Designer Suzy Stout’s French Country Farmhouse in Illinois

by hookedonhouses on June 8, 2012

When I saw this “Fantasy French Farmhouse” for sale in Burr Ridge, Illinois, I was not only enchanted by it, but I was sure I’d seen it somewhere before. Turns out it belongs to the designer Suzy Stout and was featured in a couple of issues of Traditional Home magazine over the years.

According to the listing, “This white board and batten estate, designed to embrace the natural outdoor beauty and spectacular surroundings, is nestled on 1.32 acres of wildflower meadow with a private pond and meandering paths.” You gotta see this one!


The article by Eliot Nusbaum, called A Fabulous Folly, read: “The desire to step back from a busy world inspired 1993 Traditional Home Design Award Winner Suzy Stout to build a fantasy French farmhouse in the Illinois countryside.”

The garages form a sort of “gatehouse entrance” to the courtyard in front of the house.

Her gardens were featured in a 2004 issue of the magazine, too (you can see a PDF of it here).

The listing photos are way too small (I’m enlarging them, and the quality isn’t great), so I was excited to see that a blogger named Debra got a personal tour of the house a few years ago and posted her photos of it at 5th and State. She’s letting me share them with you (she took the one of Suzy at her front doors above, and several more below).

The house was built in 1998 but has a timeless quality about it. I’m swooning over those shutters. Seriously.

“There’s lots of folly and whimsy in this house,” she told the magazine. “I think every house should be full of things you love, things that make you smile.”

Instead of having a formal dining room, she uses the large entry when they entertain guests:

The house features antique white pine (reclaimed from old farmhouses in Connecticut!) and imported French limestone floors.

The kitchen was painted “French yellow” when it appeared in Traditional Home, and Suzy described it as “a big, old-fashioned country kitchen.”

The walls are white now, in the listing:

The hearth room and eating area connected to the kitchen were also yellow then…

But they’re white today, too:

Which do you like better–the yellow or the white?

The house has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and 3,500 square feet. Here’s how the master bedroom looked in Traditional Home (I had this photo in my “inspiration file” for years!):

In the listing:

Suzy told the mag that she wanted her bathroom “to look like one from the Ritz in the ’30s.”

The house has 3 fireplaces with antique mantels. The one in the living room made the cover of Traditional Home magazine in March 2000. Anyone else remember that issue?

Here’s that same green living room and fireplace today:

The article described the hallway shown below: “A horse’s-head sign (originally used by a harness-maker) hangs in the long hall through the stable area, which actually serves as the guest wing.”

Debra explains on her blog that “Historically, one can find such ‘attachments’ in Europe where the stables are now emptied of animals, and turned into additional living quarters, seamlessly blending into the homes architecture. Suzy made it appear as though this was once the case.”

I couldn’t find the original article on the Traditional Home website (it’s probably too old), but the architect Michael Graham of Liederbach and Graham Architects has some of the photos on his website. (Magazine photos were taken by Eric Roth.)

Want it? It’s on the market for $1.749 million. For more photos and information, check the listing with Dawn McKenna of Coldwell Banker, Debra’s post at 5th and State, and Liederbach & Graham Architects. (Thanks to Amy for the tip!)

P.S. This reminds me of the dreamy “Provençal Farmhouse” that designer Penelope Bianchi built in Santa Barbara. It has some amazing outdoor spaces, too–remember her loggia?

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About Coldwell Banker Action Realty
Coldwell Banker Action Realty is a full-service real estate firm focusing on Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties in the Tampa Bay area. We stress professionalism, integrity, and excellence in customer service. We would be pleased to assist you with purchasing or selling a property, renting a home, or marketing and managing your investment property.

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