Scandinavian-inspired design led us to the wide selection of light, vibrant color choices in the Ace Royal line, as well as the Ace Sensations line with Scotchgard Protector, from Ace Hardware. Our colors popped against the white-painted trim, beams and paneling in the house. One-coat coverage and washability made it all easy (866/290-5334; www.acehard ware.com).
At a vacation home, we needed a washer and dryer capable of handling the many demands of family and guests alike. Ice cream stains, sweaty golf clothes or sandy beach towels are no problem for our front-load Bosch washer/dryer combination. It offers custom cleaning, super energy efficiency and exceptionally quiet operation (800/921-9622; www.boschappliances.com).
We loved the vast array of light color finishes we had to choose from in Cambria's natural quartz surface collection. In fact, we used six different choices throughout the house. They all looked great with our lighter, natural palette. Quartz is not only stronger than granite, but it's less porous, more sanitary, easier to maintain and every bit as beautiful (866/226-2742; www.cambriausa.com).
When we build a beautiful home such as Harbor View, finishing touches are extremely important, as they can make or break the final aesthetic of the house. That's why we turned to Clopay's Semi-Custom Reserve Collection garage doors. With many window and panel configuration choices, we could create the perfect garage door to fit the house's design (800/225-6729; www.clopaydoor.com).
Our vacation home's lakeside location and outdoor connections mean plenty of debris will be tracked in, demanding a powerful vacuum that can stand up to all the traffic. Electrolux's whole-house vacuum system's superior filtration will keep dirt under control, and its plug-the-hose-into-the-wall convenience will keep it simple (800/896-9756; www.electroluxusa.com)
Our intent to create a relaxed, eclectic mix of Scandinavian-style traditional and contemporary pieces throughout the home meant finding a furniture maker who could semi-customize pieces to our desires. Harden's hand-crafted, built-in-the-USA furniture fit the bill with its vast choices of exquisite styles and personalized finish options (315/245-1000; www.harden.com).
Our interior design scheme left many windows undressed for the water view, yet we did need privacy and/or sun control in key rooms. The innovative designs and various unique light-control features of Hunter Douglas window fashions let us diffuse, direct and filter light exactly the way we needed to (800/274-2985; www.hunterdouglas.com).
A key element in our Cape Cod-influenced exterior design was James Hardie fiber cement wood-look shingle siding and trim. And Hardie's ColorPlus technology offers a 15-year finish warranty for its baked-on paint finish. The product resists rotting or cracking and damage from rain, hail and flying debris, making this a true "vacation" home (888/542-7343; www.jameshardie.com).
A new look for white appliances drew us to Jenn-Air's Floating Glass Collection. With a translucent glass layer over the finish, white appliances never looked so sophisticated. The line's many convenience features and dependable performance were added pluses. We also put Jenn-Air's stainless steel appliances into our lower kitchenette (800/688-1100; www.jennair.com).
The kitchens and baths in our home had different functions, allowing us to choose various specialized Kohler sinks and faucets suited to each. A large utility sink in the laundry handles potting, washing delicates and more. The powder room shines with a classy "wading" sink just for guests' hand-washing. Brushed chrome faucet finishes add sparkling style (800/456-4537; www.kohler.com).
Storage, hidden and exposed, is a big issue in any home. We designed both with a mix of KraftMaid's new Euro-style Venicia and traditional lines of semi-custom cabinetry. We used them for bookcases, a built-in linen closet, a home theater wall, a back mud hall and other unique features that keep this home uncluttered and organized (800/571-1990; www.kraftmaid.com).
With allergies and temperature extremes on the rise, we chose Lennox heating and cooling systems (awarded the EPA Energy Star) in our Door County home. The systems integrate consistent temperature control, quiet operation, balanced humidity and improved air quality. We also feature a gas Lennox fireplace in the downstairs family room (800/953-6669; www.lennox.com).
Leaving the busy world behind gets easier with the Master Spa on our back deck overlooking the waters of Green Bay. Retreating to its soothing therapeutic waters releases the tension and fatigue after a long day, and the flat-screen TV, CD/FM stereo and DVD player offer fun and entertaining relaxation for the whole family (260/436-9100; www.masterspas.com).
It made sense to use propane energy in a vacation area where other energy sources might be more expensive. It's one of the cleanest-burning fossil fuels, and because it's nontoxic, it's not harmful to soil or water and can be stored in an underground tank. It also has a narrow range of flammability for safety (202/452-8975; www.usepropane.com).
The hardware of a home is like jewelry on a woman. While adding distinctive flair, it should complement the entire look. Schlage handlesets, levers, knobs, deadbolts and new keypad entry lock, all in a satin chrome finish, provide convenience, security and sophisticated accents in a style that fits our contemporary decor (800/847-1864; www.schlage.com).
You can bet spending a lot of time outdoors is the top priority at our vacation home. A two-level, no-maintenance composite deck with a railing system from TimberTech offers panoramic views of the water and a place for grilling, sunbathing or tranquil, early-morning coffee. Skid- and splinter-free, it never needs painting or staining (800/307-7780; www.timbertech.com).
With a world-class view, we decided the entire back of the house should be lined with windows to invite in the water and sunset vistas. Weather Shield's outstanding selection of sizes and shapes made that easy. Plus, the windows handle Door County's tough climate with top-level energy efficiency (800/477-6808; www.weathershield.com).