A Welcoming Abode
Situated in the heart of Glencoe, David and Linda Richter’s stunning, recently constructed home is the ideal gathering place, designed with a harmonizing blend of vintage and contemporary materials. This summer, the Chicago Lighthouse will feature the Richter home on its annual House and Garden Walk, a showcase of four picturesque North Shore homes.
Photographs by Jon Cancelino
Linda Richter and her sister-in-law Terri Crittenden had aspired to design Linda’s dream home ever since their college years together at the University of Illinois. In 2005, prompted by Terri’s successful career as an architect and designer (currently with the Susan Fredman Design Group in Chicago), they set out to fulfill their vision. Now, nestled on the corner of a beautiful street near the lake in Glencoe, their collaborative project has become the home of Linda, her husband, David, and their four daughters.
Because she had the benefit of a long-standing personal friendship, as well as a family connection, Terri was already familiar with the preferences and lifestyle of Linda’s family. This, in turn, helped shape the thought process for designing and building the ideal home for David, Linda, and their girls. “This house really came from knowing how they lived,” Terri says. “It was so much more than laying out a floor plan; this was about, ‘How do you want people to feel when they walk into your house?’”
Knowing that Linda’s family valued time spent together and their interactions with other relatives and friends above all else, Terri understood that the house should reflect that affectionate and hospitable attitude. “The home evolved based on who they are and how they live,” she explains. “The most important thing you get from the house when you walk in is that it is a reflection of how welcoming, warm, and loving they are. And all the decisions we made concerning the house really reinforce that concept.”
Throughout the home, the unique combination of varying styles, materials, and textures all come together to exude the very warmth and graciousness that the Richter family also conveys. To demonstrate a love of guests and entertaining, Linda and Terri found a pair of broad, exquisite doors from a 19th century Guatemalan church to install in the main entryway to the house. Upon entering the home, guests step onto an elegant floor made from the stones of a French castle, which blends seamlessly with the entryway wall created with stone from a Chicago quarry.
In fact, the blend of varying materials is what contributes to the home’s overall impression. “Part of the design is combining the more smooth and contemporary materials with the rough materials, so that they complement each other,” Terri says. Throughout the home, vintage doors, handrails, and light fixtures blend effortlessly with contemporary items such as the kitchen appliances, master closet drawers, and the master bathroom components.
In the dining room, the open and friendly manner of the Richter family is evident in the expansive custom-designed dining room table, made with slabs of vintage redwood and a graceful handrail from the 1900s, which was reworked to function as the table’s base. Perhaps the most stunning and unique aspect of the table, however, is the detailing around the perimeter, which showcases vintage family treasures floating in clear resin. The vintage pieces are a combination of family heirlooms, jewelry, and other items that Linda and Terri have collected. Alongside the table, the new dining room cabinets, built on-site by carpenters, are supplemented by vintage iron grills. These innovatively designed pieces contribute to the multifaceted style of the home. “We tried to mix old and new thoughtfully and in different ways,” Terri explains.
The main floor also includes a brightly lit kitchen with an accompanying round kitchen table, which the Richter family uses regularly to enjoy one another’s company. The living room features full-length windows for a stunning view of the backyard and a cleverly hidden television—disguised by a vintage folding iron screen that serves as a decorative wall piece when closed. Two offices—one for David and one for the girls—are situated on either side of the thoughtfully designed powder room, which displays Terri’s original working drawings of the house. “They felt like they belonged here, because they tell the story of how the house evolved,” Terri says.
On the upper level, guests can find the bedrooms of the four Richter girls, each with accompanying bathrooms. The twins each have their own separate areas, but a cleverly designed overhead loft connects the two rooms. The eldest’s room, which is in one of the home’s tall towers, also features a loft and a series of small windows near the top of the tower which create a brightly lit area. David and Linda’s master area includes a closet, bathroom, bedroom, and a quaint reading nook for Linda, where she can look out on the lake while relaxing. Entering the lower level, visitors can enjoy an entire host of rooms, including a media room with a bar area and fireplace, two guest bedrooms and a guest bath, Linda’s yoga room, the spa room (which includes a steam shower and sauna), and David’s secret “lair”—a classic “boys’ room” filled with sports memorabilia.
On June 30, the Richter home will be featured on the annual House and Garden Walk, put on by The Chicago Lighthouse Associate Board. The tour, which will run from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., will include four local homes, as well as a lunch at the hospitality house. Money raised from the event will benefit The Chicago Lighthouse, a social service agency which provides programs for those who are blind or visually impaired.
Tickets for The Chicago Lighthouse House and Garden Walk are $60 each or $75 with lunch included and must be purchased in advance. For more
information or to purchase tickets, call Lynn Muslin at 847-433-5917, or visit www.chicagolighthouse.org.