North Shore Views Blog

If you live on the North Shore or are thinking of moving here, my blog will be your go-to resource for anything and everything you want to know about the area: the communities, neighborhoods, schools, parks, beaches, things to do, and, of course, real estate.

March 7, 2018

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Mar. 9 – 11

The old saying goes that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  I can’t predict how Mother Nature will behave but I can say that this weekend is certainly roaring with endless possibilities for fun! Whether you want to do a little baking, a little crafting, a little golfing (yes, I just wrote that), a little history learning, a little wine tasting, a little reptile petting, a little exercising, a little laughing or hear some great music, this weekend has got it going on!


Family Fun: Just Desserts
Mar. 9: 4 – 6 pm
Sur La Table (Old Orchard), 4999 Old Orchard Center, Suite L12, Skokie 

Move over Game Night—this fun family adventure starts and ends with dessert. Everybody will love making and filling cookies inspired by classic PB&J. Plus, we’ll show you how to caramelize fruit and make a spectacularly simple cake that’s packed with chocolaty goodness. For ages 7 and up (children under 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult. $55 per person. For more info, click here.


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Feb. 28, 2018

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Mar. 2 – 4

There was a time when weekends were meant just for rest and relaxation.  But in today’s overscheduled, 24/7 access world that isn’t always the case.  So, this weekend wouldn’t it be nice to go a little rouge and claim your weekend back? As luck would have it, there are a variety of options to help you mentally escape the stress of a long week. Choose from a sculpt & sip class, a craft beer festival (hmmm, I see a theme here), a mah jongg tournament, an improv night or a performance of a children’s classic just to name a few….


The Emperor’s New Clothes
Mar. 2: 8 pm; Mar. 3: 10 am (Additional dates thru May 12)
Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire 

The incomparably imaginative creators of Seussical, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, bring one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved tales to life. Fourteen-year-old Emperor Marcus the Third is nervous to take the throne. Deciding that he can only gain confidence by dressing in the finest attire, Marcus commands his Royal Clothesmaker to fashion him in the most royal wardrobe. Taking advantage of Marcus' uncertainty and immaturity, a Swindler promises to make magic clothes that are "invisible to fools, liars, and anyone you should ignore," for a large and hefty price. Only Arno, the simple-hearted mop boy, can help Marcus out of this royal mess and teach him an important lesson about outward appearance. This is a special one-hour presentation for kids (and parents) of all ages. All performances followed by a Question & Answer session with the cast. Tickets: $15.23. For more info, click here.

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Feb. 26, 2018

Best Breweries on the North Shore

Glass of beer

Whether it’s a hot day, cold day, long day or frankly any day, it’s always the perfect day to enjoy a nice cool beer with a friend or two.  And whether you enjoy a place that’s off the beaten path or more of a mainstream locale, the North Shore is brimming with plenty of great breweries to choose from. And just like their beer, each has its own distinct personality.

Kings & Convicts Brewing Co.

523 Bank Lane, Highwood

King’s & Convicts Brewing Co. is a small craft brewery purposely located in Highwood, a town that Teddy Roosevelt (the toughest President in America) once called the “Toughest Town in America”. In addition to their love of all things Teddy, the owners also pay homage to their roots by naming their beers after English royalty and the convicts who were sent to Australia. Each of their craft ales and pilsners utilizes hops and malts from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand or England and comes with a back story usually involving a character that stood up to authority.  Their beers are brewed “with a sense of freedom, freedom from the shackles of normalcy or the sneer of an Overlord, the love of travel, great experiences and the brotherhood of beer.” They usually have 6 standard brews on tap with additional seasonal beers mixed in. It’s a great place to enjoy a pint or two in an intimate, friendly atmosphere complete with board games. Outside food welcomed. Outdoor seating available weather permitting.

Half Day Brewing

200 Village Green, Lincolnshire

Half Day Brewing is a large, full scale restaurant and brew pub. It’s a great place to catch a game, gather with a group and when weather permits, enjoy their large outdoor patio. In addition to their unique selection of hand-crafted in-house brews (usually around 8 on tap); they also feature a rather extensive list of 40+ premium craft and standard beers on tap, in addition to another 40+ bottles and cans.  So, regardless of personal preference, you are bound to find something you’ll enjoy here.  While the food does not get as high of a rating as the beer, the menu is varied and certainly tasty enough to wash down your brews with! 

Sketchbook Brewing Company

821 Chicago Ave., Evanston

A true neighborhood gem, Sketchbook Brewing Co. runs a 7-barrel brewhouse; small by most standards, but the size also gives them flexibility. Their taproom features a rotating selection of up to 16 core, seasonal and one-off brews with a variety of tastes sure to please every beer drinker.  Sketchbook is a community supported brewery with over 400 active members.  Membership is not required but offers savings on beer, merchandise, and invitations to exclusive member parties. The taproom features several sizes to encourage sampling, growler and howler fills, cold cans to go, a light snack menu with a friendly bring your own food policy, craft sodas, lazy lunch happy hours, free wi-fi but no TV’s just conversation, an eclectic décor, and live acoustic music most Tuesdays. Coaster doodling is encouraged. Kid friendly but no pets. The staff is very welcoming and knowledgeable, the environment is warm and cozy. You seriously can’t go wrong!

Temperance Beer

2000 Dempster St., Evanston

Although a bit hard to find, once you find it, you’ll be happy you did. The atmosphere is industrial yet friendly – think picnic table style seating both inside and out – so be prepared to share space; although there are ample tables available. Boards games, shuffle board and corn hole make it kid friendly (until 8:30 pm.) Limited food menu but outside food is welcomed and food trucks sometimes make a guest appearance. They offer tours and a yoga & beer class.  And, now for the beer specifics. The tap room features approximately 15 beers on tap. Some are available year-round, while others only on an occasional or limited basis. The beer is available in flights of 5-ounce tasters, half pints, and pints. They also sell 64-ounce and 32-ounce growlers. You can bring growlers & howlers back into the tap room to be refilled if they are cleaned thoroughly. Simply put, it’s a fun place to chill and sample some delicious ales!

Macushla Brewing Company

1516 E. Lake Ave., Glenview

Irish for “my pulse, my lifeblood," and "my darling", Macushla is definitely a relatively new darling to the North Shore brewery scene. Located next to the legendary Hackney’s on Lake, where you can order food from, this brewery offers a wide variety of unique, fresh staple and seasonal brews – usually around a dozen to choose from. All the beers are brewed on the premises. The decor is simplistic, a tad rustic with a great outdoor space. A small snack menu and pizza slices are also available. Not sure what to get? They offer free samples before you commit!

Beer Bars

They may not brew their own, but if beer is what you want, a great selection of beers is what they’ve got, plus friendly knowledgeable staff to help you make the best selections for your palette.

The Humble Pub

336 Green Bay Rd., Highwood

A great, local hangout with the friendliest staff in town and fun events to boot.

The Art of Beer

552 Sheridan Rd., Highwood

An unpretentious place to buy and drink beer with an ever-evolving list of 24 artisanal beers on draft as well as hundreds of bottles and cans. Drafts are delivered via a custom built premium draft system that provides an unmatched level of quality and authenticity. Friendly, knowledgeable staff.

Check out the Best of the North Shore: our favorite restaurants, stores and service providers all in one place!


If you would like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation with the Come Home North Shore Team, please give us a call at 847.881.6657 or send us a note here.


Feb. 25, 2018

12 Best Paint Colors To Sell Your North Shore Chicago Home

 12 Best Colors To Paint your North Shore home

Ask any home stager where you'll get the biggest bang for the buck when preparing your house to sell and they'll tell you to give your walls a fresh coat of paint.

Good advice, as far as it goes. Paint is relatively cheap and can have a huge impact on the way a buyer reacts to your home.

Where it gets tricky is trying to figure out which best paint colors work best. Stagers and real estate agenBut what, exactly, does that mean? White? Beige?

To shed some light on this question, Zillow recently did a study to identify the best colors to use and to quantify the positive or negative impact of different wall paint colors on the sales price of a home.

Based on the research they concluded that the best colors to paint your home to sell were:

  • Light blue or periwinkle for bathrooms (+$5,440 price impact)

  • Slate blue to pale gray blue for dining rooms (+$1,926)

  • Light cerulean blue to cadet blue for bedrooms (+$1,865)

  • Light blue or gray-blue for kitchens (+$1,809).

slate bue dining room wallslight blue bedroom walls
 Slate blue dining room                                                           Light blue bedroom

The study also indicated which colors would actually have a negative impact on the sales price.

  • White or off-white paint in the bathroom was a negative (-$4,035).

  • Brick red or terracotta, once fairly common in dining rooms, is definitely not a value add these days (-$2,031).

  • Yellow tones like straw gold or marigold for a kitchen are also out (-$820).

Bad wall paint colors

While many of these findings are broadly on target, I don't think they actually give you much guidance in choosing what specific color to paint your walls. After all, Benjamin Moore alone has over 300 shades of blue in its line and 200+ shades of gray.

There are also a couple hundred shades of off-white. And some of them ARE good for selling a house. But which ones?

Chicago Area Home Stagers Share Recommended Paint Colors

I decided to go straight to the experts and find out what SPECIFIC paint shades work best to sell a house on the North Shore of Chicago. This is what my panel of home stagers and designers said:

Julea Joseph, home stager and interior stylist of Reinventing Space advised carrying the same color throughout the main rooms of the house to make it feel more open and more cohesive.

Her go-to wall colors are Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter (HC- 172) and Edgecomb Gray (HC-173), which are both from the Historic Color collection.

She also likes Sherwn Williams Colonade and Modern Gray. These are all warm grays which can be used in almost any room or any style of house.

Revere Pewter walls       Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter (HC-172)

Although gray has been popular with younger buyers for the past 2-3 years, Julea cautions against going with a cool gray (blue undertones) if there is a lot of oak trim or cabinetry in the house, as the warm tones of the wood will fight with the cool paint tones.

Speaking of oak cabinets, she warns that these are definitely NOT what today's buyers want and advises sellers to paint them a fresh white. Benjamin Moore's White Dove (OC-17) is her favorite color for painting cabinets as well as trim throughout the house.

white dove kitchen cabinets       Benjamin Moore White Dove cabinets (OC-17)

Audrey Gourguechon, of Staging North Shore, also likes White Dove for trim because it's creamy and soft, not too bright or stark.

She agrees with the Zillow study that you shouldn't use white on the walls. It feels cold, empty and uninviting.

Instead, she says, go for "greige" or a warm neutral gray that can work well with either gray or beige tones in the room. She recommends Revere Pewter. Edgecomb Gray is her choice if there are a lot of yellow undertones in the furniture or decor, as it reads more beige than Revere Pewter, and won't fight with the yellower tones.

Edgecomb Gray dining room        Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray (HC-173)

If a room's decor has more cool tones in the upholstery or curtains, then she opts for Wickham Gray, which has a slight blue undertone. Stonington Gray is a good choice for someone who wants a true gray without warm undertones.

family room painted in wickham gray

        Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray (HC-171)

Audrey's final advice to home sellers: get rid of accent walls, especially reds and purples, as they limit the number of people who will respond positively. For example, only 10% of people like red in their home decor, so a red accent wall will limit your home's appeal. And that's definitely not the objective!

Shani Abrams and Jane Berlowe of Shani and Jane Design in Skokie recommend taking the room's exposure and amount of light into account when choosing paint color.

They like Revere Pewter, but caution that it can come across as having a green undertone if the light in the room is too yellow. It's also not ideal for dark rooms or hallways. Wish (AF-680) from Benjamin Moore's Affinity Collection is very similar to Revere Pewter, but without the slight green undertone.

Ballet White (OC-9) is a nice neutral for those who prefer an off-white.  Glass Slipper (1632) works well for bedrooms and baths, because it is serene and calming.

   Bedroom painted in Glass Slipper                   Benjamin Moore Glass Slipper (1632)

For trim, they recommend either Super White for more contemporary homes or White Dove for more classic styles.

Anne Fitzpatrick of Chestnut and Scott says that your paint choices should help buyers notice and appreciate the home's architectural features instead of distracting from them. That means keeping it neutral but warm, not stark looking.

Like the rest of the experts she favors Revere Pewter because it can morph into either gray or tan depending on the light but it doesn't stand out too much as one or the other.

She also likes Benjamin's Moore's Wheeling Neutral (HC-92). It's less gray, more tan than Revere Pewter, but still provides a nice contrast with white moldings.

Wheeling Neutral walls       Benjamin Moore Wheeling Neutral (HC-92)

She recommends that sellers with wood-toned kitchen cabinets paint them a soft white for a classic and timeless look.

DiAnn Hillesland a home stager in Winnetka says that, while Revere Pewter is a staple color for home stagers, her favorites are Pale Oak (OC-20) and Balboa Mist (OC-27), which look great with dark wood floors and furniture. She also likes Sea Pearl ( OC-19), which is a warm off-white.


Pale Oak walls in living room       Benjamin Moore Pale Oak (OC-20)

Balboa Mist in kitchen       Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist (0C-27)

Consensus Among Local Stagers - But Not With Zillow

It looks like there's quite a bit of consensus among local staging experts about the best colors to use to appeal to today's buyers. Interestingly, they mentioned a lot less use of blues than the Zillow study suggested, and a lot more use of grays and "greiges."

Which just goes to show that paint color preferences are local, just like real estate.

Among our panel, Revere Pewter is the most popular wall color and it works in almost any situation. Other warm grays mentioned include Wish, Pale Oak and Edgecomb Gray.

For a cooler gray, use Wickham Gray or Stonington Gray.

For a color that goes more towards tan, Wheeling Neutral.

For bedrooms and baths, Glass Slipper.

White Dove is the color of choice for trim, as well as painting wood cabinetry.

Here are the twelve best colors, side-by-side, so you can compare:

The 12 Best Paint Colors To Sell Your North Shore Home

12 Best Paint Colors to Sell Your North Shore Home

Thinking of selling? Wondering what to do to prepare your house to sell? I can help. Call me at 847-687-5957.

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Posted in Real Estate, Sellers
Feb. 21, 2018

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Feb. 23 – 25

The dog days of Winter are upon us. We are way past any post-holiday buzz and Spring is still an eternity away because, well, we live in Chicago.  But that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun still to be had. This weekend, don’t let the grey skies hold you back. Choose from a wine & beer tasting, an evening of intuitive readings, a new Tap Grill grand opening party, a performance by the Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and a kids themed flea market!  And for those in need of a real boost, the camp expo at Northbrook Court should definitely get you thinking of brighter and warmer days ahead!


Wine & Beer Tasting
Feb. 23: 6:30 – 9 pm
Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka 

An amazing opportunity to sample over 80 unique wines from around the world such as Bruno Giacosa, Cambria, Freemark Abbey, Orin Swift, Matanzas Creek, Willakenzie, Ram’s Gate, Penner Ashe, Jackson Estates, Sojourn, and many more. Craft beer selections include microbrews such as Allagash Sixteen Counties and Delerium Tremens. Plus, enjoy an expansive array of heavy hors d’oeuvres and sweets and substantial discount for wine purchases. NEW this year is a tasting of “Whiskeys of the World”! Substantial discount for wine purchases. Tickets: $75 in advance (deadline 2/22) or $85 at the door. For an additional cost, attendees can participate in the exclusive Reserve Tasting and sample 35 premium wines, plus blind wine tasting with prizes and champagne saber demonstration. Not ready to go home at 9:00 PM? Continue the fun at the After Hours Party serving cash bar wine, beer, and a specialty cocktail. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.


An Open Evening of Intuitive Readings
Feb. 23: 7:30 – 9:30 pm
Infinity Foundation, 1280 Old Skokie Rd., Highland Park 

Join Mel Doerr, a renowned psychic, for a fun, spontaneous, open evening of intuitive readings. You will be able to pose at least two questions to Doerr, who will do a mini-reading for everyone who attends. This is an evening not to be missed. Space is limited. Cost: $45. For more info, click here.

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Feb. 20, 2018

12 Ways to Make a Small Room Feel Bigger

small living room with neutral colors

While cozy can be chic, claustrophobic definitely is not. De-cluttering is one way to add breathing room to a home, but that will only take you so far.

There are many other tricks decorators employ to add the illusion of space and make a home look and feel larger. And if you are preparing your house to sell, that should definitely be your objective: lighten, brighten and add space. More space = a higher value in the eyes of potential buyers and more money in your pocket. Of course, you can't actually add more rooms, but you CAN make the rooms you have look and feel bigger. Here's how:

1. Use cooler paint colors on the walls (blues, grays, cool beiges).

Cool colors recede, making the room look more expansive. Warmer colors like yellows and reds create a cozy but more closed-in feeling.

2. Go for a monochromatic color scheme.

The less contrast there is in the room, the more spacious it will look. Lots of contrast chops up the space visually and makes a room look smaller. Use the same color on big furniture pieces as on the walls for a sleek and open look.

You can keep things from getting too monotonous by using different textures or by adding punches of color with throw pillows and accessories. But be careful not to overdo it on the accessories. Too many can be visually distracting.

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Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Feb. 15, 2018

Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Feb. 16 – 18

With Olympic fever running rapid, perhaps you are looking for a little competition to take in locally?  For a unique experience, discover your hidden curling skills at a Curling Olympic Open House. Or perhaps you’ll take home the gold at Family Karaoke Night. You can also test your Illinois state trivia skills with entertainer William Pack.  Rather watch from the sidelines?  Then sit back and relax while catching potential future Olympic skaters at the The Freeze Skate Competition. Other options for fun this weekend include Nate Staniforth’s mesmerizing Real Magic Tour, the Jazzed Up Dining & Classical Cocktails benefit concert/fundraiser and Sex With Strangers, a taut dramedy about love and fame in the age of social media.

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Feb. 14, 2018

Best High End Consignment Stores on Chicago's North Shore

consignment store dress

There's no better time than the present to clean out your closets and cleanse your home of unwanted items that are taking up way too much space! Of course donating is a wonderful option, but for your higher end stuff, you may want to consider the consignment route first. It's a great way to make a buck or two so you can buy more stuff! The North Shore has several high end consignment stores that make consigning easy and shopping for a great deal a whole lot of fun.

Please note, each store has their own unique consigning policies about the type of items they accept and how and when they should be brought in. Please check each shop's website or call for complete details.

Women's Consignment Shops

The North Shore Exchange
372 Hazel Ave., Glencoe, 847-835-0026

The North Shore Exchange is a true upscale, resale shop featuring a well-edited collection of women's luxury and designer clothing and accessories, as well as beautiful home furnishings and decor. This is by no means a thrift store. Coveted items sell quickly in this adorable storefront. Items that do not sell within 30 days are marked down further. Consignors receive 50% of the final selling price. If you choose to donate here instead, you can claim 35% of the full retail price as a tax write-off since all of the shop's profits go to charities and non-profits benefiting children and families with the greatest need. It's a win-win for all. Donations and consignments are accepted by appointment only. Store is closed on Mondays. Will pick up furniture.

shoes and clothes at consignment store for womenStyle Hunters
1510 Old Deerfield Road. Ste 215, Highland Park, 224-558-5303

Style Hunters is an upscale women's consignment boutique offering personal consultation and an exchange option. They carry a fantastic collection of high-end designs and styles from the most popular North Shore boutiques and work with consignors on price setting to guarantee optimal return. Set in a warm and inviting setting, the store is open limited hours during the day, as they operate mostly by appointment for privacy and convenience. Free pick up available

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Feb. 12, 2018

Guide to Summer Camps on the North Shore (Updated for 2018)

kids roasting marshmallows at summer camp

Copyright: serrnovik / 123RF Stock Photo

No matter what your kid is into, there's a summer camp for him or her. Here's your handy dandy guide to day camps on Chicago's North Shore, including traditional day camps, sports camps, tech camps, theater camps and everything in between

In addition to the camps listed below, the park districts in Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Glenview, Deerfield and Highland Park offer a variety of highly regarded fun and affordable summer camp options as well.

Traditional Camps

Banner Day Camp
1225 Riverwoods Rd., Lake Forest
Ages 3 – 6th grade + CIT/SIT (7th – 9th  Grades)
Banner Day Camp offers a tremendous range of sports, aquatics, arts and adventure activities. At Banner, it's all about growing as an individual, embracing new opportunities and having fun. And it's more than just fun. Banner campers develop positive self-esteem as they achieve new accomplishments, socially and athletically.

North Shore Country Day School Summer Camp
310 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka
Ages 4 – 10
The Day Camp's diverse programs allow for all campers to try new activities in a setting where individual growth is fostered by a caring staff. The goal is to actively involve all campers while offering encouragement and support as they tackle new endeavors and age appropriate activities. Additional camp offerings include expedition camp, language immersion and little explorers (three year olds).

Apachi Day Camp
3050 Woodbridge Lane, Northbrook
Ages 4 yrs – 6th grade + CIT
Located on 10 beautiful secluded acres in Northbrook, the JCC "Z" Frank Apachi day camp has been bringing magical summers to Northshore children for over 25 years. With virtually every sport imaginable, an array of cultural arts activities and door-to door bus service, your child will expand their interests, have fun, grow and make new friends while developing greater independence.

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Feb. 7, 2018

Lovely Things to do on the North Shore: Feb. 9 – 11

Love (as well as snow) is definitely in the air and there are plenty of ways to play cupid this weekend. For the younger set, a Princess ball, a performance of Stellaluna or a Valentine Card making workshop might do the trick. The older crowd might enjoy a romantic stroll at the Orchid Show or taking in an a capella performance of Love Stories or attending the Highland Park Strings Annual Benefit concert. Although my personal favorite might be the Wine & Chocolate pairing at Lynfred Winery. And let’s not forget stand-up comedy at Madame Zuzu’s – who doesn’t love a good laugh?


Dad and daughter at Princess BallPrincess Ball
Feb. 9: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Delta Hotel by Marriott Chicago North Shore Suites, 1400 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview

Girls ages 4-12 and their special dates are cordially invited to the Princess Ball. Everyone should wear their finest ballroom attire and enjoy a magical night of dancing and refreshments. Registration of $40 per person ($50 for nonresidents) is due in advance. Please register each princess and her date separately. Call 847-724-5670 for more information or click here.


The Orchid Show
Feb. 10 – Mar. 25: 10 am – 4 pm
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe 

Look for sunlit orchids under colorful handmade parasols, listen for the trickle of water from a bamboo spout, and take in a Japanese-style dry garden surrounded by burnt cedar in the shou sugi ban tradition. The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show is an homage to the rich culture of Asia and its stunning array of native orchids. Don't forget your camera! Orchids are available for every weekend at the Orchid Marketplace. Adults: $10/$12; Seniors 62+ and children 3 – 12: $8/$10. Special events throughout the show, click here for more info.

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