Tag Archive for: home

How To Light Your Home in 8 Steps

Need a little pick-me-up? Adjust your home lighting for a refreshing new attitude.

Home lighting is the foundation of good design.  It’s a powerful element that will influence the flow and ambiance of your home.  Success starts with a plan to help you function in every room.  For cost efficiency, it’s best to develop a lighting plan before construction.  But even if you’re already moved in, we have an 8-Step plan for improvement.

Step 1: Determine Function

A good start point is to decide on your basic needs for each room.  Kitchens need higher light levels for tasks that involve sharp knives and hot flames.  Bedrooms, on the other hand, are usually driven by the need for a relaxed environment to trigger your natural circadian rhythms.

Step 2: Evaluate Natural Light

Next it’s important to evaluate the quality of natural light for each space.  This will be influenced by the north, south, east or west orientation as well as window size. Remember that natural light will change throughout the day, so plan additional lighting based on the time of day each room is typically used. A northern exposure will need more assistance than a sunny southern room. This  is also a good time to plan wall and ceiling colors.  Keep in mind, lighter colors will reflect and bounce light around while deep colors absorb light.   When choosing deep colors be sure to supplement with extra light fixtures.

Step 3: Create A Mood

Envision a mood for each space.  Cozy. Relaxed. Lively. Energizing.  Work with your natural circadian rhythms, increasing light will encourage alertness during the day while lower levels are calming before bedtime.

Light for atmosphere.   Using fixtures with dimmers will add versatility to the plan.  Chandelier lighting can be adjusted after dinner to a soft glow which can then be accented by wall sconces for a nightcap.

Step 4: Plan in Layers

A layered approach offers the most versatility throughout the day.  The ultimate goal is to establish a balance within each room for the best functional comfort level.  Not every room should be the same, variety is what helps create intriguing moods as you move room to room.

Traditionally, designers speak of 3 types of lighting.

Ambient

Task

Accent

Combining these will create beautiful layers of adjustable light that can adapt to your mood.

Step 5. Select Ambient Lighting

To accomplish the perfect plan, start with a base layer of ambient lighting.  Think about the time of day the room is used and the amount of natural light, then place fixtures for even coverage to eliminates dark areas.   This base layer should be uniform with the ability to dim or turn off when accent or task lighting is desired.

Work with Natural Light

Natural Light through floor to ceiling windows

 Dramatic windows lend abundant natural light to this home office.  The central chandelier provides adjustable light levels throughout the day while the desk lamp delivers task light for the desktop.

Multiple Fixtures Balance Coverage

  Often kitchens and lower level spaces don’t have the benefit of natural lighting.  This is where recessed light fixtures are the ideal solution.  By evenly spacing them across the room, a baseline of good lighting is established and you can add task or accent fixtures as needed.

Think Style

Now it’s time to truly express your style.  When not in use fixtures work as artistic sculpture for the room.   Add dimmers to overhead lighting to help you control the brightness as needed.  Take the time to learn about the bulbs that are suitable for each fixture.  LED’s are popular, just watch the color temperature by selecting a warm-white light, (about 2,700-3,000 kelvin)  The LED bulbs noted as “daylight” are most appropriate for garage and workshop spaces.

Step 6. Place Task Lighting

The work surfaces within any room will need a high level of lighting for safety and efficiency.  These can be discreet under cabinet lights or spot lights that focus on the task at hand.  But they don’t have to look utilitarian. Kitchens, baths and laundry spaces can use task lights as another opportunity to express style.

 

Step 7. Add Accent Lighting

So many areas of the home can benefit from the subtle touch of an accent light.  Use this type of lighting to point out a special architectural moment or a cherished piece of artwork.

Accent lighting can also be a stylish means of guidance in otherwise dark areas like the hallway, staircase, or home theater.

Step 8: Stand Back and Review

The bottom line is, how do you want to feel in your home?  Once the main fixtures are in place, add decorative sconces, uplighting, or table top lighting for extra emphasis or utility.

Contact the experts at Lowell Custom Homes to help plan your next new home or remodeling project.

Connect here

or call 262-245-9030

Featured designers

North Shore Nest

Steph Musur Designs

Elizabeth Drake Interiors

Photography by

Shanna Wolf Photography

Victoria McHugh Photography

 

 

 

Top Home Design Trends for 2022

Several factors influence the direction of home design.   When the predictions from multiple sources agree,  we know we have the winning ideas!  Ultimately, it’s not about trends, but about how people really want to live.   Our trend list includes the ideas that we feel will add value, style and comfort to your home.

Function First

Convenience is critical.  After a year of adapting our homes to serve us in a variety of unforeseen circumstances, most agree to the power of versatility.  Future home design will allow for flexibility while providing a balance between open and private spaces.

Curves Ahead

Curves made a big impression at High Point Furniture Market this year. We see the softened lines as a way to take the hard edge off of furniture and architecture for a more inviting presentation.

Keep It Natural

Natural materials remind us of our connection to the environment.  They are often responsible for beautiful texture in the most eco-friendly way.

Cocktail Hour

From bar carts to dedicated space, we’ve developed a new appreciation for the home bar experience.  In the Geneva Lakes area,  it’s the perfect way to wind down or turn up the fun.

Classic Minimalism

This trend is part of movement to simplify and focus on one artistically designed shape.  The intention is to promote calm and allow space to breath.

 

Working From Home

We’ve learned how to integrate work and homework into our space.   The best solutions involve a quiet space with some privacy as well as ergonomic comfort.

Bold Color Used As A Neutral

Neutrals are here to stay, but we are redefining the category.   A large dose of one bold color can softened the edges of a room and read as a neutral.

Seamless Indoor Outdoor Transitions

We mentioned this trend in last months blog and are happy to see its continued growth.  This Nana window opens up the kitchen to the screened in porch with endless entertaining possibilities.

This beautiful home is brought to you by our delightful homeowners

and

the dedicated team at Lowell Custom Homes!

Cabinetry by Geneva Cabinet Company

Photography by Shanna Wolf/S Photography

Contact the experts at Lowell Custom Homes to help plan your next new home or remodeling project.

401 GENEVA NATIONAL AVENUE SO. – LAKE GENEVA, WISCONSIN 53147 – 262.245.9030

Seamless Indoor Outdoor Living for Wellness

Nature and a connection to the outdoors is the best antidote for stress.   The last Global Wellness Summit at the Breakers in Palm Beach focused on the benefits of looking outdoors to revitalize health.   Nature and exterior environments can improve life balance.    Building homes with seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces will encourage that connection.   We don’t look at the outdoor space as separate when designing a home.  It’s a continuation of the entire lifestyle concept.  The most effective plans encourage fluidity between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Blurring the Lines with Retractable Walls

This home designed by architect Jason Bernard invites the outdoors  in with a wall of folding glass doors.

 

Take Everyday Activities Outdoors to Prolong the Connection with Nature

Increasing your exposure to natural daylight is automatic when you move indoor activities outside.  Cooking in this outdoor kitchen from Geneva Cabinet Company adds ambiance along with a delicious meal.  Danver cabinetry is used for durability and good looks.

Outdoors is a Continuation of What’s Happening Indoors

Versatile seating arrangements can ease the flow of activity.

Incorporate Sensory Wellness

Capturing a beautiful view and fresh scents will provide an additional dimension to your outdoor experience.

Interior and Exterior Design

The scope of many interior design projects now includes outdoor spaces that support a unified look with fashionable weather-resistant furnishings.

Enjoy the natural flow of this entire Lowell Custom Home here.

 

For our favorite “how-to” tips when creating your outdoor living space click here.

Contact the experts at Lowell Custom Homes to help plan your next new home or remodeling project.

401 GENEVA NATIONAL AVENUE SO. – LAKE GENEVA, WISCONSIN 53147 – 262.245.9030

 

Creating a Sense of Peace and Joy at Home

If you cross organizer Maria Kondo with Zen Buddhist Shunmyo Masuno you will come up with an ideal philosophy to get through difficult times with a sense of peace and joy.  Add in a touch of wisdom from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea and you’ll discover contentment that will guide you through challenging times, if not the rest of your life.

We were inspired by an excerpt from Masuno’s book The Art of Simple Living published on Houzz.    Imagine the trickle down effect that tidying up your physical space can have on calming your mind and eventually shaping your home into a space where you can live a more peaceful and joyous lifestyle.

Our favorite lessons

Declutter and discard what you don’t need, and in the future acquire only what you need and love.

Consider your home as a sanctuary and celebrate nature with outdoor spaces.

 

Simplify room arrangements to help create order in your mind.

Create a space to enjoy quiet time without intrusions from the outside world.  

Take advantage of unexpected down time to care for those you love.

Practice an end of day ritual to nourish yourself and create separation from the days events.

 

If you would like to explore more about creating order and how it can impact your sense of contentment,  check out the following books.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Photography by Shanna Wolf/S.Photography

We invite you to also stay in touch by signing up for our blog where we cover the latest design ideas and inspirational projects!

(these are not affiliated links and of course we never share your personal information)

Building a new home or remodeling can be an exciting adventure and our team of experts is available to answer your questions and guide you every step of the way!

Lowell Custom Homes

262.245.9030

 

 

 

Shower vs Tub Debate – Showers Wins!

We are not going to get in the middle of any over/under toilet paper roll debate,  but when it comes to bathing we have the stats!

According to a recent Houzz survey,  outdated and and old bathrooms are highest on the renovation wish list.   And when it comes to building a new home, a luxurious walk-in shower is a must.  From a space planning perspective, the shower offers a versatile on-trend design opportunities.   It achieves high marks for ease and accessibility for young and old.  This makes it an  natural choice when planning for every stage of life, including aging-in-place.

Oh sure, there are plenty who admire a luxurious soaking tub, but real life demands are leading the trend towards ditching the bathtub in favor of sumptuous shower.  This is especially true if space is a factor.  When you consider that a shower will conserve water and time, along with the magnificent new plumbing fixtures, showers win.

If you need further convincing, browse through our collection of crave-worthy compartments!

Statement Tile

 

Fabulous Fixtures & Invisible Drains

 

Grab Hold & Have a Seat

 

Zero Threshold Safety

 

Artistic Installation

 

 

Spa Splendor

 

Vibrant Pattern

And Chromatherapy

 

In the past the real estate community insisted on at least one tub in the home for resale value, but that attitude is changing.  The bottom line is to determine what is best for your space and budget, then make the best decision for your lifestyle.

Building a new home or remodeling should be an exciting adventure and our team of experts is available to answer your questions and guide you every step of the way!

We always love hearing from you and are happy to discuss your personal home projects!

Lowell Custom Homes

262.245.9030

Projects feature tile from Bella Tile and Stone, Lake Geneva, WI

Photos by Shanna Wolf/S.Photography and Styling

 

Remodeling – A Story with a Fairy Tale Ending

Do you get a kick out of those remodeling horror stories?  Then stop reading because this is more of a remodeling fairy tale!

Lowell Custom Homes remodel in Lake Geneva Exterior Elevations Before and After
It all begins in a not so far away land near Lake Geneva. A stately but dated home starts it’s transformation at the entry by correcting a medieval door which was completely exposed to the elements.   (While medieval works in fairy tales, it’s not ideal for a lake house.)  A new welcoming covered porch completes the front elevation with other gracious architectural details.
2 entry door .jpg
On the interior an equally impressive makeover was in progress.  In the kitchen, walls were taken down to open up the space to the family room.
3 kitchen before and during.jpg
The dark 80’s oak cabinets were replaced with bright white and gray painted cabinetry from Medallion Cabinetry with kitchen design by Geneva Cabinet Company.
4 kitchen after
A small walk-in pantry flanked by two tall glass-front cabinets provide additional storage and eliminate the need for wall cabinets in order to maximize lake views.
6 living room before and during
Meanwhile the formal living room was taken down to the studs.  The load-bearing wall was removed and a new I-beam installed.  The fireplace was trimmed to the ceiling and the dark brick painted pale gray.
7 living room after
On the second story the guest bedroom had a ceiling that was just too spectacular to remove.   We preserved it and updated it with high gloss white paint for a fresh look in keeping with the new character of the home.
8 bedroom ceiing

All drywall and floor sheathing on this 2nd floor was replaced before new wool carpet was laid.  The crowning accent was a delicate chandelier to replace the tired ceiling fan.
5 family room
The family room and staircase were not neglected during this enchanting makeover.
9 stairs
But the real drama is saved for the lake side elevation of the home’s exterior.
10 screened porch
More than a cosmetic makeover was needed.  This exterior suffered damage from water that had seeped in under the siding and all soffits and facia.  Once repaired a screened porch was added to the back of the house with access to the family room and kitchen.  This allowed for a balcony off of the 2nd floor master bedroom.  A delightful outdoor kitchen by Danver was added to complete the lakeside living space.
11 screened porch after with kit and shower

We are happy to report that homeowners and the entire Lowell team lived happily ever after! lowell team at More

Special thanks to our homeowners for the pleasure of working together (and the pizza parties) !

When it’s time to build or remodel, just ask us how you can create your own fairy tale ending.

262-245-9030

Photography by Josh Zuelke Josh Z Photography
Kitchen by Joyce Zuelke for Geneva Cabinet Company
Superintendent Rich Kinter for Lowell Custom Homes
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave

Holiday Curb Appeal for Your Home

We know . . . you’re busy! But we don’t want you to miss this delightfully simple way to boost your homes holiday curb appeal!
Holiday curb appeal for your home
It’s the wreath! In humble simplicity or embellished glory, the wreath is a lovely way to let visitors know you’re happy to see them.
holiday curb appeal for your home
We like to spread a little holiday cheer around every home that we have under construction. It’s a Lowell tradition to greet work crews and homeowners with a wreath to show our appreciation throughout the holiday season. (Our wreaths are from the Boy Scouts!)
Our favorite inspiration comes from natural greenery.   You can easily personalize your wreath with a few quick items from a craft store. Whether you do a full on Martha and make it from scratch, or just add to an au natural wreath from Costco, the results will be stunning!
told to make your holiday wreath

Personalize curb appeal with decor to complement your home’s architecture and style. Gather your clippers, some floral wire and be inspired!

Holiday curb appeal rustic wreath junipers pinecones berries

Natural Beauty

Add pinecones, holly and juniper branches, secure with floral wire.

Holiday curb appeal white christmas Ballard Designs

White Christmas

All of the above with a can of flocking spray.

Holiday curb appeal wreath traditional dried fruit and cinammonTraditional Welcome

Ok, this one takes a little more work, but the end result justifies the effort. Use twine to wrap bundles of cinnamon, pine cones and berries.  Then choose the easy road with Trader Joe’s Dried Orange Slices or do a Martha and dry your own.

Holiday curb appeal wreath embellished ornaments sparkle

Glamour Road

There is never too much sparkle for the holidays, so add ornaments with sprigs of greenery for a little more glitz.

Once you get started you’ll see that adding greenery is a lovely touch that can be accomplished in no time at all.  Gather the parts you need and just wait for the sun to shine for a pleasant installation.
You can even take it to the next level, like our homeowners, by adding a bit more greenery at architectural points of interest.
Holiday curb appeal NATURAL GREENERY ON MONUMENT
We love this because it highlights the stone monument at the homes entry with greenery that draws attention to custom etched copper plaques.   These were designed by our homeowners talented daughter using a brushed finish background and recessed lettering which was then given an overall oxidized copper finish.    The graphic symbolizes the wetlands and turtles surrounding their new home and makes this first holiday even more memorable!

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 to guide you every step of the way!

Lowell Custom Homes

262.245.9030

SaveSave
SaveSave

Lowell Voted as #1 New Home Builder !

We couldn’t be more honored and delighted to be named as the #1 New Home Builder for 2017!
Every year The Walworth County Gazette invites readers to vote for their favorite people, places and businesses. This year we won the vote in two categories – #1 New Home Builder and 1st Runner up as Best Home Remodeler.

Thank you to everyone who voted ! 

NOW LCH_BestWalCo_Ad_1117-FINAL 1800 x
We are delighted to share this distinction with the entire staff of Lowell Custom Homes!  While our clients are at the heart of every home we build, the dedication and expertise of our staff make it all possible.

Browse through our Gallery of Homes to enjoy the architecture and design ideas that everyone is talking about!

BestOfWalworthCountySeal300

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

SaveSave

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

SaveSave

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

SaveSaveSaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave