Calm isn’t something we come by naturally. Life is chaotic, frenzied, complicated. It’s a whirlwind of harried navigation between the things that must be done and the things we’d like to be doing. We spin and toil and if we admitted what we’re really looking for it’s a sense of calm. It’s peace. It’s serenity. When a busy Chicago couple lovingly and thoughtfully restored an iconic farm in the rolling countryside just east of Lake Geneva, it was the calm they were after. A lifetime of diligent and hard work led to the discovery and reinvention of a place that provided that elusive sense of tranquility. Today, for the first time in more than two decades, this magnificent country oasis is available for sale.
You won’t find Burr Oaks farm unless you’re really looking for it. An understated entry gives way to a winding cobble driveway that dips past untold numbers of trees and flowers and shrubs and grasses. Beyond the Ussurian Pears and the Pin Oaks and near the Ginko’s and Honey Locust and just to the edge of the prairies where daisies and cone flowers bloom brilliantly, the first structure you’ll see is of the Spring House, a screened building set in the the middle of a garden to serve as a hideaway to read a book or have a quiet conversation. Through the trees you’ll catch your first glimpse of the renovated 1890 cream city brick home, tucked comfortably inside a flowering garden that perfumes your arrival.
The renovation of this home was performed by local craftsmen with an eye towards refined luxury without concern for cost. The entry foyer is floored with French terra cotta, sourced by Paris Ceramics. The country kitchen is anchored by a large butcher block island, with distinctive inset cabinetry by Christopher Peacock and appliances by Wolf and Sub Zero. Nearby French doors open onto the screened porch which offers inspired views of a nearby perennial garden and distant grassy hillside. A family room is wrapped in custom windows that once again draw your eye beyond the fine millwork and into the gardens, forests, and prairies that define this 174 acre estate.
Every room in this more than three thousand square foot home is touched by some level of refinement. Every space is custom, from the first floor library to the spacious living room with wood burning fireplace. Waterworks Tile blanket the bathrooms. Underfoot, the wood floors are of Hickory. Upstairs, you enter the gracious master suite through a vaulted sitting room before catching a view of the marbled bathroom and the bedroom itself. There is luxury here without any of the obnoxious excess that can plague fine design. Every room feels inspired and calm.
Down a stone path and across the cobbled drive you’ll find your large garage, original barn with property office and chicken coop, a nearby herb garden, original smokehouse and milk house, and horse barn. Generations of usefulness have imparted a unique sense of soul into these old outbuildings. Trails wrap through various gardens and wildflower prairies, down past the large freshwater pond and up into the hillside shaded by centuries old oak trees. On the south lawn you’ll be drawn to the delightful saltwater pool (25′ x 50′), surrounded by a sunbathed patio. A screened pool house with soaring ceilings and a massive boulder fireplace provides a respite from the afternoon sunshine or a perfect spot to while away a summer evening. The sounds of a summer night on the farm are varied and subtle, a gentle mix of chirping crickets and cicadas, the calling of owls and the rustling of wind through the trees. The only constant being the absence of that real world cacophony that is traffic and sirens and neighbors and pace. If your weekend calls for entertaining, you can be sure the pool and pool house will be front and center in those plans.
There are plenty of farms in the Lake Geneva area. Some are beautiful and others are unique. But none are as magically intoxicating as Burr Oaks Farm. This rare blend of refined luxury set inside 174 acres of forest and prairie on the outskirts of the premier vacation destination in the Midwest is available for the next deserving steward. The only requirement is a willingness to secure the balance that you’ve been seeking. Private tours available upon qualified request. $4.999M