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. Take a look!
Suzy Stout’s Fantasy French Farmhouse
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.”
The garages form a sort of “gatehouse entrance” to the courtyard in front of the house.
The article by Eliot Nusbaum, called A Fabulous Folly, says, “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.”
Her gardens were featured in a 2004 issue of the magazine, too (you can read it here):
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.
The house was built in 1998 but has a timeless quality about it.
“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 has antique white pine (reclaimed from old farmhouses in Connecticut) and French limestone floors.
A photo of the living room from the magazine:
The kitchen was painted “French yellow” when it appeared in Traditional Home:
The walls are white now, in the listing:
Suzy describes it as “a big, old-fashioned country kitchen.”
The hearth room and eating area connected to the kitchen were also yellow in the magazine…
But they’re white today, too:
Which do you like better — the yellow or the white walls?
Here’s how the master bedroom looked in Traditional Home:
A more recent photo of the fireplace wall taken by Debra:
A picture of the bed in that room shown the listing today:
The house has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and 3,500 square feet.
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 in 2000:
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:
“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.”
Thanks to Amy for telling me about the listing! I couldn’t find the original article on the Traditional Home website, 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.)
2018 Update: Real estate agent Dawn McKenna bought the property, and Traditional Home is featuring how it looks now.