Archive | August 2011

Marbleizing your home interior, softly

Stripes, chevrons, polka dots, plaids and other common patterns aren’t the only shapes that may grace your home interior. Now marble has transcended its stony properties and made its way into a popular pattern that’s popping up on decor, fabrics and other accessories. It is no coincidence that marbleized designs have appeared on fall 2011 fashion runways, either.

If the idea of marbleized motif looks and sounds a bit 1970s (read: gaudy), think again. Today’s updated looks are colorful, classy and won’t leave your home looking like a hotel or an oversize Easter egg.

For example: Old World overlay with New World color seamlessly meet for a timeless look. A lamp like this can sit on an end table for years, without question.

A faux marble-framed mirror can make a foyer more grand, a lived-in room more formal.
These napkins will complement any solid-colored dishware at the dinner table. Plume them at the place settings for a dramatic effect.

If you’re not feeling bold yet, start out small and inexpensive, such as with a pencil cup and notepad holder. See if you get any compliments from your friends!
When done properly, adding marble touches to your home decor can impress lasting quality on the style and mood of a room.

Photo source: Elle Decor


Southside Lakefront is Future of Chicago


Despite this drag in the economy that has been lingering for way too long, I have noticed how much money has tricked down to my neighborhood in TIF projects, road work, and future projects commercial projects.

Many of the projects have been voted on and are now in the works-thankfully.  I have observed nicer El Stops, new CTA bus stop shelters, rust free steel supports for el track bridges while North Avenue’s EL bridge off the exit has been deteriorating for way too many years. Brand newly paved streets, and a considerably nicer south LSD compared to the old pothole mess of North Lake Shore Drive. Then there is the new development for boat slips being built at 35th street on the lake just south of McCormick Place. Which will be the most high end boat slip development Chicago has ever seen with a restaurant, parking, parks, lots of amenities. Major work is under way now for the Harper Court project  and the building just west of Starbucks on 53rd is currently getting a major makeover. Wholefoods will be 30,000 square feet and is going to be replace the Village Foods entire lot.

What does this all add up to: The south side is the future of Chicago. Yes, the North Side on the lake, has come as far as it can go residential wise. Now things are moving on to the south side, where its widely undeveloped and untapped. We live about 2 blocks west of South Lake Shore Drive. It’s along the lake and it has very easy access to 90/94 and 55-far better access than the north side of the city. I have lived here for seven years and like the quirkiness of the area and also its edginess.  I have no doubt that eventually it will be similar to what Wicker Park and Andersonville is today. It will be diversified economically and socially, lots of new great properties and all the commercial infrastructure is finally coming to Hyde Park.

Residential wise, my favorite area is Oakwood Shores  from 46th to Oakwood Street. Always east of Cottage Grove. Because it has the easiest access to LSD and other highways.

  • Drexel Boulevard between 42nd north to the fountain
  • Oakenwald Street (entrance just past Walgreens  & 46th at Oakenwald)
  • Plus streets east of Drexel Boulevard between 44th and 46th-pockets

Both of these areas have easy access to a close exit to South Lake Shore Drive and all streets are very quiet without a ton of rentals or subsidized housing. I chose Oakwood Shores over Hyde Park because the condos are much larger for less cost and I like wide open spaces. Hyde Park feels too tight and clustered to me. Its a walking neighborhood and I’m clearly a car lover. It’s hard to find parking in Hyde Park unless you are in a single family home.

When buying a condo or single family, remember my past articles on buying condos. Read them and do your research before buying. Hire the right Real Estate attorney. Mike Dudak on Dearborn Street in Printers Row is one of my favorite real estate attorneys in the city.

If you are a dog lover, Drexel Boulevard is the place to be. I have a view of the park across the street and I love it. It’s quiet and very peaceful.  At Drexel & Oakwood there is a running track and a kids park.  That park is great for those who like to walk with their dogs too. There is an outside sidewalk outside the track and people with big dogs use that route.  Or you are only 2 blocks from the lake so you can always run over to the Oakwood exit and walk along LSD.  There are better areas of Drexel Boulevard too. The north side of the boulevard is noticeably nicer and quieter. Why? Not near as many rentals and more owners.

Currently I’m still driving to Roosevelt for Whole Foods but it doesn’t bother me. I also go to treasure island on Lake Park and Hyde Park produce on 53rd which I love. But I’m looking forward to more choices in this neighborhood and hope more are to come.



Coming To Hyde Park:

Lineoleum & Vinyl: Cool, Green, & Updated for those on a budget

I’ve already decided: my next floors will be linoleum and I don’t care what anyone thinks. I like linoleum. And I like new vinyl wood floors. They have come a long way.  Linoleum is a green product, great for people with allergies and pets..and its very easy to care for. It also doesn’t cause leg fatigue like ceramic.

Do I think its for all homes?  Absolutely Not. Its not for a penthouse or a high-end home. I see it for a smaller cottage like homes or bungalows. You have to use it carefully especially with furniture and design. Everything around it has to stay within price perspective.

I like the thought of linoleum with a mix of white oak floors about the house, but I’ve always wanted an interesting floor in my kitchen without spending crazy money and this is the way to achieve that. I can see a checker board floor but not in black in white…in my next kitchen. The colors these days are wide and current, and you have a lot of choice in the design because they have more rectangular sizes and varied square sizes.  Now they even have crocodile embossed vinyl as well .    Which is gorgeous but not as cheap as a simple colored marmoleum linoleum. Also if you grow out of these and want to upgrade, its very easy to put wood right over these floors.

Vinyl Wood floors have come a very long way…look amazing, and are totally appropriate for those who have kids and dogs…..its soft on the legs and feet and just needs a special soap for the vinyl and water on occasion. I have seen it used in home gyms , kitchens,  and throughout the house of a MODERATE priced home.

Sheila at International Floor Coverings in Chicago (847) 943-2016 has the nicest  Vinyl Wood flooring samples to choose from. I’m not so sure if she has a lot of Marmoleum. Her typical client doesn’t request this but she could easily get samples if you need them.