A Top Chicago Developer, Kris Doliwa, Talks About Futuristic Home Amenities, Tips & Trends.


As a kid, you may have watched the space-age cartoon show, “The Jetsons” and were captivated by its many gadgets, robots, and flying cars that made domestic chores and everyday life a breeze.

Well, his name may not be George Jetson, but the home of the future has landed right here in Chicago. And condo/duplex builder, Kris Doliwa of Dolyva Development LLC, is pretty sure he’s one of the first in the City to roll it out. He’s been building multi-family housing in the Chicago area for almost 20 years, and is very quick to pick up on the latest building trends. So, what’s so futuristic about his new construction? Automation!

Capitalizing upon Amazon’s Echo unit called “Alexa”, Kris installs switches throughout the units he builds so that all an owner has to do is give a verbal command, and “Voila”! It’s just like having a Genie at your personal beck-and-call to carry out your wishes.

“All you have to say is, ‘Alexa, turn on the ceiling fan,’ ” Kris explained. “ ‘Or, Alexa, lower the shades and turn on the television’. It’s that easy. We’re setting these up so that Alexa can perform multiple functions throughout the interior – even adjusting the thermostat. And believe it or not, it really doesn’t add much to the cost of the unit. Before I build anything into my properties, I always experiment with an idea first in my own home, and then tweak it until it’s ready to be installed professionally in my buildings. Personally, the possibilities with it are unlimited and the feedback has been great.”

If you’ve ever visited Japan, you may have encountered Toto’s “Washlet” in your hotel bathroom. According to Kris, these futuristic toilets are very popular there and making a welcome appearance here in the U.S. The “Washlet” makes using the “privy” a privilege with its heated and automatic rising seat, remote control, interior fan, built-in cleaning, plus it can even have a night light inside. Yes, it is definitely something George Jetson wouldn’t find the least surprising.

In bathrooms, Kris is installs ceramic tile and porcelain rather than stone because it comes in so many colors, resembles natural stone, is more water resistant and requires less maintenance. Showers are still preferred over bathtubs and include body sprays, rain showers, and other high-end spa-like options.


According to Kris, now is the time to buy a condo while they’re still building relatively spacious units featuring outside living areas such as patios and rooftop terraces. Many of his buildings also offer parking or attached garages. However, he sees the future as ushering in smaller units, little to no parking, and no exterior living spaces at a higher price. The financing winds are changing, and always quick to pick up on a new trend, urges buyers not to wait.


Kris observes that new owners are selecting a more vintage look for their kitchen. Although white cabinetry is still the timeless standard, they are choosing products trending toward light gray or light beige with some visible graining or with a distressed finish.

Quartz counter tops seem to be more popular than marble and granite now, because of its scratch and stain resistance, and availability in a wider range of colors. For the kitchen island, Kris counsels against installing a sink in it.

“It’s my experience that everyone gathers around the island,” Kris said, “You want as much surface space as possible and to allow room for seating. Sinks or stove tops eat up the surface area and defeat the purpose of being a party spot.”

Kris’s kitchens also include built-in wine coolers, microwave drawers, beverage centers, and built-in bars, especially if there’s a lower level.

“My family and I travel a lot – to Europe and all over the United States,” Kris said. “I’m always on the lookout for what’s trending in other locales so I can be one of the first to bring that futuristic idea to Chicago.”

To view one of Kris’s newest developments firsthand, call Sergio & Banks and see luxury condo living at its finest.

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