Have a Safe and Happy New Year!

Property Photo

A spectacular home on Lake Michigan, the Schweppe Estate, is on the market.  Designed by Frederick Wainwright Perkins and built in 1917, the home was a gift to Mrs. Schweppe by her father, John G. Shedd, then president of Marshall Field and Company.     This home is considered to be Illinois’ most architecturally significant estate on Lake Michigan and offers stunning hand-carved millwork and mouldings, as well as hand carved marble and limestone mantles.  Additionally the home features intricate plaster relief ceilings.  With 400 feet of Lake Michigan beachfront, the home rests on over 5 acres and the grounds feature terraces and decorative fountains.  I hope you enjoy looking at photos of this gorgeous home below and here.

Property Photo

Property Photo

What are your plans for New Years Eve?

Those in New York can watch the ball drop in Times Square or climb aboard the Circle Line for a Cruise around Manhattan.

Families in the Chicago area can celebrate at Navy Pier with special family themed events such as a New Year’s Eve Family Lunch Cruise on the Spirit of Chicago Children’s Museum or a kid-hosted countdown at the Chicago Children’s Museum.  Find more adult oriented celebratory events at Navy pier here.

If you happen to be in Long Beach California, you could ring in the New Year on the Queen Mary.  The ship offers several options, check them all out here.

Maybe you plan to celebrate at home.  Add a bit of fun with one of these decorating ideas from Martha Stewart.

And have a Happy New Year!

Regal Home for Sale on Dearborn in Chicago

Property Photo

I discovered this beautiful home for sale in Chicago.  A single-family home of this size in the city is incredibly rare and the location on Dearborn is ideal.  Plus the home is on an oversized lot.  Designed by architect August Fiedler in 1891 the home offers original stained glass and gorgeous woodwork.

Property Photo

Property Photo

Christmas is only days away.  Are you hosting?  We enjoy hosting, but this year we will be visiting family.  When we do host, I like to put in the extra effort and make the house look especially festive with decorations and I enjoy setting a beautiful table for the meal.  We always use our china, which I love, but it is fun to see how others set their holiday tables.  Here are a few ideas from Domino Magazine.  Which one do you like best?

Who doesn’t enjoy a fireplace this time of year?  I absolutely do but I am not as excited about the maintenance and upkeep required.  With a Planika freestanding fireplace, you can have a fire almost anywhere.  I would love this on our terrace in any season!

I wish you all a beautiful holiday!


Making Entertaining a Bit Easier.

The holidays can get so hectic.  How can you make it a bit less chaotic and enjoy a delicious meal in your home with family and friends?

MeezMeals will prep a meal and deliver the ingredients to your home.  All you have to do is follow the cooking instructions and enjoy a great meal.  Some of the recent meal options include Kentucky BBQ Tacos with Fresh Cabbage Slaw and Winter Caprese Pasta.  Their menus change weekly.  I think MeezMeals is also a great alternative for entertaining.  Think about having friends over for dinner.  The prep work for the dinner is already done, leaving only the cooking to you.

Want to entertain and not have to worry about the cooking and clean up?  KitchenSurfing is an online marketplace connecting you with a chef from your area.  Have a few friends over, sit back and enjoy a culinary experience in your own home without any of the work.  Less time spent planning, shopping for food, cooking and clean up means more time with friends.  And isn’t being with friends and family what makes the holidays truly special?

Is listing your home around the holidays different from other seasons?  Absolutely.  One thing to consider is that generally, there are fewer homes on the market so your home will have less competition.  Also, you will see more buyers and fewer “lookers.”  Here are some other off-season tips.

On this wintry, cold and snowy day I thought I would share with you a contemporary beach home.

Single Family Home for Sales at Post Modern 93 Savannah Walk, Oak Beach, NY 11702 United States 

This 3 bedroom, 2 and one-half bath post modern house is located in Oak Beach, New York, right on the water.  To me the open floor plan looks like the perfect place to hang out.

Additional photo for property listing at Post Modern 93 Savannah Walk, Oak Beach, NY 11702 United States 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s William Winslow Home Going on the Market.

frank lloyd wright william winslow house

The stunning William Winslow House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1893 will be on the market for the first time in 55 years.  This home, built in River Forest, Illinois was the first residential commission Wright took after leaving Louis Sullivan’s firm.  The home exhibits many of the traits which later became his trademarks.  Using Roman brick and a low, wide roof with a deep overhang the home was a huge departure from existing neighbors.  The entire home has been meticulously maintained.  Just look at these photos from the Chicago Sun Times and listing agent’s website.

The first thing guests William Winslow House saw was wide foyer featuring private seating fireplace. To right music room. William

A dining room featured built-cabinets fireplace across from it seated nook with intricate art glass window designs. William Winslow House

I am happy to have discovered ShopTerrain.com.  A website full of beautiful and inspiring items, many for the garden and outdoor living but also many kitchen, spa and entertaining items, I have found lots of beautiful gifts on this site to help me with my holiday shopping.  I love these gilded shadow boxes and these advent houses.

Gilded Shadowbox

Another wonderful place to find unique gifts is Ten Thousand Villages.  This fair trade retailer has been sourcing beautiful objects for us since 1946.  There are over 390 retail stores as well as the website, with the business objective being to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries.  No small task!  The inventory is varied and unique.  I love this handmade blue leaf tray and this rings of steel mirror.  I am so happy to have a store in my neighborhood.

How’s your holiday shopping coming along?

A Real French Chateau is on the Market.

This 50-room, nearly 38,000 square foot French castle is on the market.  Chateau de Villersexel is currently a boutique hotel, with 30 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms.  Gorgeous!

I hope you had a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving.  Did you take advantage of the sales being held on Black Friday?  Do you plan to do some online shopping on Cyber Monday?  Here are some holiday sweaters you may want to steer clear of.

Have you heard of the Ostrich Pillow?  I had not until I came across this page featuring the Ostrich Pillow Junior, made for kids so the whole family can look goofier than anything I’ve seen in a while.

Maybe some holiday wallpaper for your desktop will inspire some holiday spirit.  I like “The Deer in My Garden” (see below) and “Christmas Pastel.”

The deer in my garden