Archive for August, 2010

Custom Home Exterior

A few years ago Peter and Mary bought beautiful rural property bordering Lake Michigan: a clean slate for creating their recently completed home. The couple embraced the design build process and used the opportunity to express their love of detail. “Our builder and suppliers were wonderful to work with, making the process satisfying and a great experience,” Peter told us.

The design of the home was inspired by Arts & Crafts and Bungalow architecture. “We also have a great appreciation for the WPA era stonework such as that found in many of the state parks, and incorporated that into both the exterior perimeter and fireplace,” recalled Peter.  The couple also sought inspiration from their previous 1930’s suburban home and the wind-swept Lake Michigan terrain.

Peter did most of the leg work, researching and sourcing options, while the final selections were mutual.  Customization included the floor plan, cabinetry, windows, tile, and higher than standard counters, (both Peter and Mary are tall). “When making the selections for the lighting fixtures, we found options that tied in perfectly with other features.”

Vine & Berry Alabaster Pendant

Hand Carved Vine & Berry Alabaster Pendant

The interior material and finishes create a warm rich environment. Over a dozen different types of stone were used for floors, walls, lighting and counters. Varieties included Calypso and Marina Granite for the kitchen, Alabaster for the ceiling pendant, and Lagos Blue Limestone with Black Pebbles border for the master bath floor and shower surround.  The dramatic 23 foot fireplace is local Wisconsin Field Stone  The custom-built kitchen and bathroom cabinets are all maple and the trim throughout the home is cherry. The hardware is mostly oil rubbed bronze or polished nickel and is often shown in combination. For example, the kitchen features bronze hardware, polished nickel faucets, stainless steel stove and satin steel light fixtures.  This unusual combination works wonderfully as the nickels and steels complement the grays and blues of the granite, and the bronze the wood tones.

Holphane Pendant

Baraboo Acorn Holophane Pendants

“When making the selections for the lighting  fixtures in the home we considered others, but found ourselves using the products at Brass Light Gallery as a standard for comparison. We found options that tied in perfectly with other features,” commented Peter. “For example, the Pine Lake Lantern family with the arch overlay carried further the arch design in the custom windows. The Vine and Berry Alabaster pendant in the foyer tied in beautifully with the vine and berry feature in the Motawi tiles inset in the floor.”  The Vintage Holophane kitchen pendants “are one of those rare finds. The iridescence is as unique as is the story behind them,” said Peter.  Mary loves them too, “They are the best — they give such great light we hardly ever use the cans.”

A reflection of the couples personality and desired lifestyle, the home will be the perfect place for retirement living.

Builder:  Mueller Construction and Cabinetry, Belgium, WI

Masonry:  Don Large Masonry and Concrete

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An Excerpt from Brass Light Gallery’s August Newsletter…

I have an 8 foot ceiling in my foyer and I want the look of a small decorative chandelier. I’ve been told I must use a can light or a flush mount. What should I do?

Unless your husband or wife is a pro basketball player, follow your instincts! There is plenty of room for a decorative fixture and your foyer is an opportunity to set the tone for your entire home. Keep in mind that an eight foot ceiling in a foyer is not really unusual. Even homes with vaulted ceilings have 8′ to 9′ high foot entryways to create intimacy in areas designed to welcome visitors.

The rule of thumb we use at Brass Light Gallery is to set the bottom of the fixture about 6′-8″ off the floor.  Think about it, this is the same height as a standard door opening and anyone accustomed to this spacing will not be made uncomfortable.  I’m a tall person (6′-8″) and my experience has been that a 16″ overall length works great for an 8′ ceiling.

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