Passion Project

January 2018 View more

The bustling village of Downers Grove has a quaint charm to it, attracting scores of Chicagoland commuters because of its proximity to I-355, I-88 and the Burlington Northern Metra line. Jeff and Ann Sproat became smitten with the Norman Rockwell-esque suburb 18 years ago, when Jeff’s sales job brought them to the area from Minneapolis. They purchased their first Downers Grove home and began to grow their careers and family.

During the early years of their marriage, Ann’s decorating hobby quickly grew into a passion that prompted the couple to begin plans to build their dream home. “Oakley had done a basement reno on our previous house, and they are wonderful,” Ann says. “Oakley is so easy to work with and has a great staff and followthrough.” The custom homebuilder found a lot just a mile and a half from their first house and the team got right to work, designing the perfect space for the Sproat family of five.

Ann’s vision helped lead the design-build process to fit the family’s needs and reflect their personal style, a transitional design that includes traditional elements with a modern feel. The open floor plan allows natural light to flood living areas, which offer plenty of space for the busy family to live and work.

Jeff and Ann moved their family—Dylan (8), Raina (6), Alex (5) and dog Lucy—into their new home in 2016, a project that Ann calls “a fantastic process from start to finish. I can honestly say that I enjoyed the building process so much that I wish we were starting another build next week.”

What started as her personal passion project has turned into a vocation. “I have a big interest in interior design,” she says, “which I’m transitioning into a career.” Fresh off the finishing touches of her own dream home, Ann is now rehabbing other homes through her company A.S. Theory Design.


Year house built 2016
Architect and builder Oakley Home Builders, Inc., Downers Grove
Cabinetry Brakur Custom Cabinetry, Shorewood
Total Home Square Footage 4,000
Landscaper Green Grass Inc., Downers Grove
Lot Size 66 x 153
General Location In-town Downers Grove