GLEN ELLYN – Having grown tired of their Chicago condominium, Gabriel and Meredith Hansen were on the hunt for a house in Glen Ellyn.
They ended up buying a cottage-style house last year on Linden Street. The couple's news was shared with a national audience during an episode of "House Hunters," which aired recently on HGTV.
"Glen Ellyn was actually a lot like some of the little areas that we really loved out on the East Coast, sort of that proximity to the city via the train and the great walking culture and the great little downtown area," Meredith Hansen said. "It felt like you got the best of both worlds. You had a little more peace and quiet than you did in the middle of the city, but still had access to shops and restaurants and a lot of the things we really loved about the city."
Gabriel Hansen said he liked the fact that the Glen Ellyn residents they talked to were proud of their village.
"They were very proud that they lived there," he said. "It sort of immediately turned into raving about it. Not every town has that. Sometimes, other people will give you a lot more bad than good, but in Glen Ellyn, it felt like everyone was convincing us how good it was there. And we liked that."
The episode was filmed in 2017. The real estate agent who sold them the house, Graham Allen, is a featured Realtor on HGTV. He also previously lived in Chicago before moving to Glen Ellyn.
"As their Realtor, we met and I got them to do the show with me," Allen said. "We ended up becoming good friends. They walk over to our house from their new house on Linden."
Allen believes Glen Ellyn is a "hidden gem."
"A lot of people coming from the city talk heavily about Western Springs and Hinsdale and all these other places that are beautiful, but Glen Ellyn doesn't get its due," he said. "I think it's going to be a lot of fun to get Glen Ellyn on the show nationally even more and get even more recognition for [the village]."
Allen likes the neighborly feel of Glen Ellyn.
"Everybody is welcoming and warm," he said.
During their hunt for a house in Glen Ellyn, the couple stopped in the art studio Bottle & Bottega on Crescent Boulevard in downtown Glen Ellyn. Franchise owners John and Lynn Day grew up in Glen Ellyn.
Meredith Hansen likes to paint. The couple's visit to the studio is part of the "House Hunters" episode.
"I'm a casual painter," she said. "I don't get to do it as much as I would like. It was really fun to get to do that with Gabriel."
John Day said he enjoyed the experience as well.
"We interacted during times they weren't on camera," he said. "The focus is on the two of them, obviously. When there were down times, we chatted a little bit. They are a very nice couple."
He looks forward to the couple returning to their studio.
"We should invite them back so they can have a more leisurely experience here," Day said.
He also was proud Glen Ellyn was featured in the episode.
"In one scene, my wife just said, 'Main Street really looks great,' " Day said about watching the episode with his wife. "And then we went through the process of trying to figure where the houses were by looking around."