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 If your family room has a standard hinged door or an outdated, inefficient sliding door, it could greatly benefit from having Callen Construction install a new, energy-efficient patio door.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.



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.”



Utilizing Multifunctional Rooms & Spaces in the Home

Whether you need to make the most of a small space or have a large room from which you want to get more use, designing rooms to be used for multiple purposes is a great way to maximize space and increase convenience. If your home would benefit by condensing some of your rooms, these ideas from Callen Construction, an experienced, knowledgeable remodeling company, can help you get started.

The Guest Room/Office

Rather than using that spare bedroom as an office, consider converting the room’s closet into a compact office workspace. Wide shelves can provide storage space as well as a desk surface, and a compact chair can be pushed in and hidden behind attractive curtains when not in use. Your guests will never even miss the closet space; a small dresser and a few hooks on the back of the door will more than meet their needs.

The Playroom/Guest Room

It’s always helpful to have an extra out-of-the-way place for kids to play, but it can sometimes be hard to find the space. By allowing your playroom to do double-duty as a guest room, you can keep your kids’ toys out of the main living area, and still have a cozy spot for overnight guests. A daybed with roomy storage drawers underneath will provide seating room during the day and a comfy bed at night, as well as a convenient spot to store toys when someone is staying over.

Utilizing Multifunctional Rooms & Spaces in the HomeThe Family Room/Entertainment Area

A finished basement is the perfect spot to create a multifunctional space that works for family downtime as well as entertaining. Create a home theater by building a custom entertainment center around your TV screen, with abundant shelving for storage and display purposes. Arrange furniture around an attractive area rug, and make sure there is ample seating to accommodate guests. Then, depending on your space, you can incorporate other areas that will best fit your needs, such as a bar, an exercise area, or a game room.

If you want to better utilize your basement space, call Callen for basement finishing.

We can also help with any other remodeling and design needs, so don’t hesitate to contact us today. A quick call to 414-765-2585 is all it takes to schedule your FREE design consultation.



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.