Bespoke and Boutique News and Tips

Home Gyms: Staying Fit During COVID

Now more then ever, the luxury of having a home gym in a custom home has been so appreciated. A great way to get in shape is to have a state-of-the-art gym in your custom home. Whether you are building a new dream home or would like to add a home gym to your current home, it is the ultra-convenient option to stay on track, even during a time when it may be uncomfortable to go to a public gym. A stationary bike in the corner of the basement, or a treadmill in the bedroom that becomes a place to hang your clothes does not motivate you the way a home gym will. If you are building a new home and can allocate the space in the original plans, you can customize it specifically to your needs. If you are remodeling or creating space in your current home, you may need to be a bit more creative.

Once you have space determined that will become your new home gym, you will want to invest in some quality equipment that can make the difference from following through with keeping your workout routine and abandoning it all altogether.

Home Gyms: Staying Fit During COVID

Home gyms can be as simple or elaborate as your space and budget allows. The most important thing is to make a gym you will use, so create a well-equipped, inviting area and commit to your exercise regime. The best part of a home gym is the opportunity to squeeze in a quick workout between other tasks, or schedule a long, uninterrupted session whenever you want.

Some things to consider when you are building a custom home gym: 

  • Space
  • Budget
  • Cardio Equipment
  • Strength Equipment
  • Yoga/Pilates Space
  • Entertainment Accessories
example of an exercise room - Home Gyms blog post

Exercise Room


Know the square footage available before you purchase equipment and consider the layout. Consider that the active area of some machines, like ellipticals with moving handlebars and pedals, will exceed the footprint, so account for extra room. If you are building a new custom home and can make these decisions, consider the ceiling height to ensure that you will have adequate clearance for items like stair climbers, treadmills and home gym units. Flooring selection is also important: traditional floorings like tile and wood floors are easy to clean but can be slippery. The best option for flooring is specialty rubber tiles that absorb noise, odor and cushion your body while working out.  Other things to consider are the ventilation/cooling system, the view and the décor.

a home gym example for Home Gyms blog post

Equipment, Cardio, Strength and Yoga/Pilates:  

Cardio is essential for fitness, and there are many options including treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, climbers, cross-trainers or rowers. If you are space-constrained, look for machines that are compact and have a low step-up height. Also, consider what motivates you and what piece of equipment you will use.

Strength training is just as important as cardio, and resistance training is necessary to tone muscles, maintain strength and boost metabolism. A simple solution is a set of dumbbells and a weighted barbell, along with a bench or stability ball. You can also use rubber and elastic resistance bands, which are inexpensive and come in different levels.

Yoga and Pilates allow the opportunity to work on flexibility and core work, which are integral for a well-balanced exercise program. An area in your home gym with space for a cushioned mat and a yoga mat is all you will need for both stretching and practicing yoga and Pilates.

Accessories in your home gym can complete the look and feel and help with motivation. Built-in speakers and large screen smart TVs to follow along with your online workouts help make the space more functional. Other considerations include a water cooler or mini fridge for bottled water, a towel rack and laundry basket for used towels. All of these accessories can make your workout more comfortable, enjoyable and motivational.

home gyms - home gym example in a custom home

Enjoy the Outdoors

While home gyms are wonderful to have, the beautiful weather of summer also gives you the opportunity to enjoy your custom home outside for your work out! Take your yoga mat to your pier or deck and enjoy yoga under the trees or lakeside. Hop on your bike and go for a ride, take a walk, paddle board or go for a swim. We are all spending more time at home then ever, so finding ways to stay healthy and fit are imperative at this time.

Source link

Bespoke and Boutique News and Tips

Creating a Historical Custom Home

Colby Construction has built many beautiful, unique custom homes – homes built based on a dream the homeowner has, from lake homes, to modern homes, to rustic homes, and modern farm homes to name a few.  Then there is a custom home that is based on family history and the desire to build a new home based on the past that meets today’s current lifestyle. The opportunity to build such a home came to Colby Construction via the great-granddaughter of a renowned architect.

Creating a Historical Custom Home

The new, custom home, lovingly named “The Lake House” is just that, a beautiful, modern home that was conceptualized, created and built based on family history. When the owners of “The Lake House” decided they wanted to create a new home on a historical property, they worked with their architect and Colby Construction to bring to life a home that was part of their family history.

Set on a small, picturesque lake in southeastern Wisconsin, the tucked away property has been in the family for generations. Originally purchased as a Gentleman’s Farm at the turn of the century, the current owner’s great grandfather created a place that would be loved and adored for generations to come.

In 1904, the great-grandfather purchased the abandoned property, created and built a sanctuary that he and his family could escape to and enjoy, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. As the years and generations developed the land, the property included a cottage for the family, a house for the work hands, a large barn, root cellar and icehouse, along with other out buildings. The family cottage was continuously updated and remodeled as the architect would up-cycle leaded glass windows and other treasures brought from homes he was working on or renovating in the area. This family cottage was the inspiration for the present day home, “The Lake House”, which now sits on the location of the former farm hand home, just up the hill from the original family cottage, which is still in use and is a summer home for another member of the family.

The goal of the homeowner was to create a home that had the charm and warmth of a 1930’s lake home. A few of the features that were a priority included a screen porch, a central part of the home where family members and visitors can gather. The original family cottage featured just this type of porch, and the unique windows were recreated for the new home. These windows are single-hung sash and well counter weighted. The windows push down from the top, and the window completely disappears into sash pockets in the basement below. These windows were hung on all three sides of the porch, and the new “Lake House” features the same (brand new) single-hung sash windows.  Other features that were inspired from the original cottage include the leaded glass windows featured in the dining room. Like the original cottage, the new home’s dining room looks out over the lake through beautiful leaded glass.

Throughout the home, there are items that, like the homeowner’s grandparents and great-grandparents before her, have been repurposed. The counter top around the kitchen sink and the rocking chair in a bedroom are details and styles that are similar to the adorable cottage. As you move throughout this brand new home, you feel as though you have been taken back in time, a time when Guernsey cows roamed on the land and gardens surrounded the property. Each room was thoughtfully planned and designed to feel as if you are living there almost a century ago, but with all of the modern conveniences of custom, luxury home.

a historical custom home by Colby Construction

While the land has been divided, much of it remains in the family. Now there are new homes, and the barns have been renovated and rebuilt, and will last for the next generations to come. Today, strolling on the grounds of this estate, you truly feel as if you are part of history. You can almost imagine the family patriarch creating his next architectural masterpiece while enjoying the views of the lake. Stay tuned in the weeks to come to learn more about the features of “The Lake House”, outbuildings and history.

Source link

Bespoke and Boutique News and Tips

Luxury Appliances for Your Custom Kitchen

As you build your custom home and begin to make selections in the process, one of the most important decisions you make are the appliances you select throughout the home. When working with a custom home builder like Colby Construction, you will have guidance from the experts on these selections to make it easier in a world of so many choices to select the luxury appliances for your custom kitchen. Let’s break down the product options and dream about having the latest and greatest in your luxury kitchen.

The appliances in the kitchen are likely the most important ones in the house. If you love cooking and want products that will enhance your culinary skills, or see cooking as a chore and want products that will simplify your life, you will want to do some research and find the appliances that best meet your needs.

Luxury Appliances for Your Custom Kitchen

Ranges, Cooktops, Ovens and Stoves:

Cooking is an essential part of living, and with families staying in and cooking together now more then ever, the choice to make this happen in crucial.

In 2000 Sub-Zero acquired Wolf, which offers a variety of high-end range options for your culinary needs. From 30” to 60” gas ranges with 4 to 8 burners, infrared griddles and charbroilers, Wolf Ranges offer an option for every size kitchen and customer’s needs. With their signature red knobs, they now offer black and silver as options as well to customize your look.  Wolf also offers gas, electric and induction cooktops. Looking for the best in a stand-alone built in stove? You will certainly find one you love choosing between the options in convection ovens: standard, steam and speed, ranging in size from 24” to 36” in width.

Like Wolf, Miele is another top of the line manufacturing that offers a wide range of options for your cooking and baking needs. Miele was founded in 1899 and is a family-owned high-end appliance company from Germany. They feature built-in convection, speed and steam ovens, cooktops and ranges in a variety of sizes.


When building a custom home, the refrigerator is definitely an important part of the kitchen, not only for functionality but also the look and feel of your space. A high-end kitchen calls for a built in refrigerator, regardless of the size or style you want. Whether it will be stainless or have custom panels to match the cabinets, it needs to be built in. Aside from the main refrigerator, the kitchen may also feature beverage centers and wine coolers as well.

Sub-Zero offers a variety of options, from the classic to professional series, giving a variety of configurations to meet your family’s needs. They also offer a variety of under counter options from drawers to cabinets. A wine cooler adds a distinct look to a custom home, and you can select from under cabinet options to built-in full size coolers. Other top rated refrigeration options include Thermador, Viking, Bosch and Kitchen Aid. There is a wide range of options in all of these brands to meet your needs and your budget.


Dishwashers are an essential part of the custom kitchen, and they have certainly come a long way since their introduction to the appliance world. A quiet dishwasher is certainly a desired option for your luxury kitchen, and of course ability to clean the dishes and drying styles are important features as well.

The Bosch Dishwasher continuously ranks as one of the best options on the market.  With multiple configurations for 3 racks, very quiet and different drying options, they offer a variety of sizes and options in their dishwashers.

Like their ranges, Miele Dishwashers are also ranked very high every year too. Thermador offers an excellent dishwasher option as well. All of these appliances are offered in stainless steel with the option of a custom panel.

Luxury Appliances for Your Custom Kitchen

Other Appliances:

Microwaves: Like other appliances, the microwave has come a long way. What used to take up counter space and was loud and clunky, now is a sleek unit, built into the wall, island or under the counter. There many options to meet your family’s needs. Some of the top brands include Bosch, Viking, KitchenAid and Dacor.

In order to make your custom kitchen truly custom, there are other appliances you will want to invest in.

  • Built in Coffee Systems: This luxurious option for a high-end kitchen will feature plumbed water system, whole bean grinder and coffee options from espressos and drips to lattes. Some of the best ranked brands are Miele, BSH, Bosch and Thermador.
  • Steam Ovens: Steam ovens have recently gained popularity, particularly in high-end kitchens. They are a great alternative to a microwave and offer a healthy cooking and baking option. Top ranked brands are consistently Wolf, Miele and Thermador.

Luxury Appliances for Your Custom Kitchen blog post - microwave close up

Like all the selections throughout your custom home, do the research, talk to your builder and understand your family’s needs. There are so many great products on the market that you will be sure to find items that fit your style, kitchen design and budget.


Source link