Strahan Home Decorated for the Holidays at Lake Panorama

The vaulted great room in the Strahan home features open arched beams and a stone wood-burning fireplace.A bunk room in the Strahan home features six built-in beds, each with canning jar wall lights

By Ashley Schable 

Reid and Cindy Strahan have been building homes in Ankeny and the Greater Des Moines area since 1986. They work as a team to build the dream home of their customers, and in 2016 completed construction of their own dream home at Lake Panorama. 

They transformed their place at 5147 Panorama Drive on the east side of the lake into a home for the holidays in December as one of four homes featured on the Women for Panora’s Future (WFPF) Holiday Home Tour. 

Cindy Strahan grew up on a lake in Minnesota and says she’s always loved the water. “It really was my dream,” she said of her home on Lake Panorama. 

Reid and Cindy Strahan met as college students at Iowa State University in Ames, where he studied to become a history teacher, and she pursued a kindergarten teaching degree. Reid later became a Pastor and today serves at Real Life Church in Ankeny.  

The couple built two homes with other builders before deciding it was something they wanted to do on their own. Through the years, Strahan Construction has built a reputation for honesty and satisfied customers. Their homes feature dramatic styling and architectural detail. Reid and Cindy Strahan live full-time in their own development on the west edge of Ankeny. 

“Reid has been a pastor ever since we were first married,” Cindy Strahan said. “We wanted to be able to do something on the side, and it’s just really amazing how it’s worked out.” 

They build mainly custom homes. Couples reach out to them when they can’t find something they are looking for. “We have our target market, around five to six hundred thousand dollar homes,” Cindy Strahan said. “We have built homes over $1 million, but we are better at the five hundred thousand.” 

Cindy says they love to see a house come together. “I can visualize really well and he can, too,” she said of her husband. “We both have a knack for design. My husband is always honest, and if you want to build, you want that.” 

On a vacation in Colorado, the Strahans saw a rustic lodge-style home facing a majestic mountain peak. That home became the inspiration for their lake property in Panora. The floor plan is laid out to capture beautiful lake views from their peninsula lot. 

The 5,500 square foot home has five bedrooms, one which is a bunk room with six built-in beds each with canning jar wall lights. The vaulted great room features open arched beams and a stone wood-burning fireplace. There is a loft that overlooks the great room and dining room and a sun room designed with floor to ceiling and wall to wall windows. 

On the main level is a master suite with a cozy media room. A fun play kitchen is tucked under the stairway and there is a dramatic three-story stair system. Several custom woodwork built-ins make this home unique along with ladder doors, wide base and casing, plinth blocks, lots of bead board and all hickory wood flooring. The interior design and furnishings along with all white woodwork reflect a lake home setting. “We love living at Lake Panorama,” Cindy Strahan said. 

Reid and Cindy Strahan have three children, who are all in the ministry with them, and are expecting their 16th grandchild, so they say the house was built to spend special times together. 

“We really wanted to have a place where we could have our kids come,” Cindy said. “That was really our target thing.  It’s expensive to take five kids places, it’s big enough that 20 people can be here.” 

The couple often offer their home to friends and neighbors, inviting them to take in the breathtaking views of Lake Panorama. “We have a lot of people out and give boat rides and stuff like that,” Cindy Strahan said. “We enjoy opening it up to friends, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.” 

She loves to cook. “Just come,” she said. “I’ll make the food.” 

The Strahans are planning to celebrate Christmas together with their family at their lake home this season. “The whole family will be here,” she said. “It will be nice to be together.” 

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