Idea Home 2004: Naperville | Midwest Living
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Idea Home 2004: Naperville

Our 2004 Idea Home in Naperville, Illinois, proves an innovative new home can fit perfectly into a stately older neighborhood. (Originally Published: September/October 2004)
  • Front Exterior

    The hip roof with dormers allows a partial third story without raising the roof higher than other homes in the neighborhood. Vintage style comes from the cat-slide curve over the porch and the wood-shake look of the GAF shingles.

    To visually separate the upper and lower levels, we chose lap siding for the first story and shingle siding for the second. The double-hung style of windows fits in with the nearby older homes.

    We used floor-to-ceiling windows in main rooms for ultimate sunlight and garden views. Higher placement of smaller windows allows light in areas where privacy is an issue. Gutters are held in place with white, simple vintage-look aluminum brackets.

    Manufactured stone on the foundation and chimney of our home replicates the mined limestone used on older homes in the area. Patio pavers and steps leading to the storybook front door replicate an English stone pathway.

  • Living Room

    The living room beside the entry revives the traditional parlor. The location makes it perfect for greeting guests or holding intimate chats away from main living areas. The soft garden palette matches the tone in the rest of the house, but silver and gilt accents and Oriental and leopard patterns dress it up.

  • Kitchen

    The kitchen's friendly, simple feel stems in part from painted, flush inset door cabinetry, although high-power work areas stand ready. (Clockwise from opposite top) A deep window ledge provides space for plants and decorative jars. A section of built-in wood cabinetry mimics an old baking cupboard. Basket drawers and spice racks offer easy storage.

  • Dining Room

    The dining room serves up tradition, but keeps it light with painted crown moldings and paneled wainscoting. There's no stuffiness with floor-to-ceiling bay windows dressed in cheerful multi-hued silk drapery panels that play off classic blue-and-white china.

  • Study

    Wood-and-glass pocket doors slide shut when it's time to get to work. Paneled walls and an inlaid wood floor, along with a sound-absorbing area rug and wood blinds, all combine to screen household noise. A soft leather chair and an old radio make it personally welcoming.

  • Laundry Room

    Equipped with a deep laundry sink, a walk-in pantry-like closet, a durable slate floor and lots of cabinet storage, this laundry room not only stores cleaning supplies, the Hoover vacuum and laundry needs, but also works well as a potting area for the gardening enthusiast. The usual wet hanging clothes are contained in the top of the new Maytag drying center.

  • Master Bedroom

    No English-style bedroom would be complete without a profusely pillowed four-poster bed. Ours, from Broyhill, is stained in black cherry. Sumptuous silk bedding from The Jane Seymour Home Collection is layered for blissful dreams.

  • Master Bathroom

    A dressing table area, his-and-hers sinks, Delta faucets and a separate glass-door shower and soaking tub provide a luxurious orderly environment for daily grooming. Crystal knobs and a chandelier add glitter.

  • Girl's Room

    Get whimsical with at least one piece of furniture that has child-like personality and design impact. Four-poster twin beds (dressed with pretty-in-pink mix-and-match linens) offer that dash of imagination, but because they are not children-scaled, they will take the girls through their teen years.

  • Third Floor Guest Suite

    A private in-law suite for a parent who has come home to live with their older children and grandkids is outfitted with its own bath, bed, seating area, desk and TV cabinet. Separate closets and under-eaves storage areas can handle any extra possessions. This third-floor space also can work as a children's playroom, a teen retreat, a landing pad for a college graduate seeking their first job, Mom's artist's studio or a hobby room for Dad. A large dormer and two skylights keep the space filled with light. A separate comfort zone heating and air-conditioning system from Lennox allows individual control.

  • Back Exterior

    Different levels separate activity areas. On the walkout level are an English wicker-look, all-weather outdoor table and chairs from LaneVenture for garden dining. Up a step, under the tree-shaded pergola, are a loveseat and ottoman just made for daydreaming or lazy conversations. The builder designed our no-maintenance Trex deck and railing with a diamond pattern that repeats the one in the window grills and the carriage-style garage doors from Clopay. A three-car garage and hot tub, connected behind the house by a flagstone pathway, face an alleyway where neighbors greet each other or shoot hoops with the kids. Natural elements such as the stone walkway fit well with curving beds filled with antique garden art and perennial English garden blooms.

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