Designer Suzy Stout’s French Country Farmhouse in Illinois

by hookedonhouses on June 8, 2012

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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Luciane at June 8, 2012 at 7:23 am

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

hookedonhouses June 8, 2012 at 7:29 am

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! :)

Megan June 8, 2012 at 7:24 am

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!

Laura June 8, 2012 at 7:32 am

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!

Baileywife June 8, 2012 at 7:43 am

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!!!

frances June 8, 2012 at 7:52 am

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

Monique June 8, 2012 at 7:53 am

I LOVE this house.LOVE.

Pat June 8, 2012 at 8:12 am

Dear Lord,
All those other homes I said I wanted…cancel them.

shabbychick June 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm

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

Christina from Dallas June 8, 2012 at 8:12 am

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.

Donna June 8, 2012 at 8:16 am

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.

Ann June 8, 2012 at 8:29 am

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.

Carrie June 8, 2012 at 8:30 am

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

Gerry June 8, 2012 at 8:41 am

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!

CottageGirl June 8, 2012 at 8:49 am

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

Julia June 8, 2012 at 9:16 am

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.

Sarah @ housecrazy June 8, 2012 at 9:20 am

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!

Brigid June 8, 2012 at 9:38 am

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

Carolyn June 8, 2012 at 10:24 am

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?

hookedonhouses June 8, 2012 at 11:17 am

Wish I still had my original issues! I didn’t know it appeared in that book–thanks, Carolyn.

Betsy June 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

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 !

Betsy June 8, 2012 at 10:44 am

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 !!

hookedonhouses June 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

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!

Erica R. June 8, 2012 at 10:45 am

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!

Erica R. June 8, 2012 at 10:50 am

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

hookedonhouses June 8, 2012 at 11:15 am

Oh, good–thanks, Erica!

Cassandra Philips June 8, 2012 at 10:51 am

Love the house, dislike the decor.

Margaret June 8, 2012 at 11:55 am

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

Bette June 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm

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

Andrea June 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm

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?

HollyM June 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm

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

Maria June 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm

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

shabbychick June 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm

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

Kim June 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm

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.

Pam June 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm

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 June 10, 2012 at 9:08 am

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.

Anne June 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm

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

Rebecca C. June 8, 2012 at 7:54 pm

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.

Pat Smith June 8, 2012 at 8:30 pm

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

mishelle June 9, 2012 at 1:42 am

Oh what a cute, cozy home. I like the yellow makes it warmer and pops the white cabinets.

J Turner June 9, 2012 at 8:01 am

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

Melinda June 9, 2012 at 8:03 am

Love,love,love it!

Donna June 9, 2012 at 9:45 am

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

Melinda June 9, 2012 at 9:52 am

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

judy fink June 9, 2012 at 11:03 pm

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

Linda@limeinthe coconut June 10, 2012 at 8:47 am

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.

debra phillips @ 5th and state June 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm

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

debra phillips @ 5th and state June 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

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!

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