Gatherings Making memories at home for the holidays

Gatherings – A Time When Memories Are Made

Memorable gatherings, great and small, begin in a home that radiates warmth.  Sharing the comforts of your home is one of the most meaningful gifts you can give for the holidays. While daily lifestyle takes precedence in home design, here are a few features that are truly appreciated by guests.

Lowell Custom Homes entry door

Welcoming Entry

Before the doorbell rings your home is making its first impression.  The character of this home is reminiscent of a French Country Chateau with exterior lighting that glows to guide visitors forward.   The richly stained and subtly arched entry doors are framed by curved corbels and surrounded by dimensional stone work.  For more inviting exterior ideas click here!

Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wi Interior entry door

Balance

Guests are reassured by a sense of balance.  The beautiful symmetry of this living room plays a gracious role communicating comfort.

Lowell Custom Homes a entry flow into open living

Inviting Flow

Unobstructed views and an open floor plan encourage a relaxed flow throughout the home.

Lowell Custom Homes open concept floor plan

Lovely Scale & Proportion

Scale is more important than size when creating a welcoming room.  This floor to ceiling stone fireplace is perfectly at home in a room that can support its dramatic presence with ample ceiling volume.   View more ideally proportioned interiors in our gallery by clicking here.

owell Custom Homes options for intimacy cozy den

Options for Intimacy

Large formal rooms are lovely, but at times a scaled down room is just right for more intimate gatherings.  Here, fine handcrafted details are perfectly proportioned for a more personal setting.

Lowell Custom Homes versitility open or close spaces versitility

Versatile and Multifunctional

We all love an open kitchen, but at times you just want to pull the curtain, or in this case the pocket door, on the chaos.   Built-in versatility is the key to spaces that perform day-to-day as well as when entertaining.  This kitchen can be a place for meal preparations, casual dining, or mingling.

Lowell Custom Homes island party in front business in the back

Party in the Front, Business in the Back

Function is a priority, especially in kitchen design.  Here a dramatic oversized island is part of the design by Geneva Cabinet Company, LLC.  At first glance you’ll notice show-stopping good looks, but a peek around to the back side exposes easy-to-access storage, wide open work surface and undercounted appliances.

Lowell Custom Homes behind the scenes convenience and staging area

Staging Area

Behind the scenes at any great event is a well executed plan.  This spacious laundry room can double as a butler’s pantry while thoughtfully designed cabinet interiors are a thing of beauty every day.

Lowell Custom Homes indoor outdoor

Seasonal Transitions

A protected indoor-outdoor area is appreciated by many guests.  This screened in room offers comfort and style along with a little fresh air.

Time to Unwind

And finally, after the last air-kiss good-night, every homeowner deserves a place to unwind and reminisce about the exciting events of the day.

Lowell Custom Homes place to rejuvanate after entertaining and careing for others

That should include the privacy of a Master Bedroom and Bath Suite as the perfect place to rejuvenate for the next round of holiday festivities.

We send our heartfelt thanks

to our customers and all of those who follow

our activities as we build these lovely homes,

always,

and especially this holiday season!

 

This home was originally built by Lowell Custom Homes and designed by M & E Architects.  The renovations in 2018 are by Lowell Custom Homes with architect Todd Cauffman and General Manager/Project Superintendent Rich Kinter.

To see more of the lovely details visit our Houzz portfolio by clicking here.

Photography is by Shanna Wolf, S.Photography and Styling

The new roof is by DaVinci Roofscapes and features a long lasting composition shake shingle.

The kitchen by Geneva Cabinet Company, LLC features cabinetry fromPlato Woodwork, Inc.

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Entertaining Outdoors

The best part of summer is taking your favorite activities outdoors, especially when it comes to entertaining.  We like to plan a home in advance with features that will help homeowners live a relaxed lifestyle that is at-one-with-nature.   Our favorite features encourage a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.   Whether entertaining a crowd or squeezing in a little extra me-time, a well designed home will expand your space with outdoor areas where you can truly connect to the great outdoors.
Lowell Custom Homes Welcome entry with bright flowers

Start at the entry by rolling out the welcome mat with brightly colored flowers.

Infused water summer entertaining

Next offer your guests this summer’s beverage sensation, flavor infused water!  Yes, it is as easy as it looks with these recipes from the FoodNetwork.

Lowell Custom Homes open up to the outdoors retractable wall blur the lines to outdoorsBlur the indoor-outdoor line with architectural features like this retractable wall of glass.  It offers a seamless transition to the sunshine and fresh air.

Lowell Custom Homes Comfortable seating for outdoor entertaining

Be sure to include comfortable seating where conversations can flow.

Lowell Custom Homes outdoor kitchen

An outdoor kitchen lets the host enjoy the party while taking care of the culinary needs of the guests.  You’ll love this design guide from Geneva Cabinet Company.

Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wi outdoor activity zones

Create activity zones for dining, conversation and play-time in order to offer a variety of entertainment options.   Be sure to include an area with a bit of shade.

Lowell Custom Homes encourage mingling when entertaining outdoors

Keep it interesting by spreading the refreshments around your outdoor space, drinks on the porch, appetizers on the patio, deserts by fireplace  . . . mingle, mingle.

Lowell Custom Homes winding down around the fire pit

Wind the party down naturally with mood lighting, lanterns and a cozy fire pit for story-telling and reminiscing.

Lowell Custom Homes move it indoors to a screened in porch for mosquito free zone

Finally move the gathering to a screened in porch for a mosquito free night-cap.

The team at Lowell Custom Homes is full of ideas to help you enjoy your home from season to season.  Building a new home or remodeling can be an exciting adventure and our team of experts will answer all of your questions and guide you every step of the way!

 

Lowell Custom Homes

262-245-9030

Photography by:
Shanna Wolf, Victoria McHugh, &  Josh Zuelke

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Television Debates – We answer the age old question, where to put the TV

Back in the day, designers would disguise a big boxy television set with a big boxy piece of furniture. Thankfully the inventors of flat screen television (talk amongst yourselves to identify the first) put an end to the madness.
Flat screen television units eliminate the proverbial elephant in the room. Television placement has never been more liberated. We can now bring our attention back to business of design, without the burden of bulk.
1 where to place the television Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Pay no attention to the television behind the picture

Often more traditional homes, or interiors that want to maintain a more formal appearance, will opt for complete concealment. Now this camouflage can be smoothly integrated into the design of any room. Just a slight recess in the wall or fireplace will provide an opportunity for doors or artwork to complete the disguise.
 
2 where to place the television built in shelving Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Tastefully absorbed by built-in paneling and shelving

Intimacy and comfort are heightened when the background wraps you in an undisturbed shell. The key to success is a light hand when accessorizing the nearby shelving in order to reduce distraction from your favorite program. Lighting should be adjustable to avoid glare that could cause eye strain.
 
3 where to place the television disguise blend to background Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Is it wrong to put the television above the fireplace?

Not anymore, especially when it’s hidden in plain sight. Dark tones on the wall prevent a large screen from visually intruding on your space. When placing your television at this height, be sure to use an adjustable arm that allows you to angle it downward for better viewing.
 
4 where to place the television frame and recess Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

The great frame up

Building a frame around the screen is a streamline solution, especially when it’s balanced by black accents. The stone fireplace surround keeps the television from making the room top heavy.
 
5 where to place the television kitchen niche shelf Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Rise above the hustle and bustle

In the kitchen or office a high recessed niche is the perfect way to get your daytime television fix while keeping workspace clear.
 
6 where to place the television kitchen backsplash Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

It’s just another appliance

Your favorite programs line up perfectly on the backsplash providing an ever-changing design element to eliminate kitchen boredom.
 
7 where to place the television bedroom simple wall mount Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

The no excuses approach

Sometimes a TV just needs to be a TV, but this is no afterthought. Mounting directly to the wall saves space while knotty cedar paneling provides an interesting and unexpected contrast. The symmetrical arrangement of architectural features, like these flanking and clearstory window, will create balance for a serene effect.
 
8 where to place the television family room background extra big screen Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Television as wall mural

An extra large screen acts as an ever-changing backdrop for your leisure activities. Conversation is encouraged when seating is versatile and viewers can face each other or the screen.
 
9 where to place the television bar game room multiple tv screens Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Indulge Yourself

Weather the urge is “all sports, all the time” or a battle of HGTV, BRAVO, and The Cooking Channel, a multiscreen arrangement will immerse you in entertainment.
 

One last tip

When choosing the placement of your television it really comes down to size. For comfort refer to his guide for viewing distance.
Screen and recommended viewing distance

Happy Viewing!

 

We have a dedicated staff of professionals including an AIA architect, Interior Designer & Construction Superintendents who are all pleased to help you with your home projects!

We are just a call away at 262-245-9030

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Home for the Holidays!

How-To Create a Home for Entertaining & Celebrating

Home is the place where holiday celebrations begin. Whether you are entertaining a crowd or planning quiet family time, preparing your home with decorative touches will add meaning and special memories to the holiday season.
Today we are going take you through a LOWELL custom home to demonstrate opportunities and ideas you can use to set the mood in your own home.

Remember you can do as much or as little as you like, the intention is what makes it meaningful.

For “how-to” information on these ideas and more, go to our special Pinterest board:

Lowell Home for the Holidays!

1 Welcoming entry PIX

2 Flow throughout home PIX

3 Gathering Kitchen PIX

4 Cozy Evening PIX

5 Dinner Party PIX

6 Guest Suite PIX

Happy Holidays from Lowell!

Room images are from Lowell Management Services, Inc.

All other images are via Pinterest where you can locate the source, recipes and DIY information:  Lowell Home for the Holidays!

Low Maintenance Essentials for Easy Indoor-Outdoor Living

There is so much to look forward to at this time of year! Engaging outdoor spaces will help you celebrate the season, but not if you are burdened with upkeep. While indoor-outdoor living is a hot trend, low-maintenance design is essential for maximum enjoyment. Our tips for choosing the ideal location are listed in Creating Attractive Outdoor Living Spaces. Once that decision is made, these easy care ideas will add enough leisure time for you to truly enjoy your summertime happy place.

Lowell Management, Geneva Deck, Ecosmartfire, Brown Jordan Outdoor Furniture


Fold back doors and generous windows will create an invisible threshold that encourages a beautiful connection with nature. Keep the merger agreeable and reduce housekeeping concerns with durable flooring and a clear path of travel.
Geneva Deck, Zuri Deck, Sunbrella Fabrics, Surya Outdoor rugs and pillows

Geneva Deck, Surya Outdoor Textiles, Sunbrella Fabrics


Decking is a popular choice for delivering indoor/outdoor convenience with a level platform to accommodate activities. If easy care is your driver, new materials like Zuri® premium decking which is used by  Geneva Deck  will grant you the gift of time. The exotic hardwood appearance unites with remarkable durability for years of minimal maintenance.
Ecosmart Geneva Deck Lowell Management

Geneva Deck, Ecosmartfire, Brown Jordan Furniture


Round out your outdoor entertaining by introducing the element of fire. Whether the purpose is heat or light, fire creates a natural gathering place. Outdoor bioethanol fireplaces by Ecosmart are weather resistant, portable and self-contained. This renewable energy source produces no embers, ash or soot. There is virtually no clean up and they can even be placed on decks. When the focus is food preparation, outdoor kitchen equipment housed in Stainless Steel and Powder Coated Cabinetry is the weather resistant answer to your easy clean up dreams.
Lowell Management, Varaschin, Anacara Company

Lowell Management, Anacara Company Furniture, Varaschin Furniture


Innovative materials are extending the life and upkeep of outdoor architectural details and furnishings. Powder coated metal, teak wood and aluminum-framed resin products add lasting color and texture to traditional pieces. Top designers are creating fabrics for Sunbella that can tolerate remarkable abuse and offer built in UV resistance. Even area rugs are venturing outdoors using these new technologies to warm up and define exterior rooms with the same detail we enjoy indoors.
Join us on Facebook all season for updates on our favorite products for your outdoor enjoyment.
Product Links:
http://genevadeck.com
http://www.sunbrella.com/en_us/
http://www.surya.com/outdoor/
http://www.ecosmartfire.com
http://www.anacaracompany.com/index.html
http://varaschin.it

Why Fi? Home networks that run as smoothly as your refrigerator.

 
You settle down with a few friends to watch “House of Cards” on Netflix and so it begins, start…stop… buffering…play…buffering. Arghhh! Isn’t technology WONDERFUL?!
The rest of your household runs so smoothly. Your refrigerator keeps things cold – it doesn’t require any attention and rarely lets you down. Your oven cooks things – set the temperature and walk away. Why can’t your network behave the same way? Is your home network conspiring against you?! You’re not alone. It can be a challenge to keep your house connected to the internet in addition to all of your devices.
Unfortunately, these problems can be traced to any number of sources. The data that arrives on your TV screen from Netflix has to go through more stops than a Southwest flight from Rockford to Topeka. While the largest part of that journey is made outside of your home, it backs up like rush hour once it arrives to your house. The outside journey is made through very high-end and professionally maintained equipment. But once in your home…not so much.
In your home, the equipment is designed to be simple to set up, maintenance free and of course, has to be so inexpensive that your internet service provider can basically give it to you for nothing. The problem here is when any sort of a failure occurs, the equipment simply stops working. You can’t diagnose the error, you can’t troubleshoot it, all you can do is re-boot it. Then things start working…until the error occurs again…so you re-boot again. Sound familiar? Moreover, homes come in many shapes and sizes with differing construction materials and different wiring infra-structures. But who needs wire anyway? Just connect a bunch of wireless devices right? No. Not right. Wrong. Very wrong.
Off the shelf Wi-Fi devices are basically set up to operate in a vacuum by themselves. Installing more than one device without professional configuration can cause network conflicts, the devices can interfere with each other and they can confuse the wireless devices that we love so much. Not only that, the connection information can be a pain. When a friend tries to connect to your network do you have to give them codes suited for strategic air defense encryption?
“Hey Dave, can I get on your wireless network?”
“Sure Bill, just look for “2wIRe276399” and enter the password “94be3465lL43T” but if you’re using it in the guest bedroom go to “Lynksis01” and type in “0brwLLJerK”.
“Thanks Dave, is that jerk with a capital J?”
So…the solution to these problems? The best solution starts with setting up access points across your home to eliminate dead spots. This equipment needs to be configured correctly so that your devices can seamlessly move from access point to access point without your interaction and so they don’t interfere with each other. You can also add more sophisticated equipment to create a more robust wireless network environment with simplified connection information. Equipment can be installed by professionals to monitor your internet connectivity and re-boot the basic gear the moment it shows an issue.
And for those of you who want a mission critical killer network with all of the diagnostic capability and robust features of the commercial equipment that is maintained by professionals, there are solutions for you too. You can make your network run like a finely tuned Ferrari (on the autobahn).
 
Many thanks to our Guest Blogger!  Paul Faber is the co-founder of MediaTech and a charismatic tech geek.  His company designs & installs high-end home automation systems that encompass network infrastructure, home audio/visual, lighting controls, climate, and more fun stuff (think The Jetsons).”
 

Top 5 Smart Features for Your Home

Can your home be smart and pretty?  Absolutely!  Forbes is predicting an explosion of smart home networks that will become the brains behind you homes good looks.  An intelligent mix of wireless technology along with your homes traditional hard wired systems will allow your inner geek to shine whether you are building a new home, remodeling or updating an older home.
These are our Top 5 Picks for smart features you will want in your home!
Whole house integration of smart home technology

  1.  Whole House Integration
    The ability to access lighting, heating, security and more from multiple touch screens located throughout the home is a time saver and the ultimate convenience.  Using either remote controls or a central controller that interfaces with your smart phone or tablet, the well connected homeowner can monitor and operate current conditions at home for peace of mind and energy efficiency.  New HVAC systems actually learn your typical behavior for heating and cooling and automatically make adjustments so you are always comfortable.  Whole house automation can even extend as far as your garden irrigation system.
    home security and digital door locks that have the ability to operate through your Smartphone
  2. SECURITY
    Peace of mind is within reach with digital door locks that have the ability to operate through your Smartphone as well as set off alarms and send you a text if they are triggered.  Some systems have integrated cameras allowing you to see and talk to visitors even when you’re not home.  And did you every wonder what Fido is doing all day?  Now you can check on his activities as well as the kids through an internal camera system with a live feed to your Smartphone.Smart Home Entertainment
  3. ENTERTAINMENT
    To see or not to see, that is the question.  Everyone is happy when the decision is made based on the potential use of the room.  The newest televisions have superior sound and video quality in streamline fashion.  Networking permits multiple entertainment points throughout the home with the ability to access a whole house DVD and music server along with security cameras, lighting and the internet.  So hide the television behind the fireplace art or show it off in a media-centric room, there is a system to suite your style.Smart Home Appliances
  4. CONVENIENCE
    Smart home appliances are more intuitive and affordable than ever.  All will increase your productivity while building some flexibility into your over scheduled life.  While you are enjoying the kids soccer game, you can start the dishwasher then sit back and wait to receive the text message from you oven telling you dinner is ready. Even gardening becomes easier with sensors that send you updates on humidity, air temperature and pH to maximize your crop without stepping into your Wellies.  Smart Body analyzers will plot the data from your morning weigh in and track your heart rate, body fat and workout to keep you on track for wellness.  Even the refrigerator is multitasking to help you plan meals with recipe suggestions based on current contents and an updated shopping list.Smart Home Energy Efficiency
  5. ENERGY EFFICIENCY
    Integrated systems use occupancy sensors, dimmers and timers to contribute to your overall energy savings and climate control. Dishwashers, washers and dryers are incorporating intelligent features so they will  operate when consumption in you area is the lowest in order to save you money.  Lighting systems can gradually brighten your rooms to wake you up naturally.  Clothes dryers now use sensors to stop once the clothes are dry and your oven will let your thermostat know it is heating up the kitchen so HVAC can adjust to keep you comfortable.

Lowell has the smartest solutions for all of your home technology needs, including multiple convenient and discrete charging stations so you will always be ready to go!
 
 

Celebrate Romance at Home

Valentine’s Day is about love and romance, but we like the idea of sharing the love more than one day a year.  It’s easy when you have special areas of your home that are created for togetherness.

 Take a look at some of our favorite romantic spaces and get inspired!

master bath luxury with free standing tub and armoire

Spa Night – Just add water, bubbles and your special someone!


g fireplace

Fireside Picnic
Cozy up in front of the fire with a basket full of treats, including almonds, chocolates, dates, raspberries, strawberries and wine.
Cue the soft music!


 

Cooking Up a Good Time
Food brings us together, especially when sampling and learning something new.


Game Night
If you’re from the Cupid-Is-Stupid school include the kids and neighbors for and evening of games and finger foods spread across the bar with a chocolate fountain for dipping deserts.


Whether you share it with a special someone or the entire family, your home should be the backdrop where loving memories will be made.  Our Number One mission when we are building a new home or remodeling, is to create spaces where you can celebrate and make every day a special one.