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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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Master Your Bath: Planning Decisions

The bathroom is where you prepare for the day ahead and transition for a good nights rest. The typical American spends at least an hour a day on bathroom activities.  That adds up to two weeks per year, or the amount of time spent on vacation.  If you are thinking of building or remodeling your bath, consider all of the options that can make it a place worthy of your time.

Your Bathroom Profile
The essential fixtures are familiar, but the endless variety can be overwhelming when making decisions. Knowing the role a particular bath will play in your home helps narrow down the choices so you can focus on the best solution. Ask yourself the following questions to help identify the most beneficial features.

  • How many people live in the home and what are their ages?
  • What is the size of the bath?
  • How many bathrooms are available and how convenient is the location of each?
  • Will there be growth or reduction in number of people at home?
  • Are there any physical issues that need to be addressed for safety and comfort?
  • Is this bath private or will guests share it?
  • Is water quality or usage a concern?
  • Aside from normal activities, are their other ways you would like to use this space (e.g. spa shower, washer and dryer, beverage station)?

 
3 image plan layout hometime plan
 
 
 
Layout
A good layout will makes the most of available space while providing for your personal and intimate needs. As an experienced builder we strive to maximize the efficiency of every square foot while introducing economies in the location of plumbing fixtures.  Consider key usage matters in advance to alleviate daily congestion.

  • How many people will use the bath at the same time?Universal Design
  • What plumbing fixtures or appliances will you use   (e.g. number of sinks, soaking tub, towel warmer)?
  • How much counter surface is needed?
  • How much storage space will you need for linens and grooming products?
  • How many electric outlets are needed and what location would be best?
  • Would having an enclosed water closet allow multiple users privacy?
  • What is the most direct path between activity zones?
  • Would you be more likely to use a soaking tub or luxurious shower
  • Would adding Universal or Accessible design features allow for aging in place?   Enclosed Water Closet

 
 
 
 
 
Express Your Style

No matter the size, every bath deserves a style statement. Since you need to purchase new components when building new or remodeling, this is the ideal time to apply a viewpoint to each selection.  Consider all of these possibilities:

  • Plumbing fixtures that have a sculptural quality to advance your style.
  • Vanity styles from built in wall-to-wall to freestanding furniture pieces.
  • Trough and Vessel Sinks 5 furniture style m master bath copy 2
  • Shapely tile in an unexpected pattern to add visual texture.
  • Hardware to act as a touch of jewelry accenting the overall look of your room
  • A bold wall color that makes you smile every time you walk in.
  • Countertop materials from man-made to natural to standout as statement piece.
  • Showstopping mirrors that set the tone for the entire bath.

This helpful quiz from Medallion Cabinetry will help you identify your style!
 
 
Cabinetry: Storage & Convenience
storage and space saver cabinetry
At the intersection of style and storage is your bathroom cabinetry. Interior cabinet and drawer organizers divide space for clutter-free access to daily essentials. These latest features will make the most of every inch.

  • Niches built-in above sinks and in showers keep necessities visible and within reach.
  • Cubbies and open shelving move into the bath to help organize and sort belongings.
  • Push-touch and soft-close features are worthy additions for quiet, smooth and safe cabinet operations.
  • Electric outlets on the interior of cabinets or drawers prevent tangles and dangerous dangling cords.
  • Vertical pullout organizers maximize space.
  • Above counter storage improves visibility and provides easy access.
  • Built-in step stools and laundry hampers free up floor space.

 
Lighting the way to a good mood
7 lighting image
Every room benefits from multiple sources of lighting, and the bath is no exception.   A combination of fixtures and natural light will help you achieve balanced color rendition throughout the day and through the seasons. The mirror area is most critical. Good illumination from above and the sides will eliminate shadows during grooming. Using the correct lamp completes the picture by allowing you to see color accurately when doing hair and makeup.
energy star color rendering

This helpful guide from Energy Star will help you choose the best lighting!

 
The installation process
Like many contractors, we trust a cabinet showroom like Geneva Cabinet Company to assist with the proper layout and detailing of cabinetry. Their work was recently featured on the PBS home-improvement show, HOMETIME.  Follow this link to watch the show as they discuss the important consideration for planning master bath and the installation of these beautiful Medallion Cabinets.

Hometime PBS Master Bath Design by Geneva Cabinet CompanyCabinet Planning Video by Geneva Cabinet Company

Follow this link to view the entire episode of Hometime where you will also see how solid surface Cambria countertops are measured, fabricated and installed in the Master Bath.