Next to kitchens, a bathroom remodel offers the biggest return on investment. While you may not be ready to rip out the commode or re-tile your bathtub, simple updates like installing a programmable shower at your Chicago condo can add value and luxury. It’s the latest in shower technology, and it will have you hitting the snooze button a little less in the morning so you can spend more time in the hot water.
Chicago luxury bathrooms Programmable showers feature easy-to-use digital controls that let each member of the family pre-set their ideal water temperature, pressure, and even the type of spray, from a steady stream to pulsating jets. Best of all, the waterproof control panel mounts right on the shower wall where you can alter any setting at the touch of a button.

One of these…

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Chicago luxury dining and shoppingChicago is a place where luxury abounds! From amazing condo buildings and hotels, to first-class restaurants, it’s long been a destination that caters to the rich and famous. Maybe you have friends or family coming into town, or you’re simply looking to plan a perfect Chicago luxury weekend. Here’s a look at where to shop and eat when it comes to Chicago luxury living! 

Graham Elliot: The former chef from Avenues at The Peninsula Chicago has a couple of his own restaurants around the city. His namesake restaurant offers a 10-course prix-fixe menu with interesting dishes that are truly an art form. Warning: you will leave full and satisfied.

The Peninsula Hotel: Despite Mr. Elliot leaving for his own pastures, Avenues is still one of Chicago’s best…

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Chicago Bank Owned Home SalesIn 2012, sales of foreclosed Chicago homes in the metropolitan area grew 31% from the previous year despite a decrease in the number of nationwide foreclosures. The information comes from a recent survey by RealtyTrac, a real estate information service. According to their findings, the Chicago-area saw 43,178 foreclosed properties last year, and foreclosure sales accounted for 31% of all sales in the area. That’s a 1% increase from 2011.

In fact, the number of bank-owned property sales was up across Illinois. Experts say that the number of distressed homes sold in Illinois last year was up 52% year-over-year. Nationwide, foreclosure sales fell 6% last year, and foreclosures accounted for 21% of all U.S. sales.

Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac,…

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Chicago Jumbo MortgageThe price of Chicago luxury homes along the north shore as well as in downtown Chiacgo are rising briskly, just like they are around the country in luxury markets like San Francisco and the Hamptons. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of luxury properties priced between $750,000 and $1 million are up 38.7% over a year ago, while luxury homes priced $1 million and over are up 25.7%.

Jumbo mortgages are helping to revive the once depressed Chicago luxury real estate market. These loans, which are typically over $417,000, don’t qualify for purchase by federal agencies like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. And after they nearly went extinct in the wake of the lending crisis that crippled the industry and caused much of the real estate meltdown,…

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Chicago Condo Decorating IdeasThere is no shortage of exceptional products on the market to help you maximize space, but the folks at Urbio are taking urban gardens to new heights with their product that will help you ready your Chicago condo for spring! Urbio is an urban vertical garden that acts like a wall organizer for plants. Chicago condo owners can use their vertical wall space to incorporate a garden into their homes without forfeiting precious space in their attached home.

Jared Aller and Beau Oyler are the brains behind Urbio, and they collaborated with the Enlisted Design Team to make their product a reality. Having created outstanding lifestyle products for companies like Williams-Sonoma, Nestlé, Netgear and Clorox, it was no surprise that their product was so…

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Chicago Condo Sales UpChicago condo sales have been assisting the local real estate market with its recovery. In fact, this is the strongest the local real estate market has been since 2006 due to a surge Chicago condo sales in December. A combination of sales for attached and detached homes in the seven-county metro area were up 20% year-over-year, while the sales of attached homes climbed 23%.

According to MRED (Midwest Real Estate Data), the regional multiple listing service, there’s good news across the board when it comes to Chicago real estate. They found that sales prices are moving in tandem with the number of sales: up. In December, the median sales price of all homes sold was 5.5% higher than a year before. The median price for an attached home saw even greater…

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Chicago Luxury Home Owner GiftsMoving is a chore, and whether you’re doing it yourself or you’ve hired movers to assist you with the packing, it can be a stressful time. While you may feel compelled to offer your two hands, sometimes, a gift is all your friends need to let them know you care. If you’re looking for a luxury gesture to send your friends on their way or to welcome newbies to the neighborhood, check-out LuxeBox.

"Some people have called us Welcome Wagon on steroids," said Mike Ruskin, vice president of sales for Sandow, publisher of Luxe Interiors + Design magazine and creator of the LuxeBox. It’s 15 pounds of luxury living all wrapped up in a pretty little bow. Each LuxeBox includes goodies from designers, remodelers, and suppliers of cabinetry, carpeting, home…

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Chicago Legacy Millennium ParkChicago luxury real estate made amazing strides in 2012, and luxury home buyers have proven their love for The Legacy at Millennium Park here in town. Sales of Chicago luxury real estate rose 15% last year, driving inventory down to its lowest level since before the housing market fell apart.

And The Legacy at Millennium Park can absolutely attest to the surge in sales. Adds James Hanson, principal of Mesa Development LLC who developed The Legacy at Millennium Park, "Finding the home you want has a lot to do with timing. We were all victims of bad timing a few years ago, but today's buyers at the Legacy are finding that their timing is impeccable. In addition to market conditions that make this an ideal time to buy, we still have a variety of available…

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