404 Ridge Crest Drive, Richardson, TX 75080

Make Your Checklist for Entertaining Season

Fall and winter offer ample opportunities to entertain, not only on holidays (of which there are plenty!) but also with more casual gatherings. And whether you entertain a lot or a little, having a well-stocked home can take a lot of the stress out of party planning. From setting the scene to setting the table, cooking to cleanup, pick and choose from the items on this checklist from Houzz to create your own master list of party-planning essentials.

Accept your strengths and weaknesses as a host. No one can do it all! The key to a low-stress event is to play up your strengths and outsource your not-so-favorite parts of entertaining. For instance, finish a homemade meal with a lovely dessert from a local bakery or throw a potluck buffet or cocktail party instead of having a formal sit-down meal.

Keep things real. Your guests are there to enjoy your company, not judge your home or your cooking. If you’re not “done” getting things ready before your guests arrive, ask for help. Most guests are more than happy to pitch in lighting candles, setting the table, stirring a pot or pouring wine. And before reading the checklists that follow, remember that you can always rent party gear rather than buy rarely used items.

Set the scene with:

  • Vases and floral arranging supplies
  • A go-to flower arrangement that you’ve had a chance to practice
  • Low-watt lightbulbs or dimmer switches
  • Tea light or pillar candles (real or battery operated) for ambience
  • A few different music playlists — mellow for during dinner and something livelier for before and after
  • Fresh soap, hand towels and a stain-removal stick in the powder room

The bar:

  • Wineglasses and cocktail glasses for a crowd, if using
  • Set of cocktail tools
  • Ice bucket and tongs
  • A console or side table for the bar, with bottles, openers and glassware gathered there

For the table:

  • Enough flatware and dishes for the number of guests
  • Enough chairs (and table space) for the number of guests
  • Chargers, if using
  • Glassware, including water glasses for the table and extra wineglasses
  • Tablecloth and backup tablecloth in case of spills
  • Cloth napkins — one set each of cocktail napkins, dinner napkins and dessert napkins
  • Napkin rings, if using
  • Candleholders with unscented candles for the table
  • Low floral arrangement for the table — try bud vases clustered on a tray, or a soup tureen filled with one type of flower cut short

The well-stocked pantry and freezer:

  • No-cook nibbles, such as crackers, olives, nuts and jarred artichoke hearts
  • Birthday essentials, including birthday candles and matches, balloons and a few emergency cards and gifts
  • Basic baking ingredients
  • Spices that are still fresh — be sure to give them a sniff, as spices lose potency over time
  • Frozen puff pastry, pie dough and gelato or quality ice cream


  • A cooking schedule, especially important on big cooking days like Thanksgiving — that way you know you will have room in the oven when you need it, and everything should come out at the right time
  • Any specialty cookware needed to cook the meal you have planned, from a roasting pan to a turkey baster
  • A few spare cutting boards, so you don’t need to worry about washing one before prepping the next dish (also so several cooks can work at once)
  • Knives that have been recently sharpened
  • Two or more timers, depending on how many dishes you plan to cook at once
  • Cookbook holder or tablet stand
  • Aprons to protect your party clothes


  • Boards, platters and trays — these workhorses can be used for everything from cheese plates to dessert
  • Serving bowls in various sizes
  • Large serving spoons
  • Lidded soup tureen and ladle
  • Large salad bowl and tongs
  • Several trivets, to protect your table
  • A nesting set of classic white oven-to-table casserole dishes
  • Cake stands — for cake and other desserts, fruit or appetizers

Entertainment ideas:

  • An activity that gets guests participating, like a Dream Tree for Thanksgiving or a smile booth
  • For a casual party, an assortment of games and cards … and a rule book for common games, because no one can ever remember the rules when you want to play
  • Show a classic movie (without the sound) or project it onto a blank wall — Hitchcock for a Halloween party, A Christmas Story for a holiday open house and so on
  • A roll of butcher paper to cover the kids’ table — put a sheet of stickers and a cup of crayons at each place

Cleanup and storage:

  • Silver polish and soft cloths for cleaning silver, if needed
  • Empty wrapping paper rolls for storing laundered and ironed linens without creating fold lines
  • Stain-removing kit for treating stains after the party
  • Specialty storage boxes for stowing extra glassware and dishes after the holidays
  • Start an entertaining journal. A simple notebook where you jot down what went well (and what didn’t) can become an invaluable tool over time.

If your list includes a new home for your family then checkout our new build on Quail Lane. This Shaddock Caldwell home is currently for sale in the Prairie Creek Estates neighborhood in Richardson.  Click the link to view Quail Lane:  https://goo.gl/yFEgSd

Don’t forget to Follow Us on Houzz! If you would like to learn more about building a custom home with Shaddock Caldwell please contact Ben Caldwell at 214.497.5858 or ben@shaddockcaldwell.com.

Prepare Your Home for Trick-or-Treaters

Your Shaddock Caldwell custom home might not need a costume on Halloween, but it does need to be ready for any neighborhood ghosts, goblins or witches who drop by for a treat. If you plan to participate in the festivities, here are a few helpful tips from Houzz to help ensure that trick-or-treaters have a safe, yet haunted, night.

Turn on the Light:  A front porch light signals to trick-or-treaters that you’re ready for them to knock on the door. If you run out of candy or don’t wish to participate in Halloween, you can let people know by turning off the porch light.

Display Holiday Décor:  A pumpkin here or a floating ghost there lets people know that you’re excited about the holiday.

Clear a Path:   If you put out Halloween decor, leave a clear path for anyone coming to knock on the front door. Extra personal objects like bikes, potted plants or children’s toys should also be removed from the sidewalk and porch so that no one trips on them.

Sweep the Sidewalk:  Fall means leaves littering the ground, which fits the season but could be a slipping hazard. Before trick-or-treaters arrive, the sweep away any debris or moisture from the sidewalk or driveway.

Check Lightbulbs:  Once you flip on the front porch light switch, check to see if you have any burned-out bulbs. Replace them so that your front door and steps are well-lit.

Turn on Extra Lights:  You may not normally turn on every light in the front of your home, but doing so will assist infrequent visitors who are coming to see you. To make their journey a little easier, switch on any additional lights, such as garage or stair lights. This gesture will help make sure that everyone can safely get to the front door.

Add Safe and Festive Lighting:  A few lanterns along the path put light right at trick-or-treaters’ feet. Battery-operated lights offer illumination without the hazards that come with an open flame.

Homeowners who choose to have open flames need to watch them at all times, keep them 1 foot away from anything that can burn, and sit them on a sturdy, level surface.

Put Away Pets:  Your family pet may be the nicest on the block, but not everyone knows that or likes animals. You also don’t want your pet to inadvertently hurt any candy-seeking visitors.

Greet Guests:  If you plan to spend the whole night passing out treats, sit on your front porch swing or create a seating area for yourself. This lets visitors know that you’re ready for them to stop. Plus, you can watch the parade of costumes.

Prepare for a Spooktacular Evening:  Once you have the lights on, decor out and hazards put away, you can enjoy a safe, spooky night in the neighborhood.

Don’t forget to Follow Us on Houzz! If you would like to learn more about building a custom home with Shaddock Caldwell, please contact Ben Caldwell at 214.497.5858 or ben@shaddockcaldwell.com.

We take our Client’s Dreams from Concept to Reality

Shaddock Caldwell understands that listening to what our clients want—and, most importantly, who they are—affords us the ability to take their dreams from concept to reality.  Meet Ellen Keszler and hear about her experience with Shaddock Caldwell building her custom home.

Ellen Keszler Testimonial:
We feel so fortunate to have found this gorgeous Shaddock Caldwell home. It backs up to a creek and has a wonderful deck and screened porch to maximize the enjoyment of the location’s natural beauty. The home was almost complete when we stumbled upon it and was absolutely gorgeous. Ben, Todd and Hai were amazingly patient and accommodating in customizing the house to our tastes. The three of them are men of the highest ethics and integrity. I can’t even imagine buying another home from another builder and highly recommend them. Our home is gorgeous and we absolutely love living here!

If you would like to learn more about why our customer choose Shaddock Caldwell to build their custom home please contact Ben at 214.497.5858 or ben@shaddockcaldwell.com.

Major progress is happening over at our Quail Lane home.

Have you been waiting for the perfect opportunity to own your dream home? Well, wait no longer. 1893 Quail Lane is another stunning home by Shaddock Caldwell Builders & Developers and is currently for sale.

This 3,714 square foot, two-story home has 4 bedrooms (with an optional fifth), 5 bathrooms and is located in the Prairie Creek Estates neighborhood in Richardson. This small, pocket neighborhood was developed in the 1990s, the neighboring homes were built in the 1990s or 2000s. The home feeds into Northrich Elementary, Richardson North Jr High and Pearce High School – some of the very best schools in the Richardson ISD. This custom home offers a timeless architectural style with soaring windows, extensive hard wood floors, an open kitchen and living area, first floor 10 ft ceilings and walk-in attic storage characterize this Energy Star certified home. It is situated on a large corner lot with 10+ mature trees flanking the east side of the property.

Click here to view floor plans.

This property is currently for sale!  For more information please contact Ben at 214.497.5858 or ben@shaddockcaldwell.com.

5118 W Hanover Avenue, Dallas, TX 75209

5116 W Hanover Avenue, Dallas, TX 75209

909 Creekdale Dr., Richardson, TX 75080

Shaddock Caldwell Brought Us Peace of Mind

We know we build great homes – but don’t take our word for it!  Meet the McCauley family and hear about their experience with Shaddock Caldwell building their custom home.

The McCauley Testimonial:
We had never built a house before and were concerned we might be overwhelmed, however working with Shaddock Caldwell quickly brought us peace of mind.  Their experience, expertise and patience was evident every step of the way.  They explained the pros and cons of our different decisions and provided options for us to consider.  Their experience was invaluable in assisting us make the best decisions for our home, and focusing on the details on the front end of the process, allowed us step back and enjoy the construction process. We would happily work with them again.

If you would like to learn more about why our customer choose Shaddock Caldwell to build their custom home please contact Ben at 214.497.5858 or ben@shaddockcaldwell.com.

514 Canyon Creek Dr. Richardson, TX 75080