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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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Top 10 New Home Trends

The freshest ideas for your new home or remodeling project are inspired by classics and designed with ease.  Enjoy and be inspired as you create your personal vision of home.

Inviting Open Spaces

Inviting Open Spaces


Architectural features rather than walls define spaces today.   An open feel prevails with rooms radiating from an internal landmark feature like this dramatic stone fireplace.
Indulge in Architecture & Authentic Materials

Indulge in Architecture & Authentic Materials


Classic style with graceful lines emerges as the favorite when enhanced by a selection of authentic materials with integrity.   The time to splurge is during construction so your home has permanence with quality that will last for generations.
Energy Efficient Design & Materials

Energy Efficient Design & Materials


New homes have the advantage of building in the very latest technology with innovations that will maximize energy efficiency.   High performance windows and household systems all contribute to the effective operation of a home. The proper orientation of a home to its site will contribute by taking advantage of natural light and protection from the elements.
Artfully Mixed Elements

Artfully Mixed Elements


Style statements are not born from overly matched materials and finishes in the home.   The most stunning results emerge from a combination of contrasting colors and textures.   Salvaged, reclaimed and recycled materials compliment the newly manufactured to expand your opportunity for a unique look.
Command Center Kitchens

Command Center Kitchens


Not just the heart of the home, the kitchen has become the core of all activity.   The size is not as significant as the layout.   The commonplace island has evolved and now acts as a pivot point for operations as well as a style directive.
Space for Connecting

Space for Connecting


In order to add balance to everyday demands, a cozy gathering place ranks high on the list of “must haves”. Comfortable furniture, technology and entertainment systems complete this haven for families to reconnect.
Spa Luxury at Home

Spa Luxury at Home


The Master Bedroom Suite is becoming even more luxurious as the demand for in home retreats intensifies.   Multiple shower heads, free standing tubs, and dedicated grooming areas all contribute to the spa-like character of these personal sanctuaries.
Stop and Drop Organization

Stop and Drop Organization


Your homes entry points accumulate daily necessities that can evolve into chaos.   Point of use storage will assist in the organization and recovery of on-the-go essentials
Prized Possessions

Prized Possessions


You can take it with you. Homeowners are holding on to significant pieces they love from previous homes.   The beautiful antique doors in this entry were incorporated into their new home along with cherished memories.
Outdoor Living

Outdoor Living


The desire for outdoor living is stronger than ever.  Moving beyond relaxation and entertainment, outdoor kitchens, showers and sleeping spaces are inviting us to spend more time in the fresh air.   Visit last month’s blog post for important considerations when planning your outdoor  space.