Countless movies and melodies say that home is the best place to be during the holidays. Fortunately, the market boasts several residences that would be ideal for parties and celebrations when tradition requires — and throughout the rest of the year, too.
Our leading contender, a four-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, 2,750-square-foot house at 632 Academy Woods in Lake Forest for $775,000 (down from $800,000) is “not just a home, it’s a lifestyle,” says its sales agent, Baird & Warner broker Chris Puszynski (847-812-7265, Chris.email@example.com). Designed in an English style by an award-winning architect for his own family and built in 1998, it sports elegantly sized social areas with handsome wood-burning fireplaces in the living, dining and family rooms as well as the master suite. During warm weather there are plenty of areas that are perfect for a party, including a patio off the first-floor master suite, a three-season screened-in porch and an upper sun deck. The lush English gardens add to the versatility and enchantment of the home. Best of all, it’s located in Academy Woods, a subdivision where all maintenance is done year-round for a modest assessment that averages $300 per month.
Here are a few more homes with spaces that make entertaining easy.
• 4137 N. Claremont — a 2,700-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Chicago’s North Center with charming, impeccably updated interiors — welcomes guests at first glance with an oversized, inviting front porch. The 1909 bungalow also has a large backyard with a garage-top deck, ideal for summer festivities. For entertaining in cooler weather, there are graciously sized formal living and dining rooms and a lower-level family room with a wet bar, all for $699,000. Contact Prudential Rubloff broker Jeff Lowe, (312) 339-1133, Jeff@lowegroupchicago.com.
• 419 E. Prospect in east Lake Bluff (right) — an 1870 colonial with 2,500 square feet, four bedrooms and two bathrooms for $625,000 — has not only a modern garage addition and an updated interior, but also formal living and dining rooms, an extra large family room with a huge hearth for year-round to-dos, two patios and an enormous yard for outdoor gatherings. Contact Prudential Rubloff broker Tracy Wurster, (312) 972-2515, Twurster@rubloff.com.
Light Up the Night
Add aesthetic drama to any gathering with the Greek Isles candleholders, a set of six graphically striking candlesticks in different heights and shapes. All are made out of sandcast brass with a textured bronze patina. $249, Crate and Barrel, 850 W. North, (312) 573-9800, Crateandbarrel.com[nggallery id=real-SLH-122312]