House Tour: Cooking Light Fit House

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Name: Cooking Light 2007 Fit House
Location: Lincoln Park
Size/Type: A gazillion sq. ft. single family home
Years lived in: For sale, never lived in

Not a real house tour, because this isn't a "real" house. It is on the market, so perhaps someday soon a real live family will call this place home. But for now, it is a fundraiser house, put together by Cooking Light magazine and raising money for the Women and Lung Health Initiative.

We made our donation, entered, snapped the attached photos and had a fine time, but we had a lingering feeling of unease...

...perhaps it is because we are so used to shooting House Tours in real homes, where the belongings have been loving chosen or collected over time.

But, we know that was not really it - it was the feeling of excess that permeated the space. So much square footage - intended for a single family in the city - just didn't sit right with us. A screening room, private gym, four separate cooking areas, a temperature controlled wine cellar, a sauna, a floor-through "zen"/party space, televisions throughout, the list goes on and on...it all just felt like TOO much.

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The promotional materials that we picked up described the project as a concept home that "respects the environment and promotes healthful living". Many of the materials used are eco-friendly, and we were pleased to see the emphasis shift to that as a priority. More power to making decisions based on what is better for the earth - but it was the balance of the lifestyle being promoted here which felt somewhat at odds with the materials used that threw it out of balance for us.

So in the end, while I don't feel entirely comfortable editorializing too much on a project that is raising funds for a good cause, I must say, this didn't feel "light" or "green" to me at all...it felt like a dinosaur.

That said, there were (as there are in every home) beautiful touches and nice ideas and that is what we aimed to focus on in our slideshow.

We do salute Cooking Light for making the fundraiser possible and urge you to consider stopping by and making a donation if you are so inclined. The 2007 Fit House is open for self-guided tours through September at 1235 W. Belden.

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.