Sep

18

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.

Sep

11

The Essentials of Aging-in-Place Remodeling

The Essentials of Aging-in-Place Remodeling - Universal DesignIn recent years, the remodeling industry has seen a growing trend: aging-in-place remodeling. This trend has been driven by baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964). As this generation gets older, their desire to stay in the comfort of their own homes increases. According to a Cornell University study, an estimated 100,000 additional elderly persons could be living at home, if only they had a support network and the right accommodations.

Fortunately, with careful planning and – most commonly – kitchen and bathroom remodeling, virtually any home can be made to be aging-in-place compatible. Here are some of the basic renovations you should expect to do.

  • Wider doorways. One of most important changes that will need to be made in order to stay in your home is to widen doorways. There’s a strong possibility that at some point you will need a walker or wheelchair, so doorways must be at least 32 inches wide to accommodate them. As you remodel other rooms, keep maneuverability in mind – your nice new bathroom or kitchen won’t do you much good if there’s not enough room to maneuver a wheelchair or other assistive device.
  • First-floor laundry room. Lugging loaded laundry baskets up and down stairs is just not feasible for many older Americans. Not only does this get harder physically as we age, but the heavy loads can affect balance and increase the risk of a debilitating fall. If your laundry room isn’t on the main floor, consider building one, or perhaps converting an existing room on the main level.
  • Full bath with walk-in shower on the first floor. Easy access to a full bath with all the amenities is crucial as you grow older. When time is of the essence, you don’t want to have to navigate a set of stairs to get to the bathroom! Bathroom remodeling for those desiring to age in place would ideally include a curbless shower for wheelchair accessibility, a bench to sit on, and recessed shelves placed at a comfortable level. Grab bars to help with leverage are also important, in the shower as well as near the toilet.
  • Lever handles instead of knobs. In addition to arthritis, which is common in the elderly, the weakened grip strength that comes with aging makes gripping door knobs difficult and sometimes even painful. Lever-style door handles are much easier to operate, and most can even be opened with an elbow if your hands are full.

Even if you are still in your 30s or 40s, a little forward thinking can save you a lot of time and money in the future, and allow you to stay in the home you love. If you are ready to do some bathroom or kitchen remodeling, Call Callen at 414-765-2585. We will help you or your loved one achieve the level of safety and security necessary to comfortably age at home.

Aug

07

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.

Jun

12

2017 Design Trends

2017 home design trends“From gunmetal, to customized storage walls, to laundry rooms with personality, there is an array of new design trends that have come to the forefront in 2017,” said Kathleen Yttri, designer with Callen Construction in Muskego.

“Gunmetal finishes have been making a jump in popularity in recent years, admired for their ability to bring be bold and stand on their own without the high price tag. They are reflecting the new trend in appliances with the black stainless finish,” Kathleen said. More recently, designers have been turning away from the reflective finish of polished chrome and are embracing satin or brushed finishes, which is more muted. “A matte gunmetal finish can be transitional or contemporary and it looks fantastic against any color of cabinetry,” she said.

In search of more open space in their kitchens, many homeowners and designers are pushing storage into a single hardworking wall, instead of using upper cabinets. This design development creates a one-stop storage area that frees up the rest of the space to promote a more open free flowing look and gives you the opportunity to use tile and floating shelves in place of upper cabinets.

The use of different white tones is also becoming more popular, as there’s something refreshing about a room bathed in white with subtle accents of other neutral colors. Conversely, things can start to feel clinical when only one stark white tone is used. “Balancing a white palette with creamy off-whites, cool greys or natural linen hues creates a breathtaking look that can be rich with character. It can also let you have tons of flexibility with bold color accents and a rich wood tone floor,” she said.

Upgrading on laundry rooms is increasing in popularity, as homeowners are seeing value in enhancing this area of the home. “Smarter storage and better function resonate with homeowners who realize they spend a lot of time doing laundry, they may as well do it in a space that they love,” Kathleen said.

Similar to the laundry room, entryways are also receiving more attention. The entryway is the first part of the home guests see and therefore has become a focus of organization, a reflection of the homes style in a compact area. You can have fun with design and a function and organization to the hub of coming and going without allocating a significant amount of money. “Sometimes all it takes is a few customized sayings in frames, a statement mirror, and a narrow table or bench with a tray for shoes underneath,” she said. “After all, first impressions matter.”

Lastly, counter-depth refrigerators are providing an option when kitchen space is tight. “For small to modest-size kitchens, remodeling is often a game of inches,” said Kathleen. “Counter-depth refrigerators sit closer to cabinetry and countertop depth, freeing up just a bit more clearance space, while creating a more streamlined look.”

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