HomesPlus

July 2010 Archives

Hands Free Gadgets in the Home

Automatic, or touchless gadgets are part of a growing trend in accessories for the home. It's a high-tech world, people; you may as well embrace the technology and make it work for you.  Here are some of our favorite picks to save you time, cleanup and keep you from spreading germies.



By: Keri Morgan

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Next Episode: Suburban Oasis in Chicago

Next Episode: Suburban Oasis in the city: This week on HomesPlus, we're checking out a $3.295 million home in the city and get this - it's on a cul-de-sac. How's that for a little bit of the 'burbs dropped right into Lakeview? Plus, ideas for creating an outdoor space that you'll get to use well into the fall, Rochelle's first shower interview (it's about tile, people, get your minds out of the gutter) and one of this year's top ten home accessories.

 

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Style File: Sculptures

It's nice when you've got home accessories that look good and serve a function.  Especially when you don't have a very large home.  But your home should be a place that you love, so even in a small home you should always make room for something that's beautiful just for the sake of being beautiful!

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Hi-Tech Home at Any Price

By now, I totally thought everyone's home would be like the Jetson's; every home equipped with a robot maid and a system that delivers dinner to the table with the push of a button.  But alas, we are still decades away from that kind of technology.  ("The Jetsons" was set in 2062 after all...just give it time)  So in the meantime, I guess we'll just have to settle for the technology available today.  Lucky for us, there are some pretty cool gadgets out there.  Here are some ways to tech-up your home (and hopefully make life a little easier) at three different price levels:

 

 

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The Perfect Summer Home in Glencoe

It doesn't get much better than living on the lake during the summer.  And lakefront living doesn't get much better than this Glencoe home, featured on the show this weeeknd.  

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Style File: Bar Cart

Don Draper has one in his office.  And you should have one in your home.  It's a bar cart - and it's one of this year's hottest home accessories!

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Inside a Lake Forest Mansion

At 1270 Longmeadow Lane, it's possible to forget that you are not, in fact, in a chateau in the south of France, but rather in a suburb of Chicago.  Of course, the mammoth master bathroom and sub-basement basketball court do their parts to remind you that you're still in the good old US of A, but still.  The place has an old European feel that is difficult to duplicate. 

Just in case you missed the show this past weekend, be sure to check out the tour of this Lake Forest home, below.


 

For Sale: 5 Reasons Your Home Isn't Selling

We're on the downslope of Summer heading towards the Fall and Winter! Yep, it may be 90 degrees out, but I just said it. Doesn't make any of us happy. Not only because that means winter is coming, but also for home owners out there who are desperately trying to sell their home.

So why isn't your home selling? Is it because the market still isn't great, or are the reasons more personal? Are you doing everything possible to sell that home?

The Chicago Tribune recently described 5 reasons why your home isn't selling. And here at HomesPlus, we thought it would be wise to share those reasons. They may seem simple, but in today's market, they are extremely critical.

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Style File: Transformative Tile

You know how everyone says you can change the look of a room with a fresh coat of paint?  Well, just imagine what you can do with some tile.  We just spent the morning at a new townhouse in Lakeshore East, where the owner is transforming her home from an impersonal, neutral townhouse to a chic, attractive home that reflects her style.  The thing is that she has a long way to go before it's complete - and yet, it looks awesome.  Why?  Because she finished the tile! 

 

 

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Next Episode: French Country in Lake Forest

This week, HomesPlus is in Lake Forest, checking out a $3.25 million dollar estate.  And since we don't all actually have $3-million to spend on a new home, we've also got some tips on how to get your indoor and your outdoor space looking its best - including a reveal of one of this year's top ten home accessories and a peek at just how helpful a fully automated home can be!

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Mixed-Use Developments: Reshaping Suburbia

Ok, so this isn't a new trend, but mixed-use developments in Chicagoland continue to redefine suburbia.  The Chicago Tribune did a great story recently on mixed-use developments in Chicago's Suburbs.


As a suburbanite myself, I love the mixed-use developments.  Downtown Deerfield was one of the first areas I remember taking on this new concept. It's great because it delivers suburban residents a place to feel and enjoy life like those in the city do every day.

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Best Small Cities in America: Where's Suburban Chicago?

Money Magazine released it's list of the Top 100 small cities to live in America.

The top small city - Eden Prairie, MN.  Some of the other cities in the Top 10: Newton, MA, Bellevue, WA, McKinney, TX, Fort Collins, CO, Overland Park, KS, Fishers, IN.

No Illinois city made the Top 25. If fact, you have to go to #43 to find the first Illionois city with Bolingbrook.

 

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Top 3 Single Family Homes in the City

If you're living the standard Chicago city experience then you most likely live in a 3-flat or a high-rise and struggle with the space issue.  For most of us city-dwellers, 2,000 square feet sounds spacious.  But the high-end luxury homes we get to check out every week keep 2,000 square feet as storage space in the basement...the good stuff spreads out over three or four floors of home theaters, sitting rooms, home gyms and saunas.  We've gotten to walk through some incredible ones, but here are the three that made us wish we would win the lottery already.

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Style File: Dress up your walls

Google the word "wallpaper" and you're going to see pages of websites that have exotic landscapes, cute animals and gorgeous golf courses that you can use as wallpaper...for the desktop of your computer.  That should tell you what wallpaper means to people in 2010.  Back in the old days (meaning the 70's and 80's) wallpaper went on your walls.  And despite what Google may tell you, that's where it belongs today, too.

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Killer Outdoor Spaces

Okay, so the economy isn't exactly jumping back into action.  We're all a little more stressed and a little less willing to spend.  It's easy to see why updating a space that you only get to use maybe four months a year isn't exactly a priority.  But, on the other hand, sunshine has vitamin D which is great for you and some would argue, crucial to your happiness.  And how can you really put a price on happiness?  Okay, it's flimsy, but you see my point.  We only get so much mild weather in Chicago - we have to use it! 

So, we're on a mission to find some of the most amazing outdoor spaces around Chicago.  Today, we checked out two homes in the North Shore that had us dying to update our own spaces.  Of course, we realize that not everyone has acres of land or 7-digit checking balances, so we also got some tips from the spaces' designers on how we can get the upscale looks for our humble spaces.  You'll have to wait a few weeks to see what they told us, but for now, check out these awesome outdoor spaces...

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Chicago Neighborhood Tour: Beverly

Why live in Beverly:

Beverly, located on the southwest side of Chicago, has houses located in all price ranges and in every style. This combined with its good schools, beautiful parks, and historic train stations makes Beverly a bargain compared to Chicago's north side.  The traditional feeling can't be beat.

 

Fun Facts about Beverly:

1. Larger houses in the town can be found along "the ridge," located on Longwood Drive. It's in this location that wealthy Chicagoans built their post- Great Chicago Fire houses. 

2. The great debate: There are questions as to whether the town's name is "Beverly" or "Beverly Hills." The latter name came about in reference to the hills that make up the town.  

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Best Block in America: West Dundee

The residents of West Dundee, IL have reason to celebrate. "Good Morning America" just named a neighborhood in the village as the best block in America. Community residents from all over submitted to the contest, but this picture-perfect town was a cut above the rest. Here at Homes Plus we couldn't be prouder -- you go, Illinois!

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