Old-World European design has never gone out of style, as evidenced by these estates that have been updated to accommodate modern family life. Check out these grand, light-filled homes for sale on Chicago’s North Shore that are opulent, ideal for entertaining, and all-around showstoppers.
160 Old Farm Road, Northfield, $1,839,000
This 5-bedroom Provencal-style country retreat sits on almost 3 acres on a private road. Built in 1939, the brick residence has been carefully renovated to preserve its stylistic integrity. Wide-plank, white-oak floors and lofted ceilings are just a couple of the stunning interior features. An expansive kitchen and adjoining family room open onto a bluestone terrace that’s perfect for entertaining. Outdoors, there’s a raised-bed garden and a climbing wall.
1310 North Green Bay Road, Lake Forest, $2,100,000
This 6-bedroom home in central Lake Forest seamlessly blends modern living with historic appeal. Built in 1930, the residence has been expanded and updated. The large kitchen flows into a generous family room that’s ideal for gatherings. White-walnut paneling and a picture window overlooking the stately grounds offer classical charm. The large library with built-in, wall-to-wall shelves is warmed by a fireplace and natural light from the French doors that open onto the grounds, which total more than 2 acres.
2510 Orrington Avenue, Evanston, $2,350,000
This property is a historic landmark that has been thoughtfully updated to create a relaxing and well-lit family home. A circular floor plan includes a generous family room with a gas fireplace, leading to a cozy sitting area and a tranquil solarium. French doors lead onto a bluestone patio featuring a custom-built outdoor kitchen and stone water feature. A regal primary bathroom includes a vanity with mother-of-pearl counter, Calacatta marble slabs and a steam shower.
340 Maple Row, Northfield, $3,650,000
This French manor estate sits on more than 2 acres of manicured grounds made up of two combined lots. Made for entertaining, the outdoor amenities include gardens, a swimming pool, a tennis court and a pickleball court. There’s also room to play inside, as the home offers a billiard room and a wet bar. The dining room features a gilded ceiling and elegant, built-in cabinetry. The kitchen is a chef’s paradise, with a Carrara marble island, two dishwashers, double sinks and ovens, a six-burner gas range, a walk-in pantry, and refrigerated beverage and freezer drawers.
700 Crab Tree Farm Lane, Lake Bluff, $13,900,000
This six-bedroom estate sits on more than 12 acres of property right on Lake Michigan, affording abundant privacy to enjoy waterfront living in a home rich with Old World craftsmanship. Handcrafted millwork, tray ceilings and abundant French doors create an airy, decadent feeling throughout the generous interior. Outdoor features include a 700 feet of lake shore, a deck, an in-ground pool and a vineyard. Beautiful stonework and private balconies add to this home’s European charm.
How to Help:
For design lovers who want to give back, consider attending the 2021 San Francisco Decorator Showcase virtually. Since 1977, the showcase has raised over $17 million to benefit the San Francisco University High School financial aid program. This event continues to allow hundreds of deserving Bay Area students access to a world-class college preparatory education.
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Stephanie Fallon is a freelance writer who has spent her professional career in non-profit adult education, first in adult English literacy at Blue Ridge Literacy and then overseeing interpretation and public programming for the Taubman Museum of Art. She lives in Roanoke, Virginia and writes about visual culture, design, motherhood, and work.