Lure of the Lake

02/27/2013 12:43 PM

02/27/2013 12:48 PM

Colleen and Jim Ludington were all set to start construction on their new home on a wooded 6-acre lot in south Charlotte when they traveled to Lake Norman looking for design inspiration. And just like that, as they drove through some of the luxury neighborhoods off Jetton Road in Cornelius, everything changed. “We scrapped the south Charlotte plan and started a lake plan,” says Colleen Ludington. “The lure of the water won us over.” After several months of looking, they discovered a house that, through of series of unlikely events, proved to be an ideal bargain. A family in Ohio had the house custom built in 2008 but at the last minute decided not to move. The house sat vacant for years until Colleen and Jim bought it in 2011. “Everything about the house worked for us,” says Colleen. “We didn’t even change the paint colors.” Jim says that when they were looking for a lake house, one of his priorities was that it had to have a “lot of destinations.” He certainly got his wish. The three-story, 8,800-square-foot house sits on a waterfront lot just under an acre. It has six bedrooms, a five-car garage, seven fireplaces and a big backyard with a pool and Jacuzzi. Moreover, every story of the house has outdoor living space that looks out onto the lake. It’s an ideal playground for the couple’s two boys, Sam, 8, and Jake, 10. A large fountain in the front yard is a dramatic and welcoming touch and blends nicely with the home’s Spanish Mission-style architecture. Inside, the front foyer opens to the spacious and inviting living room, with a cream-colored travertine floor, 12-foot ceilings, cast-stone columns and a central fireplace. To the left is the gourmet kitchen—Jim loves to cook—which has a breakfast bar, double refrigerator, central island and five-person dining table that looks out onto the main-level terrace and lake. Colleen says she spends a lot of time in her third-floor office, which she calls the “lakeside lounge.” This cozy space has a fireplace and opens to a screened-in deck with a four-person dinette table and double chaise lounge. Colleen says she uses the deck to conduct meetings for her charity work with First Book-CLT, and it’s also where her family gathers for some “mean games of Uno.” Also on the third floor are the boys’ bedrooms—both of which open up to the screened-in deck—as well as a spacious guest bedroom with a balcony that provides the perfect vantage point to watch Fourth of July fireworks at the neighboring Peninsula community, Colleen says. Jim’s office is on the ground floor, also known as the “adult playground,” with a pool table, home theater, central fireplace, bar and wine cellar. “We’ve had some rowdy parties down here,” Colleen says. The ground floor opens to the backyard and pool, where there are several covered seating areas along with oversized chaise lounges and umbrellas. A trail leads down to an expansive dock where they’ve added a covered bar and grill area. The family also recently purchased a new Aqua Patio tritoon boat to take full advantage of their lakeside location. “We’re so thankful we decided to move to the lake instead of some big wooded lot,” Colleen says. “We’re as happy as can be on the water.”

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