List Price: $1.995 million
The Property: When they set out to build a new home on a corner lot in Lake View eight years ago, the interior designer Tracy Hickman and Chad Munger moved the front door off Barry Avenue and around the corner onto Wolcott Avenue. That let them have an inside layout that stretches its two arms from the central front door; one arm goes to the south-facing formal living room, while the other arm keeps the less formal kitchen and dining room relatively close to the front door.

“When everyone wants to gather in the kitchen, they don’t have to go all the way to the back of the house,” says Hickman, who worked on the home’s design with the architect Charles Cook. “The kitchen and dining room are central.” They flow nicely into a bar and family room, then out to a large patio.

The door’s placement also provided logic for another of Hickman’s preferences. She asked for a series of French doors along the Wolcott façade “for a modern Parisian take on living in the city,” she says. Mature trees line the street, so when the French doors are open, there is a breezy, verdant attitude inside. The Barry side doesn’t ignore its place on a row of charming older houses; an inset limestone turret gives the neighbors something to look at, and on the inside, it creates a cozy space in the living room as well as in a second-floor bedroom.

With large windows or doors on both street sides and an over-size industrial-grade skylight hanging over the stairs, the house is nicely daylit. That’s even true in the basement, which gets enough light from the skylight and from ground-level windows that Hickman had leeway to use a daringly dark paint color on the walls of the bar and pool-table room, giving it a clubby look.
Hickman and Munger have bought an old Logan Square industrial building, part of which they plan to convert into a new home for themselves. They listed today’s house for sale in June.

Price Points: When they put it on the market, the couple priced the house at $2.1 million, but they cut that to $1.995 million in late July. Because they built the house custom, I could not determine what they spent on it. According to their agent, Jamie Connor, a home on the next block, with approximately the same footprint and less lavish finishes, sold for $2.5 million in 2009.

Listing Agent: Jamie Connor of Conlon; 312-733-7201 and