Early versions, tropical oases for blooming plants and a leisurely cup of morning coffee, often came with as many drawbacks as benefits. Most were glorified glass greenhouses affixed to a convenient corner of the home, hot in the summer, cold in the winter, alternatingly stifling and drafty, and leaky.

The proliferation of home improvement television shows allows us to peek into other people's homes and survey the landscape. Though the grass isn't always greener, sometimes the fireplace is more attractive, and that's good for Marx Fireplace & Lighting in Springfield.

When other kids were making treehouses, Ed Fraase was digging into the sides of hills making forts. On a parcel of land off Bradfordton Road, Fraase has constructed an earth home with a log-front facade.

Homeowners who are dashing to the paint store to spruce up their houses needn't worry that a "new paint" smell will offend their visiting relatives and friends. That's because most people use latex paint, said Richard Scott, owner of Don Smith Paint Co. in Springfield.

Dennis and Pat Sheley call their house on Old Jacksonville Road in New Berlin "just a country home."


Phil and Katie Zinn of Sherman wanted to put some of the best things Phil Zinn learned as a builder to work in their own home. Katie Zinn got the pot-filler in the kitchen and what she considers the perfect setup for the children's rooms and the utility room.

Gracious and striking, the Georgetown Estates home of Julie and Brad Zara still manages to be warm and inviting.

Designed by the couple with architect Joe Petty 11 years ago, the home at 24 Georgetown Road in Sherman features impressive woodwork as well as a mix of French provincial and English Tudor styles that is both elegant and inviting.

Today's homeowners want style and luxury - everywhere from the garage to the master bath. Kohler Co. and Moen Inc. are happy to oblige in the powder room area and locally, Arizona Tile Co. handles the latest upscale imported and designer tiles.

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