There are a lot of sprawling mega-mansions out there. Even at 10,000 square feet, though, this limestone-clad estate just north of Chicago isn't one of them. The light-filled interior is certainly grand and expansive, but from the exterior, it's more Petit Trianon than Palace of Versailles. Let's take a peek.
Architecturally, there's a lot going on here: Georgian chimneys; neoclassical pediments and balustrades; Romanesque windows; sleek, industrial black metal windows and, to top it all off, a contemporary, glass-edged widow's walk. Goodness. The driveway at right leads to an underground three-car garage.
A sweeping marble staircase welcomes guests and residents alike. White walls and subtly veined stone make way for the impact of the ornate metal railing. For those with practical concerns, there are two coat closets on either side of the front door.
The open-concept living and dining area lies just off the front hall. For all its stony grandeur on the outside, this house feels genuinely welcoming on the inside, thanks to tall windows and wide-plank wooden floors.
The same French windows found throughout the house keep the walnut-panelled library from feeling stuffy. If reading isn't your thing, take the private elevator to the home theater in the basement, or work up a sweat in the exercise room.
French doors, marble, and white millwork continue in a full bathroom (there are five — one for each bedroom — plus three half-baths). The door leads out to one of six terraces with views of Lake Michigan and a wooded ravine.
Inspired by this home’s European flair? Check out some real French windows in Matthew Hague’s post on a glamorous Parisian apartment.