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Outliers of Design in Decidedly Unglamorous Portage Park


Two unexpected finds, recently surfaced, are putting some pep in Portage Park's step. In keeping with a relatively homogenous and anonymous housing stock, both new listings feature remarkable interior reworking without disturbing a hair on the exterior. The properties are, in order of appearance above: 4305 N Narragansett Avenue and 4948 W Cullom Street. The four-bed Narragansett listing is billed as an "awesome family playhouse", probably because whimsical array of furniture and floorings, its kitchen-center spiral staircase, indoor hot tub, and outdoor pool w/ bi-level deck. The place retains a retro feel despite all the new custom decor and creature comforts. Not bad for $350K.

The Cullom listing doesn't go to outrageous lengths to seduce and entertain. Instead, developer/designer/architect Joel Heiniger of JH Design bought the 1920s brick cottage in December for $125K, employed a custom gut rehab, and tacked on an addition. With three beds and 2,450 square feet, the home is smaller than the Narragansett property but asks $100K more ($450K). Chalk it up to the uniform professional quality, gorgeous layout, built-ins, and architectural flourishes like the exposed brick passageways. The master suite is also a sight to behold. Heiniger tells us he went after a "Scandinavian Modern look", keeping brick around and repurposing salvaged siding for interior trim. Fencing and landscaping work is finishing up, so gear up for move-in!
·Listing: 4305 N Narragansett Ave. [The Wilcox Company]
·Listing: 4948 W Cullom St. [Baird & Warner]