When Johana and William “Billy” Troutman set out to build their new home in the heart of Myers Park, the motto was “live with less,” an unexpected approach to real estate in one of the city’s oldest and wealthiest neighborhoods.
The couple tapped brillhart architecture, a Miami-based firm known for its innovative designs that blur the line between a building and its immediate surroundings, to bring their vision to life.
The result is a sleek, modern 2,965-square-foot Chicago brick home turning heads on Providence Road. The property features a two-story front porch, soaring 12-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and two interiorized courtyards — one with a plunge pool and the other a garden — that marry indoor and outdoor living and allow natural light to cut deep into the interior.
The Troutmans kept the interior design simple, practical and minimalist, utilizing creative storage to cut down on visible clutter and ensuring that everything on display serves a purpose and tells a story.
“We wanted less, but more in terms of quality,” Johana said. “It’s our dream home.”
Who: Johana and Billy Troutman; their two daughters Sofia, 16, and Gabriela, 12; and their dog Mimi
Job: Johana is a Realtor®/Broker at Dickens Mitchener and Billy works for his family company, Graphics International, buying and selling German printing presses
The Home: The 2,965-square-foot, two-story home features 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, a courtyard plunge pool and a detached two-car garage
The Neighborhood: The home is located in the heart of Myers Park fronting the neighborhood’s main commercial thoroughfare on Providence Road with the rear portion of the lot falling within the Hermitage Court Historic District’s boundaries. Although undeniably modern, the home plays off the neighborhood’s aesthetic. From the architect: “Design elements, such as the two-story front porch, learn from the site’s historic neighbors. The use of Chicago brick and poured concrete will stand the test of time and lend a stately presence along Providence Road.”
Natural Light: Twelve-foot ceilings with floor-to-ceiling windows and a unique garden courtyard that cuts into the center of the home ensures natural light hits almost every inch of the space.
Indoor/Outdoor Ambience: Three of the four bedrooms have doors that open to the outside — two onto second-floor balconies and the ground floor master into the courtyard plunge pool.
Vendors and Inspiration
Custom Storage: The Troutmans worked with Morgan Haynie at California Closets to create smart storage that cuts down on the need for extra furniture in the bedrooms. Their daughter’s shoe display looks like something out of an MTV Cribs tour. In the kitchen, a seemingly standard cabinet door by Hans Krug opens to a full walk-in pantry, an organizer’s dream.
One-Stop Furniture Shop: Almost all of the furniture in the home came from Design Within Reach with a few exceptions like a set of cool vintage 1972 office chairs from the family business at the kitchen table.
Lighting: All those windows allow for plenty of natural light but they can’t be open all the time. A high-tech Lutron shade system controlled by remote or mobile app lets the Troutmans easily manage privacy and energy conservation. When the sun isn’t the main source of light, simple, clean light fixtures from Lighting & Bulbs Unlimited do the job.
Living with Less: The Troutmans handled the interior design on their own and because they chose to strip everything down and live with less, Johana says anything they do choose to put out has to invoke a feeling, serve a purpose and tell a story — like the simple $35 artist’s self portrait they purchased on a trip to Belize. Most of their other artwork is currently being framed as they’re still settling in from a fairly recent move.