Over-The-Top Kid’s Closets For Chicago Luxury Homes and New Construction

Luxury homes are no stranger to lavish master suites that include expansive dressing and vanity areas. But there’s a new suite in the house getting major design attention—the children’s closet. Homeowners are beginning to make investments into this oft-forgotten storage space to create a big-time closet design that combines a unique aesthetic and necessary function into one.

If you take a look at luxury listings in Chicago, high-end homes always have a handful of features that make a property stand out from the rest. It was likely just a matter of time before luxury homeowners and new construction buyers came up with something new to make their homes—and their little ones—feel special and important.

Boutique-style closets for the kids are, of course, larger, and might also include shoe racks, designer wallpaper, a chandelier or two and elegant organizational tools (think velvet-lined drawers or modular systems that grow as a child does). Besides creating a special space for children of any age, a tailored closet can teach them to organize their belongings at an early age.

A custom kid’s closet via Houzz. Photo by Dominick Tringali Architects.

The Wall St. Journal recently covered this new trend, noting that many projects start from simple vanity, with parents taking the opportunity to be a bit more adventurous in an Internet-sharing-worthy design. But a high-end closet system can also increase a home’s value when it comes time to sell, especially if the space is adaptable enough to grow with the child who uses it.

Akin to a cute child, the custom closet can certainly emit the “oohs” and “aahs” from anyone who sees it. It’s a fresh take on luxury home design that I think many buyers will find clever, both visually and functionally.

The Importance of Chicago Luxury Home Trends

If you’re building or remodeling your property, its important to think of what will play into your home’s resale value. I have extensive experience in working with new construction properties that include the most cutting-edge features, finishes and appliances, and would be happy to discuss with you what changes serve as “value-adds” to your home.
My eye for detail and the nuances that come with floorplan reconfiguration are of a great service to understand how certain elements can tie back to your home’s overall value. To discuss your home project and what trends are at the forefront of luxury real estate, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

How to Maximize a Chicago Luxury Home’s Sale Price

Painting your Chicago home before sellingIt’s no secret that color plays an important role in selling a luxury home.

If the colors are too, well, colorful, then a buyer might not be able to see past them and quickly decide a home isn’t their style. But if they are too bland, the home could seem uninteresting to a buyer looking for something they feel is special.

When I’m working with a seller to get their property sold, many don’t want to spend the time, money and energy to paint the home they’re planning to move out of. But, it’s a really important step that a seller can take to expedite the sale of their home. And I have found that sellers who do paint before going up for sale are always quite surprised at how quickly the home sells—and often at a higher price than they expected.

When it comes to the appearance of a luxury condo or home for sale, I always stress to my seller clients the importance of having a consistent color palette throughout the home. And secondly, a home with lighter paint colors throughout will typically sell faster than one with different dark colors as its background.

If you decide to give your home a fresh coat before putting it on the market (and I’d highly recommend it), you’ll be faced with another all-important question: What color?

Because color does indeed play a role in real estate, I always like to stay on top of the most recent colors that paint manufacturers and new construction developers are selecting for high-end properties, and there are a few clear trends at work right now.

The Paint Color of the Moment: White

When selling a home, you want to choose colors that a broad spectrum of buyers will identify with—across tastes and styles, lifestyles and interests. This topic was recently covered by the Wall Street Journal, and the article highlighted that the color that gets a home sold fast might not be considered a color at all: white.

Benjamin Moore selected “Simply White” as its 2016 color of the year, and the hue has endured among builders, developers and designers, particularly in urban areas. Experts associated its increased popularity with an increased focus on well-being, as the color is light, clean and refreshing.

Not to mention, white is a great canvas for buyers who are art collectors or design aficionados and won’t detract from art, architecture or design elements in a home. White won’t look dated, and gives buyers a neutral palette to imagine themselves living there.

Color in Your New Chicago Home

As paramount as color is when selling a home, it’s also an important part of the post-purchase process. After you’ve bought a home, it’s typically a next step to personalize it with your own chosen paint color and other décor.

For that reason, I’m offering my clients $2,500 at closing when they purchase or sell a home with me for $500,000 or more. If you’re looking to put that money toward painting, I have teamed up with an expert who can help you along the way. Click here to learn more about this special offer.

For more advice on getting your Chicago home ready to sell, or to talk more about your upcoming real estate moves, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

‘Smart’ Toilets a Smart Option for Chicago Luxury Homes and Condos

Contemporary Bathroom by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Jill Greaves Design via Houzz

The value of Chicago real estate can be greatly affected by how well a home meets what today’s buyers are looking for. Certain features and amenities that fit in with current trends might make a home more appealing, so it’s important for buyers and sellers alike to stay on top of what’s hot in modern homes right now.

Readers of this blog know that I closely follow home trends and consider how they might affect the value and appeal of luxury real estate in Chicago. We’ve explored ultra high-end ovens, coffee stations and jaw-dropping master baths, all great upgrades to a modern home. There really is no limit to the type or amount of luxury features that you might find.

But just when I thought I had a handle on the products you might consider for an upscale home, along comes: the smart toilet. The Wall St. Journal recently highlighted the toilet of all toilets: the Toto Washlet. With all of its high-tech bells and whistles, the Washlet takes one of the most simple home fixtures and brings it into 2014.

Hailing from Tokyo, these commodes are like something out of a movie. Touchless lids that lift on their own. Seats that heat up. A built-in bidet that…well, you know. Some even sync up with smart phones, so that the toilet remembers your preferences and can even play your favorite song through speakers that are built right into the bowl.

While it might seem kitschy or unnecessary to some, home trends like this can quickly become the norm and expectation in luxury real estate.

Bathrooms Becoming the New ‘It’ Room in Luxury Real Estate

Toilets aren’t the only thing getting an upgrade. Bathrooms in general are quickly becoming a room that homeowners are spending money on to create a luxury refuge in their home. The kitchen was once the focus of remodels and renovations that brought upscale features into a home. But bathrooms—and the master bath in particular—may be taking over.

More and more manufacturers are introducing bath fixtures that take this room to the next level. A few common trends I’ve seen in luxury bathrooms include:

Floating tubs: A freestanding tub adds to a spa-like feel, especially when paired with a great view from a high-rise Chicago condo.

Big showers: When it comes to shower space, bigger is better. Clean and simple styles pair perfectly with generous space to create a daily refuge. Features like a rain shower head, heated floors, and wireless speaker systems are all ways that let the shower take center stage.

Smart technologies: Adding things like wifi or audio/visual systems to the master bath truly make this room a destination for unwinding and relxing at the end of the day.

No touching required: From toilets to faucets, the bathroom is a great place to integrate fixtures that work at the wave of a hand rather than on contact.

In short, luxury amenities in the bathroom add everything from entertainment to efficiency to an extra level of hygiene. A “wow” bath is a great pull for buyers and something that can truly up the resale value of Chicago real estate when its done right.

For more information on current home trends or to talk about increasing the value of your Chicago home or condo, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

State-of-the-Art Ovens Make for a Showstopping Kitchen in your Chicago Luxury Home

In real estate, the term luxury can be a bit relative. For one person, a certain feature or amenity could be run of the mill, while for another it could be something very impressive, depending on your background or where you’re from. But some things—think about a Bentley or a Rolls Royce-—are showstoppers no matter what, and will make most people stop and say, “Wow!”

That level of luxury has made its way into Chicago real estate, particularly in the kitchen. Between the foodie movement and kitchens becoming the “hub” of the home, this room is getting more attention than ever. To meet that demand, the “Rolls Royces of kitchen appliances” are here, matching today’s technology-embedded lifestyles with kitchen ovens that go far beyond simply “high end.” These products really up the wow factor in a kitchen, which is a space that homebuyers are evaluating carefully when considering a home purchase.

Even having sold a $5 million home, I have to look twice at these kitchen ovens and am amazed at the product features that come with it. The design is stunning–both aesthetically and functionally–and is sure to wow future buyers when you get ready to resell your home.

The Wall Street Journal recently covered 6 hot (pun intended) ovens that are hitting the market and upping the level of luxury in the kitchen. From griddles to precise food temperature, to apps, these stoves have it all. Here are a few favorites among these superstar kitchen appliances:

Viking Professional 7 Series Range: This luxury range features a wireless temperature-monitoring system, a temperature probe and a device that plugs into the range to show the food temperature as it is cooking. The temperature can also be monitored through a smartphone app from up to 200 feet away. Price: $14,699

Molteni Ranges: Talk about a Rolls Royce of the kitchen. This made-to-order French range can be made in any size, shape or configuration and can include a range of options: a pasta cooker, fryer, shelves, sinks, electrical sockets and heated or refrigerated cabinets. Residential customers have even spent as much as $140,000 to add one of these to their homes. Price: Starting at $50,000

Five-Oven AGA Total Control: This range does double duty for cooking and for warming the kitchen. A smartphone app lets users send remote commands to the appliance, which features separate ovens for roasting, baking, simmering, slow-cooking and warming. Price: $20,299

60-Inch Dual Fuel Range by Wolf: Wolf has long been a favorite among homebuyers and builders in luxury Chicago real estate (often recognized for their signature red knobs). The 60-inch Dual Fuel Range is a dual convection oven that includes two 30-inch electric ovens and 10 cooking modes, ranging from pizza stones to a dehydrator. Price: $16,865

Grand Palais 180 by La Cornue: Another French company, La Cournue is known for the vaulted shape of its oven, along with its sleek design and seemingly endless customization options. Buyers can choose from 30 colors and 12 different trims. Price: Starts at $46,000

Thermador: The Thermador Pro Grand Steam oven combines multiple cooking elements into one: stovetop burners, a griddle, a grill, a conventional oven, a warming drawer and a steam oven all live within the one appliance. Later this year, the company is expected to introduce an indoor grill with lava rocks that infuse meat with more flavor.

Focus on Kitchens in Chicago Real Estate
Whether its a fancy oven to meet every cooking need or a built-in coffee shop in your own kitchen, kitchens are certainly having their proverbial day in the sun when it comes to home design. With the attention being paid to this space by buyers and sellers alike, it’s important to keep on on kitchen trends to have a handle on what defines “luxury” in the Chicago real estate market. A stand-out kitchen could easily be what differentiates one home on the market from the next.

It’s obvious that building a “wow” kitchen doesn’t come cheap. But all things considered, putting in new features, upgrading appliances or adding that something extra are sure ways to ensure you obtain premium dollar when you’re ready to sell.