Just off the main living room of 405 East Seventh Street in Hinsdale — currently listed with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago for $3.95 million — you’ll find a firewood alcove with a leaded glass window in an intricate spiderweb composition. It was a signature of local architect R. Harold Zook, who designed this home in 1927 and 30 others in Hinsdale in the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s, according to the village’s website. Whenever he was particularly happy with how a house had turned out, noted a 1985 Tribune story, he would incorporate a spiderweb into it.
“We were not looking, and we drove through Hinsdale and saw the house for sale and decided to check it out. It was like love at first sight,” says Alanna Mixter, who in January 2019 purchased the home (5,900 square feet, not including the coach house) with her husband, Matt Mixter, managing partner of Hofseth North America and owner of Wixter Seafood. “We like putting our own feel into a house, but this just didn’t need anything.”
You could describe the English Cotswold–style manse as modern meets vintage. The original, restored front door in a wavy chevron pattern and a wood-beamed cathedral ceiling accent rooms that were opened during an HGTV award–winning massive remodel by the previous owner, Berkshire Hathaway broker Erin McLaughlin. “We wanted to keep the integrity of the home but still modernize it,” explains Michael Abraham, the architect behind the redo. The update also included rebuilding a sunroom as an interior keeping room and expanding the primary bedroom suite above it (one of six bedrooms in the main house, with the roughly 340-square-foot coach house considered the seventh); further digging out the basement, which now boasts a lit-up bar and wine cellar; enlarging the footprint of the kitchen, which Kathy Manzella of De Giulio Kitchen Design and Mick De Giulio himself reimagined — oh, and paving a patio in a spiderweb-esque motif.