Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bored with your home? 21 Free Ways to Love Your Home Again...

It's been a brutal winter this year, and Mother Nature hasn't been very kind this spring either.  Cabin fever sunk in, for us Chicagoans, long ago.  While I love the Benjamin Moore brown that I painted my family room last spring, I am tired of staring at it.  I have all spent a lot more time in my home than I typically do, and if I can't head outside, then I have realized that I need to freshen things up a bit.

I am not looking to re-decorate or redesign.  I am looking for low-cost ideas, to change things up a little bit.  I found some great ideas on Houzz.  Minimalistic approached like playing background music and setting the table with fine china.   I love to bring lilacs & hydrangeas inside, sadly they are not close to opening yet this year!  However, I have never thought about placing them in anything other than a standard vase.  That will change this year!  And how many candles do I have lying around waiting for an opportunity to use them? What exactly am I waiting for?

If your home is on the market right now, consider implementing some of these ideas to warm up your space, and create some added appeal for your buyer.

Click below to read the Houzz article

21 Free Ways to Love Your Home

YouTube video posted - via Circlepix.com


New listing video just posted:


Description: Spacious in design elements, this tradition-inspired 4 bedroom home is well placed for privacy and enjoyment on approximately 1 acre of wooded wonderland with Lake Michigan water and city sewer. Its circular driveway provides a welcoming statement! The Oaks sits within Libertyville school districts and provides a very convenient location close to the Forest Preserves & River Trail plus great shopping and major roadways.

Slate flooring welcomes you into the entrance foyer, which is accompanied by a lovely bridal staircase and twin coat closets. The placement of the spacious formal living and dining rooms ensure flexibility in entertaining as well as daily family living. The expansive living room enjoys crown molding and is highlighted by a Federal style gas fireplace complete with marble surround. Additional features include: hardwood flooring, white colonist trim & 6 panel wood doors, security system, and a first floor laundry room which provides access to the backyard and the attached 2 car garage. Accompanying splendid nature views is an in-ground heated pool and bluestone patios.

Unique in design and layout the refreshed kitchen has been this family’s delight! Featuring an abundance of painted Kraftmaid cabinetry topped by decorative molding, granite counters, double bowl sink, as well as a pantry closet—this is a picturesque spot in which you will want to begin your day - right in the heart of the home! Appliances include: double wall ovens, cook top, dishwasher, side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, and a microwave. The expanded bay eating area enjoys access to the laundry room as well as the entry to the garage.

The family room enjoys pegged oak flooring and convenient access to the entire main level of the home. Expansive triple sliding door provides access as well as capturing the views of the backyard and pool area. Crown molding provides the finishing touch to this space.

Spacious in size and designed to capture the atmosphere of the outdoors, this master suite is relaxing indeed! Size does matter as you’ll see with the large dressing room with L-shaped closets ensuring plenty of current storage space plus the potential for more for your wardrobe needs. Well planned appointments included in the private master bath are a linen closet plus a separate shoe closet, ceramic tile flooring & tub/shower surround, and granite topped vanity in the dressing area.

Three ample-sized secondary bedrooms feature hardwood floors, excellent closet space and window treatments. All three bedrooms share the hall bath which offers a large double bowl vanity with make-up area, off-white painted cabinetry, and ceramic tile shower/tub surround. The hall closets include an over-sized linen plus a secondary storage closet!

Downstairs the large basement affords you several expansive living areas, a storage closet, utility area/workshop and a concrete crawlspace beneath the eating area and laundry room– perfect for up & away storage. Intercom and water softener “as is”.

The in-ground pool is concrete and is heated. There is a diving board/slide included. The depth goes from 3’ to 9’ with a safety ledge. The pool was built for the sellers’ four children to enjoy as they were growing up. That family tradition continues on today with the addition of the grand-children’s use as well!

Home Information:

Beds: 4

Baths: 2.50

Sqft: 3152

Price: $574900

MLS #: 08457022

Monday, April 28, 2014


1507 North MILWAUKEE Avenue #3D LIBERTYVILLE, IL 60048

New listing just posted: http://tour.illinoisproperty.com/home/A5XJWD


Home Information:

Beds: 2

Baths: 2.00

Sqft: 950

Price: $1200

MLS #: 08597103

Friday, April 25, 2014

YouTube video posted - via Circlepix.com


New listing video just posted:


Description: Lovely Ravinia model offers a covered front porch, prof. designed landscaping, custom deck & landscape lighting, w/almost a 1/3 acre of outdoor living space. Forest Trail neighborhood offers access to the walking path & lake area of nearby McDonalds Woods Forest Preserve.

Designer columns & gleaming hardwood flooring provide a warm welcome into the home’s foyer. Interior features include: neutral carpet, white colonist trim & 6 panel doors throughout the home, designer lighting fixtures, 9’ first floor ceilings, 1st floor powder room, 1st floor den, laundry room w/utility tub & cabinets & access to the oversized attached 2 car garage. A full unfin. basement offers great future living space!

Gourmet kitchen w/an abundance of 42” cherry cabinetry, lots of granite counter space, tile backsplash, rich hardwood flooring, a center island that offers a breakfast bar overhang, plus French doors leading to the dining room. Top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances include: oven, built-in microwave, dishwasher. Eating area enjoys slider access to the backyard deck.

Open to the kitchen the Family Room becomes a dynamic focus of the home. Complete w/a tile surrounded gas fireplace, & berber-style carpeting. Quietly tucked away on the 1st floor is the den.

Master suite has volume ceilings, a separate 12’x8’ sitting area, Casablanca ceiling fan, custom Hunter-Douglas silhouette window treatments, & an extra large walk-in closet. Luxury master bath oasis w/double sized soaker tub, 12" ceramic tile flooring/surrounds, 2 separate sinks, hickory cabinetry, a private commode room & a separate ceramic tiled shower.

All 3 secondary bedrooms feature great closets & lighted ceiling fans. Bedroom 4 enjoys easy care wood laminate flooring. The hall bathroom is complete w/an oak vanity & tile surround tub/shower combo.

Pre-wiring for surround sound already in place & located in the family room, master bedroom & out in the backyard.

Home Information:

Beds: 4

Baths: 2.50

Sqft: 2958

Price: $270000

MLS #: 08555114

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Oh how I hate to pick out paint colors!

We always tell a buyer to never let paint color interfere with their home buying process.  Truth is, some paint colors really aid the selling of a home, while others can be major turn-offs.  Part of the problem is that so many people struggle with the ability to look beyond what is right in front of them.  They have blinders on, and cannot see what that navy blue bedroom with the black ceiling & stick-on glow-in-the-dark stars has the potential to become.  Yet paint remains one of the most cost effective changes that a seller can make when they are putting the home on the market, and that a buyer can make once they close on a home.

The challenge so many people face?  Choosing the best color.  Like everything else in life, psychology has entered in the world of paint.  A lot of thought has been put into analyzing various colors, hues and tones - as well as the perceptions that people have developed about those colors.  CertaPro Painters has helped simplify the process by putting together this chart.  So take a look, and then grab your brush!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

photo  This was my view last night.  As I sat at Starbucks waiting for my son's soccer practice to end.  The spring season started a week ago.  It was 70 degrees on Saturday, in the 30's last night.  Fortunately, his soccer club has indoor training facilities, so he was not out in this mess.

I have always loved snow.  Especially fresh snowfalls that are so pretty.  The latest snow fall was light, which gave it some sparkle in the glow of the lights.  Pretty as it is today, I have had enough. and from the posts I am reading all over social media, we have all had enough.

So I have decide to look forward, to the warmer weather that really can't be that far off in the future. Planning for the brilliant colors of blooming flowers.  And, since it is hard to visualize that by looking out the window,  I found this great article on planning gardens.  I think looking ahead to gardening season gives us hope.


Today's heartwarming video...

I know that we aren't supposed to believe everything we hear.  Or read.  Or see on social media.  Sometimes the stories and photos are real.  Sometimes they are exaggerated.  Sometimes they are created for the sake of advertising.  Sometimes they are are mix of all three.  And sometimes we are exposed to a photo or story that touches us, and we don't care which it is.  Sometimes we just want to, and need to, believe that what we are looking at really happened. 

This video is one of those.  It happens to be an ad, however it is heartwarming and conveys a message.  And hope.  And I love watching it.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

391 St Mary's Road YouTube video posted - via Circlepix.com

391 South St Marys Road LIBERTYVILLE, IL 60048

New listing video just posted:


Description: Towering trees provide summer shade for this sturdy quad-level home. Situated on a private lot, just a few houses down from the Old School Forest Preserve, this terrific home’s floor plan offers great flexibility. This brick and cedar residence is efficiently heated by baseboard heating. The concrete circular driveway and extra pad were designed to accommodate guest parking. Mature trees & shrubs frame the property line, and the backyard offers the bonus of a storage shed.

The spacious formal living room is warmed by a wood-burning vintage stone fireplace. A large picture window captures the morning sunshine. The adjacent formal dining room features a slider that not only welcomes in the outdoors, it also provides easy access to the large backyard patio—a great spot to host summer barbeques.

French doors lead from the dining room to the vaulted family room addition, which comes complete with its own zoned heating controls, skylights & a large picture window.

Smartly designed, the retro style of the kitchen blends with the design and flow of the home. Spacious is size, the room boasts an abundance of cabinetry, including a planning desk. There is plenty of counter space too! The eating area enjoys a bayed window overlooking the backyard. All appliances remain, including a wall oven, gas cook-top, built-in dishwasher and a side-by-side refrigerator.

The upper level hosts a generously-sized master bedroom, complete with an updated private bath with ceramic tile flooring, shower & pedestal sink. Two spacious secondary bedrooms share the large hall bath, with dual sink vanity & tub/shower combo. All bedrooms enjoy solid oak flooring & great closet space!

Flexibility of use is offered with the main floor addition which includes vaulted ceilings, a front room with it’s own private entry, a separate powder room and door to adjoining family room! It’s perfect for a home office, in-law or au pair suite, play or hobby room. The powder room could easily be expanded into a full bath if needed.

Don’t miss the lower level den, hosting a wonderful wall of built-in shelving & cabinets. With direct access to the backyard, this multi-purpose room could also be converted into a bedroom or family room. The adjacent full bath has a shower!

Check out the space in the finished basement! The rec room enjoys a wall of closet storage. The light-filled laundry area comes equipped with a long folding counter and a utility sink. The washer and dryer remain. Access to the concrete crawl for additional storage is provided from this area. The home has central air conditioning except in the main floor addition which has a window air conditioner.

Home Information:

Beds: 3

Baths: 3.50

Sqft: 2497

Price: $393000

MLS #: 08573968

122 4th Street, Libertyville YouTube video posted - via Circlepix.com

122 4th Street LIBERTYVILLE, IL 60048

New listing video just posted:


Description: Tucked within Libertyville's desirable Heritage District our custom-built home is a perfect blend of yesteryear's style and today's amenities. Quality cement board siding is complimented by cedar trim which frames the inviting covered front porch. Professional landscaping is accented by a bluestone front walkway & paver patio. The private backyard is completely fenced, and houses a play set. Downtown Libertyville & the Des Plaines River Trail are only a short distance away.

The utmost of care was put into the craftsmanship of this Colonial-influenced home. Custom millwork carries throughout and includes solid panel doors, crown moldings, chair rail and wainscoting. Rich oak flooring is enhanced by soft decorator tones. Our center entry is flanked by a formal dining room, lit by a designer chandelier; and on the other side French doors lead to the den, capped with a coffered ceiling. Serving as a mudroom as well, the first floor laundry room has tile flooring. The washer and dryer remain. This home was built to satisfy Energy Star requirements--which translates to lower operating costs due to higher efficiency its construction.

Who wouldn't love this fabulous kitchen? With it's efficient design and stunning appointments, including dark hued oak flooring and an abundance of 42" glazed maple cabinetry it's the heart of the home! Under counter lighting brightens the tumbled marble backsplash and gleaming granite counters. Culinary masters take delight in the Viking Professional Series stainless steel appliances, including a gas cooktop with chimney hood, built-in convection microwave, a wall oven, dishwasher & built-in refrigerator along with a beverage cooler in the butler's pantry. Quick meals can be eaten at the breakfast bar while the spacious eating area is large enough to hold an extended table. Don't miss all the storage space--pantry cabinets as well as a walk-in!

A terrific focal point to the family room, is the brick gas-start fireplace--perfect for keeping warm and cozy on a winter's evening. The craftsman style oak staircase is thoughtfully tucked out of the way. Recessed lighting, built-in speakers and cove molding complete the room.

Double doors reveal the master suite, heightened by volume ceilings, garnished with recessed lighting and a delicate chandelier. The private spa bath offers a custom designed double sink vanity and linen tower, designer tile flooring & surrounds, private commode room, whirlpool tub, a separate shower with dual controls, and a large walk-in closet. A great spot to unwind at the end of your day.

Three generously sized secondary bedrooms share the second floor. All boast volume ceilings, great closet space and overhead lighting. Easily accessible, the hall bath is compartmented for shared use, and hosts a double sink vanity.

Professionally finished, the full basement has a marvelous open and functional design. Two continuous rec room spaces provide a terrific expansion of the home's living area. Plush carpeting coupled with recessed lighting add to the enjoyment of this bright space. For your added convenience there is a full bath--complete with a tiled shower. There’s lots of storage too!

Home Information:

Beds: 4

Baths: 3.50

Sqft: 3000

Price: $837000

MLS #: 08583088

Saturday, April 12, 2014

1913 Lynn Circle, Libertyville YouTube video posted - via Circlepix.com

1913 Lynn Circle Libertyville, IL 60048

New listing video just posted:


Description: Well placed to the rear of the community is where this fine traditional townhome is located. Quality built brick & Hardi-board siding exterior with custom finishing features inside & out are yours to enjoy and appreciate every day! Behind this residence are the Liberty Grove single family homes. The private balcony provides a tranquil oasis. Independence Grove Forest Preserve, with its 1100 acres of land and the 115 acre lake, is right outside your front door!

True to both Cape Cod and Colonial themes of the home's exterior design, custom touches are found throughout the interior. Fine crown moldings and chair railing compliment the gleaming hardwood flooring. As the focal point of the main living area, the remote controlled gas fireplace is highlighted by a marble surround and custom designed cherry mantle & mill work. Entertaining is truly enjoyable from the adjacent formal dining room. Plantation shutters and custom lighting make this room shine! Features include: designer paint tones; upgraded, plush neutral carpet & padding; solid interior doors; whole home sound system; security system; a large laundry room with utility tub and 18" ceramic tile floor; and an oversized 2 1/2 car heated garage, is complete with a professionally installed epoxy floor as well as cable access.

Your very own chef's kitchen that's both well designed and richly appointed with oak flooring, tile backsplash, and upgraded cherry cabinetry - capped with crown molding - is truly a culinary delight! Featuring an abundance of cabinets equipped with under cabinet lighting and topped with rich Zodiac counters, an extended breakfast bar, and a spacious walk-in pantry closet—this really is the heart of the home! Appliances include: gas cook-top, wall oven (convection too) and separate microwave, refrigerator, trash compactor and dishwasher. Enjoy your meals under the glow of the designer light fixtures. The four bar stools remain.

The dramatic family room is ready for relaxing and entertaining. A fabulous wall of custom built-in cherry cabinetry includes shelving, a sink, wine cooler and Zodiac counters. Designed to offer a variety of TV placement this is a room of marvelous space and intimate ambience.

A loft on the 2nd floor provides not only a perfect buffer space between the 2 bedrooms but a great space for a home office/computer room/music room.

French doors open into the master suite which really does provide a retreat anyone would welcome at the end of the day! Simple yet elegant this space enjoys 9 foot ceilings with cove molding, wood blinds, and an ample size walk-in closet with organizers. Prepare to pamper yourselves in the private bathroom en-suite with double bowl dark cherry vanity, twin wood trimmed mirrors and ceramic tile flooring. A spacious shower with custom tile, rain shower and frameless glass door complete the space.

Two ample-sized secondary bedrooms each have private bathrooms, with bedroom #2 complete with a whirlpool tub. Kohler fixtures with lifetime warrantees are found throughout the home. This particular model was originally designed to house an elevator. The custom window treatments remain.

Home Information:

Beds: 3

Baths: 3.50

Sqft: 2550

Price: $438000

MLS #: 08582175