A Lake Side Retreat

"The highlight is a great room with 25-foot ceilings and a wall of glass that gives this prow-front contemporary a sweeping waterfront theme."

On Lake Zoar in historic Newtown, Jane and Don Sharpe built this elegant three-level Ward Cedar Log Home.  This Connecticut playground feels just like Vermont's Green Mountains or Michigan's Upper Peninsula — yet it is only a 90-minute drive to midtown Manhattan.

Jane was a bank executive and her husband is a veteran newspaper editor.  The couple had owned a smaller Ward Cedar Log Home next door.  "When we had the opportunity to build our dream home, there was no question — it too would be a Ward. There is a unique quality to the Northern White Cedar Ward uses in its log home kits that cannot be beat.  The proportions of the logs are more elegant, cedar develops a warm patina on the interior walls that is quite different from less costly pine and fir, and cedar just has a feeling of permanence," says Jane.

Curbside, the home looks like a modest single story suburban ranch with an attached two-car garage.  Enter the front door and visitors are treated to an interior that opens up to three spacious levels of lakeside living built into a sloping shoreline lot.  The first floor includes a complete guest suite giving this home a total of nine rooms, three and-a-half baths, and decks on two levels.  Two fireplaces and a wood stove add warmth and ambiance on cooler days.

Once summer comes, the private dock is in constant use by the Sharpe family, whether it is for sunrise cruises, water skiing or evening outings on shore with friends and neighbors.