According to conventional real estate wisdom, a place should be “pristine” when it goes on the market. Decoded, that means devoid of character and color so buyers can visualize their own possessions in the place. Yet it’s not hard to make the case that noted Chicago architect Andrew Rebori, best known for his art moderne landmark Fisher Studio Houses at 1209 N. State and patrician high-rise at 1325 N. Astor, wouldn’t approve of the “white out” approach at the 1923 neoclassical co-op he designed at 50 W. Schiller. The original clients were a group of tony Lake Foresters “who wanted extraordinary pied-à-terres for their in-town excursions,” notes Koenig & Strey broker Helen Beller (773-314-3444; Hbeller@koenigstrey.com). To meet their high standards, Rebori made every unit a duplex complete with high ceilings, different square footage and a unique layout. Clearly the owners of 2H, a 1,500-square-foot two-bedroom two-bathroom, down to $489,000 from $595,000, take such provenance seriously. They’ve done a remarkable job giving the unit an authentic Parisian jazz-age demeanor “that looks even better in person,” says Beller. Not surprisingly, the owners behind this décor are design stars in their own right: It’s Mark and Linda Heister, the husband-and-wife duo who dressed socialites for years under the clothing label Mark Heister Designs.
Intrigued by the idea of a home with built-in personality? Here are a few more market options that fit the bill.
• 3400 N. Lake Shore, Unit GB: a three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo that was part of the lobby of this prewar beaux-arts building. It has 13-foot-high beamed and arched ceilings, and exquisite millwork throughout for $499,000. Contact Prudential Rubloff broker Brad Lippitz, (773) 230-5100.
• 928 N. Howe, Unit 928: a two-bedroom, two-bathroom town house loaded with thoughtful decorative touches that enhance its contemporary design for $379,000. Contact Baird & Warner broker Sheila Troy, (312) 560-6321.
•351 W. Dickens, Unit 4E: a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo with 16-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, two fireplaces and a lofted crow’s nest right in the middle of the living room for $499,000. Contact Baird & Warner broker Maria Boncza, (312) 833-3233.
Accept the Mantel
Add instant panache to a room with the Sarreid Coromandel mantel box, a hand-carved, gilded box with a painted interior. It’s designed to grace a fireplace, but is classic enough to go anywhere. It measures 24¼ inches wide, 5¼ inches deep and 4¼ inches high. $359 at Walter E. Smithe, Smithe.com.