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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

Refreshing Spring Updates for your Home

1 Lowell Management FINAL pix Spring

Spring is nature’s time for renewal and the ideal time to bring your home out of hibernation. Celebrate the season by adding a few refreshing touches from our list of favorite home pick-me-ups.

  • Awaken your senses with flowers and scented candles for an instant lift. Use them generously in the most visible and well traveled areas of your home
  • Reposition furniture to take advantage of natural light and outdoor views
  • Brighten the bath by accenting with colorful towels and accessories
  • Lift heavy area rugs to enjoy the natural flooring or replace them with indoor/outdoor sisal
  • Use color and bold pattern in your toss pillows, throws and accessories for a lively accent
  • Lighten the look of your mantel and bookcases by storing away heavy accessories to keep the space open for a visual breath of fresh air
  • Spice up the kitchen with cheerful pops of color in cookware, tableware and serving pieces
  • Relate your home’s indoor and outdoor color palettes for a seamless connection to the exterior
  • Upgrade your standard entry fixture with one that makes a memorable style statement
  • Add a ceiling fan to covered porch or patio areas to create your own gentle breeze
  • Gather attractive trays for portable outdoor service with easy clean up
  • Display summer themed collections and playful activity equipment to set the mood for fun
  • Select outdoor furnishings based on the way you want to use your space. A daybed, outdoor bar or fire pit benches may serve you better than the customary umbrella table with chairs

For inspiration, take a look at some of these perky finds! 

Happy Spring!

 Shopping Links Below


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Top 10 Home Trends for 2016

Fads come and go, but trends in homebuilding can last for generations. These develop over time and respond to changes in lifestyle, innovations in materials and new technology. With this in mind, our goal is to bring you the latest trends that are sure to become timeless classics.

Top 10 Home Trends 2016 downsized luxury entry with display shelvingEffortless Luxury for Homes of All Sizes

The well appointed home is in demand for homes of all sizes. Downsizing does not mean giving up the beautiful features empty nesters are accustomed to,  even starter home buyers want to feel pampered. Open floorplans, custom woodwork, gourmet kitchens and statement lighting all detail the homes that are sized according to lifestyle needs, not neighborhoods.

Top 10 Home Trends for 2016 screened in porch, sunroom, indoor outdoor livingSeasonal Living Spaces

Move from the sunroom, to screened-in porch, to the pergola-covered patio with ease. Fluid transitions between indoor and outdoor living space has the ability to extend seasons for the year long appreciation of nature. These spaces often include fireplaces, entertainment technology, conversational seating, dining area and outdoor kitchens.

Top 10 Trends for Homes in 2016 Multigenerational Space, multiple master bedrooms Multigenerational Space with Flexibility and Inclusive Design

Extended families under one roof are giving rise to homes with multiple bedroom suites for the comfort of everyone from aging parents or boomerang children. These homes are designed with large shared space to enhance family connections.  Personalized private areas often features showers with seats and grab rails to insure safety and open space for easy navigation.

Top 10 Trends for Homes in 2016, kitchen design, State of the Art Kitchen storage, range, range hood stainless steel, large island

State-of-the-Art Kitchens with Integrated Living Space

Today’s kitchens are connected to family life more than ever. The super-sized island is a multitasking essential with cabinetry in furniture-like finishes and smart appliances. Integrated equipment lends a streamline look to open floor plans. Luxury niche appliances satisfy the most serious chefs and include high performance ranges, steam ovens, warming drawers, metal range hoods and wine coolers. Emerging trends include kimchi refrigerators for preserving vegetables in keeping with Korean traditions and cultivators like the Urban Cultivator for fresh herbs.
Urban cultivator, indoor herb garden
Kitchen by Geneva Cabinet Company
 
 
 
 

Top 10 Trends for Homes in 2016, Clean Healthy Living, quartz, large tile, no grout onesHealthy Homes – Clean Living

A clean aesthetic is highly desirable and designs are evolving to incorporate low maintenance finishes that advance the cause. Quartz countertops with antibacterial properties are growing in popularity along with stainless steel countertops and large-scale tile with fewer grout lines. Air and water purification systems and natural materials work together to reduce toxins in the home along with streamline design where dust can’t hide.

Top 10 Trends for Homes in 2016, decorating idea, entry storage, cubbiesRelaxed and Farmhouse Entries

The farmhouse tradition of practicality is driving the trend for relaxes entries that focus on convenience. Open cubbies provide visible storage that eliminates the frantic search for keys. Additional storage under built-in benches keep shoes and boots tidy while preventing outside dirt from being tracked inside. Charging stations are often included to keep electronics in sight and ready to go.

Top 10 Trends for 2016 home design and decorating, Flexible Dining rooms, open floorpan, Lowell Management Services Lake Geneva WIFlexible Dining Room

Dining is an art to be shared with friends and family.    For this reason many are not willing to give up on the idea of a formal dining room. We have the perfect solution with open floor plans where the dining area can be adjusted to suite an intimate dinner party or grand affair.

Top 10 Trends for 2016 in home decorating and design, mix and match finishes, kitchen cabinet mix finished, quartz, soapstone, metalLowell Management Lake Geneva WIEclectic Mash Up

Mix and match principles apply throughout the home and are most evident in the kitchen. Combinations feature complimentary styles and colors for cabinetry along with various countertop materials assigned by use. Quartz, soapstone and hand scraped woods compete with granite for the most popular position. Metallic finishes for hardware and tile inserts includes gold, copper and platinum along with the traditional chrome and steel.

Top 10 Trends for 2016 in home decorating and design, entry with artisan craftsmanship, Lowell Management Services Lake Geneva WIAuthentic Materials and Craftsmanship

Appreciation for handcrafted work from local artisans and locally sourced material is on the rise. It goes beyond the sustainability factor and speaks to a newfound respect for the time-honored skills of our neighbors. Repurposed and locally sourced materials carry a highly trusted reassurance of quality.

Top 10 Trends for 2016 in home design and decorating, Leisure rooms, pool cabana, bar, kitchen, bath, barn door, Lowell Management Lake Geneva WILeisure Spaces and Getaway Rooms

When it’s time to relax we want a space that transports us from the daily grind to a relaxing retreat. Home hobby spaces can be as peaceful as a meditation room or as active an arcade. Many are self-sustaining with a refreshment area and private bath. These spaces vary from a basketball court that is just down the hall to a freestanding boathouse or poolside cabana.
Kitchen by Geneva Cabinet Company

Curb Appeal

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Curb appeal is that “wow factor” that begins with the design of every home.  One of the secrets to our success is the attention we give to details during every phase of design and construction.  We want to share some of those details we consider so you too can elevate your home to neighborhood celebrity status.
You will have them at “hello” with a stunning drive that paves the way to your entry.  The driveway material and configuration should compliment the overall character of your home.  Straight drives support formality while curved hardscaping encourages a relaxed atmosphere.  Pavers, stone and decorative concrete can all elevate an imposing necessity to captivating pathway.
Curb Appeal  Details come into focus Lowell Management Lake Geneva Wisonsing
After that initial Ahhh moment, your homes details will come into focus.  We are especially fond of interesting roof lines that engage the eye.  Doors, windows, and woodworking must all be true to a homes overall style.  While function is a priority, there is no need to ignore good principles of balance and proportion when placing architectural features.  The exterior material selections offer an opportunity to further your stunning impression with a tasteful blends of color and texture.
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The walkway should also support the general style of your home.  The same formality rules apply, along with an additional opportunity to include new statement materials.  Natural stone at this point will create a gentle transition for the eye as it moves from nature to the built environment.

The planted softscaping of shrubbery, lawn and flowers will strengthen that lasting impression.  The layout should help identify the path for visitors and lead them to your entry or entertainment destinations on the property. Plantings can intrigue as they allow the view to slowly unfold or present an instant Ta-DA moment.  Hearty plants are a wise choice near driveways to withstand winter clearing activities.

Features like columns, canopies, and porches all create points of reference and more opportunity to carry through on your homes period style.  Copulas, trellis and window boxes can be added in accordance with modern or traditional architecture.  When canopies or awnings are used to cover windows and doors there can be an energy saving bonus as they buffer sun and wind.

Curb appeal is enhanced at night with the tasteful illumination of architecture and landscape features.  Defining pathways and entry points with lighting is a safe and considerate way to welcome friends.  The added security is a noteworthy benefit for the entire neighborhood.
 
Finally we saved the most adaptable feature of every home for last.  The front door is the personality point to tell the world a little bit about who you are.  It can be a sneak peek at your homes interior style or a charming landmark for neighbors out on an evening stroll.
If you have a difficult time deciding on a door color, try this fun quiz for some guidance.
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/23794956/list/Houzz-Quiz–What-Color-Should-Your-Front-Door-Be-
 
Here at Lowell we are known for building beautiful homes that make memorable first impressions.   Our key to captivating curb appeal is a consistent vision and we are here to share that expertise with you when you are ready to build or remodel.
 

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.
 
 
 

Creating Attractive Outdoor Living Spaces

1 exterior deck and windo

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!'”      Robin Williams

Longer days and calmer temperatures signal a return to outdoor living.  Using nature as a backdrop, the open-air space surrounding your home can provide hours of delight and relaxation.  Multiple studies have shown that just looking outdoors will activate the part of the brain related to thoughts of balance and happiness.  Take advantage of natures feel-good with the creation of al fresco spaces that will also enhance the square footage and value of your home.

The most successful outdoor space will be an extension of your homes interior style while blending with the surroundings.  A perfect plan will provide appealing and useful outdoor “rooms” as well as beautiful scenes when you look out the window.

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Where do you start? 

  • Our recommendation is to first make a list of any daily activities that would be pleasurable if moved outdoors.  Often relaxation tops the list, with entertainment, cooking and play space following closely.from website 20180008
  • Take inventory of your property and the available options to create outdoor rooms.  Consider exposure to the elements, the direction of sunlight and your desire for privacy vs. neighborhood interaction.  This will guide the placement of your outdoor living space to the front, side or back yard of your home.

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  • Next evaluate your floor plan and the most logical points for moving from indoors out.  The more convenient this transition, the more you will use your outdoor areas.  When building or remodeling, we like to feature specialty Nano (folding) or French Doors to visually diminish the indoor/outdoor line and encourage fluid movement.

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  • An informal sketch of your property showing home placement will allow you to designate logical active and calm areas.  Allow for entertaining and family fun as well quiet activities like reading, napping and gardening.

700 S. Shore Pool

  • Consider ways to lengthen the time you can enjoy spring and summer months by including the protection of a covered porch or three season room.

porch

  • Connect your outdoor living areas with landscaping, walkways and privacy screening than integrates the outdoor space with the overall architecture of your home.

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  • Finally, remember that there are experts,  like those at Lowell Management,  with the expertise and ability to guide you in the planning and execution of your new home and remodeling projects.