List Price: $3,349,900
The Property: When the Winnetka resident and homebuilder Michael Hughes spent some time in the Hamptons a while back, he became smitten with what he calls the area’s “wonderful, relaxed, but elegant homes.” Hughes resolved to build something like them in his hometown.
For his company’s next Winnetka project, Hughes stepped away from the French-derived, limestone-wrapped formality of his past houses and went for something more casual. The result: this new house with its board-and-stone front, a big windowed turret, and a broad front porch. Inside, the library is paneled in knotty alder, the sightline from the foyer runs beneath a curving staircase and balcony to a big stone fireplace, and the family room spills out through broad French doors to another covered porch.
But this is, after all, Winnetka and an exclusive price point, so the 13-room house isn’t all jeans and golden retrievers. There is a formal dining room with lots of wall and ceiling millwork, and a kitchen tricked out with lavish handfinished custom cabinets, some of whose sides are adorned with finely layered woodwork. The master bedroom, though large—it has its own spacious second-story porch—manages to feel like an intimate retreat thanks to the fireplace that divides it in two.
Hughes’s agent, Linda Martin, is fond of such details as the transom windows above the family room’s French doors. “Look at how much light comes in this room,” she says. She also likes the roomy spice cabinets that pull out from their concealed positions flanking the Wolf range in the kitchen. “[Hughes] didn’t just design this house,” she says. “He lovingly nurtured it.”
Price Points: Hughes has secured a limited-time loan offer through Barrington Bank & Trust that could land a buyer an interest rate of just 4 percent on a loan for up to 80 percent of the purchase price. That rate is good for five years, with a balloon payment due at the end of the term. According to the mortgage originator Ray Cohen of Wintrust Mortgage, the current rate for a loan of that size is 4.5 to 4.625 percent.