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Elaine Doremus | Photo: Cynthia Lynn | October 4, 2013
Winnetka’s former Designed to Sell and Hidden Potential reality TV star and Chicago/North Shore real estate guru Brandie Malay brings her snarky, no-nonsense advice to a new role on Bravo’s Property Envy.
In each 30-minute segment, Malay and co-panelists Jeff Lewis (Interior Therapy) and Mary McDonald (Million Dollar Decorators), along with British host Stephen Collins, break down the good, the bad and the ugly of luxury real estate across the country. From one-of-a-kind cultural landmarks to $45 million homes, nothing is off limits. Here, Malay shares her real estate expertise and recipe for living happily ever after on the North Shore.
It’s been awhile since your last television show. Why now and why Property Envy?
After the market crashed, I focused on family. I had my first son and moved to Wilmette with my husband, Peter Siavelis. We had our second son (my boys are now ages 4 and 2) and moved to a traditional colonial four-square home in Winnetka that we rehabbed. Almost four years to the day that I stopped doing television, I got a call out of the blue. I went out to L.A. for auditions, and, two weeks later, I was asked to join the Bravo family. We taped 12 shows for the first season, which premiered in July.
You broker for both Chicago and the North Shore. What property would you say boasts the most property envy right now?
Geri Emalfarb and I just secured an exclusive exempt listing for an upper-bracket priced home at 53 Sycamore in Highland Park. Overlooking Lake Michigan, this 1908 estate was completely restored in 2006 to find the perfect balance of bygone-grandeur-meets-21st-century family living and large-scale entertaining. This is one of the best properties I’ve ever set foot in.
What’s on your bucket list?
Well, I’ve already seen the Blackhawks win! But I’d love to have my own talk show, like Ellen DeGeneres and Kelly Ripa, which would, of course, include some sort of real estate segment. My friends come to me for advice all the time.
Malay’s North Shore Favorites
Avli Estiatorio, That Little Mexican Café, Northbrook Court and Ravinia