Home Design Lesson: Living in Harmony

How is it that some homes overflow with lovely feelings of contentment while others are just “meh”? Often it is the result of an elusive quality known as harmony. Harmony is one of the most essential principles of design, but it often defies description. To achieve harmony, a delicate balance is needed between all of the other elements and principles of design.
Harmony at home Gussie pet fits perfectly into home design scheme
While we were gushing over Gussie at the latest photo shoot, we couldn’t help but notice the natural sense of harmony that flows throughout this home.   As the fluffiest member of the family,  she too fits right in with the welcoming composition. While we work closely with clients on architecture and material selections, the credit for achieving the complete sense of harmony goes to our brilliant homeowners! But . . . we are happy to tell you how it’s done.
Harmony is a complex formula that we can start to understand by looking at the basic elements of design. Individual factors like color, line, and proportion, can be described as either creating unity through sameness, or adding variety through contrast. Well balanced elements bring the most pleasing sense of order and relevance to the exterior and interior design of a home.

Harmony through Unity

Harmony Principle of Design Home Unity color scheme and material selection
When every part of a home has a general sense of order and belonging it is referred to as unity. In this home it starts with the consistent use of unsaturated light and airy colors to create a palette that is visually soothing.
Harmony Unity Character Bunkroom guest room lake home image Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI
Maintaining a consistent character will further the sense of harmony in home design. As a lakeside retreat, this home uses references to the nautical theme as well as natural materials to be beautifully in sync with the lake front setting. Playful details, like the porthole pantry window, lighting and hardware, join the guest bunk-room concept to lend a refreshing vacation atmosphere to this home.

Harmony through Variety

Harmony home design principle unity of character Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI
A subtle contrast in material selection plays an important role in alleviating monotony.   This allows the eye to pause on areas of interest, without a jarring transition.   Here the light ash flooring and weathered wood furnishings play well against the matt wall surface. While the color palette and character remain consistent, this contrast offers a healthy balance for the overall sense of harmony of the room.
Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wi Harmony through variety of texture in a home
Visual texture will also enhance the harmony of a home. Here architectural elements add moments of importance with a light hand that is consistent with the homes lake front character. The woodworking details include shiplap paneling, cabinetry and crown molding which all serve to introduce contrast to the smooth quartz countertops, shapely glass light fixtures and hardware. Every accessory is refined and displayed in keeping with a harmonious approach.
Lowell Custom Homes Harmony principle of design in home exterior material selection
Most importantly, the exterior of this home is thoughtfully planned to be in complete harmony with its lakefront setting. The natural stone foundation is a mix of lighter natural shades to support the refined selection of washed gray shingles and silvery white  trim. And just as nature likes to surprise us with pop of color, the peaceful exterior of this home is gently accented by a lovely shade of blue to reflect the sky and nearby waters.

You can see more of this delightful getaway in our last blog were we take you through the process of building, from the Tear down to Tranquility.  See our Houzz Portfolio for a  complete tour!  For a limited time the entire step-by-step process of this home’s evolution will be shown on the Lowell Custom Homes Project Gallery!

We always love hearing from you and are happy to discuss your personal home projects! 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!

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Lowell Custom Homes

262.245.9030

Photography by S.Photography & Styling, Lake Geneva, WI

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Built In Storage Ideas for Every Room

Are you dreaming of a beautiful clutter free home? Is storage something you only think about when your pots are toppling over or when you’re frantically looking for your keys?
LOWELL thinks about storage in the early planning stages of every building or remodeling project. It can’t be an afterthought; otherwise you end up with cookie cutter solutions that don’t work for most families. Our first step is listening and understanding the unique lifestyle needs of every client.
The latest trend for home design responds to modern living with designated storage space in every room for frequently used items. The beauty and practicality of kitchen and bath storage is expanding to every room. Accommodations for connecting to technology and convenient charging stations are finding multiple locations throughout the home.
Important questions we ask, you can ask yourself when planning a home improvement project:

  • How do I use each room?
  • What activities take place in each room most often?
  • What household or personal items are used for each activity in the room?

Drop Zone Laundry Mud Room
Out the door convenience is at the top of every list. The grungy mud room is a thing of the past when storage is included in the plan. Referred to as the “drop zone” or “landing pad” everyone has a place to sort their on-the-go necessities. Benches, hooks, cubbies and charging stations keep everyone organized for grab and go convenience.
Hearth room image
Living Room, Family Room, Gathering Rooms, all need built in storage that contributes to the overall design aesthetic. The numerous electronic components and accessories need suitable housing. Storage for blankets, games and your pets squeaky toys should easily co-exist with decorative displays.
dining room with built in cabinetry small
Dining rooms delight with built-ins that provide convenient storage for bulky serving pieces as well as a buffet surface. Glass front cabinetry will highlight collections while drawers and doors keep dining china and flatware organized and at your fingertips.
window wall image
Window walls are an opportunity for storage in any room. A window seat with storage adds both seating with storage benefits. When wall space is generous a niche can be created for a window seat or vanity flanked by generous closet space. This solution can be a real space saver when space it tight. It also adds value when the need to purchase furniture for storage is eliminated.
closet image
Personal items find a home in closets that perform far beyond the recommended  48” hanging space per person. Coveted personal collections like purses or shoes can be featured for your enjoyment in glass front cabinets instead of stored in boxes. Include a vanity for delicate items like jewelery and lingerie. A mirror and good lighting are essential for pulling yourself together and getting on with your day.
Blog Kitchen image
To wrap up all of your storage dreams, the kitchen! The cabinets you know so well have evolved. This kitchen designed by Geneva Cabinet Company include specialized dividers and pull outs for ergonomic ease. We love a well thought out Kitchen Island for expanded storage. Drawers are another easy to reach storage solution for sorting kitchen necessities. Knowing your style of food prep from gourmet to short order cook will dictate your storage needs with no wasted space.
Consider this, having an organized home has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety! A study by Real Simple magazine shows that the average American spends 55 minutes a day looking for lost or misplaced items! There are a lot more pleasant things you could do with 55 minutes each day.