Designer Suzy Stout’s French Country Farmhouse in Illinois

Designer Suzy Stout's French Country Farmhouse Illinois

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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  1. says

    Oh, I really wish I could sell my place and buy this stunning home! I love everything about it! Everything! Btw, the yellow would have to come back! That kitchen felt sunnier and warmer before.

    Debra is one my favorites! She’s incredibly smart and SO fun!!! I love her blog, her wisdom and her personality.

    Have a Blessed Week!


    Luciane at

    • says

      Her post about this house is really fun and filled with many more photos than I’m showing here. Y’all should check it out. Thanks again, Debra! :)

  2. says

    Some of it is a bit to frilly for my ta- Oh, who am I kidding? I’d move in in a hot Chicago minute!

  3. Laura says

    Very nice, although I have to say that I’d like most of those rooms better without the vaulted ceilings. And yes, I liked the yellow kitchen better!

  4. says

    It always amazes me how one can put together so many patterns in one room and still make it look good, referring to the pic of the living room with the zebra rug…who knew?? Although, some of her choices were questionable….I loved the sunny yellow, but would get rid of the checkered curtains and floral chairs.
    The HOME is amazing! Thanks again for sharing such a great post!!!

  5. says

    I love it and under 2 mil? wow and that garage alone double wow.. I think I like the yellow better but maybe a washed effect old world kind of style would be best place white is just not right. Cheers Frances

  6. says

    Dear Lord,
    All those other homes I said I wanted…cancel them.
    I WANT THIS ONE!!!!!

    • shabbychick says

      Ha Ha….too funny! And so true! Ahhh, so many houses, so little time and money to afford them all. 😉

  7. Christina from Dallas says

    Be still by heart! I want that bedroom and bathroom! What style is this? Whatever it is I am in love! It’s grown up feminine with good taste. Unlike Kirstie Alley’s house which is over the top feminne and” too much” in my opinion.
    The yellow in the kitchen was pretty. I would have kept that. The room with the zebra and floral chairs I wasn’t a fan of. I’m off to her blog to find out more.

  8. Donna says

    Burr Ridge is definitely not the countryside (it’s crowded with mini mansions on postage stamp size lots) but, this home takes me there. Gorgeous home, gorgeous price! I would love to see color return to the walls after it sells.

  9. Ann says

    I wonder if she painted it to sell it. I think a house would be better shown as it was meant to be (the furnishings aren’t “enough” for me anymore with white walls) with a credit right up front for the seller to repaint. But then maybe the walls needed painting before showing in which case I’d go with white. So, to answer your question, no I don’t like it better white.

  10. Carrie says

    It’s beautiful, but I have to say that I prefer the yellow to the white.

  11. Gerry says

    I love this house but like the old photos better. The house had more life and interest with all the color. Would definitely have to change that kitchen back to yellow and put some pattern back into the hearth room. Looks pretty generic right now. Love the green living room walls!

  12. says

    Oh my goodness … What a house!
    Thanks so much for giving me something to daydream about on lazy days this summer!

  13. Julia says

    You won’t believe this but I still have the two Traditional Homes where she first appeared. I LOVED her home. I remember she has a pond on the property, too. She was my decorating idol many years back. Wish I could buy her home. Thanks Julia.

  14. says

    This house is AMAZING! What I love most about it is the grounds and the courtyard. I really lvoe the way they left the natural “meadows” surrounding the home, rather than doing a manicured lawn.
    And that price seems VERY reasonable!

  15. Brigid says

    Love, love, love!!! I kind of like the white, or maybe a softer yellow…but love it!!!

  16. Carolyn says

    Ha! I have the original 2000 article in my clippings plus it was featured in a yummy book I have, “Great Country French Style” published by Meredith Books. I’m not really a fan of yellow, but it did look more Provencal to me. Loved this house and style, though. Why, I always wonder, when you have such a wonderful house and surroundings, would you ever want to sell?

  17. Betsy says

    Love The House, LOVE the LADY !!! Suzy Stout is one of the most warm and lovely people I have ever met ! She and I met many years ago in a little antique shop where I recognized her from an issue of Traditional Homes featuring her former house …….She could not have been sweeter to me ! She is such a breath of FRESH air, completely unpretentious, warm, genuine, caring and TALENTED ! I am happy to say she helped me decorate two of my homes and I call her a Dear Friend !!

    Her house is a DREAM !

  18. Betsy says

    Oh I had to come back and tell you all more about Suzy’s house ! I know you all Love the yellow in the kitchen, BUT having been in both rooms I have to tell you how bright and sunny the white is also ! Photos do NOT do it justice, it is FAIRY LAND ! You really feel inspired in her home – it’s hard to make eye contact with people you are visiting with because you are just looking at all the pretty furnishings ! Suzy is so imaginative and fun ! On top of the clock in her kitchen a nest with an amazing french hen sitting within ! So much humor and love in all her rooms ! The ceilings are not too high as somebody posted, they really are warm and feel proportioned. I wish I could transport you all for a tour. Suzy is twinkly and fun and her husband is a doll !!

    • says

      It’s fun to hear from someone who knows her and has been inside the house. Lucky you that she helped you decorate your houses, too. Thanks, Betsy!

  19. Erica R. says

    I prefer that kitchen yellow, but mine is white too.
    Do you know what color is on those beautiful shutters/door? Looking to paint the door to our home a similar color. Thanks!

  20. Erica R. says

    Just found it from the comments on 5th and State: benjamin moore ‘covington blue’ HC-138

  21. Margaret says

    I like the kitchen in yellow better, and yes I remember it from the magazine, too.

  22. Bette says

    Yep….I’m with the “Yellow kitchen ” camp. I like the living room better now in green. I guess I just love colorful surroundings.

  23. Andrea says

    Lovely….. I thought I would like the yellow better, but I liked the white better? I could move in tomorrow, any one have an extra million I could borrow?

  24. HollyM says

    Yes! Yes! Yes!
    (Well, maybe not the {real?} Zebra rug.)
    Other than that . . .

  25. Maria says

    Her taste is a reflection of my grandma. I love this and the memories it brought to me.

    I must say, I love the yellow in the kitchen.

    I love your blog. I make time for it daily.

    Thank you

  26. shabbychick says

    MMMMMM…..GORGEOUS!!! I love french country and this is done to perfection!

  27. Kim says

    I wish the yellow was still there. It makes the rooms warm and happy. Other than that, I love everything else about this house. It’s absolutely gorgeous and my dream is to live in a country home.

  28. Pam says

    I love this house. I like the kitchen better in the french yellow. It just looks so warm and cozy against the white cabinets. I wonder if Lowes home improvement used her house way back when they use to carry a line of paint called Traditional Home paint. Does anyone remember that? The rooms on the chart look the ones in Suzys house. I still have the brochure I have always loved those colors.

    • Suzie says

      I would love to know the name of that yellow paint! Is it one of those old Traditional Home colors? I think I remember those…. Lowes still might be able to mix it up.

  29. says

    let’s see,what word can i use to sum up how i feel about that farmhouse… i know… PERFECT!

  30. Rebecca C. says

    It’s hard to believe that this house was built in 1998. It looks like it was built at least a hundred years ago. I love it with the yellow, but the white looks great too. Not sure what I love the best in this house. She decorated it perfectly to fit the style.

  31. says

    I loved this house from the first image I saw when 5th and State wrote about it. Still love it.

  32. J Turner says

    Surprisingly I LOVE the yellow above the white! One of my favorite houses I’ve seen on “Hooked”. Love it!

  33. Donna says

    Loved hearing the comments from a friend. Thanks, Lucky Betsy!

  34. Melinda says

    Love it !! Love the yellow. I could look at the pictures all day!!

  35. judy fink says

    What motivates people to hang dead animals heads on their walls and zebra skins on the floor.. other wise okay.

  36. says

    STUNNING bones to that home. I imagine I prefer the white to the yellow…there is just such a difference in the quality of photos…maybe that throws me off. LOVE that whole courtyard stable turned home feel…reminds me a bit of Katherine Ireland’s LIbby estate she did.

  37. says

    finally, i am getting over here and wanted to say “well done!”
    great post on susie’s stunning home. and yes, like many commenters alluded to, it is soooo much better in person

  38. says

    well i am back again. thought you might be interested to know that suzy’s home sold and her estate sale is this friday……OMG…….so much of the decor is in the sale. wish me luck, it will be jammed!