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

Refreshing Spring Updates for your Home

1 Lowell Management FINAL pix Spring

Spring is nature’s time for renewal and the ideal time to bring your home out of hibernation. Celebrate the season by adding a few refreshing touches from our list of favorite home pick-me-ups.

  • Awaken your senses with flowers and scented candles for an instant lift. Use them generously in the most visible and well traveled areas of your home
  • Reposition furniture to take advantage of natural light and outdoor views
  • Brighten the bath by accenting with colorful towels and accessories
  • Lift heavy area rugs to enjoy the natural flooring or replace them with indoor/outdoor sisal
  • Use color and bold pattern in your toss pillows, throws and accessories for a lively accent
  • Lighten the look of your mantel and bookcases by storing away heavy accessories to keep the space open for a visual breath of fresh air
  • Spice up the kitchen with cheerful pops of color in cookware, tableware and serving pieces
  • Relate your home’s indoor and outdoor color palettes for a seamless connection to the exterior
  • Upgrade your standard entry fixture with one that makes a memorable style statement
  • Add a ceiling fan to covered porch or patio areas to create your own gentle breeze
  • Gather attractive trays for portable outdoor service with easy clean up
  • Display summer themed collections and playful activity equipment to set the mood for fun
  • Select outdoor furnishings based on the way you want to use your space. A daybed, outdoor bar or fire pit benches may serve you better than the customary umbrella table with chairs

For inspiration, take a look at some of these perky finds! 

Happy Spring!

 Shopping Links Below


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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

Turn Up the Heat with a Variety of Fireplace Designs for Your Home

Blustery cold or slight chill, you can find us cuddled up around the warm glow of a fireplace throughout the seasons. It appeals to our natural instinct to seek warmth and our social desire for a cozy place to gather. Seattle architect Betty R Torrell has written about the architectural history of the fireplace and describes its contribution to our homes as “emotionally sustaining”.
Often identified as a family room fixture, the appeal of a fireplace is now found throughout the home. We use intentional variety when designing and constructing elements that define a style statement for each one we build.  The mantel, hearth, surround, and type of firebox all contribute to the distinctive character. We invite you to browse through our fireplace compositions to find your own inspiration.1 image  3 Project2The centerpiece of an open floor plan, this fireplace is an indulgence in natural stone which was inspired by the view of weathered silos down the road. The central placement delineates a cozy living space and sets the mood for a home that is modern and organic in nature.
2 Image Project3A classic wood mantel respects tradition with refinement. Crafted with crown, dentil molding, and paneled legs, the appearance has a composed formality. The slip surrounding the actual firebox can further a formal or informal direction based on the type of non-combustible material. Here we use marble and stone to reflect the hearth and compliment the traditional direction.
3 image 1 blog Project1The see through fireplace unites two areas with a shared focus. This minimalist approach is accomplished with a streamlined firebox. Flush tiled surfaces and hearth encourage the eye to focus on the simplicity of shape while revealing an invitation to the hearth room beyond. Raising the firebox to seated eye level opens the view between rooms when not in use and adds to the enjoyment when a fire is burning.
4 image  Project2While some design purists are horrified, it is time to get over the whole TV vs Fireplace debate. The reality is that this arrangement just works. It is a clean fitted look and solves the problem of how to arrange furniture with comfortable seating in order to enjoy both views. Often this is an opportunity to add much needed storage without cluttering a room with heavy furnishings.
6 image master fireplace croppedThe direct vent gas or propane fireplace is energy efficient and streamline. It initiated the trend for clean linear ribbons of fire. Streamline units become a non imposing part of the wall. Here we maintain a restful horizontal landscape using stacked brick to present a relaxing retreat within the master bedroom. Often installed at eye level for greater appreciation, the surrounding wall can take on a variety of shapes.
7 image mclean IMG_1918The kitchen is the heart of many homes so the addition of a fireplace increases the draw while introducing the option to cook over a wood fire. Contrasting material creates warmth and emphasis while niches below provide convenient wood storage.
8 image 6 Project2Extend your time outdoors by including a fireplace as part of your outdoor living space. Here a see through fireplace is placed on the exterior wall of an indoor/outdoor room for shared enjoyment for both perspectives. The latest weatherproof options available for electronics even allow the TV to be a part of the experience.
Whether you are building or remodeling, the experts at Lowell can help you envision the perfect character for your fireplace.

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.

MG_0062-1

  • 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.

Room with a View


Outdoor living spaces have become much more than a place to relax; they are now an extension of the home.   Many even include upscale kitchens and screened in porches.   Scott Lowell recognizes the demand for this extra space and accommodates the personal taste of each homeowner.  “Some families want an elaborate outdoor kitchen with a top of the line grill and plenty of island space to prepare food and entertain.  Others simply want a porch with a view to enjoy,” says Scott Lowell, president of Lowell Management Services.  “We create each space that accommodates the lifestyle of the homeowner.”

Adams Elect shot taken at night of front

In Geneva National, where Lowell Management Services currently has three distinctly unique communities, all with custom homes built by Lowell Management Services, the outdoor space is as significant as the home.  With homes located on Lake Como, the 18th hole or in the midst of 200 year old oaks, the outdoor space in the home is a necessity.   Geneva National is Southern Wisconsin’s most notable year-round golf resort community.   It is located on Lake Como, just four miles west of downtown Lake Geneva.   This 1,600-acre property has expanses of preserved wooded and open space and surrounds 54 holes of legendary golf designed by Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Lee Trevino at Geneva National Golf Club.
Other amenities include tennis, swimming, water sports and miles of scenic hiking trails.   A new state-of-the-art fitness center is now open.   There is also a beautiful clubhouse with a new members-only dining room, a lavish new lounge and more. Both golf and social memberships are available.   Keefe Real Estate maintains a sales office open everyday at the entrance of Geneva National for both resale and new construction.   For additional information or to schedule your appointment to find out about The Woods, please call 262/245-2380 or visit www.gnbuilders.com.