2016 Preview I - N. Willomet
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This charming Craftsman-style bungalow at 303 N. Willomet was built in 1914 by its first resident, J. W. Felix. Since then the house has passed through several owners until the current owners purchased it in 2000. The home is a classic example of the bungalows in Winnetka Heights Historic District, which with 625 homes is one of the largest historic districts in the state.

In 2012 – 2013 the house underwent a 13-month renovation. When you step inside you’ll be greeted by an open floor plan and modern technology integrated throughout. The renovation was extensive, but you’ll notice the homeowners were careful to preserve the home’s early 20th century character, while juxtaposing modern designs and conveniences. Being designers, they paid extraordinary attention to every detail. All of the original doors were salvaged and changed into pocket doors to maximize space in the 1,800 square foot main house. Original French doors that led into the office were laminated together to form a barn door that still retains the aesthetic appeal. Even the original heart pine floorboards were repurposed into the couple’s dining room table. They like to say that when you have dinner at their house, you eat off of the floor!

The home’s 1914 charm is seamlessly blended with 21st century technology. A fully integrated home automation system controls every light, outlet, security camera, door, gate, TV, stereo, and, well, everything. The couple does not own an alarm clock. Rather, when it is time to wake the blinds raise, the TVs in the bedroom and bathroom turn to the news, the bathroom floor heater turns on, and the coffee begins brewing. They describe it as a more gentle way of waking up.

The homeowners entertain a lot, and as you make your way to the backyard you’ll see that it is made for entertaining. The natural stone seating and fire pit offer an inviting atmosphere, speakers installed in the flower beds pipe music to the guests, and the outdoor kitchen and beer taps are always crowd pleasers. The inspiration for the layout comes from the homeowners’ travels in Latin America and their love for courtyards. They were able to design the backyard to have the cozy feel of a courtyard while still fitting it in with the Craftsman style. And just around the corner from the outdoor kitchen is an art studio which has clearly come in handy for this creative couple.