Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the office, the Illinois Department of Transportation launches a 3-year construction project on the Kennedy Expressway, and suddenly those downtown workers from points north and northwest, who had slowly been returning to the office, made one big collective U-turn.
In reality, remote and hybrid work has become the norm in many industries. In fact, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, citing data from Kastle Systems, the number of people who have returned to the office has plateaued at about 50%. Toss in the new roadwork, and it’s entirely possible that number could tick down a few points.
All of this means it’s more important than ever for Chicagoans to have a place where they can comfortably work from home.
So, we’ve gathered a selection of @properties Christie’s International Real Estate listings with functional workspaces that are tailor-made for the modern professional. From the contemporary design and lake views of a Near North Side condo to the French Oak floors of a traditional study in the western suburbs, these properties make working from home a pleasure.
1. 159 E Walton Place #32A, Chicago – $5,900,000
Located in the Near North Side’s Palmolive Building, at Michigan Avenue and Walton Street, this luxurious condominium boasts a stunning corner office with large picture windows overlooking Lake Michigan and North Lake Shore Drive. The contemporary design features clean lines and warm tones, with dark wood flooring and sleek built-in bookcases surrounding a fireplace.
Perhaps it’s not surprising to find such a welcoming workspace in the art-deco building considering it was an office building in its former life, first housing the Palmolive soap company and then, from 1965 to 1989, the world headquarters for Playboy.
Occupying the entire 32nd floor, the three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath condo offers 5,388 square feet of living space. Other standout features of the home include a gallery-style corridor that provides the perfect canvas to display an art collection; a gourmet kitchen with a professional Wolf range, Sub-Zero refrigerator and Miele coffee station; marble, wood and terrazzo floors; built-ins galore; and a stunning primary suite with an attached den, dressing room and bath oozing custom finishes.
2. 981 Judson Avenue, Highland Park – $1,299,000
Nestled on a serene cul-de-sac in the East Ravinia District of Highland Park, this six-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath home spans 4,641 square feet. One of the many highlights is the spacious, bright study located off the main living room and featuring built-in bookshelves. Coupled with large windows that allow plenty of natural light to flood the space, this study has an inviting atmosphere that’s perfect for reading or getting some work done.
The second floor is just as impressive, with a spacious loft leading to a primary suite outfitted with two walk-in closets, a dressing area, and a luxurious updated bath. Four additional large bedrooms with spacious closets, three full baths (two of which have been recently updated), and a sitting room with a walkout roof deck complete this floor.
If the weather is nice enough to work outside, step into the beautifully landscaped yard and enjoy the peaceful sound of a mini waterfall feeding a koi pond, or relax under the pergola on the tiered bluestone patio surrounded by lovely plantings.
3. 2237 Sherman Avenue, Evanston – $1,500,000
Positioned on a large lot just a few blocks down from downtown Evanston, this beautiful five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom Victorian has been fully updated to offer the perfect combination of space, style and convenience. Most notably, the first-floor home office has three South-facing windows, offering plenty of natural light to keep you feeling chipper with a dose of Vitamin D, even if it’s been a tough day.
When it’s time to punch out from work, the main level boasts a stunning white kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, large farm sink, and custom pantry with roll-out shelves.
The third floor provides two more bedrooms, one with a bonus room that can work as another home office, and a full bathroom. The partially finished walk-out basement also features a rec room, storage, an exercise area, and another full bathroom. But the biggest draw of the home is a rare 211’ deep lot that gives you more than enough room to host a backyard get together.
When you combine the smart layout of the home with the functionality of two home offices, this 4,255-square-foot gem is perfect for a household with multiple remote workers.
4. Country Estate, Elburn – $4,498,000
This stunning six-bedroom, seven-bathroom estate in Elburn occupies 16 acres of rural land. The first-floor home office is outfitted with a custom built-in bookshelf, French Oak floors, and has a balcony that provides expansive views of trees, flowers, and lush lawns. Ultimately, the landscaping outdoors complements the beautiful wood finishes of the room, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere to focus on the day’s tasks.
Beyond the study, the house is filled with top-of-the-line amenities to ensure that every moment spent here feels like luxury. For example, four fireplaces, an elevator, a home theatre, a 1,700-bottle wine cellar, and a sports court are just a few of the many comforts offered in this west-suburban getaway.
5. 2026 N Kenmore Avenue, Chicago – $10,750,000
This magnificent Lincoln Park home spanning the width of three city lots boasts a functional study on the third floor, offering a quiet retreat in this massive 10-bedroom, eight-bath mansion. The space is open concept, making it a blank slate that you can customize to your needs. It can be used as a traditional workspace, a creative studio, or as a place to relax and recharge when you need a change of pace.
In addition to the home study, you’ll be impressed with the attention to detail throughout the house, as every room has been carefully planned and designed. From the Belgian stone façade that greets guests as they enter the home to theoriginal stone root cellar that functions as a wine and tasting room, every corner of the property offers something unique.
A renovated coach house is connected to the main home by a modern glass atrium. The structure includes three bedrooms, a living space and a full kitchen, but is also the ideal place to establish an office given its separation from the main residence.
Whether you’re looking for a modern, minimalist workspace or a cozy, traditional study, these five listings are sure to provide some inspiration. And with the right home office setup, you can avoid adopting a serious case of road rage that’s sure to come courtesy of the Kennedy construction.