Make It Better’s 2018 Home Issue: Inside a Winnetka Dream Home, Chicago’s Newest High-Rises and More

Fall always feels like a bit of a contradiction to me: Cool weather and crisp, colorful leaves remind us that the year is coming to a close, yet the air practically buzzes with the excitement of new beginnings as the kids head back to school. Mixed in with the wistfulness of time passing is a whole lot of promise and optimism — feelings that are especially poignant for me as my oldest son heads off to kindergarten. Truly, where does the time go?

And for parents of kids who’ve left for college (I’m told I’ll blink and this will be me), life will take on a new normal as you get used to the silence and free time that comes with being empty nesters. So even though I will be slightly relieved to have my little ones back in school (I’ll be attempting to regain some control of my house after a long, Lego-filled summer, and I’m planning to hit up the design shops on page 68 for a little interior inspiration), I’m going to make it a point to spend as much quality time together as possible. We’re really looking forward to our annual trip to the pumpkin patch — see page 35 for some of the best spots around — and as much festive fun as we can pack into the season (p. 75).

All that said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the theme of this issue is Living Well — both by spending time with the people we love and by taking care of ourselves so we can continue to live vibrantly. On page 42, read the incredible story of a Winnetka family who turned a devastating fire into an opportunity to build their dream home. If you’ve got school-age kids, you’re going to want to turn to page 45 to check out that breakfast banquette — talk about goals! Or, if you’re considering a move from the ‘burbs to the city (here’s looking at you, empty nesters!), prepare to be seriously enticed by the unbelievable amenities at some of the city’s newest luxury high-rises (p. 65).

Shifting the focus to our corporeal homes, turn to page 50 to learn how to dip your toes into that elusive fountain of youth by adopting five surprising habits of people who age well. (I’ll give you a hint: The Greeks are onto something.) Then, head to page 99 for our “Senior Superlatives,” where you’ll meet four age-defying senior citizens for whom life just keeps getting better. Have an aging adult in your life who could use some support or a new place to call home? Our Senior Living Directory (p. 100) is packed with local resources.

This issue really does offer something for everyone, from kindergartner to senior — and I hope you’ll have as much fun flipping through these pages as we did creating them for you. Here’s to your new beginning, whatever that may be.


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Brooke McDonaldEditor in Chief of Make It Better, Brooke Geiger McDonald is a Chicago native and Northwestern University grad who spent a decade away from home working for O, The Oprah Magazine and Shape magazine in NYC, and getting her master’s degree in English literature and working in book publishing in London. Back home in Chicago, she’s outnumbered by her husband and two boys, and the four of them are certifiable Disney and Star Wars fanatics. Other obsessions include Charles Dickens, wine and authentic Neapolitan pizza. Her favorite cause to support is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Follow her on Instagram: @brookejmcdonald.