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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According to a recent Houzz survey,  outdated and and old bathrooms are highest on the renovation wish list.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
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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

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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

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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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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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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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Bunks Room Lowell Custom Homes

Battle of the Bunks – Bunk Beds and Bunkrooms defeat the blow-up mattress!

The latest trend making its way into the most stylish homes of Lake Geneva is reminiscent of pillow fights and childhood sleepovers. Bunk beds and even bunkrooms are becoming the guest quarters of choice. There is an appealing social factor to this trend that blends sleeping arrangements with the ability to spend quality time together. You are never too old for a sleepover!

Bunk Bed room at luxury hotel start trend in homes for guest room accommodations
Even boutique hotels are introducing bunk options. Not only is this attractive to families, but the luxurious feather bedding and 300+ thread count sheets draw big kid pajama parties and friend getaways.
For the Lake Geneva homeowner, bunks are the best way to maximize space without compromising style. Children, grandchildren and long-lost cousins can all have a place to rest for round-the-clock togetherness and good times.
Which bunk bed concept is the best fit for your home? Let’s look at the possibilities . . .
Lowell Custom Homes Bunk Room with open concept and built in bunk beds to sleep 4 to 6 people
An open and airy space with built-in bunks will transform one bedroom into a space for 4 – 6 houseguests. Keep the base bunk low to allow extra headroom for your full-grown bunkmates.

Playing with themes can add an element of intrigue for your guests.  We created enclosed bunks with The Design Coach, Phillip Sassano, to be more Orient-Express than summer camp. Each is like a mini room with privacy curtains, storage and individual lighting, all wrapped up in plushy velvet comfort.
Lowell Custom Homes Unused space can be transformed into a guest area when fitted with freestanding or built-in bunk beds.
Unused space can be transformed into a guest area when fitted with freestanding or built-in bunk beds. Consider an open niche, attic space, or even a generous hallway that can be lined with bunks.  Each cozy little cocoon will attract kids of all ages when it’s time to take a snooze.
Lowell Custom Homes
Encourage camp-like comradely, minus the swirlies, with an adjoining locker and shower room. Beautifully detailed bunks feature specialized lighting and easy access steps instead of a ladder for ageless appeal.

We have a dedicated staff of professionals including an AIA architect, Interior Designers & Construction Superintendents who  are all pleased to help you with your home projects!

We are just a call away at 262-245-9030

Lowell Custom Homes

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Outdoor Living Spaces – The Best Ideas for Your Home

The great outdoors is calling. Alfresco dining, entertaining friends or just lounging under a clear sky . . . the best home design will create gracious indoor-outdoor living space where you can truly embrace the spring and summer months.
Get inspired by stunning outdoor ideas from these Lowell Custom Homes, and then create a space to complement your personal indoor-outdoor lifestyle.

  • Align interior and exterior spaces for a seamless extension of your main living area. A fluid transition between indoor and outdoor rooms can be created with a disappearing wall of glass doors. An easily accessible patio will draw everyone outdoors, enlarge your living space, and extend your spring and summer season with gentle protection from the elements.

Balance your outdoor space with large open and private areas

  • Balance your options with both open and intimate space. Just as a good interior space plan will provide areas for private and social activities, your outdoor rooms can offer alternatives that adapt to your needs throughout the day. Sun vs. Shade – Active vs. Restful – Entertainment vs. Retreat.  You select the most suitable outdoor environment to match your mood.

Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor living furniture position

  • Get in position to enjoy the view. Use your natural surroundings to create a focal point.  Arrange outdoor furniture where everyone can appreciate the scenery. A beautiful garden, swimming pool, or outdoor fireplace can all serve as appealing points of interest.

Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor living areas zones for activity

  • Locate zones on your property according to use. No need to cram all outdoor living space against the house.  Just anchor each zone with its own useful focal point.  A boathouse services lake front activities, a cabana offers poolside convenience and an upscale shed will store hobby or gardening equipment.

Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor Living areas

  • Create an outdoor hub where essentials are clustered for convenience.  Food preparation, dining table and entertainment equipment in one outdoor zone will let you enjoy the fresh air while hosting friends and family. An outdoor shower and self-serve refreshment bar can eliminate messy indoor traffic patterns and keep your home tidy.

Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor Living Cozy Fire pit

  • Introduce a fire feature to cozy up your outdoor space after dark. S’mores and story telling around the fire pit or outdoor fireplace will create memories and start traditions to be passed on for generations.

Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor Living Space Best Ideas

  • Dress up your space with weather resistant products to compliment your indoor style and color palette. Create visual interest with light fixtures, fans, area rugs, and accessories to add indoor comfort to your outdoor experience.

The experts at Lowell Custom Homes can help you plan a home with the most natural flow between your indoor and outdoor environments.

 

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