These days, Bob and Judy Graper use their home and entertainment haven in The Lakes at Victoria Manor, near Victoria National Golf Club, to watch sports and gather with friends and family.
But 11 years ago, all they had on their new property in the Newburgh hills was an idea.
“When we first came out here, there wasn’t a house here,” Judy says, adding that they built the residence from the ground up.
They did so in the midst of a well-known golf club. Victoria National Golf Club’s website says it is ranked 35th on Golf Digest’s list of Top 100 Private Courses.
There are plenty of homes to match the beauty of the nearby course. Thanks to local homebuilder Robert Cook and designer H.G. McCullough Designers Inc., Bob and Judy Graper now have their own piece of beautiful.
It took about 1 ½ years to build their two-level home, which comes in at just under 7,000 square feet. And the Grapers thought it was perfect – until it needed to be torn apart. That’s what happened when they reconstructed their entertainment area on the home’s main level.
The entertainment area was designed with the help of friend Karen Bosler. She and her husband, Dean, live next door. They own Dean Bosler’s Furniture and Mattress Showroom in Evansville as well as Ashley Furniture HomeStore.
Though Karen Bosler no longer designs professionally, she suggested the Grapers make the entertainment space’s two separate rooms into one open area ideal for relaxing and entertaining.
“It’s amazing how things change,” Bob says.
The Grapers made substantial renovations. They tore down the walls of a former sunroom, adding hardwood floors and a bar with a 46-inch flat-screen TV.
“It was like rebuilding the whole area,” Judy says of the transformation.
The wide-open space’s main attraction is a 70-inch flat-screen TV that is surrounded by a custom wood entertainment unit designed by Fehrenbacher Cabinets Inc. Wood Specialties by Fehrenbacher of Evansville provided some unfinished trim for the project that was finished by Fehrenbacher Cabinets Inc. The area surrounding the TV feels like a theater, with a home audio system that was designed and installed by Paragon Sight Sound Security.
“We’ve got an awesome sound system,” Bob says.
The space also boasts a custom Fehrenbacher Cabinets Inc. bar and wine cellar, and a wooden coppered ceiling designed by Wood Specialties by Fehrenbacher of Evansville.
It’s hard to ignore the large fireplace next to the entertainment unit — built by Cook and original to the house. Its mantel was carved by Chris Viehe, who owns Artisan Woodcrafters in Newburgh.
Judy says she likes to snuggle on the couch and to appreciate the fire while watching TV.
The couple also has a jaw-dropping view of the lake in the back of the house. Stunning even in the winter, “in the summer, it’s 100 times better,” Judy says of the lake view.
Like many of their neighbors, the Grapers enjoy using electric boats called ElDeBos – short for electric deck boats – on the lake. Their grandson, 10-year-old Aiden, fishes on the lake. Inside, he also gets a lot of use out of the entertainment cave, where he plays Wii.
On Sundays, the Grapers use the entertainment area to watch games or golf on one or two of the TVs.
“Get-togethers usually wind up with guys at the bar, and the girls on the couch,” Bob says.
Like true Indiana residents, the Grapers cheer for the Indianapolis Colts and the Indiana Hoosiers. IU is a family favorite, as their older son, Rob, graduated from the Kelley School of Business at IU-Bloomington in 1995 before returning home to join Bob in the family business, Midwest Systems and Services. Bob is the president of the company.
Rob, who later passed away, is responsible for the Grapers’ interest in the Victoria National Golf Club area. Rob first suggested it to his parents.
The couple’s younger son, Greg, also is an IU fan. He attended Indiana State University and currently lives in Florida. Judy’s father is an IU graduate.
“We love the Hoosiers,” Judy says.
For more information on Wood Specialties by Fehrenbacher, call 812-963-9414 or visit www.wsfinc.com; Fehrenbacher Cabinets Inc., 812-963-3377 or www.fci3.com; Paragon Sight Sound Security, 812-306-5544; Homes by Robert Cook, 812-424-0775; H.G. McCullough Designers Inc., 812-428-0174 or www.hgmccullough.com; and Artisan Woodcrafters, 812-454-7040.