Appropriately called the Renaissancedot.com House by custom builder Orren Pickell, this $3.5 million home in Glencoe, Ill., is a remarkable hybrid combining timeless European architecture and finishes with the latest technology.
|Taking the best from both worlds, this spec-built model home in Glencoe, Ill., features a captivating old-world style combined with a host of high-tech features. The brick exterior facade is accented by limestone keys and corner quoins and a slate roof. The interrupted pediment detail that frames the custom-crafted mahogany front door creates an impressive entry.
|Inside, the home features an oval dining room with oversize French doors that open onto a front patio. A butler's pantry in the hall facilitates service of this space from the kitchen.|
Appropriately called the Renaissancedot.com House by custom builder Orren Pickell, this $3.5 million home in Glencoe, Ill., is a remarkable hybrid combining timeless European architecture and finishes with the latest technology. While Pickell, founder of one of metropolitan Chicago's premier design/build firms, annually constructs 25 to 30 custom homes worth $1 million-plus, it's his theme-inspired model homes, or Concept Houses, that give him the most visibility with potential buyers in his upscale market.
This 6,906-square-foot home, Pickell's latest spec-built project, was open for tour for several months last fall and winter, providing browsers with a glimpse of features they might have not even realized they wanted in their next residence. "This house contains literally every modern feature we could think of," says Pickell.
Limestone detailing, a slate roof and distinctive bay windows accent the classic brick exterior. The facade's artfully aged elegance allows the home to blend so seamlessly into its established neighborhood of stately mansions that one could forget this is a new house with an impressive array of technological features.
The interior features the same attention to detail that characterizes the streetscape, with volume ceilings, exquisite moldings, exotic woods and tiles, and divided-light windows that promote views of the surrounding woods and ravine.
The floor plan includes formal and informal living areas, private spaces, dual staircases and a finished basement with its own kitchen, family room, exercise room, wine cellar and guest quarters. The four bedroom suites, including the master, are on the second floor.
|The sweeping staircase in the grand entry foyer features a walnut railing and limestone swell step. The foyer has a limestone tile floor and an 18-foot ceiling.|
"Whenever a client expresses a concern about whether or not to go with an upstairs master, we encourage them to consider the future during the initial design of the house," Pickell says. "By stacking nonessential areas such as closets in key locations at this stage, we can provide a spot where an elevator can easily be added to increase accessibility to all levels of the home in the future."
A sophisticated computer network accessed by unobtrusive touch panels, remote control or the Internet manages every facet of the home's operation, from temperature control to lighting. "Keeping the high-tech nature of the home low-profile was part of this design," says Pickell. "The first thing people notice is its architecture. Then we say, 'Did you notice there are no light switches, vents or thermostats interrupting the beauty of the walls?' They are very intrigued."
|The great room is designed to provide the homeowner with a sophisticated environment for entertaining everyone from business associates to friends and family. The limestone fireplace, flanked by built-in cabinetry that includes a "hidden" media center, serves as one of two focal points in this inviting space. The other is a massive bow window that overlooks the home's wooded surroundings.|
|The library functions as an intimate retreat. It features custom-built cabinetry, walnut paneling and a slate fireplace surround.|
Tony Perry, Pickell's vice president of design, adds, "We know high-tech homes have been done before, but when it was our turn to do one, we wanted to make it as user-friendly as possible. We put a lot of thought into how to incorporate a tremendous amount of technology into the living space and still make it transparent."
Style of Home Italian Renaissance and Beaux Arts
Location Glencoe, Ill.
Total Square Footage 6,906
Hard Costs $250 per square foot excluding land
Market Value $3.5 million
Builder/Architect Orren Pickell Designers & Builders, Bannockburn, Ill.
Interior Designer Susan Fredman & Associates, Northbrook, Ill.
Landscape Architect Martin Associates, Vernon Hills, Ill.
Advanced Technology Paul Heath Audio & Video, Chicago
Spec Home Continuation of builder's Concept House program
Major Products Used Appliances: Fisher & Paykel (dishwasher), Dacor (range, warming drawer, microwave), SubZero (refrigerator), Miele (coffee station), Dell (computer information station) | Cabinetry: Wood-Mode | Hardwood Flooring: Ridgefield Industries | Lighting: Juno | Lighting Control System: Lutron | HVAC: Enerzone | Radiant Subfloor: Warmboard | Battery Backup: Trusty Warns | Plumbing Fixtures: Kallista, Newport Brass | Windows: Loewen | Wine Cellar: Apex Sauna, Steambath & Wine Cellars | Staircases: Lake Shore Stair Co. | Security System/Telephone: Res-Tek | Insulation: Astro Insulation | Garage Doors: Doors by Russ