Excellent Entryways: Five Ways to Add Design and Function

The entryway is where visitors get their first glimpse into your home, so it’s important that it feels warm and welcoming. An attractive entryway should be both functional and organized, and should also reflect your own personal style. Here are some tips from Callen Construction, your favorite local remodeling company, on how to create a fabulous entryway without spending a lot in the process.

Excellent Entryways: Five Ways to Add Design and Function Start Outside

Contrary to popular belief, the entryway actually starts outside your home. A clear, unobstructed path, ample outdoor lighting, and cozy seating will all set the tone as guests prepare to enter your home. The type of seating will vary depending on the size of your porch or stoop, but it could range from matching rockers to a small bistro set brightened by colorful cushions. A cheery seasonal wreath and stately stone planters will help frame the front door and make it more inviting.

Mark Your Space

While having the same type of flooring throughout the main areas of your home is great for the flow of your rooms, it doesn’t do much to add interest or personality. A rug is the perfect way to define your entry space while also adding color and texture, plus catch the dirt and debris tracked in by friends and family. Indoor/outdoor rugs are a good choice because they’re durable and easy to care for.

Make a Statement with Lighting

An eye-catching overhead fixture, such as a chandelier or unique pendant, is the perfect way to make a statement with lighting. Make sure you pay attention to scale, however. If you have a small entryway, a heavy chandelier could be overpowering. The soft glow of sconces or a table lamp may be a better fit in this situation.

Make It Functional

Another important feature every entryway needs is a place to drop keys and mail when you come in the door. Choose one piece of furniture for this purpose, and keep it in scale with the entryway’s size. A place for guests to hang their personal items is also important, and could be as simple as a row of hooks on the wall or as elaborate as a fancy hall tree. Whatever you do, don’t go overboard with furniture, as this will give the entryway a cluttered feel and make it hard to maneuver.

Personalize the Entryway

You are now ready to personalize your space! Select accessories for your entryway that show your personal taste and style, but still fit well with the home’s overall design. Hang a mirror or beautiful piece of art over your table or console, display a stack of interesting books, or set out a flower arrangement. Whatever you decide to do, make it say something about you!

Whether you’re interested in kitchen or bathroom remodeling or are looking to upgrade the exterior of your home, call Callen. Contact us at 414-765-2585, and we will be ready to tackle all of your remodeling needs.




Smart Home Technology Trends in 2017

“The future of housewares and appliances is quickly moving toward the smart home,” said Doreen Schofield, CR, CKBR, designer with Callen Construction. “Connectivity is being incorporated into products all around the home – from light bulbs to coffee brewers, from thermostats to ovens – connected products, once only a dream, are quickly becoming reality.”

Smart Home Technology Trends in 2017This year, the smart home movement includes the emergence of five key trends. Leak detection sensors, including fire alarms, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, radon detectors, and moisture detectors are devices that help keep a home’s environment safe. “There are even air quality devices that measure the air inside a home and detect dangerous toxins,” Doreen said. Perhaps the most useful of these devices is the smart leak detection sensor, which monitor plumbing in a home’s walls to ensure there are no major leaks or malfunctions. “Leak detections sensors also help prevent serious water damage or the buildup of mold and mildew inside walls caused by a slow leak,” she said. “They are a game-changer, especially for older homes.”

For homeowners, energy consumption is a primary concern because it is necessary to manage how much energy you’re using. This involves monitoring many different facets of your home, including lighting usage and air conditioning dependence. “Connected or smart thermostats can help alleviate this problem by conserving energy over time,” said Doreen. They are far more advanced than programmable thermostats, as they are capable of learning habits and preferences and they can even detect your presence. “This allows for scenarios such as leaving the air off while you’re away from home and letting it auto-adjust to a comfortable setting when you’re on your way back,” she said.

How many times have you left home and realized you left your garage door wide open? A traditional door requires you to return home to close it. Conversely, a smart garage door enables you to monitor your garage door from anywhere. You simply have to check the open or closed status from an app on your smartphone and, if it’s open, you can close it remotely. “This feature offers a world of possibilities,” Doreen said. “For instance, you could let the dog or house sitters in through your garage or open your home to emergency services or neighbors when you’re gone. Smart garage doors offer homeowners both convenience and increased security.”

Homeowners also need to be concerned about water usage, as it is another form of consumption. Clean water for drinking, cleaning, or bathing are important, but so too is the water used to irrigate your land. This is where smart watering systems come into play. “On one hand, if you live in a deed-restricted community, you are required to maintain a healthy lawn; otherwise you risk fines and other penalties,” said Doreen. “On the other hand, shortages and droughts can restrict the amount of water you can use.” Smart watering systems make this process simple and efficient, allowing you to schedule watering sessions and also keep track of how much water you’re using, which will likely save you money over time.

According to Safewise, a burglary occurs every 18 seconds in the United States and a report by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology shows that about 60 percent of convicted burglars were deterred by the presence of a home security system. By installing a smart home security camera, you pay for the equipment once, with service fees typically lower than conventional security plans.

“As the demand for smart home technology continues to rise, it’s important for homeowners to stay up to date on the latest trends not only for added savings and convenience, but also for peace of mind,” said Doreen.

For more information or to arrange an initial showroom consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509.



Window Project Enhances Look and Improves Comfort

So, you saw photos of the latest window installed by Callen at our home in Cedarburg. It has the “WOW” factor that Callen refers to when talking about the remodeling jobs it completes.

Callen Bog - Paul Kronforst July 2017 073117 IMG_4822Well, the project is now all done! This was a BIG window that required new insulation all around it. Callen not only showed me the old rotted wood, but explained what they planned to do after the window was in. Yes, those details like caulking, sealing it up, and cleaning the job site so everything looks perfect.

I don’t have much time for household jobs, as cutting the grass and general maintenance inside and outside is about all I want and have time to do. I despise painting, and do it only when absolutely necessary.

I know some homeowners want to paint to save a bit of money. Great, if that’s your thing. This job required scaffolding and a VERY large ladder. The inside trim was entirely replaced and required priming, a coat of paint… and lots of work up high on that ladder (Did I mention that I’m also terrified of heights). I told Callen I would prefer not to paint and have them do it. They said they have their own painting crews (avoiding subcontractors) and these skilled painters did what they do best – paint!

Callen Bog - Paul Kronforst July 2017 073117 IMG_4844I could not be happier with how it matched our existing white trim and how clean and precise the painting was. Callen really does it all… I didn’t have to lift a finger, except to take the pictures when it was finished!

This window has been in for a few weeks and the air conditioner is on this summer in the Kronforst household, but it is not kicking in as much. It is also much cooler, with less humidity in the house. I am convinced the previous large window was the culprit. As I explained in my blog last month, when the seals on that window became ineffective (it was the biggest piece of glass in our home), we were in trouble.

I cannot wait to discuss our master bath (featuring a large glass walk-in shower) and bump out walk-in closet project done a few years ago for the next blog, complete with before and after photos. This renovation added so much to our entire home’s “WOW” factor and value.

Until then, check out Callen’s website with a gallery of photos or its Facebook page, which is loaded with terrific information (and more photos).

Paul Kronforst, WISN-AM 1130

Callen Bog - Paul Kronforst July 2017 073117 IMG_4856




Weekend Project: How to Organize Your Garage

Is your garage packed with stuff that you hardly ever use? You might not even know what’s in there, especially if you’ve been parking in the driveway. Maybe it’s time to tackle organizing the garage for your next weekend project. It might not be considered fun, but it will be rewarding once it’s done! Follow these tips from Callen Construction, Milwaukee’s leading exterior remodeling company, to get this space into shape.

Weekend Project: How to Organize Your GarageChoose a Weekend for Organizing the Garage

Don’t let the idea of giving up an entire weekend to work on this project keep you from doing it. If you follow the tips provided here, you may even get it done in a single day!

Create a Plan

Before you start, identify the items that you need to store in your garage. Sort all items into three categories: keep, donate, and discard. Sorting your items by category allows you to see how much stuff you have. If you take out all items that don’t belong in there, your organizing job will be that much easier to manage.

Purchase Shelves, Hooks, Tubs & Pegboards

Think ahead and stock up on shelving, pegboards, hooks, and plastic bins to help you store materials neatly. Make sure you take measurements before you purchase to ensure everything will fit on walls and in the storage space you have available.

Group Items and Choose a New Layout

Now that you know what you will keep, you can figure out the best layout for your garage. Hang cords, tools, and other frequently used items from hooks or pegboards. Place like items in stackable plastic bins and store neatly on shelves.

Perfect! Now that you’ve redesigned your garage, you might have noticed that your siding needs replacing or your entry doors should be repaired before winter. If so, Call Callen at 414-765-2585 for a free estimate on any exterior remodeling project. After all, the only thing better than a well-organized garage is a well-maintained home exterior that makes you proud every time you pull in the driveway!