Remodeling – A Story with a Fairy Tale Ending

Do you get a kick out of those remodeling horror stories?  Then stop reading because this is more of a remodeling fairy tale!

Lowell Custom Homes remodel in Lake Geneva Exterior Elevations Before and After
It all begins in a not so far away land near Lake Geneva. A stately but dated home starts it’s transformation at the entry by correcting a medieval door which was completely exposed to the elements.   (While medieval works in fairy tales, it’s not ideal for a lake house.)  A new welcoming covered porch completes the front elevation with other gracious architectural details.
2 entry door .jpg
On the interior an equally impressive makeover was in progress.  In the kitchen, walls were taken down to open up the space to the family room.
3 kitchen before and during.jpg
The dark 80’s oak cabinets were replaced with bright white and gray painted cabinetry from Medallion Cabinetry with kitchen design by Geneva Cabinet Company.
4 kitchen after
A small walk-in pantry flanked by two tall glass-front cabinets provide additional storage and eliminate the need for wall cabinets in order to maximize lake views.
6 living room before and during
Meanwhile the formal living room was taken down to the studs.  The load-bearing wall was removed and a new I-beam installed.  The fireplace was trimmed to the ceiling and the dark brick painted pale gray.
7 living room after
On the second story the guest bedroom had a ceiling that was just too spectacular to remove.   We preserved it and updated it with high gloss white paint for a fresh look in keeping with the new character of the home.
8 bedroom ceiing

All drywall and floor sheathing on this 2nd floor was replaced before new wool carpet was laid.  The crowning accent was a delicate chandelier to replace the tired ceiling fan.
5 family room
The family room and staircase were not neglected during this enchanting makeover.
9 stairs
But the real drama is saved for the lake side elevation of the home’s exterior.
10 screened porch
More than a cosmetic makeover was needed.  This exterior suffered damage from water that had seeped in under the siding and all soffits and facia.  Once repaired a screened porch was added to the back of the house with access to the family room and kitchen.  This allowed for a balcony off of the 2nd floor master bedroom.  A delightful outdoor kitchen by Danver was added to complete the lakeside living space.
11 screened porch after with kit and shower

We are happy to report that homeowners and the entire Lowell team lived happily ever after! lowell team at More

Special thanks to our homeowners for the pleasure of working together (and the pizza parties) !

When it’s time to build or remodel, just ask us how you can create your own fairy tale ending.

262-245-9030

Photography by Josh Zuelke Josh Z Photography
Kitchen by Joyce Zuelke for Geneva Cabinet Company
Superintendent Rich Kinter for Lowell Custom Homes
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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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Outdoor Living Spaces – The Best Ideas for Your Home

The great outdoors is calling. Alfresco dining, entertaining friends or just lounging under a clear sky . . . the best home design will create gracious indoor-outdoor living space where you can truly embrace the spring and summer months.
Get inspired by stunning outdoor ideas from these Lowell Custom Homes, and then create a space to complement your personal indoor-outdoor lifestyle.

  • Align interior and exterior spaces for a seamless extension of your main living area. A fluid transition between indoor and outdoor rooms can be created with a disappearing wall of glass doors. An easily accessible patio will draw everyone outdoors, enlarge your living space, and extend your spring and summer season with gentle protection from the elements.

 
Balance your outdoor space with large open and private areas

  • Balance your options with both open and intimate space. Just as a good interior space plan will provide areas for private and social activities, your outdoor rooms can offer alternatives that adapt to your needs throughout the day. Sun vs. Shade – Active vs. Restful – Entertainment vs. Retreat.  You select the most suitable outdoor environment to match your mood.

 
Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor living furniture position

  • Get in position to enjoy the view. Use your natural surroundings to create a focal point.  Arrange outdoor furniture where everyone can appreciate the scenery. A beautiful garden, swimming pool, or outdoor fireplace can all serve as appealing points of interest.

 
Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor living areas zones for activity

  • Locate zones on your property according to use. No need to cram all outdoor living space against the house.  Just anchor each zone with its own useful focal point.  A boathouse services lake front activities, a cabana offers poolside convenience and an upscale shed will store hobby or gardening equipment.

 
Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor Living areas

  • Create an outdoor hub where essentials are clustered for convenience.  Food preparation, dining table and entertainment equipment in one outdoor zone will let you enjoy the fresh air while hosting friends and family. An outdoor shower and self-serve refreshment bar can eliminate messy indoor traffic patterns and keep your home tidy.

 
Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor Living Cozy Fire pit

  • Introduce a fire feature to cozy up your outdoor space after dark. S’mores and story telling around the fire pit or outdoor fireplace will create memories and start traditions to be passed on for generations.

 
Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor Living Space Best Ideas

  • Dress up your space with weather resistant products to compliment your indoor style and color palette. Create visual interest with light fixtures, fans, area rugs, and accessories to add indoor comfort to your outdoor experience.

The experts at Lowell Custom Homes can help you plan a home with the most natural flow between your indoor and outdoor environments.

 

401 GENEVA NATIONAL AVENUE SO. – LAKE GENEVA, WISCONSIN 53147 – 262.245.9030

Screened In Porch – Improving Nature

Summer Porch
Does the idea of extending your summer sound appealing? A screened in porch will prolong your outdoor living season in the most civilized manner. No bugs, always a breeze from the ceiling fans, and overhead protection from the elements, what’s not to love! This cost effective feature lets you get a jump on summer and cling to every last day before winter arrives.
We build screened in porches and rooms where our homeowners can enjoy a close connection with nature.   These areas deliver additional living space with the bonus of versatility. A place to unwind, entertain friends or shake up a boring dinnertime routine; the appeal is in its ability to become exactly what you need. The temporary charm of outdoor living releases you from the formalities created by four walls and encourages relaxation.
These screened-in fundamentals will guide you when setting up your own outdoor space.
 
Screened in Exterior
Business in the front – party in the back.
Even the most stately homes can embrace the look of a screened in room. You’ll avoid the architectural mullet phenomenon by treating this feature with the same details as your home. Design your screened in space to reflect the overall character of your home.
 
View from screened in porch
Focus on the view
If you are fortunate enough to have a scenic view, take full advantage by positioning the location and elevation where you’ll have best perspective. When not emphasizing a long distance view, create an intimate view with the surrounding landscape.
 

screened in porch ceiling

Make a statement with the ceiling
Since transparent screening surrounds you with nature, the ceiling becomes a creative outlet for your style. Beadboard is one of our favorite treatments. Created from wood planking, this material can be rustic or polished in order to reflect your design aesthetic.
 
screened in porch lighting and ceiling fans
Ceiling Fans & Lighting for Mother Natures downtime
Well-placed ceiling fans will add a soft breeze to a motionless summer day. Use a fixture with contrasting finish to bring attention to a beautifully detailed ceiling. Match the ceiling color if you would like it to quietly disappear.
The same applies to lighting.   But be sure to think beyond the typical porch fixture.  Outdoor lighting technology offers stylish fixtures and even table lamps to satisfy all of your functional needs.
5d Blog inset fireplace

 

Take the chill off with a warm fire.
The fireplace is a natural gathering point and will transform your screened area into an extension of your home. The added warmth will allow you to truly extend your outdoor living season.
 
Furnishing for Comfort
Rugged or refined, your screened room should be finished off with the furniture pieces that will allow you to make the most of your outdoor season. Check our past post for tips on the most durable approach:
Low Maintenance Essentials for Easy Indoor-Outdoor Living

 
 
 
 

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

Creating Attractive Outdoor Living Spaces

1 exterior deck and windo

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!'”      Robin Williams

Longer days and calmer temperatures signal a return to outdoor living.  Using nature as a backdrop, the open-air space surrounding your home can provide hours of delight and relaxation.  Multiple studies have shown that just looking outdoors will activate the part of the brain related to thoughts of balance and happiness.  Take advantage of natures feel-good with the creation of al fresco spaces that will also enhance the square footage and value of your home.

The most successful outdoor space will be an extension of your homes interior style while blending with the surroundings.  A perfect plan will provide appealing and useful outdoor “rooms” as well as beautiful scenes when you look out the window.

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Where do you start? 

  • Our recommendation is to first make a list of any daily activities that would be pleasurable if moved outdoors.  Often relaxation tops the list, with entertainment, cooking and play space following closely.from website 20180008
  • Take inventory of your property and the available options to create outdoor rooms.  Consider exposure to the elements, the direction of sunlight and your desire for privacy vs. neighborhood interaction.  This will guide the placement of your outdoor living space to the front, side or back yard of your home.

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  • Next evaluate your floor plan and the most logical points for moving from indoors out.  The more convenient this transition, the more you will use your outdoor areas.  When building or remodeling, we like to feature specialty Nano (folding) or French Doors to visually diminish the indoor/outdoor line and encourage fluid movement.

Kaskel010

  • An informal sketch of your property showing home placement will allow you to designate logical active and calm areas.  Allow for entertaining and family fun as well quiet activities like reading, napping and gardening.

700 S. Shore Pool

  • Consider ways to lengthen the time you can enjoy spring and summer months by including the protection of a covered porch or three season room.

porch

  • Connect your outdoor living areas with landscaping, walkways and privacy screening than integrates the outdoor space with the overall architecture of your home.

1 sunroom two

  • Finally, remember that there are experts,  like those at Lowell Management,  with the expertise and ability to guide you in the planning and execution of your new home and remodeling projects.