Long-distance design leads to one-of-a-kind Glenview home

While living as expats in Hong Kong, this couple purchased an older home in Glenview. They planned to rent it out, then tear it down and build custom when they were ready to return to the US.

After searching online and reading reviews, the family chose Orren Pickell for the design and build. “It was a unique experience,” homeowner Scott recalls. After all, while he was able to travel back to meet with the team from time to time, the design phase was handled mostly virtually.

The owners had clear ideas about what they were looking for, making a custom build the perfect choice. “Chicago-area homes tend to have a more traditional style. We wanted something more transitional—not quite modern,” he explains. “I did a lot of recon online to get ideas and we liked this blend of Texas and California styles.”

Inside, the goal was functionality. “We wanted to be in every single room every day. We didn’t want a formal dining room or family room we’d never use.” Instead, the 3,500+ s.f. home features open, inviting spaces that easily adapt from everyday life to gracious entertaining.

The family’s unique aesthetic is best exemplified by the kitchen and living room, where modern appliances and a contemporary palette fit perfectly with shelving specifically designed to hold colorful keepsakes from their time overseas.

“I don’t think we’re a typical custom-home client. We had a budget, and once we had the design, we had to make some tradeoffs,” adds Scott. “But the experience was fantastic—communication and the overall process were great. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Pickell team.”