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In a Historic Home Built to Face the Sunrise, Only a Canary Yellow Music Room Will Do


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fathers and son on green velvet sofa
Leonelle Sofa, Anthropologie; Citron Paint, Benjamin Moore.

“This place had a story already. I feel like we’re just the editors of it,” says Graham Kostic of the historic property in Barrington Hills, Illinois (a small hamlet about an hour northwest of Chicago), where he lives with his husband, Fran Taglia, and their son, Romeo. Listening to Kostic—when he’s not transforming a home and raising a child, he serves as the choreographer for the local high school’s fine arts department—you feel a near-immediate inclination to settle in. Because he’s not simply rattling off real-estate listing details but rather recounting an enchanting tale—one in which the protagonist happens to be a house.

“The first time we stayed at the house, when it was still a renovation zone, the sun poured through the windows. I wanted that bright feel all the time,” says Kostic of the music room. The icing on the cake? “The woodwork looks like fondant, with all these little ribbons that go around.”

Named Hilltop House for its elevated position on the land, the structure was…

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