Trend Alert: Fall Colors Now Making Their Way Into Kitchens

To the chagrin of some and the relief of others, one trend on its way out this fall is an all-white color scheme in kitchens and other areas. Gray-and-white interiors are also lessening in popularity. While some may say that these palettes feel crisp and fresh, others tend to see them as flat and sterile. Celebrate the arrival of fall this season by adding some warmth to these color-starved spaces. Here are some ideas to get started!

Trend Alert: Fall Colors Now Making Their Way Into KitchensIncorporate the natural warmth of wood. Whether it’s a dark wood floor, a reclaimed-wood island, or a quaint kitchen table, the beauty of natural wood tones never goes out of style. Wood is the perfect material to soften up kitchens that are often dominated by stainless steel, with the versatility to be used in a variety of different applications to fit your needs.

Don’t be afraid to mix textures. If you want to give your kitchen a truly unique look this fall, try mixing different textures. Many warm metals, such as copper, are reminiscent of autumn, and can be integrated onto things like stove hoods and metal mosaics for a cozy feel. The texture of stone adds another element to the mix, and stone in shades of brown harmonizes well with glass and steel to help tone down what can sometimes be an industrial feel.

Try some new paint colors. If you are looking into kitchen remodeling, one of the quickest and least expensive ways to perk things up is to apply a fresh coat of paint. If your kitchen needs a new look, try using an autumnal color scheme this time around. The colors of blush and brown are going to be hot this season, so look for ways to incorporate them into your kitchen. When balanced with off-whites and creams, these fresh fall colors can easily transition throughout the seasons, making your kitchen feel open and inviting all year round.

If you are looking for an honest, reliable, experienced remodeling company to help you with your next home improvement project, Call Callen at 414-765-2585 and we will help you achieve a warm, welcoming look for your kitchen this fall.



Choosing the Right Layout for a Kitchen Remodel

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of remodeling a kitchen is deciding which layout will work best. It’s typiclaly easy to recognize the deficiencies of the current layout, but not so easy to know what to to do to make improvements. When it comes to kitchen remodeling in Milwaukee, there are four basic designs most people select.

The Single-Wall Layout

While this design style is simple, it is also efficient and affordable. With the sink typically near the center of the space and large appliances on either side, it is easy to move seamlessly from one task to another. The downside is there is less storage and counter space to work with, and the kitchen quickly gets crowded if there’s more than one cook. That’s why single-wall layouts are usually reserved for small apartments or studios where space is limited.

The Galley Kitchen

A galley kitchen takes the same simple, efficient design as the single-wall layout and doubles it. In other words, you have two parallel counters, with cooking and prep areas equally accessible no matter where you are in the room. When planning a galley kitchen, it’s important to make sure the aisle is wide enough to accommodate both the cook and those who may need to pass through during meal prep.

The L-Shaped Kitchen

With plenty of storage space and more surface area, it’s easy to see why the L-shaped kitchen layout is favored by those who have a little more room with which to work. This design pairs well with the ever-popular kitchen island, which provides an extra spot for prep work and room for a sink or cooktop if desired. Islands also allow for additional seating so the cook can help kids with homework or entertain guests while finishing up the meal.

The U-Shaped Kitchen

If you do a lot of cooking, or simply love entertaining, a U-shaped kitchen will likely be the best layout for you. This style is highly functional, making it ideal for the busy cook. It creates a work triangle: a quick turn, and the refrigerator, range, and sink are all within easy range. The U-shape also does a good job keeping people out from under foot during meal prep. One disadvantage is the peninsula, which often isn’t conducive to extra seating. Most people alleviate this issue by adding an island within the U, or designing the peninsula to allow for seating if it doesn’t interfere with the room’s flow.

Choosing the Right Layout for a Kitchen Remodel

The most important aspect of kitchen remodeling in Lake Country is the design process. An experienced design team is essential, which is what you will get with Callen. To schedule your free consultation, call 414-765-2585.




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.



Four Popular Updates for a Better Laundry Room

Four Popular Updates for a Better Laundry RoomWhile kitchen and bathroom remodeling still lead the pack when it comes to home renovation, homeowners have increasingly started to choose a laundry room upgrade as their remodeling project of choice. Smarter storage and better function resonate with homeowners who realize they spend a lot of time doing laundry, so they may as well do it in a space that they enjoy! If a laundry room update is in your future, consider these ideas from Callen Construction to get a fresh new look.

Hook It Up

If your laundry room doesn’t have a good spot for a clothes rod, you can go another route by adding hooks to the wall, the doors of an armoire, or the side of a revamped entertainment center. Being able to hang your clothes as you launder them is important, as it helps decrease wrinkling and allows for easy, convenient transfer of your clothing items from the laundry room to the closet.

Create a Folding Station

When it comes to folding laundry, folding as you go will save a lot of time and trouble. If you have side-by-side front loading appliances, a counter-height table built directly over them will give you an ideal surface on which to fold each load as it comes out of the dryer. If this set-up is not a viable option for you, a baby changing station is a good alternative that lets you fold at a comfortable height and has the advantage of additional shelving for your laundry supplies.

Lighten Up the Room

Many laundry rooms are in the basement, which can make the already dreaded task of tackling laundry even more challenging. To combat this, paint your laundry room a bright, cheerful color, such as a sunny yellow. With as much time as the average person spends in the laundry room, why not make it a more pleasant place to be?

Repurpose Furniture

As more and more people opt for wall-mounted flat screen TVs, big and bulky entertainment centers are becoming a thing of the past. Fortunately, there are many ways to repurpose them for other uses, one of which is as a laundry station! Simply adjust the entertainment center shelves as needed to allow room for laundry baskets and supplies, and add a clothes rod to accommodate items that need to be hung. Freestanding cabinets and armoires are another great option that allows your laundry station to be hidden when not in use.

If you want a local remodeling company that knows its stuff, Call Callen at 414-765-2585. We can answer your questions about laundry room updates, as well as any other home improvement projects you may have in mind.