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Plan for the Future with Livable Design

Livable design is a fresh approach to architecture and design that is all about ergonomics and versatility. It incorporates elements of Accessible Design, Aging-in-Place and Safety but takes it to the next level with a beautiful look that is stylish and convenient for all ages and abilities.
The Lowell team is dedicated to building high quality homes that will gracefully cater to your evolving needs. “Accessibility doesn’t mean an institutional look anymore,” says Scott Lowell. “Roll-in showers can feel more spa-like with designer grab bars, benches, sleek linear drains and custom tile designs.”
While the kitchen and bath areas typically benefit from a Livable Design approach, Lowell is applying its principles to the entire home. These are some of our favorite tips for adding more human-centric, Livable Design to your home.
Zero step covered entry with ramp and stairs for accessible Livable Design

Zero Step Covered Entry

Open floorplan LIVABLE DESIGN EASY ACCESSIBILITY

Open Floorpan

WIDE AMPLE PATHWAYS WIDE DOORS AND HALLWAYS EASY ACCESS ACCESIBILITY LIVABLE DESIGN NON SLIP FLOORING

Ample Pathways and Door Openings

EASY CARE NON SLIP FLOORING AND SURFACES FOR LIVABLE DESIGN

Easy Care Non Slip Flooring and Surfaces

 DOOR LEVERS EASY CABINET PULLS AND CABINET DRAWERS & PULL OUTS

Cabinetry with Easy Access Hardware, Drawers & Pull-Outs

Livable Design CURBLESS SHOWER GRAB BARS AND SHOWER SEAT

Curbless Showers with Seating and Grab Bars

Livable Design OUTDOOR ACCESSIBILITY AND SMOOTH PATHWAYS

Accessible Outdoor Spaces and Pathways

LIVABLE DESIGN Residential Elevator

Residential Elevators

Many home features originally designed for basic accessibility have evolved to make perfect sense for the typical home.  We simply apply high quality and style for a more enjoyable living experience.

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!

Lowell Custom Homes

262.245.9030

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

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Should You Remodel or Tear Down & Rebuild Your Home?

Before and After original lake home tear down for new home by Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI
Does your home need a little TLC or a  bulldozer? The final decision often comes down to budget. But the cost to renovate can be deceiving. It rarely includes as much space, or all of the sought after features of your dream home.  Before you start tearing down walls, we encourage you to consider these questions for guidance.

Tear down and rebuild with the location is ideal

Do you love the property?

Location, Location, Location! When the location is ideal and vacant land is limited, tearing down clears the site for a fresh start. Many older homes in the communities surrounding Geneva Lake, WI are ideal candidates. Lake property is at a premium and surrounding homes support the investment of rebuilding.
Does a house have good bones -if not starting fresh is best

Does the home have good bones?

Have the home inspected by an experienced contractor, one who really knows what they’re doing and gets dirty in the process. When repairs to the foundation or structural elements are needed beware of the escalation of commitment, commonly known as the money pit. Building from the ground up eliminates the hazards and physical constraints of an existing structure. Starting fresh also opens up a world of design possibilities.
Architecture will guide you decision to remodel or tear down and rebuild Lowell Custom Homes in Lake Geneva

Is the home architecturally appealing?

Not to be unkind, but all old homes are not charming. When the architecture is historic or has great character, by all means renovate! Even a quirky kind of appeal is ok, but nostalgia can quickly loses its attraction when cost intensifies.   To invest and not have the perks of completely new construction could lead to renovator’s remorse.
Rebuilding a home provides a modern open floorpan Lowell Custom Homes in Lake Geneva

Is the floor plan to your liking?

Sometimes you just can’t get there from here. When the floor plan is divided into small rooms without logical flow, the overall function of the home suffers. Even when an addition increases space, the original structure often needs to be upgraded to offer support and satisfy codes. There is a point where the architectural benefits of tall ceilings and a spacious open plan will actually save money.
Building a new home includes new plumbing heating electrical and mechanicals Lowell Custom Homes in Lake Geneva

Does the home have good plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems?

Renovation is about more than increasing space. Older homes have dated systems. Upgrades to plumbing and electrical are often needed to support new design features. Unexpected expense is not uncommon when problems are exposed during partial demolition. It is heartbreak when a homeowner has to give up something on the wish list because of unforeseen expenses.
New homes have energy efficient windows and materials Lowell Custom Homes in Lake Geneva WI

How energy efficient is the existing structure?

Construction materials have advanced in recent years and bring added savings to a new home. Improved insulation, energy efficient windows, and smart systems for heating and cooling improved the quality of life and reduce operating expense.
Building a new home opens up options for modern lifestyle like a master bedroom suite Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Does the home compliment your lifestyle?

The real question is, how do you want to live in your home and is it possible in the existing structure? A completely private master suite, indoor-outdoor great room, whole house accessibility – these and many other lifestyle amenities are difficult to retrofit into the footprint of an old home. No need to compromise when the investment will justify new construction.
Tear Down and rebuild for open plan and a fresh new home features Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI
Over the years we have been involved in numerous renovations as well as new home construction after a tear down. Every home is unique and the right decision weighs all of the influencing factors. This includes the homeowners personality, budget and tolerance for disruption.

We enjoy the entire process and are here to help.   When you are ready to look at all of the possibilities, talk to Lowell Custom Homes for an experienced and professional evaluation.

Browse our Gallery of Homes & call us at 262-245-9030

 

Our lovely photography was done by Shana Wolf S, Photography and Styling

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Good Things Come in Small Packages

This old proverb traces back to early French literature, and we find it especially meaningful during the holiday season. Whether applied to gift giving, people or even homes, the lesson is one of genuine appreciation.

Good Things Come In Small Packages

We build homes with a smaller footprint for a variety of homeowner needs. Empty nesters, second homes, lot restrictions, or the need for easy accessibility, are all factors that can play into the square footage equation.

But don’t confuse smaller with a lack of luxury. In fact,  scaled down homes like this little gem often emphasize details that define a new type of luxury.  Quality, craftsmanship and a perfect fit are more significant than size for many of today’s homeowners.

Good things come in small packages Lowell Custom Homes detail tall windows craftsmanship

And small certainly does not mean subtle when applied to architecture and design. Open floor plans with high ceilings give the illusion of unlimited space. Cue the soaring windows and the home expands beyond actual proportions.

Good things come in small packages Lowell Custom Homes Floor to ceiling built in storage and cabinets

A smaller home permits manageable splurges on elements that are most meaningful to each homeowner. Hand-scraped wood flooring, floor-to-ceiling built-in storage, and connoisseur appliances are all realistic investments when the square footage is moderate.

The reputation of Lowell Custom Homes was built on high quality construction, superior craftsmanship and detailed woodworking. The same standards of excellence are used on every home, regardless of size. Your needs may run towards a smaller package, but know that all of the good things you value will be inside.

We appreciate the opportunity to build homes that become part of the lives and memories of our homeowners.

Homeowner thank you for their new home Lowell Custom Homes Good things come in small packages

Note from the owners of this cozy little cottage.


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The Secrets to Timeless Design for Your Home

 
A well designed home has staying power. It transcends a specific architectural style to focus on an emotional connection, lifestyle and comfort. The secret to creating this type of timeless design starts with a collaboration of experts who truly understand the homeowner’s aesthetic.
This getaway home embodies the relaxed Lake Geneva lifestyle while integrating the homeowner’s appreciation for tradition and creativity. We worked with Architect John A. Hagenah and Interior Designer Elizabeth Drake as well as our talented craftsmen and quality resources to build a home that is both timeless and inviting.

1-exterior-lowell-custom-homes-pixGet In Sync with Your Setting

The Craftsman architecture utilizes wide gabled rooflines, tapered stone columns, and minimalist ornamentation for an intriguing relationship with the countryside. Cedar shingles and horizontal siding introduce subtle pattern with gable details that expose rafter beams. A screened in room and sleeping porch provide protected connections to the outdoors.  The back elevation of the home features a wall of windows and French doors where indoor-outdoor activities can flow effortlessly.
 

2-lowell-custom-homes-entry-and-music-room-pixRely on Classic Lines

The entry features a Mahogany Dutch Door inviting guests to the refined elegance of the Music Room. Classic lighting and traditional woodworking are relaxed with the warmth of grass cloth wall covering and medium wood tones.
 

3-lowell-custom-homes-living-room-fireplace-divider-dr-pixUse Neutrals or Classic Colors for Permanent Elements, Have Fun with Easy to Alter Elements.

The living room relies on Craftsman elements for its inviting character created with the low profile of a  beamed ceiling, custom stone mix on the fireplace wall, stone mantel and conversational seating area. All of the permanent architectural features in this home are timeless, neutral, and versatile.   The dramatic surprise of coral paint for the walls is actually an on trend element that can be easily changed should the homeowners ever feel the need for a different mood.
 
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Right-size the  Floor Plan for Effortless Traffic Flow

The dining room is adjacent to the entry hall and features another stone fireplace. Coffered ceiling and traditional moldings step up formality that is then relaxed with the rustic texture of stone. A built-in wine and refreshment bar is located at this mid-point of the home for easy entertaining with a convenient connection to the outdoor pool area.
 
 
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The dining area of this open floor plan flows directly to the kitchen with its large island seating for casual dining and entertaining. Here Wood-Mode cabinetry from Geneva Cabinet Company, LLC is done in a custom color with Quartzite countertops. Appliances include a Wolf range, Miele Oven, Steam Oven, Warming Drawer, and Sub Zero refrigerator. An artistic tile backsplash from Bella Tile and Stone, grounds this area with handcrafted appeal.
 

6-lowell-custom-homes-master-bedroom-and-bath-pixProvide Accessibility and Privacy

The first floor Master Bedroom Suite is a key feature for a timeless home plan. This area is designed with such grace and style that you may not notice the accessibility features that allow for future aging-in-place. The compartmentalized Master Bath, with double vanity and spacious shower, is detailed with classic tile patterns using basket weave and hexagon mosaics. Interior windows provide shared light and privacy while a tiled wall performs as an easy to maintain backsplash for the vanity area.
 

7-guest-rooms-sleeping-porch-and-bathInclude Versatile Rooms

The Guest Suites include bathrooms for privacy and access to the second story Sleeping Porch.   Each suite features a seating area and a full wall of windows for natural lighting , ventilation and views of the countryside.
 
 

8-laundry-craft-room-cabanna-dressing-area-from-pool-pixRecognize the Value of Functional Spaces 

Even the highly functional spaces of this home are treated with timeless details and easy transitions to the outdoors. A clever open combination space blends the laundry, creative studio and mudroom. It includes a workstation with stainless steel countertop and sink that can serve as a Butler’s Pantry or potting area for gardening. Another space with direct access to the pool performs as a cabana like dressing room with stacked washer/dryer and locker storage.
 

You can see more of this beautiful home with larger detail pictures on Houzz.

 

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.