One-of-a-Kind Penthouse with Forever Views
Amazing Architecture in Lincoln Park
Modern Living in Smith Park

Gettin’ HYGGE With It

Many of you have been hearing about the new lifestyle trend “hygge” (pronounced hoo-ga) sweeping the nation.  This booming trend in the US is really a way of life for the Danish and inherent in their culture.  Statistically Denmark is voted one of the happiest countries in the world so perhaps there is something important to gain from studying their culture and this notion of hygge. So what is hygge?  Hygge cannot be translated into a single word, but it does represent a cozy state of being and enjoying the simple things in life.  Turning off your phone and electronics and tuning into relationships, family, and friends. It is about taking your time and relishing in the moments.  Candles (and lighting), throws, and pillows play an integral role in all things hygge.  Laughter and indulgence is also very hyggeligt (i.e. hygge-like).  Essentially, sit on the sofa with someone special, share…

Feng Shui Your Home For The New Year

The New Year brings new opportunities to revitalize your home.  We know you strive for your home to be a reflection of you but we all could use a bit more calm in the New Year. Thus, we put together a brief guide to feng shui (pronounced fung shway) your home into 2017 with harmony and style. Make your bed every morning                                                                                                                 This daily ritual will allow you to start the day with successful and bountiful energy. Clear the clutter to open the space                        …

Happy Holidays from the Gillman Group

Amidst the holiday season it’s vital we take time to appreciate the memories- good and bad- that transpired throughout the year.  Highlights of our year include surprise birthday parties, time spent with amazing friends and family who enrich our lives, becoming a Godmother, and a new career endeavor affording me the opportunity to work with my Mom everyday.   This year we lost one of our oldest and dearest friends and client, Bill Smith of Smithfield Properties.  Bill was a visionary in Real Estate development and transformed Chicago residential living.  Seeing buildings we love, like 30 W. Oak Street, illustrate the talent and keen eye for detail Bill possessed. His legacy and the stamp he made on Chicago architecture will live on through these beautiful and timeless developments.  We will miss Bill and all those we lost; they are forever in our hearts. Looking to 2017 there are always question marks, but we embrace the changes…

Chicago Lurie Garden: The City’s Secret Escape

When one enters Chicago’s Lurie Garden, you are immediately swept to the fields of Provence or some charming European village with overgrown grasses and flowers meticulously kept unmanicured.  I like to think of this sort of design as controlled chaos; while there appears to be this effortlessness, a lot of time and energy goes into creating this “wild” and whimsical aesthetic.  My favorite landscape architect, Piet Oudolf, is the mastermind behind Lurie Garden- as well NYC’s High Line and many other beautiful gardens globally.  Most landscape architects will choose shrubs for their low maintenance and clean lines but Oudolf combines perennials, which all bloom at different seasons, so we have year-round access to this hidden gem. The moment I walked into Lurie Garden, it was as though I found a “secret garden” or rather an oasis of serenity within the busy downtown Millennium Park.  While relatively small in size, I…

A Trip to the 9/11 Memorial Museum

This past weekend the Gillman Group flew to New York for a wedding. While spending time with our family, we took a few hours away to visit the newly open 9/11 Memorial Museum. It was truly a memorable experience that brought you right back to that terrible day in history. A common question you hear people ask regarding 9/11/2001 is: Do you remember what you were doing when you found out…? Upon entering the museum there is a unique sensory experience of hearing voices recalling their memories of that morning. I know I can remember the exact details I experienced that morning and the days to follow despite the 15 years that have since passed. Everything in the museum is fascinating and heartbreaking- from seeing remnants of the foundation and the remaining twisted steel to pieces of the actual planes that hit the Twin Towers. The physical amount recovered from…

Treasure Hunting

Over Labor Day weekend, the Gillman Group headed to Harbert, Michigan for a little rest and relaxation with dear friends.  Our friends also happen to be the most talented Chicago interior designers and enjoy antique shopping, gallery hopping, and art fairs as much as we do.  What we lovingly call “treasure hunting,” is a great way to find unique pieces to add character to your home- without necessarily spending the high prices to do so. During our trip we went to an art fair boasting beautiful antiquities and art from curators and artists throughout the US.  We fell deeply in love with Mbuti Pygmy barkcloths brought from the Ituri Forest in the Congo.  The bark of ficus trees are turned into a cloth-like fabric and then drawings are painted with plant dye as abstract expressions of the moods and features of the forest. The dimensions of each cloth vary but…

Kitchen Trends in 2016

Having the opportunity to see a variety of homes on a daily basis enables us to see the latest in design trends. Kitchens are particularly important since certain styles will date the space. As real estate brokers, we understand the need for simplicity but since we have a knack for interior design, we also appreciate timeless looks with a twist. Here are some tips to achieve a classic kitchen, keeping on trend and even adding a little character: White is not the only neutral Let’s face it, who doesn’t love an all white kitchen? The practicality of white, however, is a different story. It’s hard for whites to stay crisp and weathered looking. The beauty of pale, tonal greys is that you get the longevity and a little more character than just your average all-white kitchen. Greys and whites look beautiful together as well, so you don’t have to opt…

Up-and-Coming Neighborhood: Smith Park

It’s not easy to predict the next “it” neighborhood, however our family has been in tune to Chicago trends, particularly after studying real estate cycles and driving every inch of this city.  A common element in these up-and-coming neighborhoods is foodie establishments.  Often we see popular restaurateurs opening new dining experiences in neighborhoods on the brink of discovery.  The Gillman Group discovered food and so much more in Smith Park. Smith Park is west of Western Avenue – near our favorite corner at Augusta and California.  There, restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff has opened C.C. Ferns, catering to locals looking for great coffee and a quiet place to work.  They boast an impressive cigar collection which somehow seems apropos in the eclectic, rustic, atmosphere.  Around the corner he also acquired the beloved lounge, California Clipper, and has revived it to it’s former glory.   Brendan Sodikoff is currently one of the most interesting and adventurous restaurateurs looking to be a pioneer, not just in restaurant concepts, but also in…

Curb Appeal Matters

We’ve already discussed that first impressions are everything, but first impressions don’t start upon entering a home.  88% of home-buyers initiate their search online and of those 63% will drive past a property they like.  What do they see? The home’s exterior includes the front door, hand railings and stairs, condition of the façade, landscaping, garage, and the parkways and sidewalks.  Consequently, maintaining the exterior impacts the potential number of viewers a listed home receives. Look at your home objectively and decide what you would like to see as a potential buyer.  A clean and neat appearance can subliminally convey to buyers that the home is well-maintained. We know it’s a challenge with children to put bicycles or toys away, but doing these small tasks and picking up debris, make for a more pleasing entry.  Additionally, you may find issues you have previously not paid attention to-  cracking paint, dirty…

Staging Your Home For A Quick Sale!

Buyers need to imagine living in your space so it’s vital to take the following steps:

1. Remove All Clutter
A clean home suggests it’s been well maintained. In other words, clothes a strewn and an abundance of knick-knacks only detract from the space itself. Too many photographs can also distract potential buyers or worse, prevent from envisioning themselves in the property. Pictures may humanize homeowners but then the home “belongs” to someone else. The solution: start removing!

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