Inviting Entries – Guidelines for your homes first impression

You had me at hello!
It is scientifically proven that first impressions are lasting. A phenomenon refer to as thin-slicing demonstrates our powerful ability to make rapid decisions based on a narrow window of experience. No matter the size, the entry point is where you and your home will make a first impression. With thoughtful design guidelines, your foyer will make a stunning statement on your behalf.
Communicate Your Style
Create an “ahhh” moment at the point of transition between the great outdoors and your home interior. Ancient Feng Shui principles believe the entry is the gateway for your homes energy.   Use this idea of natural flow to heighten the anticipation for visitors with a well-curated selection that represents your style.

  • Focus on developing a mood that will set the stage for your entire home.
  • Connect to the exterior of your home by repeating an architectural element, color scheme or material.
  • Control the visual “thin-slice” with simplicity as your guide with a few well-chosen features.
  • Think of the entry as an introduction to your home with a story that will unfold room to room.
  • Hint at the level of formality to your lifestyle with the size and detailing of your space.

Consider all angles for Foyer design
Consider every angle
Your entry is experienced from several vantage points. Consider them all when making selections for this space. Start with the exterior approach to your entrance and take in 360 views while standing in the foyer. This space is often in the background of your daily activities.   Reach for an integrated design theme that can be referred to throughout your home.

  • Select an entry door that enhance the character your homes character.
  • Express your style and gain natural light by choosing from the variety of transoms, sidelights and windows.
  • Consider privacy needs during in the initial design process. Size, shape and architectural features can control exposure to the elements and unknown visitors.

Practical Matters in the Foyer and Entry
Practical matters
Comfort features will be greatly appreciated by guests and family. When the entry is reserved for visitors, a more streamline, statement focused on design is possible. However, don’t neglect these basics that are appreciated by everyone.

  • A Chair or bench for struggling with footwear
  • Closet or coat rack
  • A mirror for last minute check ups
  • A chest or console table to hold and store out-the-door items like keys and gloves.
  • Good general lighting with a task light option

Traffic flow directing traffic from foyer through home
Traffic Flow
An Architectural pivot point, the foyer often guides traffic through the home. Directional cues are helpful for guiding visitors and family to the path you would prefer they travel.

  • Increase the size of any openings that you want used more often.
  • Use the same type of flooring to encourage flow into adjacent areas.
  • Change the flooring or wall color to subtly suggest a boundary.
  • Minimize walls or hallways and use open space to establish a visual connection that will encourage everyone to move into that space.

Showcase your foyer and entry style
Showcase Your Style
The entry is an ideal location to showcase your style by displaying art or special collections. This placement allows you to share something special with visitors while the central location lets you appreciate it daily.

  • Build in shelving or niches to keep collectables out of harms way.
  • Use accent lighting to highlight your treasured pieces
  • Keep this area simple and streamline to create a gallery effect that elevates the value of art, area rugs or a statement light fixture.

Multipurpose foyer
Foyer Flexibility
Often various rooms within a home converge at the foyer or entry. The shared open space will facilitate traffic flow as well as create open space that you can transform as needed.

  • Place important pieces, like a baby grand piano, in this area to make a statement within easy view.
  • Free up family activity areas by moving large storage pieces to this transition space.
  • Expand into this space for special events with a beverage bar or dining tables.
  • Enjoy this space for music lessons, dance practice or reading corner.

Use foyer or entry to entice visitors and surprise the with style
Entice and Surprise
Complete your entry area in a way that will entice and surprise everyone including yourself. When all of the elements of this space are carefully selected, your first impression will be memorable.

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

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.

Home Color Trends for 2015

While fun to speculate about the “it” color for 2015, conflicting predictions from major color experts can be puzzling. Marsala, Coral Reef, Blue Paisley? How do you know which color to choose for a fresh new look for your home that will not feel dated in a few years?
We take away the color confusion with this easy guide. It is based on our analysis of the 2015 Color of the Year predictions by experts like Pantone, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Color Marketing Group. Using the color expertise we bring to every home we build, we created 4 key palettes for you to reference. Rather than focusing on just one fashion color, let these color collections help you create your scheme. Simply select colors from the collection that speaks to the mood you love!

Color Whisper These chalky sheer colors will restore balance and promote a peaceful and restful environment.

COLOR WHISPER
These chalky sheer colors will restore balance and promote a peaceful and restful environment.


Modern Classics Stabilize your interior by referencing historic color palettes then tweaking them for an updated feel.

MODERN CLASSICS
Stabilize your interior by referencing historic color palettes then tweaking them for an updated feel.


Nature Preserve The infusion of earth elements and the colors they represent is a way of grounding and connecting with nature.

NATURE PRESERVE
The infusion of earth elements and the colors they represent is a way of grounding and connecting with nature.


Celebrating Home A sure way to brighten your day is to introduce a kaleidoscope of optimistic hues inspired by global images and lively floral gardens.

CELEBRATING HOME
A sure way to brighten your day is to introduce a kaleidoscope of optimistic hues inspired by global images and lively floral gardens.

For more ideas and examples of how we use color check out our Portfolio pages http://lowellmanagement.com/living.html

*Digital color swatches used to demonstrate trends are Benjamin Moore proprietary colors via Pintrest. When choosing colors you must selected from actual paint samples available at your local paint store.*

MARSALA Pantone’s Color of the Year 2015!

 
Who is Pantone and why should you care?
Well, they are actually the international color authority on trends and color messages. Their research has been guiding the colors we see in fashion, architecture and home décor for over 40 years. Now that this earthy hue has been identified as the emerging “it” color, companies can refer to the Pantone system to be sure they are speaking a consistent color language. This helps in the development of new products so colors will be complimentary across industries.
 
At Lowell we often use this full bodied hue to ground neutral color schemes without overwhelming them. It also has the ability to add warmth to cooler schemes that feature blues and greens.
3 Blog Image
Watch for Marsala to act as a unifying element in 2015. It is a sophisticated and confident shade able to mix well with the existing colors you love. The nurturing aspect of this color makes it an ideal addition for kitchen and dining areas. We will see it featured prominently in new fabrics and tabletop items especially when floral patterns are featured. As new products are introduced the draw of Marsala is sure to intensify.
 

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!
 
 

Secret Indulgence, True Luxury

 
Luxury isn’t about necessity; it’s about indulgence.  It’s about the wonderful privilege of making a choice between everyday and extraordinary.  For some this indulgence can be as simple as chocolate, for other it is a special place created for their personal pleasure.  Part of the fun is the secret status.  As custom builders we create beautiful homes with delightful secrets.
1 hidden room
To the casual observer, this is just an incredibly beautiful transition with finely detailed woodworking, gently curved bookcases, paneling, coffered ceiling and accent sconces. But wait, there’s more! A touch of the bookcase reveals the secret access to a private den to be shared only with a chosen few.
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The beauty of luxury is that you define it for yourself.   However, what women isn’t captivated with the idea of her very own Carrie Bradshaw closet?
 
 
DSC_1507
An under stair alcove presents the perfect opportunity for storage that displays a coveted collection.
 
hidden outdoor kitchen
Pay not attention to the gourmet kitchen behind the retractable stainless steel door!  Only revealed when culinary inspiration strikes, this outdoor kitchen will impress and entertain when its secret is shared.
 
Project2
We cater to fantasies for all ages.  This imaginative child’s play space brings new meaning to the term “Man Cave”.
 
hidden bedroom
While luxury is often defined in economic terms, we feel luxury is an emotional state as well.  Loft spaces have inherent intrigue.  Here we add a bit of romance with a rustic and intimate bedroom suggesting a tree house view.
 
1 hidden attic rooms
Your “Happy Place” does not have to be limited to your imagination. Our expertise and creative ideas help you add a little mystery and fun to your home by tucking secretly indulgent spaces into the forgotten nooks and crannies.

True luxury is building a home that holds a few secrets. . . just for you!

Top 10 New Home Trends

The freshest ideas for your new home or remodeling project are inspired by classics and designed with ease.  Enjoy and be inspired as you create your personal vision of home.

Inviting Open Spaces

Inviting Open Spaces


Architectural features rather than walls define spaces today.   An open feel prevails with rooms radiating from an internal landmark feature like this dramatic stone fireplace.
Indulge in Architecture & Authentic Materials

Indulge in Architecture & Authentic Materials


Classic style with graceful lines emerges as the favorite when enhanced by a selection of authentic materials with integrity.   The time to splurge is during construction so your home has permanence with quality that will last for generations.
Energy Efficient Design & Materials

Energy Efficient Design & Materials


New homes have the advantage of building in the very latest technology with innovations that will maximize energy efficiency.   High performance windows and household systems all contribute to the effective operation of a home. The proper orientation of a home to its site will contribute by taking advantage of natural light and protection from the elements.
Artfully Mixed Elements

Artfully Mixed Elements


Style statements are not born from overly matched materials and finishes in the home.   The most stunning results emerge from a combination of contrasting colors and textures.   Salvaged, reclaimed and recycled materials compliment the newly manufactured to expand your opportunity for a unique look.
Command Center Kitchens

Command Center Kitchens


Not just the heart of the home, the kitchen has become the core of all activity.   The size is not as significant as the layout.   The commonplace island has evolved and now acts as a pivot point for operations as well as a style directive.
Space for Connecting

Space for Connecting


In order to add balance to everyday demands, a cozy gathering place ranks high on the list of “must haves”. Comfortable furniture, technology and entertainment systems complete this haven for families to reconnect.
Spa Luxury at Home

Spa Luxury at Home


The Master Bedroom Suite is becoming even more luxurious as the demand for in home retreats intensifies.   Multiple shower heads, free standing tubs, and dedicated grooming areas all contribute to the spa-like character of these personal sanctuaries.
Stop and Drop Organization

Stop and Drop Organization


Your homes entry points accumulate daily necessities that can evolve into chaos.   Point of use storage will assist in the organization and recovery of on-the-go essentials
Prized Possessions

Prized Possessions


You can take it with you. Homeowners are holding on to significant pieces they love from previous homes.   The beautiful antique doors in this entry were incorporated into their new home along with cherished memories.
Outdoor Living

Outdoor Living


The desire for outdoor living is stronger than ever.  Moving beyond relaxation and entertainment, outdoor kitchens, showers and sleeping spaces are inviting us to spend more time in the fresh air.   Visit last month’s blog post for important considerations when planning your outdoor  space.
 
 
 

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.