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Inside a Jewel Box

“This is the most distinctive house in Hinsdale,” says Dawn McKenna, the listing agent of the gorgeous, sprawling, modern home on Elm Street that was custom-built in 2008. And when she says distinctive, she means it in a good way. “There’s no other house in Hinsdale that looks like this, which I think is incredible,” she adds. “You’ve got this really special jewel box filled with all these lovely things that sits on beautiful street in the middle of a gorgeous town.”

Not only does it have an incredible interior, but the 5-bedroom, 12,000-square-foot home also backs up to a pond where you can fish during the summer and ice skate during the winter. “It’s so private that the entire back of the house is glass,” McKenna says. “Where else, other than Lakeshore Drive, can you get that in the entire state?”

The home’s owner, a senior executive with McDonald’s, who later helped scale Chipotle across the country, grew up in Stockholm, Sweden. He tapped the Swedish architect Gert Wingardh to help bring his concept to life, with the help of Boldt Construction and the Voa architecture design firm. Their collective creation is, without question, an architectural gem, designed with progressive sustainability practices. And while it favors many features you’d expect in a modern home, it also upends some of your expectations.

The house has a significant number of glass windows, yet it’s very efficient. “It’s a very green house. The mechanical room is like a well-engineered submarine,” McKenna says. It has a very open layout with extremely high ceilings—some that reach the entire two stories of the home—but the house is warm and cozy, aided in large part by stone floors with radiant heat. The home is also an ideal place to host parties and welcome groups of people as a gorgeous show home, but in it’s a family home. In fact, the homeowners are now empty nesters with their children out of the house, which is why they are putting the house on the market.

The layout is faultless, designed in a U-shape. The first floor has a dining hall, living area, bright kitchen, and breakfast room that open to a backyard with a pool. It also has an office near the front of the home. “You could have a party of 300 people in there and it would probably feel like 80,” McKenna says. “It’s vast but perfect for intimacy, too. It’s unbelievable how much dimension this house has.” There is also one powder room on the first floor and locker space for kids right off the garage where they can dump their sports equipment and other belongings.

Upstairs includes a sitting library, media lounge, and main bedrooms. “Each bedroom is unique in its own way,” she says. “One has a putting green, one has a beautiful bank of windows, and one has a deck that looks out on the pond.”

“And the basement is entertaining heaven,” she says. It has a sauna, golf simulator, recording studio, full gym, and two bedrooms. “This homeowner spent tireless hours, time, and money to capture the essence of light and energy that goes on in the house,” McKenna says. “I do believe certain houses have energy about them. Every hour of the day I show it, whether it’s 5 p.m. or 9 a.m., the light and the experience are different every time.”

McKenna stresses just how special this house is. It’s a home in the middle of town, but it has a pond in the backyard. It’s modern and open, yet cozy and family-friendly. It’s a neighborhood home, and it’s still a place to feel like you’re getting away. “Right now, people are so busy. They have vacation homes, but it’s hard to get away to them. With this house, you may not need any of that.”

This content was sponsored by Coldwell Banker. 900 S. Elm Street is currently listed for sale with Dawn McKenna of Coldwell Banker. To find out more about the home, call her at 630-546-3763, and watch a video tour of the home at dawnmckennagroup.com.


We offer the highest level of integrity, expertise, and service. The Dawn McKenna Group is the #1 leading real estate team in the Midwest, Southwest Florida and Park City for Coldwell Banker. With offices in Chicago’s Gold Coast and Lincoln Park, Hinsdale, Lake Forest and Winnetka, Lake Geneva, New Buffalo, and on 5th Avenue in Naples, and Park City, the Dawn McKenna Group agents are ready to serve you everywhere you call home. Whether buying, selling or renting, you can count on our Local Expertise and Global Reach.

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