Your Home is Your Castle
Call 972.818.0411

Exterior Home Lighting for Curb Appeal Pizazz

Written by Guest Blogger
June 21st, 2014
briget murphy

Photo by Briget Murphy.

Your Dallas area home should be as beautiful on the outside as it in on the inside. Highlighting your architecture and landscaping, especially at night, is one brilliant way to do it. Why let your home be hidden from sight in the dark? Bring out the full beauty of your home with facade and landscape lighting designed to accentuate your home. Outdoor lighting is important not just for aesthetics, but is also a safety feature. With lighting, you, your family, and guests will feel secure when entering and leaving your property.

When thinking about front and landscape lighting, look for ways to highlight your entire yard (including your pool and trees) as well as the front of your home. Jack with von Gillern Construction can help you choose the appropriate lights for different areas of your property. There is no need to have only one type of lighting. Instead, think about mixing up fixtures so that you have different types of lighting across your yard, patio and entry.

Patio lighting can consist of small LED lights installed in the rafters or attached with eyelet bolts to a cement wall. Recessed lighting provides a sleek and unobtrusive look while providing light. Recessed LED lights on the floor of your deck create a soft and flattering uplight. Brighter overhead lighting can come from a variety of outdoor lamps that would complement your home and décor – from rustic fixtures, to ultra-modern lights to outdoor chandeliers.

Tree lighting is a beautiful way to add drama to your landscape. Up lighting with lamps in the ground or attached to a tree branch is the usual way of doing this. Von Gillern Construction can help you choose the correct lights for this. Also consider up lighting boulders, interesting garden spaces, outdoor art or anything of beauty or interest.

Stair lighting is not only beautiful, but has a safety aspect. Consider recessed lights built into the risers of your steps, or just beneath the lip of your tread. Lights can be squares, circles, rectangles or a decorative design.

Walkway lighting can be tricky, as you want to avoid a “runway” look. Von Gillern Construction can help you design your walk lighting so that it illuminates sufficiently but is also aesthetically pleasing. Down lighting or recessed lights are the usual the way to go with sidewalk lighting.

Facade lighting usually consists of both/either up lighting and/or down lighting. Aside from providing security, exterior house lighting can add drama to your home exterior by creating patterns of shadows and light on your home’s walls and highlighting structural elements. Don’t forget your front entrance lights.

You may want to have von Gillern install timers so that lights automatically come on at sunset and turn off at a set time. Motion-detecting lights are great to have near your garage and driveway.

If you would like more information about facade and exterior home lighting for your Dallas area home, visit their website or give Jack a call at 972.818.0411. With years of experience in home remodeling, award-winning von Gillern Construction is ready to work with you to create the perfect lighting that will bring out the natural beauty of your landscaping, and add warmth to your front entrance.

window grill

Famed Architect Frank Lloyd Wright used window grilles in his home in Oak Park, Ilinois. Photo by John Delano.

Ornamental window grilles are gaining popularity in Dallas homes. Providing a touch of class and decoration to your home, window grilles also provide extra security for your home. Window grilles have been around for centuries – serving both as decoration and as a security system. Popular in many countries for centuries, window grilles are now a trending item in home construction in the US, and in Dallas in particular. Consider adding window grilles in your home remodeling project.

Grilles can be made from wood, or – in most cases – iron, and come in a wide variety of styles – from utilitarian to elaborate, to modern. They can add a unique, personal touch and enhance the outside of your home. No matter what style your home is, there are grilles that will fit every type of architecture from classic to contemporary. Wooden grilles are usually made from pine, Douglas fir, maple, cherry, mahogany, alder and red oak. You can even create your own design for your window grilles. Wood, aluminum and wrought iron grilles can be painted or tinted in any color to either match your color palette or provide a complementary contrasting addition to your home.

If you do not want to completely redo the front of your home, adding window grilles will give your house an automatic facelift. Grilles added to the windows and doors can completely change the exterior of your home with little and minimal cost. Imagine how your home will look with decorative grilles added to the windows – you can accentuate the architecture of your home to create an even more appealing first impression of your abode. Scroll below to see some beautiful photos of window grilles from around the world.

If you would like more information about window and door grilles, or if you are planning exterior and interior updates, bathroom and kitchen remodeling or home additions, visit the von Gillern Construction website or call Jack at 972.818.0411. Award-winning von Gillern has served the Dallas area for years, including Plano, White Rock Lake, Preston Hollow, Addison, Park Cities and Lakewood, and we are dedicated to providing the very best quality and craftsmanship for all our projects.

window grille

A window grille in Quito, Ecuador. Photo by Allen.

A window grille can also be a handy spot to store your soccer balls! Photo by Ze'ev Barkan.

A window grille can also be a handy spot to store your soccer balls! Photo by Ze’ev Barkan.


A window grille at night, in France. Photo by

A window grille at night, in France. Photo by g4114is.


A window grille in Yemen. Photo by Rod Waddington.

A window grille in Yemen. Photo by Rod Waddington.


A window grille in San Francisco. Photo by Kevin Wong.

A window grille in Damascus. Photo by Verity Cridland.

A window grille in Damascus. Photo by Verity Cridland.

Fancy grilles in Suva, Fiji. Photo by Michael Coghlan.

Fancy grilles in Suva, Fiji. Photo by Michael Coghlan.

Window dressing in San Francisco. Photo by Donna Sutton.

Window dressing in San Francisco. Photo by Donna Sutton.

Fish float back and forth on this lovely window grille in India. Photo by bookminx.

Fish float back and forth on this lovely window grille in India. Photo by bookminx.

This is Where We Cook | Fascinating Photos of Kitchens

Written by Guest Blogger
June 3rd, 2014
tea party

Playing kitchen – forever, 1905, Germany. Gif by Thiophene_Guy.



A well-stocked kitchen in the British Isles. Thomas Izko

childs kitchen

Let’s have tea and strawberries. Photo Gushi Soda


Australian Kitchen

A 1906 Australian kitchen

Nelson Mandela’s kitchen in Soweto. Michael Denne

White house kitchen preparing for Hanukkah. Barbara Bush, Rabbi Mendel Minkowitz, Rabbi Binyomin Steinmetz and Rabbi Levi Shemtov.

White house kitchen preparing for Hanukkah. Barbara Bush, Rabbi Mendel Minkowitz, Rabbi Binyomin Steinmetz and Rabbi Levi Shemtov.

Humor after the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Outdoor kitchens were named after famous hotels.

Humor after the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Outdoor kitchens were named after famous hotels.


The all-gas kitchen display from the 1920’s, in the Gas Museum, Leicester. Judging by the stiff appearance of the woman, there was a gas leak.


A present-day Finnish dish draining cabinet.

1939 kitchen

A model 1939 kitchen. Noticed the fake view out of the window, and the new fangled dishwasher (known back then as an “electric sink”) the woman is loading.


home remodeling dallas

An archeological drawing of a kitchen bazaar set in old Tehran, by Jean-Baptiste Eugène Napoléon Flandin, circa 1840.

amish kitchen

An Amish kitchen with a gas-powered refrigerator and gas/coal range. Wirawan Purwanto


A drama-filled painting of a large kitchen, by Marten van Cleve, 1527-1581, Belgium.


Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin prepare chili for a cook-off.


A Berber kitchen in Morocco. Davida de la Harpe

kitchen seat

Homemade pull-out cabinet chair, 1951. Craig Howell

christmas lights

What’s a kitchen without a string a Christmas lights? Photo by Bob.


Jodhpur, Rajasthan street kitchen

A street kitchen in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Photo by Jon Ardern

Mary's kitchen

Mary’s Kitchen. Photo by Howard Ignatius.

dollhouse kitchen

Dollhouse kitchen. Photo by: Sarita Dawn

kenyan kitchen

A kitchen in Loresho, Kenya. Photo by ILRI

city gals

City gals – listen up! Photo by The Bees Knees Daily


The farm kitchen of Felicia Curtiowaj in Zalipie, Poland. Zalipie is known as the “painted village”, and holds competitions every year. You can read more here. Photo by Magro_Kr.


The obligatory cat photo. Photo by Ourania

pantry door

Why NOT paint your pantry door with a horrid reproduction of a Miro painting? Photo by Briget Murphy.

julia child's kitchen

Julia Child’s kitchen. Photo by Zack Copley.

Elvis Presley's kitchen

This is where the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were made – Elvis’s kitchen. Photo by Chuck Olsen.

Kitchen Archaeology

Kitchen archeology. Photo by rjp.

Bookmark this page – more photos will be added!

home remodeling dallas

Imagine this stucco home without shutters, landscaping and a small porch with an iron railing. A few changes make a huge difference! Photo by bobcapra.

First impressions are important, so it is important that your home’s front exterior entrance is a reflection of you and your style, and is also aesthetically pleasing. There are many ways that you can dress up the front entrance to your Dallas area home easily and without costing a fortune. Whether you want to revamp your entrance for your own enjoyment, or are wanting to dress up your home exterior to sell, home remodeler Jack von Gillern of von Gillern Construction has some great tips.

If the outside of your house is painted, think about having it redone in another color. Using slightly different shades of the same color can really bring out the architectural beauty of your home. The subtleness of the different tones will highlight different parts of your exterior, making it more welcoming.

Changing the windows can be as simple as changing the trim around the windows to add a touch of ‘oomph’ to your exterior. Window shutters can immediately change the look of your home. Painted a contrasting color from the exterior, shutters can be both useful and decorative.

Adding a porch, deck, covered entry or breezeway will give your home a warm, cozy feeling. You may want a small porch at the front entry or opt for a covered porch that runs along the entire front of the house. Faux columns or iron and wood railings on the entry area will quickly change the feeling of your home. Put in a porch swing and an outdoor table and chairs and you have a wonderful space to relax. Sconces flanking the front door are not only a good security measure, but add an extra touch to the exterior. Replacing your front door can completely change the look of your entryway. A door with stained glass panels is a stunning addition to any home, and changing the color of your door can create a statement.

An eyebrow dormer or street-facing gables can easily be added to create a strong focal point. Replacing roofing material will also give your home a completely new look. You may want to consider having slate, shingles or tiles installed on the roof.

Don’t forget your driveway and parking area when refreshing your exterior entry area. Replace old asphalt walkways with an inviting flagstone pathway leading up to the front door to make your home more inviting. With flowerbeds on both sides of the walkway, you will create a welcoming first impression of your home.

If you would like to learn more about how to dress up and refresh the exterior entry to your Dallas area home, contact von Gillern Construction via their website for more information, or call them at 972.818.0411. Award-winning von Gillern has years of experience in providing the very best quality and materials for all your room addition, kitchen or bathroom remodeling, home additions and all your interior and exterior updates. We proudly serve the entire Dallas metroplex, including Plano, Frisco, White Rock, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and Preston Hollow. Contact us today to discuss your needs.

Being outdoors in a peaceful nature setting is relaxing. Just being outside and close to the sky, earth, water, and plants can make us feel calmer and more refreshed. In the Dallas area, there are many ways that homeowners can bring a touch of the outdoors into their own homes.

home remodeling dallas

French doors are an excellent way to bring the outdoors into your home.

One of the best ways to bring a bit of nature into your home is to have large screened windows that allow natural light to flood into rooms, and that can be opened up to let in the fresh air. French doors leading to your outdoor space are a stylish way to connect the outdoors with the indoors, and create a sense of spaciousness. Large windows or doors that look out on your garden, pool area, or plant-filled patio are not only scenic, but also add a touch of nature to the room. Wood frames or shutters on windows can also contribute to bringing the outdoors inside.

Instead of using man-made flooring, which can often feel a bit cold, try using natural materials. Wood, cork and other natural materials are flooring choices that make a room feel warm and inviting. You can expand on this and use natural materials for your furniture as well. Furniture and textiles made from hemp, jute, rattan and wicker are great ways to bring a touch of nature into your home. Using the same natural materials (and colors) in your outdoor view as you have indoors provides an uninterrupted flow and sense of continuity.

Adding natural materials in the architectural elements of your home contributes to the feeling of nature’s calmness. Exposed beams overhead and rock fireplaces are good ways to bring a touch of nature indoors while not disrupting your décor. Kitchen countertops with granite, marble or wood can create a natural feel to your workspace. Shower enclosures and bathtubs can be surrounded by natural materials such as rock, brick, and wood to make the room relaxing and warm.

Of course, adding a conservatory or outdoor kitchen and dining area that is connected to the main part of your home is a wonderful way to bring nature into your living space. And, don’t forget about foliage plants! A variety of indoor potted plants or trees make any home feel welcoming. Plants provide an excellent and natural way to keep indoor air clean and provide more oxygen.

room additions dallas

The addition of just one indoor foliage plant dramatically changes the feel of this room.

If you would like to find out about more ways to bring the outdoors indoors in your home, contact the von Gillern Construction website for more information, or give them a call at 972.818.0411.  We are committed to providing the very best quality materials and work for all your room addition, kitchen or bathroom remodeling, home additions and interior and exterior updates. Award-winning von Gillern Construction is your start-to-finish home remodeler, and has been proudly serving the entire Dallas metroplex for years, including Plano, Frisco, White Rock, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and Preston Hollow.


Finishing Touches for Your Home Remodeling: Stair Runners

Written by Guest Blogger
May 6th, 2014

home remodeling dallas

Image attribution: Mister Queue

In any home, staircases are an important feature. When remodeling your home, the addition of stair runners to a staircase can bring a touch of class to the home, compliment the décor and reflect the personality of the owners.

While uncovered wooden staircases can be visually pleasing, they can be noisy and they can also be easy for someone to slip on them.  Stair runners will help protect your stairs from wear and tear, provide some sound reduction and improve the safety of the stairs. This is especially important if you have children, or elderly family members.

In the Dallas area, there are two types of stair runners that are popular. The first is the Waterfall. Considered a classic look, in this style the carpet gently drapes over the steps. The second style of stair runner is the Upholstered or Hollywood look. In this type of stair runner, the carpet is tucked under and stapled to the lip of the stair, creating a runner that conforms to the shape of the stair.

In addition to the Waterfall and Upholstered styles of stair runners, some homeowners like the look of a stair rod. A stair rod was commonly used before the introduction of non-slip carpets and vacuum cleaners. The rod held the carpet in place and allowed home owners to easily remove the carpet for cleaning. Even though we no longer need stair rods to hold a runner in place, some folks prefer stair rods to add that final finishing touch to their homes.

Carpets can be designed to match the décor or to create a statement piece with the staircase as the centerpiece of your luxury custom home. Oriental style runners can add a touch of class to stairs, while a more minimalistic design can pull together a home that has a sleek, modern style. The options are only limited by your imagination.

If you would like to update your staircase, visit the von Gillern website or give Jack a call at 972-818-0411. von Gillern construction is an award-winning home remodeling company and is here to help you with all of your home remodeling needs, including bathroom updates, kitchen remodeling, room additions, pool houses and more.


Home Remodeling: Creating a Cool Patio in Dallas

Written by Guest Blogger
March 31st, 2014
home remodeling dallas

The running water from fountains – whether classic like this ancient fountain, or modern – cool the surrounding air.

Everyone enjoys relaxing on a beautiful patio during the summer months. However, the hot Texas sun directly beating down on you and your friends can quickly spoil outdoor fun. Fortunately, there are many stylish and creative solutions to keep in mind as you plan your new patio, to keep it cool in summer and make the most of your outdoor space. If you are thinking of having a patio built, keep these things in mind.

 A solid-roofed patio can create a cozy area to gather, block the sun from overhead, and provide an outdoor shelter from which to watch a refreshing summer rain shower. If you prefer a solid roof over your patio, damp rated outdoor ceiling fans are a great way to keep the air circulating and create a little breeze. Retractable shades and outdoor curtains can also be used to block the sun, and can be tucked away when the sun is not out.

Pergolas and Arbors If a solid roof over your head isn’t necessary, consider encouraging airflow with a pergola or arbor, as discussed last week. Climbing plants such as ivy, grape vines, and flowering vines can be used to cover the rafters or latticework, giving your patio the visual coolness that the color green imparts. Along with perennial plants, consider some annual flowering vines with sweet smelling flowers, such as moon vines. Wet rated ceiling fans can be installed for additional breezes.

Patio Flooring Don’t forget about the flooring on your patio. Black and dark colors absorb the heat, so whether you choose concrete, wood, tile, or stone patio flooring, use light colored materials, as these cut down on the absorption of heat. A light-colored all-weather carpeting or mat will deflect the sun and create a cushion under your feet, as well.

Built-in Water Features The splashing of fountains or water features on your patio not only sounds cool and refreshing, they actually contribute to a cooler microclimate. Consider a wall fountain on one of the walls of your patio.

Built-in Raised Plant Beds Plants also cool the air close by, especially broad-leaved plants. Consider having a plant bed built on one or several sides of your patio. Raised beds provide a feeling of “walls” for your patio to give it more of an “outdoor room” feel, as well as providing a space to plant greenery and some flowers and herbs.

For more information on creating the coolest outdoor space in your neighborhood, contact award-winning von Gillern Construction at 972-818-0411 and visit their website.  Together we will make a cool and welcoming outdoor space that your family and friends can enjoy during the heat of the summer. With years of experience serving the Dallas area, von Gillern Construction is committed to providing you with the very best craftsmanship for your home remodeling, room additions, bathroom renovations, and interior and exterior updates.

Home Remodeling with Pergolas and Arbors

Written by Guest Blogger
March 24th, 2014
home remodeling dallas

This pergola by von Gillern Construction provides a cool and inviting space to relax.

Who doesn’t love relaxing in the shade, surrounded by greenery and flowers? Arbors and pergolas are wonderful additions to any home, creating a beautiful and welcoming area in your yard or patio. An arbor creates a tunnel-like passage that is covered with climbing plants. Pergolas have supporting corner posts and roof usually made of slats or latticework. Like arbors, pergolas are designed to support climbing plants such as grapes, wisteria and clematis.

These garden or patio accents add an extra touch of beauty to your backyard. In addition to the heady scent of flowers in bloom, arbors and pergolas have practical uses. They give your yard extra character and a touch of elegance. They can be used to divide up space or create a private enclosed area. In the Dallas area, because our weather allows us to dine outside many months of the year, a pergola is the perfect place for an outdoor kitchen, barbeque or dining area. A pergola with a shelving unit or shelves added to a trellised wall makes the ideal space for cooking outdoors. Shelves can also be used to gardening tools to create a small outside nursery for plants. Arbors can be used to create covered walkways to the pool, outdoor dining area or even a secluded corner of the yard.

Imagine your own yard with an arbor covered with greenery or a pergola with vines or flowers in bloom. You can create your own personalized space, protected from sun and rain, to entertain friends, relax on your own or have a family gathering.

If you are ready to add a room addition, have you kitchen or bathroom remodeled, or have an arbor or pergola built, visit the von Gillern Construction website or give them a call at 972-818-0411. Award-winning von Gillern Construction has served the Dallas metroplex, including Plano, Frisco, White Rock Lake, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and Preston Hollow, for many years. We are committed to providing the very best craftsmanship for your home improvement, expansion project, and other home remodeling needs.

Powder Room Ideas from an Award Winning Dallas Home Remodeler

Written by Guest Blogger
February 28th, 2014

home remodeler dallas“Power Rooms Don’t Need to Match the Décor in the Rest of Your Home”, says prominent home remodeler, Jack von Gillern of von Gillern Construction.

When planning for home or bathroom remodeling, it is important to remember your powder room. Your powder room is the one room that almost everyone visiting your home will see, so it is important to make this room inviting, special and filled with lots of extra touches that make it unique.

Powder rooms, or half baths, date back to Victorian and Edwardian times. Located next to the entryway and cloakroom, they were the place where ladies would quickly adjust makeup and use the bathroom discreetly away from the hosts or other guests. Today’s powder rooms are still usually located in the foyer, away from areas where guests congregate, which provides a sense of privacy.

Even though a half bath is a small space, it definitely does not have to be boring and simply functional. This is an area where you can make a dramatic statement and be as creative as you want. You definitely do not need a large room to express your personal style in the half bath. Wall paper, mosaics or even a mural can create a dramatic room. Add a unique sink and some personal touches and you will have a warm, inviting room that is a true expression of you.  A powder room does not need to match the décor of the rest of the home and can be a completely different style if you want.

Some homeowners use their powder room as an extra area to display artwork or photographs. Others add special decorative lighting and wall scones to give the room a cozy feeling. A border of decorative, handmade tiles will add an unusual accent, or you can frame small individual tiles and hang them on brightly painted or wall papered walls. This is a room where homeowners can be adventurous in their choice of design and style. There are no limits on how creative you can get with the half bath. Don’t forget the other personal touches that are important for a powder room such as coat hooks and towel holders.

When you are ready to start your bathroom remodeling, home addition, kitchen remodeling or other updates, award-winning von Gillern Construction is ready to help. Serving the Dallas area, including Plano, Frisco, White Rock Lake, Preston Hollow, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and beyond, we are ready to help you update or redo your home. For more information, please visit the von Gillern Construction website or call them at 972-818-0411.

What is Houzz? A Dallas Home Remodeler Explains

Written by Guest Blogger
February 20th, 2014

home remodeling dallasAs a follow-up to last week’s blog article regarding von Gillern Construction winning the Best of Houzz 2014 Award, this week’s piece will explain what is and how you can benefit from it.

Houzz is the largest residential design database and community, connecting homeowners and professionals around the world. When you start thinking about remodeling your kitchen, bathroom, entire home, or having a room addition built, all the different choices can be overwhelming. Thanks to, there is an easy way to find ideas, get advice on projects and read reviews of products you are considering using in your own home. As the leading online design website, Houzz provides people with the information they need to make the right choices for their decorating, remodeling and building projects. It can all be easily accessed online or on your mobile device.

Houzz allows you to browse through their database to get ideas for your home addition or remodeling project. There are thousands of images to look through and you can save the ones you like to your personal online ideabook. You can make notes in the ideabook and share your ideas with others to get a definite picture of what work you want to have done in your own home. When you are ready to remodel, you can share your ideabook with your home builder or remodeler, so that they have a very clear idea of your vision for your home.

best of houzz 2014 award dallas

von Gillern Construction was awarded Best of Houzz 2014.

The online community is made up of individuals and business owners across the world who are ready to offer assistance, including Jack von Gillern of von Gillern Construction. To access von Gillern Construction’s amazing photos and projects, and to ask Jack questions, click here for their page.

For your kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling and room or home addition in the greater Dallas area, visit the von Gillern Construction website for more information. With years of experience in the area, award-winning von Gillern Construction is dedicated to providing only the highest quality craftsmanship and service for all of your home remodeling and home additions.