The Many Architectural Styles of Henry Ives Cobb

Pembroke DriveThis beautiful home in Lake Forest, designed by noted architect Henry Ives Cobb, was built 1894.  The classically designed home has been meticulously maintained and updated with modern amenities.  Architectural details abound including seven gorgeous fireplaces, a raised panel library and graceful arched doorways.

Property Photo

Property Photo

Property Photo

Property Photo

Over the course of his career Cobb utilized several architectural styles including Romanesque, Victorian Gothic, and Dutch Renaissance Revival style.

The Palmer Mansion which has been demolished was located at 1350 North Lake Shore Drive and helped establish the “Gold Coast” neighborhood.


Cobb is responsible for many important Chicago area buildings including the Newberry Library, the Union Club of Chicago, the Chicago Federal Building, and the Chicago Varnish Company building (now Harry Caray’s).

















Have a great week!

Happy Spring!

mag covers trimmed



I think we are all eagerly waiting for green grass,  yellow daffodils and the pinks and whites of blossoming trees.  I know that I am.  Yesterday I was waiting to check out at the grocery store, glancing at the various home design magazines when I was struck by a reoccurring theme.  It seems I am not the only one tired of the grey days we have put up with for the past several months.  What was this hot topic?  COLOR!  Elle Magazine inspires with “living in color,” House Beautiful discusses “inspiring colors,” Better Homes and Gardens touts “color made easy,” Veranda tells you about the “fresh colors for spring,”  and Domino and Traditional Home magazines both claim to have “the color issue.”  Do we see this on newsstands  every spring?

Pantone named Radiant Orchid as the color for spring 2014.  While painting walls with orchid seems like a big commitment it looks great when paired with chocolate-brown, navy blue or mossy green.  Here are some tips from the blog decor8.

If you are selling your home here is a helpful article written by Lurdes Abruscato with suggestions for creating a first impression that will wow.

I wanted to share this cool contemporary condo that is newly listed in Evanston.  This space is within walking distance to the beach, shopping, restaurants and public transportation plus it  has a great layout and a porch for a bit of outdoor space.   I love it!

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Have a few spare minutes?  Try one of these fun and fast DIY projects.  Which is your favorite?  I love the candles; the shapes are so unique!


Are you thinking about spring cleaning?  Using this iRecycle ap will help you find local recycling opportunities.

Have a great week!

The Architecture of Ernest Mayo

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Two homes listed for sale on the North Shore were designed by Ernest Mayo.  Born and educated in England and working for a time in South Africa, he eventually made his way to Chicago practicing architecture until his death in 1946.

Property Photo

Property Photo

Property Photo

Mayo was fond of using design to connect the indoors to the outdoors.  His extensive use of French doors is one example of this.  Also, the exterior of his homes often present strong visual axis formed by arched openings.  These openings would lead to outside views centered in the arches.

Property Photo

Property Photo

Property Photo

Although most noted for his residential work, Mayo also designed office buildings and several administrative buildings for the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.  One building familiar to Evanston residents is the Woman’s Club of Evanston located at 1702 Chicago Avenue and built in 1913.

Above is a postcard image of the Woman’s Club of Evanston building designed by Ernest Mayo.

This is an interior shot of the beautiful ballroom at the Woman’s Club of Evanston.

This office building is located on Green Bay Road in Winnetka was also designed by Mayo.

I really enjoyed reading this article from Domino.  Stylist Allison Tick guides Deborah Jaffe as she settles into her new home in LA.  They work through three different furniture plans for her living room, trying to discover the plan that best meets her needs.

And finally, a happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone.  Here are some fund facts, myths and traditions.  Yesterday morning the Chicago River got its’ annual dye job.  Crazy, isn’t it?

Have a great week!

A Home by Mid-Century Architect Edward Dart

This mid-century home at 1021 Lake Cook Road in Highland Park was designed by architect Edward Dart.

Dart is responsible for several intriguing homes around the Chicago area but he also designed numerous churches and, most notably, was the lead architect for Water Tower Place on the Magnificent Mile.  When designing homes he took into account the setting and preferred working with simple materials such as brick, concrete and glass.  The finished homes have a look all their own.  Below are additional homes and churches designed by Dart.

I don’t know about you but I am desperate to see a little green outside!  This winter has felt like an eternity I think partly due to the amount of snow we have received.  This article from Houzz by Laura Gaskill discussing how to give your front walk and driveway more curb appeal has lots of green grass and bright flowers to give me hope for a spring that arrives soon.

I stumbled upon this blog by Eric Allen Bell listing 7 thought provoking quotes form 7 great minds including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Lawrence J. Peter.  I especially like this quote from Ben Franklin:

Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.

I’m going to try to remember that one this week.

Thinking Warm Thoughts of New Orleans

Have you ever been to New Orleans?  Since we are in Mardi Gras season I thought we would take a look at some beautifully restored homes in NOLA this week.

We visited New Orleans a few years ago and really had a great time.  I don’t think there is anywhere else like it in the United States.  It has great southern charm, beautiful historical architecture, and a rich history.  It is a very walk-able city with really friendly locals.

One thing I truly appreciated about the city is the beautiful architecture.  Streets are lined with lovely townhomes with second floor balconies showing off flower boxes overflowing with bright red geraniums and violet petunias.

There are charming Creole Cottages which are one of the oldest types of homes in New Orleans.

The Shotgun houses are plentiful and get their name because they are one room wide and have no hallways inside.

The Garden District and Esplande Ridge are home to stunning southern homes built in the Italianate and Greek Revival styles.

The music and food are unique to the area and there are plenty of ghost stories to peek your interest too.  If you’ve never been, you might think about planning a trip.

If you look at the pictures above and wish your home had a little more architectural interest, here are some tips from Apartment Therapy that may inspire.

Right now I am looking for some inspiration to finish decorating our Master Bedroom.  I want to find some bedside lamps that are wall hung and fine tune the bedding.  Here are some suggestions I found at Better Homes and Gardens.

Buying a home?  In his blog, Austin Realtor Tim Thornton highlights 10 things you should know about the home inspection.  I think he makes some good points; I especially appreciate tip number 5 which explains that the home inspector should look for any red flags that are not easily seen during a viewing.  A home inspection is not a punch list of items to be corrected before the sale but rather informs the buyer of the homes current condition so the buyer knows what he is getting.

I plan to watch the Academy Awards tonight.  Do you?  I hope you have a great week!