List Price: $1.081 million
The Property: The tightly organized geometry of the façade of this house in Ukrainian Village tells everything you might want to know about the interior. With an exterior like that, the inside is going to have to be light, crisp, and artfully laid out. And it is.
Designed by Mark Cuellar, who calls his company mac D+A, the house is only about a year old. Andrew and Tanya Swedenborg, the sellers, had it custom-built, but they are now relocating to Colorado because of a job change, says their agent, Kim Kerbis of @ Properties.
And while some custom-built houses are too individual to meet a new owner’s needs, the Swedenborgs had needs that aren’t all that uncommon. They are big cooks, so they wanted a superb kitchen, as well as an outdoor grilling area just steps away from it. They wanted an airy, open floor plan with lots of natural light. And they wanted spaces to entertain both on top of the house and in the basement.
That basement room is now my favorite bar in Chicago. It’s a sunny space, with high ceilings, clean lines, and a combination bar and banquette that is the smartest piece of contemporary furniture I have seen in a while. (It’s permanent and will not be leaving the house.)
There are other deft touches in the four-bedroom house, as you will see in the video. They include a hallway cabinet that appears to float next to a wall, as well as a neatly concealed cooking fan that doesn’t interrupt the flat fronts of the cabinetry but can be pulled out when needed. A big corner window in the master bedroom looks out on the neighborhood’s older buildings; a heavy supporting pillar in the window is painted a terra cotta color so that it disappears into the view of a building across the street.
Because the house is on an unusually short lot—96 feet compared to the standard 125—the two-car garage on the alley is attached to the house by an enclosed breezeway, which means there is no trudging across the small backyard on cold days. A rooftop deck provides views east to the skyline and west to the Byzantine spires of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral.
Price Points: Because the Swedenborgs had the house custom-built, public records do not indicate what they spent, and Kerbis declined to say. She says that when they listed the house in February, she and the Swedenborgs set the price to be comparable to that of another contemporary-styled home a few blocks away that had recently sold for $1.05 million. Ukrainian Village has been a hotbed of contemporary architecture for several years now; Kerbis says that her research shows that sale prices for this style of home in this neighborhood have been “stronger than I expected to find” in recent months.