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Own this midcentury Lake Forest ranch with a sunken shag living room for $1.1M

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The suburban time capsule is full of retro touches

531 E. Woodland Road, Lake Forest Illinois.
Images courtesy of Lori Baker/Coldwell Banker Residential

This quirky midcentury ranch in suburban Lake Forest, Illinois, is like taking a step back in time. Modeled on a similar home its original owners saw in California, the well-preserved time capsule was completed in 1959 by Chicago-area architect Anton E. Kampf. The late Skokie-based designer was behind a number of modern homes including this playful four-bedroom example in the city’s Peterson Woods neighborhood.

The Lake Forest home’s current owner purchased the property in early 1970s and enlisted designers from Chicago’s famous State Street’s Marshall Field’s department store to fill the space with period-correct midcentury modern furniture and touches of ’70s and Asian-inspired flair. The home remained essentially untouched since, with the only exception being a newer refrigerator.

Featuring a solid concrete construction and a 5,222-square-foot open floorplan, the North Shore home is full of eccentric retro touches. The kitchen’s centrally located circular electric cooktop revolves, allowing its user to pivot to look out the window. The colorful bathrooms are, for lack of a better term, simply “far out.”

When it came to the home’s most eye-catching quirk—a vast expanse of thick shag carpeting—the Coldwell Banker listing agent Lori Baker just knew she had to keep it. “The carpet just draws you in. Everyone who sees it wants to reach down and touch it,” Baker tells Curbed Chicago.

The 1.25-acre property sits atop a hill overlooking Sheridan Road and is flanked by mature oak trees. It includes an attached two-car garage and an outdoor pool that, like the rest of the home, is offered “as is” and will likely need some work.

On the market for the first time in nearly five decades, the outstanding midcentury time capsule is currently seeking $1,099,000. Though many aspects of the property could certainly benefit from an refresh, there’s something special about peeking inside a home like this and seeing it in all of its original old-school modern glory.