An occasionally updated chronicle of estate sales in the city and suburbs of Chicago.

"It's such a guilty pleasure..." Lynne Stiefel, Pioneer Press

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wealthy in Winnetka

Estate sales in Winnetka and Wilmette are a hit-or-miss proposition. With a few notable exceptions, these wealthy North Shore suburbs don't really encourage the kind of eccentricity that makes for a memorable sale. However, when the opportunity to wander through a six-bedroom mansion listed at $2.25 million presents itself, the savvy -- or just plain nosy -- estate saler knows what to do.

Everything about this place was big and luxurious -- from the floral arrangement greeting you in the entryway (priced at $149) to every one of the rooms. This place was fit for a king or titan of industry or your average mid-level banker.

The dining room was beautiful -- if traditional decor is your thing. This style -- no matter how well made or high priced -- bores me, but the way some of the other sale goers were oohing and aahing over it, you'd think they'd never seen a copy of Town and Country magazine.

And this stuff was high-priced. Here's the kicker: that's just for the table. The chairs, like blue cheese dressing or the spinning rims on a Cadillac Escalade, were priced separately.

Right across from the dining room was a formal living room with a few pieces of grand, overstuffed furniture left in it.

Everything was very proper and tastefully done and unremarkable. It makes me wonder if people with this kind of money are so attuned to appearances and making the right impression that they purposefully avoid anything with personality and go for the safest choice: pricey and inoffensive.

The kitchen was off-limits but I snapped this photo on the way by.

Just past it was an enormous family room with this fieldstone fireplace.

Just past that was an equally large sun room. With a bar like this, you could open your own Bennigan's.

A sweeping curved staircase led up to the second floor. When you hear about people swinging from the chandeliers, this is the kind of chandelier they're talking about. But I'm certain that sort of thing never went down here.

Bedroom #1 continued the theme of good taste at all costs.

This is definitely a lady's chair. I can picture the wife sitting here of an evening, for hours on end, wondering why her husband is always working so late.

Bedroom #2 had an all-white color scheme. A little girl probably grew up here.

That, or a nurse.

My favorite room was at the end of this long hall.

It was a dormered bedroom, and so much more.

It also had a sweet little dining nook.

As well as the cutest kitchenette I'd ever seen, tucked into the space beneath one of the dormers.

This private bath was on the opposite corner. Not a bad set-up for an eldest daughter, or elderly mother, or crazy relative you want to keep locked up but comfortable.

This sale had none of the personality seen in so many others. No collections of books or music, no evidence of a hobby of any kind, no art of on the walls, not a stitch of clothing. It's possible the people who lived here didn't pass away, but simply moved away. If so, it might have been to something even bigger and better, nearby or in another part of country. But it's just as likely their new home is smaller and more modest. Those are the times we're living in.


  1. Charlette Vale probably lived in that upstairs bedrood, woefully spending her endless days plucking her unibrow and carving cigarette boxes.

  2. What does the exterior look like, equally as blad?

  3. I actually find this kind of horrifying. Who charges $150 for used dead flowers? I mean $149? And what is with the brick floor in the kitchen and flagstone fireplace next to all the fussy fuss furniture and lighting fixtures? These people are creepy and trying to hide something I say.


Related Posts with Thumbnails