Alison Victoria, the star of “Windy City Rehab,” certainly knows how to end Season 3 of her show with a flourish. In the finale, “Ground Up,” she goes beyond renovation to build what she claims is her best house yet.

With a $1.5 million budget and carte blanche to do anything and everything she pleases, she exclaims giddily, “I’m in full control. I’m designing the most beautiful home that I’ve ever done in Chicago! This will be a home for every magazine out there. I’m going to actually let them fight for it!”

This is “the largest new construction that I have ever done in Chicago,” she adds. The small house on the large lot is going down, and, as the episode title indicates, she’s building from the ground up.


Tear-down in Chicago

HGTV

She’s going to add high-end amenities like a sauna, wine vault, bar/lounge, atrium, and the finest finishes and antiques—all so that it looks like a luxury home that has always existed.

As we buckle in for the big finale, we realize that there are many great ideas packed in this new build. Check out Victoria’s masterful makeover, and you might be inspired to try a few of her moves!

Sometimes it makes sense to start from scratch

Demolition of an old Chicago house to make way for a new one.
Old house is razed to make way for a new one.

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Although a house might have curb appeal and good old-fashioned charm, sometimes it’s best to just let it go. That’s the case with this home.

“It has some real structural damage, so it just makes more sense, in this case, to do new construction so you can get the ceiling heights that you want, you can get the square footage that you want,” says Victoria.

It also allows her to dig a new, spacious basement, where the bar, lounge, and sauna will go.

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The atrium is back!

Modern atrium
Modern atrium

HGTV

Remember those midcentury modern homes in the ’60s and ’70s that had indoor atriums or glass-walled rooms with planters on the ground and skylights overhead, where a paradise of tropical plants flourished? Well, the atrium is back, but with some new twists that make it cooler than ever.

This is a city home, and although it’s on a relatively large lot, it’s still close to other houses, and there’s not a huge lawn in the front or back. Plus, the weather in Chicago is not conducive to growing more delicate plants outdoors.

So Alison designs “a custom, two-story atrium with floor-to-ceiling windows and a glass rooftop.”

Going for another superlative, she says, “It’s one of the most ambitious structures that we have ever built in a residential home. It’s a statement. Your eye goes all the way up. You’ve got this nature and this oxygen and this life inside of the house.”

With balconies and windows overlooking the two-story atrium, it really is a stunner.

Balcony overlooking modern atrium
Balcony overlooking modern atrium

HGTV

Inspect the ‘mech and elec’ first


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Inspection prior to drywall application
Inspection prior to drywall application

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We learn a new phrase in this episode: “mech and elec,” which refers to the mechanical and electrical works inside the house.

On new construction, it is absolutely essential to do the “Inspection of structural components for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing prior to covering and concealing,” Victoria explains.

It absolutely must be done before the drywall goes up, or you’ll have to rip it out. Victoria doesn’t even think about doing the finishes until these inspections are complete.

Control the environment with lighting

Carefully curated lighting
Carefully curated lighting

HGTV

“I’m a control freak,” admits Victoria. “That’s why lighting is my favorite thing to do. Because you can control it. You can control the temperature, you can control the mood with a simple dimmer.”

That’s why Victoria spends a lot of time searching for the perfect light fixtures (she’s especially obsessed with sconces) and installs lots of built-in lighting in the ceilings, walls, and even the floors.

Every powder room should be ‘a moment’

Powder room
Powder room

HGTV

When you think about it, the powder room is one of the rooms in your home that guests use most. Therefore, it’s a great place to make an impression.

“Powder rooms have to be the moment for your guests when they can’t stop talking about it,” says Victoria.

She goes all-out on the powder room in this project.

“This powder room is powder room perfection, from the custom mural that was painted by hand to the light fixture,” which was made by an Italian artist in the 1950s.

A fence can look like art

Artistic fence and gate
Artistic fence and gate

HGTV

For this unique home, Victoria has custom iron panels created that provide privacy, yet give passersby a little peek-a-boo effect.

“I hate calling it fencing,” she exclaims. “This is art!”

Instead of a gate, Victoria uses antique wood doors that open to the patio for strong curb appeal, and they can be appreciated from the inside looking out as well.

How does this Windy City rehab turn out?

Jim, the client, didn’t take a peek at his new home when it was under construction, so he is overwhelmed by the finished product.

“Things on paper were interesting,” he says. “But when you see them fulfilled in reality, it’s impossible not to be impressed. The level of care and detail that the team has taken has been spectacular.”

We agree, and can’t wait to see how she’s going to try and top it next season.

The post ‘Windy City Rehab’ Season Finale: Alison Victoria Unveils the ‘Most Beautiful Home I’ve Ever Done’ appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.


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