Hinsdale home is in national spotlight

J. Jordan Homes, Krehbiel mansion picked for House Beautiful's 2023 Whole Home

The estate at 505 S. County Line Road is a one-of-a-kind property. And it's the subject of a one-of-a-kind endeavor.

The former home of the late Fred Krehbiel, Molex founder and CEO, and his wife Kay, is House Beautiful magazine's 2023 Whole Home renovation project.

The magazine selected Hinsdale builder Julie Laux of J. Jordan Homes to lead the project after she was recommended by a designer friend who worked on last year's home in Atlanta. Laux then chose the 13-room home that dates back to the early 1900s for the project.

"They wanted a woman builder and there has never been a national-level showhouse in the Midwest," Laux said.

"We could not be more thrilled to be taking on this historic renovation in Hinsdale with this innovative build team, inspiring group of designers and our design-leading brand partners," Carisha Swanson, director of editorial special projects for House Beautiful said when the project was announced. "When homeowners choose a house, whether historic or brand new, they often wonder what elements to keep and what's worth updating.

"Our goal this year is to empower our audience with big ideas and smart takeaways that give them the confidence to transform their home into a place they'll love for decades to come," she added.

In addition to supporting the 15 women on the all-female design team, Laux and her team completely transformed the kitchen and renovated all but one of the bathrooms.

"I had my ideas of what the house needed. The biggest one was the kitchen," Laux said. "We took five rooms and made a proper kitchen. That was the most construction that we did.

"The kitchen is off the chains to me," she said. "The kitchen is as good as you can do."

Laux designed the baby's room on the second floor and the original bowling alley in the basement as well. She also hired the five paint and five wallpaper crews that prepped the house.

Sponsors donated furniture, artwork, light fixtures and other items worth $1.5 million to create rooms with a lived-in feel. Another $500,000 went toward the renovations, Laux said.

This is the sixth Whole Home project House Beautiful has done. In previous years, the articles ran over five pages in the magazine. The one that appears in this month's issue is 42 pages, Laux noted with pride.

"I don't think it could have been any better, given the time frame, the budget, the challenges. I'm super proud of what we did," she said.

Laux hopes the renovation will help attract a buyer who wants to preserve the house.

"The thing about preservation is everybody wants someone else to do it," she said. "This is the best chance, and that's why I did it. If no one shows up to buy it, we just have to accept that. It is what it is."

No matter what happens to the house, Laux has no regrets.

"In my life accomplishments, it's on the list," she said.

Author Bio

Author photo

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean