The Family Room: Where to Splurge

The Family Room: Where to Splurge If you are looking to do a little home updating and remodeling, why not focus on the family room? The family room is typically more laid-back and casual than other, more formal rooms like the living room, which is commonly used to entertain guests. Here, warmth and hominess take precedence over fashion and style, but that doesn’t mean the family room and its furnishings can’t be attractive and inviting.

Here are some tips from Callen Construction that will help you decide the areas it’s okay to splurge on when it comes to remodeling your family room.


In this room, where family and close friends gather to relax and spend time together, comfort matters. It’s the perfect place to splurge on a thick, plush carpet that you can sink your feet into, rather than a thinner, more economical variety. If your family room has hardwood or tile floors, invest in a high-quality area rug and have plenty of throws and pillows around the room to soften it up.

Patio Doors

Many family rooms are adjacent to a deck, patio, or other outdoor space. If your family room has a standard hinged door or an outdated, inefficient sliding door, it could greatly benefit from having Callen Construction install a new, energy-efficient patio door. Whether you opt for the increased glass area of a contemporary sliding patio door or prefer the more classic styling of a French sliding patio door, splurging on a new door will allow you to brighten things up and connect your indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Lower Level Remodeling

Set away from the hustle and bustle of the main floor, the basement is a great location for a family room. Callen can do the job by converting an unfinished or under-finished basement space into a family room, bedroom, playroom, or second kitchen area. We can even do bathroom remodeling if your basement bathroom needs updating. However you choose to use the space, finishing your basement will provide additional living space while also increasing your home’s value.

Call Callen today at 414-765-2585 for a no-obligation consultation and a FREE quote to find out if basement remodeling or other family room improvements are something you should splurge on.



Interior Color Trends for Spring 2018

Just as people are ready for some color after a long winter of dull browns and grays, homeowners are looking to move beyond boring neutrals and inject a little color into their living spaces. From soft pastels and barely-there color to bolder hues, we can all look forward to a little more warmth and variety in interior colors this spring. If you’re ready to update your interior, try these colors shared by your favorite local remodeling company, Callen Construction.

Interior Color Trends for Spring 2018

Creamy Whites

While stark white can make a room feel too clinical, creamy whites are much warmer and more inviting. They also do a better job of making a space feel cozy and welcoming than the somewhat somber grays that have been popular in recent years – and work particularly well when paired with natural wood tones and materials and neutral textures.

Warm Neutrals

If you’re still a fan of neutrals, never fear – there are more options beyond tans and cool grays. To bring a little more warmth into your surroundings, try shifting more toward beige, taupe and hazelnut. Or if you can’t do without gray, choose a warmer “greige”, which is a combination of beige and gray.

Soft Pastels

For a fresh, springy feel with just a hint of color, powder blues and muddy pinks are the way to go. With just enough pigment to add interest without making the room feel like a nursery, either of these color trends will serve to energize your space this season.

Sage Greens

Whether used as an accent or encompassing an entire wall, sage green is an excellent choice year-round. Light enough to bring in some color without being overwhelming, it goes with pretty much anything, and it pairs particularly well with neutrals.

Medium Blues

If you’re feeling a little more bold this spring, medium blues that have been toned down with gray are expected to replace the dark navy blues that have been favored the past several years. Medium blue is a great color option for both contemporary and more traditional interiors.

From window replacement to lower level remodeling, Callen has the knowledge and experience to meet every remodeling need. Give us a call today at 414-765-2585 to find out what we can do for you!



Exploring Attic Renovations

Exploring Attic Renovations

There are typically two reasons to consider an attic renovation for your home. “The first involves improving energy efficiency of the space, and the second involves utilizing the space as a new living area,” said Paulette Sodemann, designer with Callen Construction.

Usually energy improvements with the attic space involve high quality insulation and enhancing fire resistance. Alternatively, transforming the attic into an extended living space is a more extensive process, but it allows homeowners to increase their living area while incorporating their own tastes.

If your home has a smaller attic space, you may want to consider renovations that improve energy efficiency. “Not only could this update improve air circulation throughout a home, but it could save homeowners money on their energy bills as well,” said Paulette. When thoroughly insulating your attic space, you need to pay particularly close attention to any areas where the attic is separated from the living area of the home by ceiling and support joists. It’s also wise to check for air leaks between the attic and the highest level of the home. Blanket insulation or loose fill are highly recommended materials for this job to significantly improve energy efficiency. Homeowners should also consider installing roof ventilators or fans for better airflow in the attic. They work by circulating warm, muggy air out of the attic while drawing cool air in.

On the other hand, homeowners with larger attics can transform the space into a living area of their choosing. For instance, a bedroom renovation is one of the most popular types of attic conversions. When you consider the unique shape of an attic, it’s easy to see that the space is ideal for a child’s bedroom. “You can take full advantage of your distinctive attic space when decorating to really accentuate the architecture of the room,” Paulette said. Plus, children don’t have to worry about practicing extra caution when maneuvering their way around a room with a sloped ceiling. If you have older children, this space is also optimal for teens that wish to have the privacy of their own room and the independence that goes along with it. This space could also serve as a spare bedroom for guests. In this case, you may want to consider adding a bathroom, but be mindful to situate the bathroom above an existing bathroom for plumbing reasons.

Another common attic makeover is a recreation room. The attic is a fitting entertainment space and your design options are limitless, from a colorful and bright children’s playroom to an adult-sized game room. “The slanted ceilings allow you to really bring out your creative side and spark your children’s imagination,” she said. For instance, you can incorporate intriguing pieces of furniture and chalkboard walls for endless fun. If you wish to create a room specifically designed for adults, this space is more than suitable for an entertainment loft featuring comfortable seating, gaming and other entertainments systems, a pool or Ping-Pong table, or even a bar.”

Need a quite place to get more work done? Well, an attic space can be turned into a home office. In this case, you’ll want to be sure to plan for proper lighting and windows. It has been proven that natural light has a direct impact on our mood and motivation. Plus, it’s always refreshing to have the windows open from time to time to circulate extra air into the space. “When installing windows, it’s important that they are well proportioned and align with the overall look and feel of the house; an operable skylight is always a nice touch to consider,” Paulette said. As mentioned previously, it’s imperative to select high quality insulation to ensure that the space is quiet, so you can stay focused on your tasks.

In some cases, attics are peculiarly shaped, making it somewhat of a challenge to renovate them for traditional use. So, if you’re looking for a more exclusive redesign, a home theater is an excellent option. Converting your attic space into a home theater is essentially like adding an extra living room, so everyone in the household can watch their favorite show or movie without having to argue over the remote. “Remember to install high quality insulation and soundproof flooring to greatly reduce the noise in your attic,” said Paulette. If you really want to feel like you’re at the movies, you can add some dimmer lights and install a surround sound system in the crawlspace behind knee walls. For extreme comfort, think about integrating casual seating into the space, such as oversized floor cushions.

If you want the attic space to be a little more personal, you may want to contemplate a walk-in closet. This is perfect for fashion lovers or homeowners who have a reach-in closet in their master bedroom that is no longer adequate. “Shelving can be installed for your footwear and extended railings can be added to display your entire wardrobe to make everything easily accessible,” she said. You can also incorporate wallpapered panels on the ceiling for added style. For that custom walk-in closet feel, think full-length mirrors and sizeable upholstered ottomans for seating.

Attic renovations are an excellent option if you are in need of extra space, but prefer not to do a home addition. It is typically a less expensive option that gives you the freedom to customize the space to serve your individualized needs,” Paulette said. “So, before you decide to simply use your attic for storage purposes only, consider transforming it into a unique space that not only expresses you or your family, but also adds value to your home.”



Spring Home Exterior Evaluation

I just returned from a radio station cruise and was expecting snow and cold when I got back. To our pleasant surprise, when we landed in Wisconsin (and maybe because it was daylight saving time), it now feels like spring.

It got me to thinking how quick warm weather will be here and all of the fun and excitement that Wisconsin summers bring. In summer we are outside a lot, walking dogs, playing with the kids, or just sitting on the front porch or back deck.

I encourage you to think about your home’s exterior and all the possibilities it brings. Is your home ready for the nice weather that is coming? Maybe you’re tired of the maintenance of staining and painting your wood siding. Do your shingles have black streaks on them (a personal pet peeve of mine)? Is the paint cracking around your windows?

Sometimes a simple rip in the screen of your storm door will take attention away from your home’s beauty. Remember that curb appeal is everything. Not just for real estate and those of you thinking of selling your home, but for the pride of home ownership. Don’t you want to pull in your driveway and see your home shine?

Over the years, at the homes my wife and I have owned, Callen has installed everything from Gutter Topper to a new roofing system, from adding new windows to doors being replaced. The front entry door at our current home particularly stands out. We added sidelights and it brings in abundant natural light. Plus the storm door actually works, and is very sturdy and attractive! Remember Callen’s expertise when it comes to the exterior of your home. It’s what started the company over 30 years ago.

Now that spring is here, take a walk around your house. Nobody knows it better than you. Determine what needs attention the most, then Call Callen for a no obligation consultation. The professionals at Callen put the WOW in our home’s exterior, and they can do the same to yours!

Spring Home Exterior Evaluation