Pretty Houses in the Snow: A Winter’s Walk

I know I’m not alone in dealing with lots of snow. So much of the U.S. has been hit with recent winter storms, including Texas! Rather than lament our recent snowfall, I decided to get out and enjoy the beauty of the new fallen white stuff. Hubby and I headed to Downers Grove, which is considered to be the friendliest town in Illinois. It also happens to be where my daughter lives. Following is the first round of pretty houses in the snow that I captured.

Dark gray bungalow with light blue door in Downers Grove


Today is the first Saturday in February, which means it’s Cozy Living day for me and a few blog friends. We share something from each month that we enjoy or makes us feel cozy. It can be a decorating idea, a heart-warming recipe, or even a trip to some place special. You’ll find links to my friends’ cozy ideas at the bottom of this post.

Even though February is the shortest month, it always feels extra long to me. Winter isn’t over, and spring still feels far away. And then if the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow, it gives false hope because spring never arrives early. Sigh. So I try to embrace it and getting out for a winter tour of a darling town was just what the doctor ordered to tamp down the winter blues.

Blue Victorian house on a snowy day


I mean, seriously, how can you stay grumpy when you’re surrounded by charming houses like this adorable red one? Hubby makes fun of me for saying a house is cute. He doesn’t think they can be cute. Appealing, yes. Cute, no. He just doesn’t get it.

Little red house in historic district of Downers Grove


Although these charming older homes might look better with flowers and leafy bushes and trees, you can see them better when there’s no greenery obstructing the view. Not to mention, the color of the house pops more when there’s a backdrop of snow.

Pretty houses in the snow - light green bungalow


We initially chose to visit Downers Grove to check out the Sears kit homes they have in various parts of the town. The city has a map booklet that lists them, along with the address and the kit that was used to build the house. But then we started seeing so many other beautiful homes, I had to take photos of those that weren’t kits from Sears, like this gorgeous Victorian.

Mustard and rust colored Victorian home in the snow


Here’s my favorite of our tour of pretty houses in the snow. This is the Avondale model from the Sears catalog that cost under $3000 when it was sold in the early 1900s. Did you know that around 1910 only 10% of homes had electricity?? I love the color and all the windows of this charmer. I’m guessing this house would cost around $400,000 to $500,000 today. Maybe more, considering the neighborhood and condition of the home.

Avondale Sears catalog home in Downers Grove


This is the Cornell model from the catalog. It came after the Avondale and sold for just under $2000. The windows appear to be updated and the enclosed porch replaced with an open air porch.

Cornell Sears Kit Home


This Brookwood model has been well cared for over the years. It sits in a lovely neighborhood right across the street from Prince Pond that’s turned into an ice-skating rink in the winter.

Barrington - Sears catalog home in winter


Next time I visit Downers Grove, I’ll bring my skates! You can see the charm of the surrounding neighborhood. What a great place to live and raise children. Speaking of which, my daughter lives in a cute bungalow in Downers Grove.

Prince Pond ice skating rink


Here’s the Mount Vernon model offered in the Sears catalog that wasn’t a true kit. It offers four rooms and one bathroom. It’s small, but it has a fireplace and great curb appeal!

Mount Vernon Sears Catalog Home


This English country revival cottage is called the Bellewood and sold for just over $1,200 in the 1930s. The gable roof has what’s called a cat slide curve over the front door. I wonder, is that because cats would slide down the slope if they happened to get on the roof?

Bright yellow cottage with bold blue front door


The Colchester is one of the larger catalog homes and features a “phone room” in the main hall. This house was offered when approximately 35% of homes had a telephone. So I imagine back then, a phone room was considered to be kind of a big deal.

Colchester catalog home from Sears with phone room in main hall


The Arlington is classified as a bungalow and was considered the home of the future because the living and dining rooms were only separated by colonnades or an arch, as opposed to a wall. Kitchens were also smaller in newer bungalows to increase efficiency when cooking. This home would’ve had an open air porch when built, but has since been enclosed.

The Arlington - Sears catalog home in Downers Grove


I have more pretty houses in the snow from Downers Grove to share with you, but I’ll save those for another day so you can fully appreciate them. If you live in the Chicago area and would like to see the Sears catalog houses in person, here’s a booklet with a map that will guide you. There’s also fun information about the houses on the map if you want to learn more!

Be sure to visit my cozy friends below to see how they enjoy the month of February.

Cozy Living Saturday - February

Winter Entryway / Pretty Houses in Snow / DIY Oil Lanterns

Cozy Living Saturday - February

Homemade Doughnuts / Heart Rice Krispy Pops / Heart-Shaped Tea Bags



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  1. Good Morning Jennifer,
    Words can’t express how much I look forward to your post. The walk through the neighborhoods in the snow are lovely and remind me of days gone by,especially the home with the brick road. Omg…
    I miss neighborhoods where you could walk to the store stop and chat with neighbors and friends you grew up and went to school with.I traded my neighborhood for a subdivision.Thank you so much and keep them coming. Have a lovely day 😊

  2. CUTEST homes ever! Loved the snowy pictures. And the heart shaped tea bags are adorable. Can’t wait to make some with my granddaughter. Thanks for a great post!
    BTW: We’re having a cold spell here in Ocala, Florida. It was 81degrees yesterday and we woke up to a cold, windy day of 57degrees today! 😆

  3. I love when we go through some of the older neighborhoods, those houses are so pretty. It’s so interesting to see all those Sears kit houses.

  4. I think I’ll take that 57 degrees from Deb about now…brrrr…freezing with ice and snow at 9 degrees!
    I so enjoy looking at other homes especially when they are in a happy quaint part of town.
    Every year I think I’ll learn to ice skate but never seem to get there. What a wonderful place to call home. Your daughter is lucky.
    Love the cute house with the blue door and wreath.

  5. Love to see the door colors people choose. I always think that’s what sets the tone of the house. If you pick the wrong color it makes a house look sad. My favorite is the first pic 🙂 It’s done perfectly. Yes we have been dumped on with snow here too. Its actually the first of the deep snow this season. Im enjoying it!

  6. How interesting…and charming. I will have to check out what you referenced above for more info about these Sears catalog homes. I have never heard of them

  7. Thank you Jennifer for the tour. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but seeing these homes creates a wave of nostalgia for my childhood. It’s great to see the homes being cared for so well.