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Screened in porch interior Lowell Custom Homes in Lake Geneva WI

Screened Porches – Bug Free Outdoor Bliss

The fine art of “porching” may have been introduced in the south, but here in the Midwest we expand the tradition with protective panache.   Even the official Porch Sitters Union approves of the screened-in variety.  It is a highly respected option offering a laid back defense against bugs and weather conditions.

Lowell Custom Homes screened in porch exterior

Ideal Location for Your Porch

To help you identify the perfect location for your screened porch click here..  The idea is to achieve a seamless indoor-outdoor connection where you can enjoy nature without pesky bugs or excessive heat.   Depending on construction, this could be a year round extension of your home’s living and entertaining space.

Lowell Custom Homes screened porch with access from kitchen

The Anatomy of a Screened Porch

Overhead – The most appealing roof design is an extension of your home architecture.  A well constructed roof will offer protection from the elements with a shed, hip or gabled style.  The materials should be high quality as well as compatible with the main structure. This home received all new roofing that features long lasting composition shake shingle from DaVinci Roofscapes.

most appealing roofline by Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Enclosure – Full screening will promote a lovely cross breeze while the addition of windows can provide year round comfort for the space.  A large variety of window styles will work.   One of the latest trends is to install a glass wall of windows that folds back for an unobstructed view.

Interior –  Architectural details can take this space from elementary to enchanting.  Here we feature a beadboard ceiling, arched corbels and versatile lighting for after sunset. Ceiling fans and fireplaces are popular additions as well.

screened porch interior Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Underfoot – Moisture seal is imperative as a base layer before construction begins.  From there the flooring material should be durable with a level and visually pleasing transition from interior rooms.

exterior view of screened porch with access to outdoor leisure

Final Touches

Comfortable seating will complete your indoor-outdoor space.   Use sturdy pieces and fabrics for easy care and stress-free entertaining and relaxation.  Durable fabrics like those from Sunbrella are a modern miracle that will help you weather the elements in style.  Be sure to include drink tables, a place to prop up your feet and some perky accents, plants and flowers.

Screened porch outdoor furniture Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Here’s to all of the ways our home can help us celebrate the spring & summer season!

Fun facts about this home:

This home was originally built by Lowell Custom Homes and designed by M & E Architects.  The renovations in 2018 are by Lowell Custom Homes with architect Todd Cauffman and General Manager/Project Superintendent Rich Kinter.

To see more of the lovely details visit our gallery by clicking here.

Photography is by Shanna Wolf, S.Photography and Styling

The new roof is by DaVinci Roofscapes and features a long lasting composition shake shingle.

Here is a better look at the new kitchen by Geneva Cabinet Company, LLC which features cabinetry from Plato Woodwork, Inc.

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

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

Screened In Porch – Improving Nature

Summer Porch
Does the idea of extending your summer sound appealing? A screened in porch will prolong your outdoor living season in the most civilized manner. No bugs, always a breeze from the ceiling fans, and overhead protection from the elements, what’s not to love! This cost effective feature lets you get a jump on summer and cling to every last day before winter arrives.
We build screened in porches and rooms where our homeowners can enjoy a close connection with nature.   These areas deliver additional living space with the bonus of versatility. A place to unwind, entertain friends or shake up a boring dinnertime routine; the appeal is in its ability to become exactly what you need. The temporary charm of outdoor living releases you from the formalities created by four walls and encourages relaxation.
These screened-in fundamentals will guide you when setting up your own outdoor space.
 
Screened in Exterior
Business in the front – party in the back.
Even the most stately homes can embrace the look of a screened in room. You’ll avoid the architectural mullet phenomenon by treating this feature with the same details as your home. Design your screened in space to reflect the overall character of your home.
 
View from screened in porch
Focus on the view
If you are fortunate enough to have a scenic view, take full advantage by positioning the location and elevation where you’ll have best perspective. When not emphasizing a long distance view, create an intimate view with the surrounding landscape.
 

screened in porch ceiling

Make a statement with the ceiling
Since transparent screening surrounds you with nature, the ceiling becomes a creative outlet for your style. Beadboard is one of our favorite treatments. Created from wood planking, this material can be rustic or polished in order to reflect your design aesthetic.
 
screened in porch lighting and ceiling fans
Ceiling Fans & Lighting for Mother Natures downtime
Well-placed ceiling fans will add a soft breeze to a motionless summer day. Use a fixture with contrasting finish to bring attention to a beautifully detailed ceiling. Match the ceiling color if you would like it to quietly disappear.
The same applies to lighting.   But be sure to think beyond the typical porch fixture.  Outdoor lighting technology offers stylish fixtures and even table lamps to satisfy all of your functional needs.
5d Blog inset fireplace

 

Take the chill off with a warm fire.
The fireplace is a natural gathering point and will transform your screened area into an extension of your home. The added warmth will allow you to truly extend your outdoor living season.
 
Furnishing for Comfort
Rugged or refined, your screened room should be finished off with the furniture pieces that will allow you to make the most of your outdoor season. Check our past post for tips on the most durable approach:
Low Maintenance Essentials for Easy Indoor-Outdoor Living

 
 
 
 

Curb Appeal

Gibson_Evening_Front_1_HR
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.
exerior
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.
 

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.

Kaskel010

  • 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.

1 sunroom two

  • 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.