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Home Trends from High Point Market

. . . and what they mean for your home!

While our expertise is building homes with timeless appeal, we always have an eye out for trends that can lend a refreshing note.  This spring High Point Market in North Carolina introduced furnishings that will make their way into stores next season.  We see a leaning towards products that express a strong personal point of view. Here are a few of the standout trends and what they mean for home design.

Modern and Classic Unite

Robert James Collection Coronado bed

Robert James Collection Coronado Bed

Applied to your home, this means traditional shapes with a clean modern edge.  Here we show the look in a library with classic details refined by a linear perspective .

Modern classic home trend

 

Laid Back Elegance

thibault showroom high point market 2019

Thibaut High Point Showroom – New Fabrics and Wallcoverings

At  home this trend is expressed with a more casual mix of materials like rustic stone on the fireplace, finely detailed woodworking and a mixed media chandelier.

laid back elegance

 

Artisan & Handcrafted

Abigails Feathered_Vase

Abigails.net Feathered Vase

Components with an artisan touch are more and more popular at home.  This hand hammered copper freestanding bathtub will develop a patina to accompany its sculptured shape. To see the entire home click here.artisan and hand craftsmanship

 

Natural Influence

Howard Elliott Antique Brass Faux Bois Coffee Table

Natural elements are a major influence in decor and construction.  This kitchen island stands out with a scraped and distressed natural wood countertop by Grothouse from Geneva Cabinet Company, LLC in Lake Geneva. To enjoy this entire home click here.

natural influence for home trends

 

Strong Color

Caracole Furniture at High Point Market

Caracole Furniture Showroom at High Point Market

Thankfully the era of the accent wall is over.   We are no longer afraid to experience strong color either skillfully wrapped around the walls or artfully applied to cabinetry and furniture, as demonstrated in this lovely home.  You can see the rest of the color story by clicking here.

bold color wrapped around walls

Interior Design by Elizabeth Drake

Some of our favorite pieces are highlighted on this mood board, follow the numbered links for source information.  For even more inspiration visit Instagram for High Point Market.

  1. Robert James Collection
  2. Hudson Valley Lighting
  3. John-Richard 
  4. James by Jimmy Delaurentis
  5. Abigails
  6. Thibaut
  7. Howard Elliott

 One of our past blogs described how a home can hold the secret to happiness  (read more about that here).  One last part of the process is establishing a personal point of view, these latest trends will help with that.

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 is available to answer your questions and guide you every step of the way!

Lowell Custom Homes

262.245.9030

Television Debates – We answer the age old question, where to put the TV

Back in the day, designers would disguise a big boxy television set with a big boxy piece of furniture. Thankfully the inventors of flat screen television (talk amongst yourselves to identify the first) put an end to the madness.
Flat screen television units eliminate the proverbial elephant in the room. Television placement has never been more liberated. We can now bring our attention back to business of design, without the burden of bulk.
1 where to place the television Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Pay no attention to the television behind the picture

Often more traditional homes, or interiors that want to maintain a more formal appearance, will opt for complete concealment. Now this camouflage can be smoothly integrated into the design of any room. Just a slight recess in the wall or fireplace will provide an opportunity for doors or artwork to complete the disguise.

2 where to place the television built in shelving Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Tastefully absorbed by built-in paneling and shelving

Intimacy and comfort are heightened when the background wraps you in an undisturbed shell. The key to success is a light hand when accessorizing the nearby shelving in order to reduce distraction from your favorite program. Lighting should be adjustable to avoid glare that could cause eye strain.

3 where to place the television disguise blend to background Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Is it wrong to put the television above the fireplace?

Not anymore, especially when it’s hidden in plain sight. Dark tones on the wall prevent a large screen from visually intruding on your space. When placing your television at this height, be sure to use an adjustable arm that allows you to angle it downward for better viewing.

4 where to place the television frame and recess Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

The great frame up

Building a frame around the screen is a streamline solution, especially when it’s balanced by black accents. The stone fireplace surround keeps the television from making the room top heavy.

5 where to place the television kitchen niche shelf Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Rise above the hustle and bustle

In the kitchen or office a high recessed niche is the perfect way to get your daytime television fix while keeping workspace clear.

6 where to place the television kitchen backsplash Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

It’s just another appliance

Your favorite programs line up perfectly on the backsplash providing an ever-changing design element to eliminate kitchen boredom.

7 where to place the television bedroom simple wall mount Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

The no excuses approach

Sometimes a TV just needs to be a TV, but this is no afterthought. Mounting directly to the wall saves space while knotty cedar paneling provides an interesting and unexpected contrast. The symmetrical arrangement of architectural features, like these flanking and clearstory window, will create balance for a serene effect.

8 where to place the television family room background extra big screen Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Television as wall mural

An extra large screen acts as an ever-changing backdrop for your leisure activities. Conversation is encouraged when seating is versatile and viewers can face each other or the screen.

9 where to place the television bar game room multiple tv screens Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Indulge Yourself

Weather the urge is “all sports, all the time” or a battle of HGTV, BRAVO, and The Cooking Channel, a multiscreen arrangement will immerse you in entertainment.

One last tip

When choosing the placement of your television it really comes down to size. For comfort refer to his guide for viewing distance.
Screen and recommended viewing distance

Happy Viewing!

 

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

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

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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

We Predict the 2017 Home Design Trends with Staying Power

We love the direction home design is taking and you will too! The special features we are building into homes are all about enhancing lifestyle. Say goodbye to cookie-cutter plans and welcome in the latest features that will have real staying power for your new or remodeled home.
Lowell Custom Home Curate Your Personal Space

Curate Your Personal Space

Pick and choose exactly what makes you smile. This home for an avid auto collector creates a showcase where it can be enjoyed and shared effortlessly. Forget neatly stacking your treasured collections in a closet; use these special interests as a springboard for developing a home style that is meaningful to you.
 
Lowell Custom Homes Curb Appeal with New features

Curb Appeal With New Dimension

We have always designed homes to be appreciated from every perspective, and now the appeal for 360o detailing is catching on. When equal attention is given to the side and back elevations, your everyday home experience becomes richer. While you’re at it, be sure stunning architecture does not get lost in the shadows. Landscape and exterior lighting is an essential element for any home plan.
 
Lowell Custom Homes Natural charm in the kitchen

Kitchen Comforts

Natural charm and flow characterize kitchens today where we like to cluster cabinet storage along one wall to keep the floor plan open and accessible. Popular Farmhouse and Industrial trends merge to create highly functional spaces for living and entertaining. Materials here and throughout the home blend natural honed surfaces with polished finishes.  The interplay of texture is spellbinding and creates the perfecting setting for gatherings.
 
Lowell Custom Homes Energy Efficient

Stealth Energy Systems

Smart features go undercover while serving up substantial savings. Energy efficient windows and insulation work with zoned heating and cooling systems to maximize a homes mechanical productivity. Automated and voice-activated systems monitor comfort levels with the added convenience of off-site monitoring.
 
Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Outdoor Amenities

We work hard, so creating playful outdoor space at home lets everyone enjoy free time without traveling to another location. Screened-In porches and outdoor kitchens are often joined by even more personalized features like putting greens and movie screens.
 
Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Bar and Beverage Centers

At home entertaining is on the rise and a central hub allows the host to be a part of the action. Whether your preferences leans towards a fully stocked cocktail bar, coffee bar or ice-cream social bar, the mission is convenience. A dedicated area with storage and proper supplies will turn a simple beverage into a special indulgence.
 
Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WisconsinColor Turns Warm and Moody

HGTV and Pottery Barn may have caused you to forget about the warmer side of the color wheel, but that is about to change. Cool grays will still be important, but neutrals will move forward by including warm beige tones and occasionally a bit of brown. The freshest effects will be achieved when these colors are accented with saturated hues like Benjamin Moore’s 2017 Color of the Year – Shadow, and Pantones 2017 Color of the Year – Greenery.
 
Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin

No Guilt Splurges on Functional Spaces

Luxury takes a turn towards practical when it comes to indulging ourselves at home. Oh sure, a spa bath is nice, but nothing compares to a laundry room with a potting station or a mudroom lined with exquisite locker storage. Those highly functional areas can be fitted to perfection turning everyday chores into a delightful escape.
 
 
The majority of rooms featured in this post were photographed by Victoria McHugh Photography
Interior Design for the home featured is by The Design Coach Phillip Sassone
Interior Design for the laundry room and potting area featured in the last image and the Beverage Bar with metallic tile backsplash is by Elizabeth Drake of Drake Interiors, Ltd.
 
 

Architectural Attraction – How to choose the architecture and style of your home

A stunning first impression is an invitation to consider who’s behind the front door.

Curb appeal or Rorschach test? What does the exterior of your home say about you?

When building a new home, choosing all of the parts and pieces that express your unique style is exciting. This can also be a bit overwhelming when you’re now sure about what you want your style to say. Having a good idea about the design and architecture you find appealing will help the entire process run smoothly.
A home can be architecturally faithful to a historic period, or reference a point in time with adaptations for modern lifestyles. We customize every home for the perfect balance of architecture, lifestyle and character. Browse through some of our favorite exteriors to help identify your style preferences. Then be sure to take the style quiz at the end to guide you in the selection of the perfect home for you and your family.

Cape Cod

This historic charmer has its roots in New England with inspiration from Britain’s thatched cottages. Its popularity grew post World War II as a modestly priced option in housing. This style is a classic and can be expanded in size with upscale amenities.

Style Features

  • Symmetrical exterior with centered front door
  • Steep roof with side gables and dormer windows
  • Clean lines with siding of clapboard, shingles or brick

Style Attraction

  • Simplified style can range from casual or moderately formal
  • Excellent choice as starter home or vacation home
  • Compact footprint adapts well to smaller lot size and lends itself well to future additions

Craftsman Architecture Lowell Management Lake Geneva WI

Craftsman

An impressive comeback is in progress for the Craftsman Style, which emerged in 1905 from the Arts and Crafts Movement. This style is characterized by modest yet meaningful carpentry details and the use of natural materials. It is uniquely American with a nostalgic reference to the home kits sold in pattern books and catalogs.

Style Features

  • Wide porch with tapered columns on shingled, stone or brick piers
  • Low-pitched roof with exposed rafter tails
  • Emphasis on rustic qualities using natural and local materials

Style Attraction

  • Relaxed atmosphere that encourages togetherness for families or entertaining
  • Organic quality with gentle transition between indoor and outdoor spaces
  • Open floorplans with built in niches for convenient storage

Farmhouse Architecture Lowell Management Lake Geneva WI

Farmhouse

Unpretentious and real, these homes are streamlined versions of Victorian or Colonial architecture. The pure form is based on need and efficiency rather than ornamentation. Uncomplicated lines make this style suitable for both country and urban aesthetics.

Style Features

  • Front or side gabled roof with tall windows and second story dormers
  • Signature wide or wraparound porch covered by roof overhang
  • Rectangular structure with additions, all covered in lap siding

Style Attraction

  • Casual comfort with sprawling, light, and airy spaces
  • Minimalist appeal balanced with the warmth of county styling
  • Large kitchen or gathering spaces that relate to the outdoors

 
Meacum from Vicky from lake w logo -59-1x

Victorian

Complex and ornate, the Victorian home is rich with detail and covers popular styles from the Queen Ann, Gothic Revival, Italianate and Romanesque architectural periods.

Style Features

  • Asymmetrical with complex intersecting gabled or hipped roofs
  • Steep roof pitches with turrets, towers, and eyebrow dormers
  • Detailed, often with lacy ornamental work and decorative shingle patterns

Style Attraction

  • Romantic quality with whimsical details
  • Architectural details are complimented by multi-color schemes
  • Layout offers opportunity for privacy and special purpose rooms

Shingle Architecture Lowell Management Lake Geneva WI

Shingle Style

Uniquely American, the Shingle style incorporates Queen Ann and Colonial Revival architecture with the costal free form character that originated along the shores of New England.

Style Features

  • Asymmetrical forms featuring multi level eaves, towers, dormers and eyebrow windows
  • Rambling shapes unified by shingle siding, often on a rough-faced stone foundation
  • Wrapped porches, classic columns and expansive windows

Style Attraction

  • High style inspired by architects of New England’s seaside resort design
  • Relaxed formality with breezy rambling floor plans
  • Strong relationships between indoor and outdoor rooms

Dutch Colonial Architecture Lowell Management Lake Geneva WI

Dutch Colonial

With humble beginning as early American one-room houses, the Dutch Colonial hosts highly efficient floor plan. Resembling a barn, the gambrel roof creates extra living space without adding a second story.

Style Features

  • Gambrel roof structures adaptable to multiple architectural periods
  • Moderate roof pitch, dormer windows often with flared eaves
  • Round window on gable end of roof and covered entry often with pediment top

Style Attraction

  • Efficient personality making every square inch productive
  • Friendly human-scaled structure with intriguing curb appeal
  • Timeless design in a cost efficient structure

Traditional Architecture Lowell Management Lake Geneva WI:

Traditional

This American icon is rooted in the 1600’s and continually adapts to lifestyle trends. Using classic Colonial or Tudor architecture as inspiration, these homes present a formal façade to the public while integrating comfortable living areas behind the scenes.

Style Features

  • Steep roof pitches allowing for volume ceilings and loft areas
  • Combination brick, stucco and siding exteriors
  • Symmetrical or Asymmetrical exteriors with covered entry

Style Attraction

  • A balance of formal public spaces with relaxed private areas
  • Gentle application of historically accurate details
  • Floor plans that are adaptable for modern lifestyles

European Influence Architecture Lowell Management Lake Geneva WI

European Influence

European style homes suggest features from Country French and English Tudor homes dating back to the 18th century. The emphasis is on high quality finishes, and large scale spaces for a luxurious experience.

Style Features

  • Steeply pitched roofs with multiple generously sized chimneys
  • Brick and stucco exteriors with details trimmed in stone
  • Formalized balance to the ornamental and structural details

Style Attraction

  • Accommodates a highly formal to semi formal lifestyle
  • Well-appointed design with luxurious amenities
  • Highly attentive to historic accuracy in the architectural details

Cottage Style Architecture Whimsical Lowell Management Lake Geneva WI

Cottage Style

Whimsical features often add to the storybook appeal of cottage style homes. The intimate scale features romantic details borrowed from medieval times. It is the perfect starter or vacation home that can be enlarged and still maintain its charm.

Style Features

  • Intimate scale with an abundance of picturesque details
  • Steep roof pitches, cross gables and arched doorways
  • Bright exterior color scheme surrounded by flower gardens

Style Attraction

  • Romantic character with an effortless country attitude
  • Meandering walkway to the main entry and throughout property
  • Cozy and inviting style that translates well to larger spaces

While these beautiful homes express some of today’s most popular architecture, we have a full team of designers and an AIA architect who will work with you to design a home that truly reflects your personal style and lifestyle.  

You can start to discover your style personality with this fast and fun Style Quiz from Homegoods  It’s amazingly accurate!

Style Quiz from Homegoods

Image Credit: Style Quiz from Homegoods

Next learn more about various architectural styles, by visiting this helpful guide from Realtor Magazine.

Image Credit: Realtor Magazine

Image Credit: Realtor Magazine


 

Be sure to stop by the Lowell Website for more information about building and remodeling your home.

You can view the Lowell Gallery of Homes on our website

or visit our portfolio on Houzz.

While you’re there, check out the Houzz Decorating Personality Quiz!

 

We enjoying hearing from you, so contact us for answers to your home building and remodeling questions!

 

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

Why Fi? Home networks that run as smoothly as your refrigerator.

 
You settle down with a few friends to watch “House of Cards” on Netflix and so it begins, start…stop… buffering…play…buffering. Arghhh! Isn’t technology WONDERFUL?!
The rest of your household runs so smoothly. Your refrigerator keeps things cold – it doesn’t require any attention and rarely lets you down. Your oven cooks things – set the temperature and walk away. Why can’t your network behave the same way? Is your home network conspiring against you?! You’re not alone. It can be a challenge to keep your house connected to the internet in addition to all of your devices.
Unfortunately, these problems can be traced to any number of sources. The data that arrives on your TV screen from Netflix has to go through more stops than a Southwest flight from Rockford to Topeka. While the largest part of that journey is made outside of your home, it backs up like rush hour once it arrives to your house. The outside journey is made through very high-end and professionally maintained equipment. But once in your home…not so much.
In your home, the equipment is designed to be simple to set up, maintenance free and of course, has to be so inexpensive that your internet service provider can basically give it to you for nothing. The problem here is when any sort of a failure occurs, the equipment simply stops working. You can’t diagnose the error, you can’t troubleshoot it, all you can do is re-boot it. Then things start working…until the error occurs again…so you re-boot again. Sound familiar? Moreover, homes come in many shapes and sizes with differing construction materials and different wiring infra-structures. But who needs wire anyway? Just connect a bunch of wireless devices right? No. Not right. Wrong. Very wrong.
Off the shelf Wi-Fi devices are basically set up to operate in a vacuum by themselves. Installing more than one device without professional configuration can cause network conflicts, the devices can interfere with each other and they can confuse the wireless devices that we love so much. Not only that, the connection information can be a pain. When a friend tries to connect to your network do you have to give them codes suited for strategic air defense encryption?
“Hey Dave, can I get on your wireless network?”
“Sure Bill, just look for “2wIRe276399” and enter the password “94be3465lL43T” but if you’re using it in the guest bedroom go to “Lynksis01” and type in “0brwLLJerK”.
“Thanks Dave, is that jerk with a capital J?”
So…the solution to these problems? The best solution starts with setting up access points across your home to eliminate dead spots. This equipment needs to be configured correctly so that your devices can seamlessly move from access point to access point without your interaction and so they don’t interfere with each other. You can also add more sophisticated equipment to create a more robust wireless network environment with simplified connection information. Equipment can be installed by professionals to monitor your internet connectivity and re-boot the basic gear the moment it shows an issue.
And for those of you who want a mission critical killer network with all of the diagnostic capability and robust features of the commercial equipment that is maintained by professionals, there are solutions for you too. You can make your network run like a finely tuned Ferrari (on the autobahn).
 
Many thanks to our Guest Blogger!  Paul Faber is the co-founder of MediaTech and a charismatic tech geek.  His company designs & installs high-end home automation systems that encompass network infrastructure, home audio/visual, lighting controls, climate, and more fun stuff (think The Jetsons).”
 

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.