4 Super-Easy Front Porch Holiday Decorating Ideas

4 Super-Easy Front Porch Holiday Decorating IdeasFor many people, decorating is one of the most enjoyable parts of the Christmas season. With so many different types of holiday decorations available, from cute and quaint to glittering and elegant, your holiday decorating budget can quickly start encroaching on your gift-buying budget if you’re not careful.

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on fancy decorations for your house to look festive and inviting. This holiday season, keep things simple and try out a few of these easy ideas for decorating your front porch, shared by your favorite remodeling company, Callen Construction.

Mini Christmas Trees

What could be cuter than miniature Christmas trees standing sentinel at your front door? Add some bows and a few shiny ornaments, and you’ll have the perfect pair to frame the entryway.


Another plant that looks great flanking the porch steps or the front door is the poinsettia. A pair of colorful, artificial poinsettia plants add a classic element that is quintessentially Christmas, and is an inexpensive way to dress up your porch and bring some holiday cheer.

Garland Green

Whether embellished with ribbons and lights or left in its natural glory, a pine garland adds the perfect wintry touch to any holiday setting. Wind some around the porch banisters to enhance your outdoor decor, and don’t forget to add some around the doorway as well.


If you do nothing else when it comes to decorating, at least hang a cheery holiday wreath on your door. Start with a simple grapevine wreath and add whatever embellishments you prefer, or perhaps a fragrant pine wreath to match your garland is the way to go. Whichever style you choose, a beautiful wreath is sure to lift the spirits of any visitor.

If you’re hosting the big family dinner next year and want your house to look its best, some exterior remodeling or basement finishing may be in order. Give Callen a call today at 414-765-2585 and let’s start planning your next remodeling project!



The Most Wonderful Time of Year to Plan a Remodeling Project

The Most Wonderful Time of Year to Plan a Remodeling Project

The holidays, the time of year we are supposed to enjoy with family, relax, and not be stressed out. This month, I’m going to give some personal remodeling advice that I hope helps alleviate some stress and give you something to ponder with regard to your next remodeling project.

The common thought is to wait to until after the holidays are done to begin thinking about remodeling the house. Now I know what a lot of you are thinking – we start the holidays way too early. If you’ve been to stores, you have seen holiday lights up since before Halloween. Is this early? Perhaps. My point is, at the mention of “the holidays,” many of you reading this begin to stress out. The last thing on your mind is likely your next remodeling project.

Here’s my advice – start thinking and planning for remodeling your home now. It takes your mind in another direction, and don’t worry, there will still be plenty of time to trim the tree and bake cookies. Giving your brain something else to work on is a healthy and positive move, in my opinion.

Also, designers need time to well, design. There is a great deal of communication and planning required for kitchen, bathroom, and lower level remodeling projects that you can do even before the Callen crew would show up at your house to begin that exciting project.

The sooner your start the planning, the sooner the project will be done. You get a jump-start on others and will likely be done before the first robin arrives in spring.

Exterior projects are the same. Callen can and will install windows, doors, siding, and roofing in winter!

So, go ahead and start the holidays – hang the lights, decorate your house, shop for gifts, and bake cookies. But don’t forget to start thinking, planning, and meeting with a designer at Callen to start your remodeling project. It may just take some of the stress out of the most wonderful time of year!

Happy Holidays (yes, a bit early) to everyone!

Paul Kronforst



Vegetarian Options for Your Holiday Feast

Although many people may think that no holiday meal is complete without ham, turkey, or some other meat, this doesn’t ring true for vegetarians. There are many unique and flavorful alternatives to traditional holiday dishes that even your meat-loving friends will enjoy. Take a look at some of these fresh and tasty vegetarian dishes recommended by Callen Construction, your expert remodeling company in Milwaukee, to try at your next holiday meal.

Butternut Squash

For a quick and easy side dish to complement your meal, try this recipe for Honey Roasted Butternut Squash. Large pieces make prep a snap and are perfect for capturing the flavor of the honey-butter drizzle. You can also incorporate other favorite winter vegetables with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash or Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables.


Many people find mac and cheese to be the ultimate comfort food. Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta, made with Italian cheeses and topped with garlicky goodness, is a version of mac and cheese fit for a more discriminating adult palate, and could be a great addition to your holiday spread. Lasagna, another popular Italian favorite, takes on new life in this recipe for Butternut Squash Lasagna made with spinach and caramelized onions.


Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D and other nutrients, and their dense and meaty texture make them a great meat substitute. Add Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Eggplant and Gorgonzola to your menu for a rich and filling main dish, or try replacing the chicken broth with vegetable broth in this recipe for Soft Polenta with Wild Mushroom Sauté for an appetizing side dish.

If your holiday menu is all set but you want to get a start on the New Year by doing some kitchen remodeling in Milwaukee, don’t hesitate to call Callen at 414-765-2585. We have all the knowledge and experience necessary to help you create your dream kitchen before your next holiday gathering!



Four Easy Ways to Add Holiday Cheer to Your Home

Four Easy Ways to Add Holiday Cheer to Your HomeHomes full of holiday cheer aren’t just for those who can afford an interior decorator and fancy ornaments and decor. Bringing the season into your home is possible for everybody, whether you live in a house, an apartment, or a college dorm. Just follow these simple and affordable tips to make your home cheery and bright this holiday season.

Scents of the Season

There are certain scents, such as cinnamon, pine, and peppermint, associated with the holiday season that immediately bring back nostalgic childhood memories. Fill the air with these aromas, and your friends and loved ones will immediately feel at home. While stores have a never-ending supply of holiday-scented candles and sprays, consider instead these fun and easy methods for making natural air fresheners that are chemical- and toxin-free.

Transform with Twinkle Lights

No matter how bare your rooms may be otherwise, adding a few strands of Christmas lights will instantly add a festive element to any setting. There’s just something about the gentle glow of twinkle lights that can make any room seem warm and merry. At just a few dollars per strand, they’re perfect for any budget.

Highlight Your Holiday Cards

Christmas and other holiday cards, particularly photo cards, were meant for more than just a brief perusal. Enjoy the holiday scenes and bright smiling faces of loved ones by stringing the cards on a piece of twine and displaying them across your mantel, in front of replacement windows in Brookfield, WI, or on the back of a door. Simply punch a hole in the corner, thread the twine through, and tie a knot to keep it in place.

Don’t Forget the Tree!

If you love Christmas trees, but just don’t have the time or the space to set one up, don’t give up altogether. Buy a miniature tree! Pre-lit mini trees can be set up anywhere, like on a tabletop, a dresser, or a desk. If your holiday traditions don’t include a Christmas tree, try decorating with fresh pine wreaths, garlands, or swags decorated with pinecones, faux berries, and ribbons. It’s an easy way to bring the sights and scents of nature into your home.

Give yourself the gift of window replacement in Waukesha this season and call Callen at 414-765-2585. What better way to cheer up your home?