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A Few of My Favorite Things

Heidi Seagren Shares Some Very Special Residential Features That Help Make a House a Home.

Article by Heidi Seagren

Photography by Jeff Bara, Meg Berger and Laura Howard

Originally published in SW Lake Lifestyle

I’ve loved houses since I was four years old. For me a home has always been a place for families, memories, and a peaceful retreat.

We are blessed with such a variety of homes in our communities. From grand painted ladies in the Barrington Historic District, to the narrow, tree-lined lanes of North Barrington; from the lifestyle amenities of the gated golf course neighborhoods of Lake Barrington Shores, Wynstone and Royal Melbourne, to the countryside serenity of Long Grove and Barrington Hills, there’s something here for nearly everyone.

With more than 26 years in the real estate business, and deep local roots going back 50 years, helping families find or sell a home has been my passion.

I’ve been in hundreds of homes, and it is always so exciting to discover something I’ve never seen before. That’s why I was so happy to help the SW Lake team with this story about some of my favorite things. Experience teaches us to look at the details that add to the whole of a home. It’s in the details that you can arrive at a conclusion that says this may just be the perfect house for the right family.

In older homes we look for Old World Craftsmanship, whether it’s the enduring charm of stained glass, detailed wood molding, transom windows or 20th century hardware.

In a newer home it’s the height of ceilings, the amount of light filling the spaces, the design of a kitchen, the ampleness of closets and storage, and the openness of the floor plan.

Curb appeal or streetscape is what draws in a buyer.

Amenities, such as a pool, patio, sunroom, screened porch, wine cellar, a private pond, and outdoor living space make a home stand out.

My team and I at Seagren Fine Homes put together a list of favorite things, and then searched through thousands of photo files to narrow our focus down to nine truly remarkable features in local homes we are so pleased to share.

  1. When it comes to how a home presents itself to the rest of the world it starts at the curb. I love this paver driveway, beautiful landscaping, and the feeling of arrival. This is perfect curb appeal because it proclaims, "You've arrived. Welcome home!"
  2. An outdoor pool provides countless hours of summertime fun for family and friends. Is there anything quite as stunning as a lighted pool after dark? This is an elegant pool with great hardscape, furniture, and views. It’s pristine and inviting.
  3. Primary suites are meant to be an oasis: a place for privacy, relaxation and rest. This simple, yet beautiful free-standing European soaking tub is fabulous. Having one with a view of a gorgeous yard and pond makes the setting even better.
  4. For sheer drama this is by far the most stunning foyer I've had the pleasure of "selling.” A reverse bridal double staircase has custom-crafted contemporary balusters. Take note how the stairs continue descending to a lower level. Also, look how the arches on the second level, distant door, and even the tiling complement each other completely. Wouldn’t this be a perfect setting for an intimate family wedding?
  5. Kitchens are the hub of every home, and nothing shouts clean and relevant like one that’s freshly remodeled. I love the perfection of the timeless white subway tile and how the space is expertly staged in this wonderfully inviting photo.
  6. In Barrington’s historic district, there’s a Painted Lady Victorian that my sellers gutted and updated, bringing it back to its original grandeur. Retaining the original leaded glass, hardware and crown molding adds to the home’s magical feel.
  7. The long, elegant table for 12 and warmth of the space is exceptionally set off by the well-finished box beam ceiling in this dining room. It is a finely appointed way to showcase a room where you can practically hear the laughter of guests and the tinkling of glassware.
  8. Outdoor living space is a huge draw. I love the majesty of this fireplace, the brawn of the hardscaping and knowing that on a cool night, there’s nothing better than a host distributing blankets and asking family and friends to pull their chairs closer to the warmth of a roaring fire.

About the Author: Heidi Seagren of Seagren Fine Homes is an award-winning top producer with more than $435 million in sales. She is a Founding Broker with Compass Realty in Barrington. Learn more at Compass.com/agents/heidi-seagren or call 847.306.0600.

"It’s in the details that you can arrive at a conclusion that says this may just be the perfect house for the right family."

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