Home Design: Bachelor Pad, Family Style

A Winnetka man’s one-time bachelor pad now includes many family-friendly features.

Although happily married today, the owner of this Cedar Shake home on the lakefront in Winnetka was a divorced father of three grown children when he began construction on the house 6 years ago.

“Building the house was a special project and a way to keep busy,” explains the owner, a retired company executive who serves on several boards of directors.

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The property includes many features that are likely to appeal to men of all stripes, including a basement recreation room, which includes a 1,100-bottle wine cellar as well as video and pinball games.

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Not to mention there’s a cozy den in the third-story turret, which overlooks Lake Michigan. “In the winter, the ice is along the shoreline, and it’s really pretty,” the owner says. “I go up there to read, and reading often becomes a nap.” Also on the property is a newly renovated 900-square-foot boathouse with a garage, where he stores his motorized dock on wheels.

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When the owner remarried 3 years ago, his new wife completed furnishing the home and softened up the décor. In the basement rec room, she swapped out the basketballs autographed by Michael Jordan in favor of African baskets and other decorative accents.

While the house remains “man-centric,” the owner says that his new wife and their respective children find plenty to love as well. “The family room is always busy,” the owner explains.

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But the lake is the real draw. “Summers are fun, because we’ll take the boat out, turn off the engine and just drift in the lake,” the owner says. Other times, they just enjoy sitting on the deck atop the boathouse where they watch the ever-changing colors of the lake and the site of boats and steamer ships cruising by. “I come out here in the mornings to read The Wall Street Journal and have a cup of coffee. It’s really special.”

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More photos from the Winnetka home:

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Photos also by Tate Gunnerson