Let There Be (Natural) Light

May 2021 View more

Although Rachel and Kyle Washburn met and married in Dallas—and lived there for over 10 years—they ultimately decided to relocate to Naperville to be closer to family while raising their two young daughters, ages 1 and 3. In the fall of 2020 they were interested in building a new home here, but were quickly overwhelmed by the process.

“We were ready to get more settled, and didn’t want to have to rent something for a year,” says Kyle. So the couple met with a real estate agent, who showed them a new spec house built by Naperville-based 5th Avenue Construction. “When we first looked at it, we thought it was a dream house—way too nice for us. It was on the upper echelon of what we were looking at, but it ended up being the reality house, which is fantastic,” he says.

Although the design details—black accents and light ash floors—were not something they would have chosen themselves, once the Washburns saw the completed home they were sold. “The entire house has tons of windows and they are very large. It helps to calm down the black accents—they don’t darken the house or the rooms too much,” he says.

The white shiplap surround on the island is a feature that is replicated on the fireplace surround in the adjoining family room.

Brushed gold Capital Lighting pendants and Jeffrey Alexander hardware provide warmth to balance the black and white cabinetry and millwork.

A closer look at the cabinets flanking the custom hood vent reveals a nontraditional source of natural light: Windows illuminate two upper cabinets with glass doors.

His and hers cutouts—tiled with Cape Grace knot mosaic—provide storage space for bath products in the shower, which features Kohler fixtures. “We really like the herringbone tile, and the whole house has a pop of brushed gold,” says Kyle Washburn. “I’m more of a tub person, but my wife uses the shower.”

With two toddlers typically underfoot, Kyle describes the primary bedroom as the couple’s safe place—their silent room. “It’s nice to have the cathedral ceilings and lots of natural light,” he says. “We kept it very simple so we can come in and rest and have peace and quiet.” The calming gray tone on the walls throughout the home is Passive by Sherman Williams.

The Washburns are still working on getting window treatments installed in the family room, but they are looking at options that don’t block out the natural light that they love. “There is a huge wraparound covered porch on the back, which is what the family room looks out onto,” says Kyle. “And the gas fireplace was really nice during the wintertime. In Texas you don’t really do the fireplace.”

Photos courtesy 5th Avenue Construction and Terratina Ceramiche