House TalkN is a fun lookiloo at houses, houses, houses. It will answer pressing questions like, "When folks build a McMansion on a small lot, what are they compensating for?" or "Was the real estate agent drunk when they staged this house?" or "Why don't the Smiths' ever leave their drapes open when I am on a harmless walk-by?"

Sunday, July 8, 2012

HouseTalkN With...Jeremy & Jill Youse

I am excited to share another story from the series "HouseTalkN With..." - a lookiloo at how local movers and shakers live. While we all enjoy the aesthetics of homes, what really counts is how we live in them. I have teamed up with fellow house nut and journalist, Julie Wurth, to explore how local folks make their houses a home. 
"YOUSE IN THE HOUSE!"

Walk in the front door of the Youse house, and chances are you'll be greeted by an animal. Multiple animals.
There's Poppy (also known as Dum-Dum, because she looks like Scooby-Dum), Mr. Pants on the Ground (he's built low), Lulu and Bobee. Plus two cats named Wiggle-lee and Diggle-lee, and Jumpy the frog.
And don't forget the giant Victrola dog statue looking out the front window.


The picturesque stone cottage on Willis Avenue is full of surprises, not least of which is the ultra-modern addition put on by the previous owners. Throw in splashes of bright color, art work, and funky touches like a doll chandelier, and this house is anything but traditional.
The right word might be "fun."

Jilll and Jeremy Youse bought the house last year from Krannert Center Director Michael Ross and his wife, designer Taya Ross. (You can see their tour here) Jeremy Youse is a dermatologist at Christie Clinic, and Jill Youse is founder of the International Breast Milk Project, which facilitates breast milk donations for orphaned and undernourished children in Africa and preemies in the United States.
The couple met at Truman State University in Missouri, and later moved to Rochester, Minn., where Jeremy worked at Mayo Clinic.
The Youses rented a house when they first moved to Champaign in 2011, but everywhere Jill turned people kept telling her she had to look at the Ross house.
The Rosses had raised eyebrows in the neighborhood with their copper-clad addition a few years back.
"It evokes strong emotions. People love it or hate it," Jill says.
She wasn't sure what to make of it at first, but was undeterred.
"I thought it was a barn. Turns out it's more of a sculpture I get to live in," she says.


The Rosses chose copper because of the aesthetic and strength complementations to the stone. The exterior has since faded to a deep brown, and trees and other landscaping are starting to mask the addition from the street.
Out back, the addition forms a courtyard anchored by a beautiful weeping cherry tree. It's divided into multiple entertaining areas -- a small hot tub/pool (formerly a fish pond), a cozy seating area, and a dining area with a custom stone table and wrought-iron chandelier, all designed by Taya Ross.
"It's such a nice thing to have the old with the new," says Jill, who kept many of Taya's furnishings.


In fact, she hasn't changed much in the house, other than taking down "a mile of shelves," painting a few walls and adding art work by artist Jodi Birdwell.
By Jodi Birdwell

By Stella Youse
Color explodes off the walls, from the teal sunroom to the deep pink and orange in her daughters' bedrooms. She let Stella, 6, and Halle, 4, choose the palette, which is punctuated with teal, green and yellow (including stenciling by Taya).

The girls essentially have their own wing, with two bedrooms, a bathroom and a balcony overlooking the living room. The master bedroom is in the addition, along with an office highlighted by the infamous doll chandelier.
Downstairs, Jill is still trying to decide what to do with the front room. One day, a large dining room table takes center stage, surrounded by random chairs and fabric swatches.
She thinks the table would be great for entertaining, or for working on her computer, or for the kids to spread out with their homework. She's not a fan of couches; no one, she argues, likes to sit together on couches.
A few days later, the table is pushed in front of the front window, the chairs are gone, and Jill is thinking dance floor or ping-pong table.
"I don't want to have another sitting room full of pieces I walk by and look at," she says.

Other personal touches are evident: stunning photos of her children (and the dogs). A large metal flower sculpture in Stella's room. A small blue alligator by the pool, an ode to the full-size pale green one left by the Rosses in the sun room.
Jill says her style is still evolving, but it's obviously not far from Taya's
, who says she can't imagine "a more perfect person" for the house than Jill.
"This is the first time I've bought a piece of furniture that wasn't off Craig's List," Jill says with a smile. She she still likes scoring a "find" on Craig's list but also loves Champaign's "Checkered Moon." 
"I like color," Jill says, pointing to the rug in the light-filled dining room. Anchoring a white wood dining table, the rug is full of color and pattern -- and also hides the dirt, she notes.
And that's it in a nutshell. The house is elegant and artistic -- but playful. All the dogs and kids keep it from looking too much like an art gallery.


Doggie and kiddie footprints keep it real
"If something is that valuable it can be ruined, it's too valuable," Jill says. "It keeps you real."

UPDATE: Julie wrote an interesting piece explaining more about The International Breast Milk Project. Come on over and join the discussion: News-Gazette.

Link Par-taay at:
http://www.houseofhepworths.com/
http://savvysouthernstyle.blogspot.com/
http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/
http://www.notjustahousewife.net/
http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/
http://staceyembracingchange.blogspot.com/
http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/
http://chiconashoestringdecorating.blogspot.com/
http://romantichome.blogspot.com/
http://www.serenitynowblog.com/
http://www.atthepicketfence.com/
http://somedaycrafts.blogspot.com/
http://www.getouttamyheadplease.com/

26 comments:

  1. Great family, great house.... this house, this article, totally "got" the essence of the Youse's...FUN!!!

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    1. You got that right! FUN! Let's start referring to it as the "FUN HOUSE!"

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  2. Love Jill and her entire family. She is a breath of fresh air when I see her ~ one of those friends you can holler at as you pass by with a brood of children and say "hey girl love you" and couldn't love her smile. Not to mention her girls are always so kind and engaging with my girls. ALL of my girls :)

    Great stuff and thank you for sharing!!

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    1. Thank YOU, Amy! I think you just described yourself...

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  3. WHO couldn't love her smile .... I need more coffee before I type

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  4. I am soooo in love with that house! Love the cottage look of it, the stone, the roof, the windows....And I just might have to try my hand at making a doll chandelier!! WOW! What a beautiful family too!

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    1. Isn't it gorgeous!?? The best part is how comfortable and FUN it is!
      Thanks, Janis!

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  5. The exterior of their beautiful house is straight out of a dream to me.

    I live and love a colourless universe so other than browns and greens, whites, tans and beiges for me is a stretch - but I admire and love colour from a distance.

    What a neat family and awesome post.

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    1. Ha! We can all live vicariously through Jill!
      Thank, Michelle!

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  6. What a perfect Youse House!

    I am so proud to see this project come together so well and excited to see more! Jill's tastes are eclectic and cool, well suited for what would be traditionally considered a conflicting design aesthetic, and a grand interior challenge by most. Family rooms are meant to be comfortable, large plushy spaces, can't wait to see what happens there!

    Best of luck and lots of love!

    -Monica

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    1. You hit the nail on the head, Monica! Thank you for popping by!

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  7. LOVE that house! And your new buddy. I wanna come play. :(

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    Replies
    1. Pack your bags and get your bootie here! I miss you!

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  8. What a fun post, Kerry!! Love all those touches of REAL LIFE -- marvelousness. :)
    xo Heidi

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    1. Thanks, Heidi! It is a great house and the family is fantastic!

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  9. I loved this story! What an interesting house. My heart nearly stopped at that photo of the stone cottage exterior. So adorable. And so many surprises waiting inside! Thanks for the tour! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Julia! I find 87 reasons per day to just pop in and gawk...er...I mean to borrow butter or milk.
      The best part is that the family is so awesome and they truly love the house.

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  10. Loved the tour! Thanks for sharing - I love when a home fits the owners. This one is so fun and full of personality!

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  11. This house/family is a match made in Heaven!
    Thank you for popping by!

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  12. Lord Have Mercy!....that is a fabulous house! Thanks for letting us be "peeping Toms" and see its glorious-ness. I LOVE the addition on the back...maybe at first it stood out but it really does not now IMHO. An architect in my town did a similar ultra modern addition on the back of an older traditional house in an established neighborhood. I think initially he got some flack for it but, really, you can't even see it from the street. Is this comment too long?

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    1. Laaaawdy Mercy, Miss Kitty. I could listen to you all dern day! It is tough to do an addition on an older home in a graceful way. This addition totally fits this family- original and fun!
      Thank you, Sweet Miss Kitty

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  13. Wonderful house! Thanks for the tour. The colors are perfect. and that back yard.....

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    1. The back yard is.to.die.for. There is also a small pool/hot tub that is gorgeous at night.

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