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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!

We have been nominated for the

Best of Walworth County Award in the

New Home Builder and Home Remodeler categories!

We would appreciate your vote – just click here – Vote for Lowell Custom Homes!

Voting is open until October 15, 2017 

Lowell Custom Homes

262.245.9030

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

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Pet-Friendly Home Ideas

We love to indulge our pets, but our home doesn’t have to go to the dogs!   Our pet-friendly home ideas will help you maintain a stylish standard, while making your furry family members right at home.

No matter what their age or level of training, “things” happen. So, our number one tip is to select durable and washable finishes when building or remodeling your home. Choose hard surface flooring in main traffic areas for easy clean up with classic style.

1 Pet friendly home ideas Lowell Custom Builder and tips pet friendly entry PIX

Create a pet-friendly entry area. Use easy to clean hard surface flooring and provide storage for everything needed on your daily outings. Leashes, treats, water bottles and even a supply of small towels for muddy paws.

1 Pet friendly home ideas Lowell Custom Builder and tips shiplap and beadboard paneling PIX

Don’t worry about your playful pet damaging walls; use a washable surface from the start. Active areas will benefit from a semi-gloss paint finish.   Better yet, shiplap and beadboard paneling are on-trend and super-durable.

1 Pet friendly home ideas Lowell Custom Builder and tips carpet stairs forever clean PIX

Safety first on the stairs, consider carpeting them or use a runner to eliminate slipping and scratches in this high traffic area.   When selecting carpet, look for brands that use the most advanced fiber technology, like Smart Strand.

1 Pet friendly home ideas Lowell Custom Builder and tips area rugs indoor outdoor PIX

Area rugs are the perfect way to protect hardwood flooring while providing a soft and cozy spot for afternoon naps. The newest indoor-outdoor rugs feel soft, repel stains and can even be hosed down. Choose multi-color rugs with a lively pattern to disguise any mishaps between cleanings.

1 Pet friendly home ideas Lowell Custom Builder and tips low windowsills PIX

Daydreamers and neighborhood watchdogs love windows. Keep the windowsills low or add a built-in window seat for hours of viewing pleasure.

1 Pet friendly home ideas Lowell Custom Builder and tips toys to match decor PIX

When selecting toys, consider how they will look when laying around on the floor. Choose colors that coordinate with your home and entertaining shapes that will make you smile when you step on the squeaky.

If your little buddy sheds, match the shades in your upholstery to his fur color. Extra brushing during shedding season and a handy lint roller will keep it looking good.

1 Pet friendly home ideas Lowell Custom Builder and tips washable bedding for both PIX

Choose washable fabrics for your home when possible, especially on bedding.

1 Pet friendly home ideas Lowell Custom Builder and tips wood mode pet parlor PIX

Consider adding “Pet Parlor” features to your laundry or mudroom. These cabinets by Wood-Mode feature convenient storage for everything from large bags of dog food to bath supplies.  Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry is available at Geneva Cabinet Company

1 Pet friendly home ideas Lowell Custom Builder and tips dog toy storage in drawers PIX

Keep a dedicated drawer or cabinet for toys in the same room where everyone hangs out.  Open them up at playtime so you pets can help themselves to favorites.

1 Pet friendly home ideas Lowell Custom Builder and tips dog bowls in kitchen PIX

No need to banish the water bowl, just select one that is as pretty as your other home accessories.

1 Pet friendly home ideas Lowell Custom Builder and tips kennel with video phone and bed PIX

Pets need a safe haven.  Built-in kennels or a quiet corner can become their sanctuary when household activity is overwhelming.  For  peace of  mind when you’re away, add a pet-cam.  A personalized bed made to just the right size will complete the space.

Shopping Links

David Adler Treat Cannister
Jenna MICHELE Dog Collars & Leash
Aplomb Designs Leash Holder
Karastan Smart Strand Carpeting
Company C Samantha Rug
BarkShop Toys
Kravet Furniture Allegro Chair 
Fresh America by Annie Selke
Wood-Mode Cabinetry Pet Parlor
Wood-Mode available at Geneva Cabinet Company Lake Geneva, WI
Uncommon Goods Pet Toys
Indigo Home Chinoiserie Dog Bowls
Adore Custom Pet Beds
Pet Chatz Greet & Treat Videophone