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Hidden gem
This beautiful home sits in the middle of town, but you may never have seen it
By Diane Schlindwein

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.

Although there are only a few houses on the cul-de-sac, each is unique. The brick, stone and cedar exterior of Bob Kobylarz's home is as lovely as the home's interior, which includes an impressive 6,700-plus square feet of spectacular living space. A couple of entryways welcome guests from out front - and once inside, it's hard to decide where to look first.

On either side of the main entrance - which features a custom-made staircase with iron spindles - two well-appointed rooms vie for attention. The formal dining room, with its deep red walls, features a barrel ceiling, crown molding and triple-shuttered windows with transoms above. An attractive butler's pantry makes it easier to entertain diners. 

The den is lovely in a masculine way, featuring custom cherry cabinets and a chamfered ceiling. It even has its own water line for a coffee maker. (This little perk makes sense, as Kobylarz is vice president of sustainability for Bunn-O-Matic.) 

Beyond the foyer is the grandest part of the home: an impressive great room that features two stories of floor-to-ceiling windows that bring the outdoors inside. A large fireplace features a built-in plasma TV.

"All the ceilings in this house are different," Kobylarz points out. "There are pillars all over the home, and all the cabinets are custom-made by Prairie Pride in Riverton." 

Kobylarz's kitchen is a cook's dream come true, an elaborate preparation area combined with more custom cabinetry and a bright, cozy feel. It features granite countertops with an integrated double-bowl sink, a gourmet island with a vegetable sink, a pasta faucet inside a recessed range area, a six-burner gas store with a griddle, three ovens and a warming drawer.

Another unique feature is the raised grill station with a wall fireplace. "We cook steaks and make pizzas in there," Kobylarz says. 

The adjoining breakfast room features a bay window arrangement of six divided-light windows. No need for curtains here - why hide the spectacular view of the woods? Want to step outside? Go ahead - two doors lead right to the back deck.

Just a few steps from the kitchen, a breakfast garden room is a great place to sip a cup of coffee and read the morning paper in chilly weather. 

The main-floor master suite is large and luxurious. More pillars add character to the room, as do the vestibule entry area and bay-window sitting area. The master bath features a huge marble shower, a two-person step-up whirlpool tub, a double-vanity sink and his and her walk-in closets.

Even the laundry room is pretty and efficient, with its custom cherry cabinetry, built-in wash tub, pull-out laundry separator bins, another full bath and ceramic tile floors. 

Although Kobylarz says he rarely goes upstairs, that level features three more like-new bedrooms, several baths and a balcony that looks out over the great room.

The lower walk-out level could stand alone as its own home and is meant for casual entertaining or as a guest area. The family room features a brick fireplace with a custom wood-storage box. A second full kitchen features dried oak cabinetry made from a 100-year-old tree that was on the property. "All the cabinetry down here came from that tree," Kobylarz explains. "Even the fireplace mantle is from the core of the tree."

Just off the family room, a lower-level guest bedroom suite echoes the master suite, with a bay window, private bath and walk-in closet. 

Another potential bedroom currently serves as a home gym, complete with a walk-in closet, full bath and a sauna. "I'm really into exercise now, and I work with a trainer three times a week," Kobylarz says. Finally, the lower level features a wine cellar with a half-circle-shaped concrete vault with a custom oak door. 

The home's backyard is beautiful in every season, Kobylarz says. The house features a huge back deck that extends the length of the house. At ground level, a stamped concrete patio leads to a pond with a waterfall that meanders down the landscaped yard. A creek runs across the back of the property, with its rustic timbered area.  

With so many bedrooms and baths, a large family could easily live in this spacious, well-built home that's currently on the market for $1.2 million. The hardwood floors and ceramic floors throughout the house are lovely, but they could withstand the wear and tear that kids and even pets could dish out. And the house also has a central vacuum system to make cleaning a breeze. 

Kobylarz says the house was his late wife's dream home. Jean Kobylarz helped design and decorate it just five years ago. 

"Ron Kulek and my wife were the designers, and Jean did the decorating," he says. "But it's just too big for me to live here all by myself." He's hoping a nice family will buy the place, enjoy its beauty and fill it with laughter.



Story published Friday, December 3, 2010 ( Volume 5, Number 7 )

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