Vacation Home—Abundant Outdoor Living Spaces Bring this Downtown Naperville Home to Life

January 2016 View more

Photography by: Greg Shapps

Quick Tour

Year House Built: 2014
Architect: Thomas J. Ryan Jr.
Builder: Packey A’Hearn of Acorn Custom Builders, Inc.
Designer: Angela Graefenhain of Graefenhain Designs


  • A new and historically-inspired interior and exterior details for a comfortable, timeless family home.
  • Detached garage in rear allowing four sides of natural light and views to and from interior spaces.
  • Welcoming full length front porch offers unique first impression to passersby.
  • Front porch with everyday living spaces offers unique gathering environment.
  • 6″ thick exterior and interior walls for deep windows creates a vintage feel throughout home.
  • Cozy third floor exterior perch and sitting space for casual meals with unique treetop views of downtown Naperville.
  • Interior architectural details sketched, refined and executed by design and construction team throughout construction.
  • Unexpected materials, colors, furniture and original artwork contribute to an overall sense of adventure throughout the house.

Meet your Neighbors

Number of years in Naperville: 29 years

Number of years in house: 1 year

Favorite things about this house: We wanted this house to feel like a vacation house with lots of outdoor living areas, an open floor plan, an interior to make it easy for the family to gather and windows to let in lots of natural light at different times of day.

We have really enjoyed spending time with friends and family on the third floor perch—from there we can see the activity of downtown Naperville, surrounded by tree tops with a great view of the night sky. We can hear the sounds of nearby sporting events, music from outdoor festivals and parades.

Sitting on the front porch has been a great spot to relax, meet neighbors and feel like we are in the heart of downtown. It is a deep porch that runs the entire width of the house with enough room to accommodate a small crowd.

The screened porch, off the kitchen, is a great space to have meals and entertain our guests. The fireplace makes this porch very cozy and allows us to enjoy being outdoors when it gets chilly.

The craftmanship, artistry and design of this house are beautiful, timeless and at the same time very modern. We love the open spaces on the first floor because it makes a perfect gathering place for entertaining and family get togethers.

We decided to move to downtown Naperville so that we could be within walking distance of so many of the places that make Naperville great.

Favorite thing about Naperville: Naperville is a great place to raise a family with excellent school choices and so many options for sports and recreational activities. Growing up, all our kids enjoyed the parks and forest preserves, Naperville Park District activities, the Riverwalk and the library. The vibrant downtown area is always fun and we are lucky to have so many good restaurants, bars, and shops. Naperville has maintained a small town feel while still expanding and we are looking forward to what the Water Street Development will be like. With our kids living in Chicago, the proximity to the train and all the activities in downtown Naperville make living here so much fun.

Anything else? We were lucky to have chosen the right team to design and build our house. Tom, Packey and Angela thoughtfully collaborated, working creatively together during every phase of the process. Each brought their respective talents and years of experience and were able to realize the vision of what we wanted for our home.

The high quality craftmanship of this house exemplifies the quality and attention to detail that these three professionals bring to their work.