The Gents Place is involved and makes it a priority to support charities that benefit our local communities. We want to serve and provide those less fortunate with a helping hand. It is for this reason that we donate time each month to support Austin Street Center in Downtown Dallas. Austin Street Center is a homeless and rehabilitation shelter focused on uplifting those in need and transforming their lives.

As of January 2020, the state of Texas reported 27,229 homelessness citizens on any given day, according to the statistics presented by Continuums of Care to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This number included:

  • 1,912 family households
  • 1,948 Veterans
  • 1,408 unaccompanied young adults (aged 18-24)
  • 4,033 individual citizens over the age of 24

Homelessness is more than a person lacking a roof over their head. A home provides comfort, stability, independence, and dignity. Because having a home can mean the difference between holding your life together and having it feel like it’s falling apart. Austin Street Center was established to change lives by providing hope and support to those experiencing homelessness. By serving men, ages 45 and older, and women, ages 18 and older, with the provision of safe shelter and necessities, Austin Street Center has grown to become one of the largest low barrier shelters in Dallas since its founding in 1983.

Austin Street Center is more than an emergency shelter. In addition to meeting basic needs, Austin Street is committed to helping our clients regain their independence and dignity by finding a permanent place to call home. The center’s approach with each client is the same: a caring, customized, collaborative strategy involving various services and special programs to remove barriers to permanent housing. The following services are provided to support the homeless:

  • Employment Services
  • Spiritual Support
  • Medical Health & Respite Care
  • Mental Health Care
  • Substance Use Treatment
  • Benefits Navigation
  • Housing-Focused Case Management
  • Homelessness
  • Diversion Services
  • Transportation Assistance

The Gents Place Pop-up Barbershop

The Gents Place establishes a pop-up barbershop each month at Austin Street Center and has provided over 2000 services for those experiencing homelessness. One haircut at a time, one makeover at a time, we help people experiencing homelessness find their confidence and dignity again. Are you in the Dallas area and want to make a BIG difference by volunteering with us? Our next Haircuts for the Homeless Event is coming up on Sunday, September 11th. We would love to have you join us. Together, we can make a difference. Fill out the volunteer form here to get started.


Counter Considerations

Considering new countertops for your kitchen or bath? Many homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex are doing the same! Whether you are upgrading for your own enjoyment or planning to put your house on the market, updating your counters can dramatically improve the look of the space. Counter material options run the gamut in terms of colors and cost, so it’s usually possible to find a material you love at a price that works for your budget.

How to choose your countertop

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to selecting countertop colors or materials. High-contrast combinations like dark cabinets with light counters or white cabinets with black granite or marble look modern and sleek. Going with varying shades in the same color family, such as off-white cabinets with ivory-colored quartz, creates a timeless, elegant look. Mid-tone wood cabinets have been popular for decades, due in part to their ability to pair so well with so many types of countertops and décor styles. Both an industrial décor style and urban farmhouse styles can pair well with soapstone, a natural stone that is usually a dark grey color. Avonite, Corian, and Swanstone are all man-made, solid-surface materials that come in a nearly endless variety of colors that can complement any cabinet color and décor style. With all of the color and material options available, how do you choose?

Let’s look at some of the most popular options in countertop materials for North Texas homeowners.


Granite has been a very popular countertop material option since the 1990s. While considered a luxury choice, granite’s expense comes with some distinct advantages. Extremely strong and durable, granite is needs nearly no maintenance when properly treated with sealers. It is almost impervious to heat. In addition, granite is considered a major upgrade and therefore adds resale value to your home. However, DIY installation is not possible with granite countertops. Granite counters can crack if not installed correctly. The stone is porous and can be stained if not well-sealed.


Marble is a luxurious natural stone that provides great beauty as a counter, but it does present some challenges. Marble is heat resistant and waterproof, but it can be stained or scratched fairly easily. This stone must be sealed regularly to help reduce the risk of staining. Its expense can be countered by the benefit of adding resale value to your home, but must be carefully maintained and making repairs on stained, cracked, or damaged marble is difficult. DIY installation is not possible with marble.


The deep gray color of soapstone takes on a darker, antique-like patina over time that works well with certain kitchen styles and in historic homes. It is highly impervious to heat and somewhat stain resistant. While soapstone is a very hard stone, scratches and damage can occur. However, most can be sanded off if desired; otherwise, the distressed appearance may contribute to the antique impression. Regular application of mineral oil can help to develop the darker patina faster. As with other natural stones, DIY installation is not possible.


Beautiful quartz countertops are not solid quartz slabs that have been quarried like granite or marble. Quarts countertops are an engineered stone material composed of quartz particles and other minerals, which is then shaped into slabs and bound with resins. Quartz is designed to be a more functional, lower-maintenance alternative to natural stone counters. However, quartz is very heavy, so DIY installation is not recommended. It is a nonporous surface that requires no sealing and is resistant to both stains and scratches. Because it is a man-made product, it is available in an extensive range of colors, including combinations with veining or patterns that are very similar to marble and granite.

Solid-surface materials

Solid-surface material counters are composed of a blend of acrylic particles and resins that are pressed into sheets. While originally considered a luxury choice of material, solid-surface material is now a mid-range cost option and a practical choice for many homeowners. It is stain resistant and low-maintenance. However, it can be damaged by hot pans, so care should be taken to prevent contact. Professional installation is recommended.

DIY Counter Options

Ceramic or porcelain tile

Ceramic or porcelain tiles come in more color and design options than most other countertop materials, making it a fantastic choice when you want a unique look. Ceramic and porcelain tiles offer more design options than nearly any other countertop material. The cost of updating countertops with tile will vary according to the cost of the tiles selected, but DIY installation can help keep the expense down. Tiles are low-maintenance, heat resistant, and easy to clean. It is possible for tiles to crack under impact, but replacement of damaged sections is much easier than with other types of countertops.


Laminate counters are plastic-coated synthetics with a smooth surface. They are created by bonding the laminate sheets to a particleboard (MDF) core. Laminate countertops can be purchased as pre-formed segments (called "post-form countertops"), or custom-fabricated to specifications. Easy to install and to clean, laminates are the lowest-cost option in countertop materials. Due to the recent surge in retro designs, laminate countertops are seeing increased popularity. However, if upgrading in order to put your home on the market, consult with your realtor, as laminate countertops may not seen as a desirable countertop material for the buyers in your area.


There are lots of kitchen and bath countertop options on the market and each material has its pros and cons. Some are budget-friendly and some are quite expensive. Some resist staining and scratching, while others can be easily damaged. The right option for you will depend on your goals for the update and your budget.


For Frisco ISD and the surrounding school districts, summer starts in a week! For many kids, summertime means increased time in the pool, at the lake, or visiting the ocean. This also means an increased risk for earraches. It is extremely common for children to develop an infection in their middle ear, which is called acute otitis media. It is the most common reason for trips to the pediatrician and the primary cause of ear pain in babies, but older children frequently experience earaches, as well.

Symptoms of an ear infection can include:

  • Pulling at one or both ears
  • Fluid leaking from the ear
  • Lack of responsiveness may indicate their hearing isn’t as sharp as usual
  • Crying more than usual
  • Fussy or fretful
  • Not sleeping well
  • Fever of 100 F (37.8 C) or higher
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • May display a lack of balance

Most common causes of earache

Other infection

If your child has a sore throat or another type of bacterial infection, the germs causing it can spread to the middle ear and cause an infection there as well. If your baby has an upper respiratory infection, this can lead to stuffiness and swelling in the ear. As the tissue around the eardrum swells, fluid can build up, and an ear infection can result.

Eustachian tube dysfunction

The tube between your throat and middle ear is called the eustachian tube. Your child’s eustachian tube is much smaller and less angled than that of an adult, which makes it harder for fluid to drain. It is very common for colds and other viral infections to cause swelling and/or congestion. If your child’s eustachian tube is swollen or clogged with mucus, the resulting pressure buildup can trigger ear pain.

Swimmer’s Ear

little girl playing in pool

Otitis external, frequently referred to as swimmer’s ear, is a bacterial infection. It differs from acute otitis media and s usually a result of water remaining in the outer ear canal for an extended period of time. This creates a moist environment ideal for the growth of bacteria. While a person of any age can develop swimmer’s ear, it is seen most often in children.

Earache treatment

Ear infections often clear up on their own without antibiotics. Most infections are caused by viruses, so antibiotics are not effective. Call Entirely Kids Pediatrics for an appointment if your child is younger than 6 months and you suspect an ear infection. If your child is older than 6 months, Dr. Leung may recommend the following:

  • Over-the-counter infant pain relievers
  • Saline drops or spray to reduce swelling and congestion
  • Use of a humidifier

If the discomfort does not ease in a couple of days, Dr. Leung may prescribe a course of antibiotics if it appears that your child may have an infection due to bacteria. It is important to finish all the medicine even after your child improves. Otherwise, the infection can return quickly. If the blocked ear doesn’t open up, or if your child experiences frequent ear infections, Dr. Leung may suggest putting in small ear tubes to promote drainage and help prevent further infections.

When to call our office

  • Your child’s ear pain seems moderate to severe
  • Symptoms don’t go away after 1-2 days
  • Your child has a fever
  • Your baby remains restless and/or irritable after getting over a cold or other respiratory illness
  • Fluid, pus, or bloody discharge drains from the ear
  • Your baby has a decreased appetite

Less-common causes of earache

Occasionally, little ones can insert a foreign object in the ear, which can cause pain (not to mention, distress for the parent!). Please call our office immediately for an appointment. Do not attempt to retrieve the object yourself. Also, build-up of ear wax can block the ear canal and result in soreness of the ear.

In rare instances, the cause of the earache can be a burst eardrum. This can result from a cotton swab being inserted too far into the ear canal or from an accident of some sort. If the earache is caused by a burst eardrum, the eardrum will generally heal on its own without intervention, but it is best to call our office for an appointment to have Dr. Leung check your child over to avoid any complications.



Is your family making spring break travel plans? Most of the school districts in the Dallas and far north Dallas areas such as Frisco, McKinney, and Allen schedule their spring breaks for early March. As a result, many people are making their travel arrangements now.

If you traveled with your children during December and the experience could have been better, we would like to offer some tips and support for making your next trip go a little more smoothly. With a bit of planning and preparation, you can make the travel experience much more pleasant for your children…and for everyone around them!

Travel early in the day

Traveling with a baby

After the hustle and bustle of getting everyone out of the house and through the airport, you have a good chance of your child being worn out and taking a nap on the plane. Traveling earlier in the day also reduces the chance of flight delays. If at all possible, avoid booking flights with long layovers, which could be frustrating for your child and lead to irritability. Try to avoid late-night connections as well, as your child may be jarred wide-awake by the plane change and unable to settle back down.

Dress your child for travel

The temperature outside, inside the airport, and inside the plane may all vary greatly, so dress your child in easy-to-remove layers. Skip anything with buttons or ties. Zippers are your friend. Not only will they be more comfortable, you will have peace of mind knowing you will be able to get them to the bathroom and changed quickly. (Or undressed and on the toilet before an accident occurs!) For shoes, the same principle applies because it will make getting through security screening much smoother: skip shoes that lace up and opt for slip-ons.

Supply surprises

Bring surprise snacks. Airlines typically provide shelf-stable snacks that are of little interest to a child. You may want to bring your own (make sure they fit security guidelines) or purchase some more appealing snacks in the airport shops prior to boarding. Please note that while traveling with snacks will involve additional time during the screening process, it can be worth the extra time if it soothes a fussy child during a long flight. Here are some good options:

  • Pretzels
  • Crackers/Animal Crackers
  • String cheese
  • Granola bars
  • Cheerios
  • Nilla wafers

Traveling with small children

In addition, surprise toys can turn a fussy child to an enthralled one, especially if it is a wrapped toy that takes them a small amount of time to unwrap. A small box of crayons and some drawing paper can be a lifesaver. If you allow electronics, a new game or video can help keep a child occupied and quiet on a long plane ride. Smartphones and tablets should be charged up and loaded with favorite movies or shows for quick access. Be sure to pack kid-size headphones, as your fellow passengers may not enjoy listening to your child’s favorite characters!

New items have more power to hold attention than an established favorite (although having those as back-up is a good idea.) Just be careful not to OVER-pack. Being prepared is great, but you won’t want to pack so much that you make it impossible for your family to get on and off the plane easily!

Prepare your child for air pressure changes

If your child has recently had an ear infection or a cold, give Dr. Leung a call before flying to discuss the possibility of changes in cabin air pressure resulting in pain or discomfort. Purchase bottled water after passing through security and have your child drink some after takeoff to help with air pressure changes. It will help guard against dehydration discomfort as well. The plane’s descent before landing is typically the most challenging time for ear pressure changes, so plan to have sufficient bottled water easily accessible during this time, and encourage your child to sip it frequently.

Keeping clean

Pack hand wipes, sanitizer, pull-ups, and diapers. One diaper per hour of travel is recommended. When flying with little ones, you’ll want to wipe down everything because those little hands will be everywhere! If your child takes off their shoes while in their seat, be sure to put them back on when taking them to the bathroom. Planes experience turbulence, people can be unsteady, and there may be liquid on the floor that you would rather your child not step in.

Comfort items

Your little one’s favorite stuffed animal or woobie may help them fall asleep on the plane. If your child uses a pacifier, bring it and be sure to pack more than one in case the first ends up on the floor.

Young Asian girl watching movie in flight, family traveling abroad with children

If your child is old enough, talk to him or her before your flight and explain what they can expect. Many times, children will remain calmer and behave better even under stress if they know what to expect. There are also child-friendly travel videos available on Youtube which illustrate the flight experience from baggage check-in and ticketing to how to behave politely onboard and airplane safety.

In the event that your child has a meltdown onboard, do your best to keep your composure. Your calm demeanor will help soothe your child much more than becoming frantic. While no one enjoys listening to a screaming child on an airplane, most people are empathetic when they see that parents are making efforts to calm their kids down or help them be quieter.







Jamie Spence | Content Manager

Seota Digital Marketing 972.737.2830



If you are like many North Texas Pool owners, you prefer not to totally close down your pool during the winter months and do what is often called a “partial closing” of your pool. However, even though it may not be seeing its usual use, a partial closing involves a small amount of ongoing maintenance. You won’t need to worry about lowering the water level, draining the pool equipment, or winterizing the pool lines, but you will need to balance the pool’s water and add chemicals as necessary. Regular cleaning of the pool with a brush, rake, and vacuum and making sure the filter, pump basket, and skimmer basket are clean will help prevent debris build-up. You should also add stain prevention and algaecide.

Remove and winterize any equipment or water features that won’t be used during February and March. Continue to test the water, re-balance, and add sanitizer as needed. With our typical weather, you will likely need to run the pump for four to six hours per day. Another option is to run the pump at night instead of during the day to save on electricity in case the freeze guards kick on. If we experience another round or two of freezing temperatures, you will want to run the pump continuously until the temps return to normal. Freeze guards will turn on the pump automatically whenever temps dip below a set point.

If your pool is a saltwater pool, you’ll need to remove, winterize, and store the salt cell to avoid damage unless your salt cell has a neutral or winter mode. Salt chlorine generators don’t produce chlorine efficiently when the weather is cold. This results in them working harder and wearing out faster. Ask your friends at 1Stop Pool to recommend another chlorine source for use during the winter months.

What if my swimming pool has a heater?

If you have a pool heater or heat pump, your pool can remain open and comfortable to swim in all year. North Texas frequently sees temperatures in the 70s even during February and March, so this option is appealing to many pool owners.  The only drawback to keeping your pool open year-round is the lack of savings on pool maintenance. In fact, it may actually cost you more to use your pool, depending on the type of pool heater you have and how often you use it.

One product that can help reduce the amount of energy expended by your pool heater or heat pump is a solar pool cover. However, they are difficult to stock with the shipping and supply challenges our country is currently facing. Good news: 1Stop Pool has two great alternatives that work just as well in stock! Bonus: you don’t have a bulky cover to deal with!

Liquid Solar Covers

SolarPill® Liquid Solar Blanket minimizes heat loss by forming an ultra-thin, invisible barrier on the water’s surface to reduce evaporation. Its patented pre-measured delivery system gradually releases the formula into the filtration system to allow for optimum coverage. SolarPill? can be used with all types of sanitizers.

With advanced technology offering the ability to decrease evaporation,  Coverfree® also helps pool owners save water and money. Coverfree® forms on the water surface. Even when the water is disrupted by wind or swimmers, it reforms the liquid barrier at the surface to protect from energy loss. On warm, sunny days, these liquid solar covers can boost the temperature of the water and reduce the burden on your pool heater by trapping warmth from the sun’s rays.

If you have questions regarding how you can best use your pool during February and March’s cooler temperatures, please give us a call at 1Stop Pool. Our knowledgeable, friendly staff will be happy to help you find some great options for all of your pool’s needs. 


Jamie Spence | Content Manager

Seota Digital Marketing 972.737.2830


It's widely known that routines are good for children. However, it’s easy to get off track during the holiday season. Whether you have a little one or a school-age child, sticking to their routine as much as possible during the winter break is a good idea. Let’s discuss why that routines are so beneficial and how to use them during the holidays.

Why Do Routines Matter?

Research indicates routines help children develop healthy self-regulation skills. As kids learn to regulate their emotions and behaviors, they also gain the ability to identify their feelings and the skills to manage those feelings. Kids who learn to regulate and manage their feelings are better able to adapt to daily challenges and stressors.

Children don’t learn to manage their emotions and behaviors all at once. It is very normal for them to have feelings of being overwhelmed by new expectations or unexpected challenges. Learning to self-regulate takes time. How can you help your child learn to self-regulate?

  • Talk about feelings with your child.
  • Gently suggest some practical options for your child regarding how they can respond to their feelings. Do they need to take some deep breaths? Count to ten? Do they need a hug?  
  • Provide structure through routines for your children. Make it a priority for them to live in an organized and predictable environment.

What is the difference between a routine and a schedule?

A routine isn’t simply a set schedule, although the two have certain similarities. To be considered developmentally supportive, a routine needs to include two specific factors: predictability and accessibility. Children flourish in relationships and environments that are predictable to them. Predictability includes caregivers who behave in predictable ways. It also includes events and activities that occur at predictable times.

Two great examples of routines that benefit children are dinnertime routines and bedtime routines. Not only are children able to mentally “anchor” their day with these two set activities, but they will also have access to their caregivers and predictably expect to be given meals. They may even be able to be active participants in these activities, such as helping to set the table, or selecting a book to read at bedtime.

How Parents Can Adapt Routines During the Holidays

Many parents and children struggle with adjustments to their children’s routines during the holidays. Though they may not have school and some of their regular activities may be discontinued temporarily, children still need structure and routine. You can help your child adjust by letting them know what to expect each day at home.

Holiday Schedules

While creating a schedule can be helpful, for some children, overly defined schedules may increase anxiety. This is especially true if the transitions between activities feel forced or unnatural. If a very defined schedule doesn’t work well for your family, you may want to try discussing in the morning what priorities exist for that day and explain the general timeframes for your activities. This will help keep the events of the day predictable for your child.

Anchoring routines like dinnertime and bedtime helps wrap the day up in a predictable manner as well. During the holidays, parents are often tempted to relax rules and expectations, including ones regarding how children eat and what time they go to bed. However, be firm with the rules and expectations that could affect your child after the holidays are over.

Children need predictable caregivers. While you may be spending lots of time at home with your children during the holidays, be mindful of how predictable your focused attention is. It is better for their development to have fewer but more focused moments of positive interaction, rather than unpredictable moments of distracted attention throughout the day.

Best Routine Tips for Children

Stick to the same bedtime

It’s best not to let your children sleep in too much during the holidays and winter school break. Waking up around the same time every day and going to bed at the same time will help them get enough sleep and supports their development. Predictable schedules help children fall asleep more easily at night. Predictability promotes relaxation. In addition, kids who know their schedules whine less and aren’t as prone to resisting bedtime. Naptimes should also follow the routine. 

Practice Good Eating Habits

Eating at the same time every day reduces the potential for children to become “hangry,” or have hunger-related irritability. Make sure that your children are eating a healthy breakfast every day, as it will support their ability to concentrate and their energy level throughout the day. During dinnertime meals, put small portions on your child’s plate and encourage them to stop eating when full even if there is food left. While many of us grew up being told to “clean our plate,” it’s not the healthiest eating habit! The holidays come with many opportunities to overeat, as well as indulge in sugary treats. Do your best to exercise moderation and encourage your children to do the same. 

Holiday Travel with Kids

Traveling always has the potential to be stressful. However, traveling with young children can be a nightmare if your child doesn’t react to changes in environment well. Many children react to travel better in the mornings, so it may be best to plan to travel then and spend evenings recovering from the day. You can bring a favorite stuffed animal, a blanket, or another item that makes your child feel safe to ease any discomfort they may feel about being in an unfamiliar environment. 

If it is impossible to stick to your established routine when traveling and/or spending time with family, you may want to create a new routine to help your kids feel more at ease. If your child’s regular bedtime is 8 p.m. in Texas, then put them to bed at 8 p.m. when in California, even if it is 10 p.m. here. Communicating with your child regarding the new routine will help them adjust to the temporary circumstances. 

Winter Activities

During the holiday break, your children may feel restless or irritable being cooped up all day instead of being at school, interacting with their teachers and classmates. Planning some activities to keep your kids active mentally and physically will help. Visit one of Frisco’s beautiful parks or an outdoor shopping venue like Legacy West or the Star to get them out of the house and out in the fresh air. For indoor fun, ice skating at the StarCenter, home of the Dallas Stars hockey team, is a great option. You can also take them walking around Stonebriar Mall or visit the Frisco Public Library for some of their events. You may find some new bedtime story options while you are there! To keep them engaged at home while you may be working or entertaining family, you may want to get a variety of games, crafts, puzzles, and such to have on hand.  

Screen Time Limits

Sometimes kids can get in the habit of watching TV and movies all day during winter break, especially if parents are busy working or entertaining family. Setting up parental controls on your TVs, smartphones, and other electronic devices will limit the amount of time your child spends staring at a screen during the break. A good rule of thumb is to limit screen time to 2 hours a day. Even if your kids complain about boredom, they can either enjoy some of the games and activities discussed above or find a way to entertain themselves, which is good for them! 

Back to School Routines

As the return to school looms, start preparing your kids to return to their regular routine. Ease back into regular bedtimes if the time changed during the break. If your mealtime schedules changed, start transitioning back to your previous schedule as well.


Families who are on a regular schedule have lower levels of anxiety in general. Your child knows what to expect and what is expected of them if their routine is consistent. By communicating changes and supporting your child with new routines during the holiday break, you can help reduce opportunities for anxiety and stress in your home. If you have questions about how routines can benefit your child, please contact Entirely Kids Pediatrics for an appointment today. 


Jamie Spence | Content Manager

Seota Digital Marketing 972.737.2830


It’s unsurprising that smart glass is seeing more and more use in North Texas commercial properties. Interior designers have found it has many features that can enhance lighting, temperature control, aesthetics, and on-demand privacy. Powered window tints have evolved over the years to the feature-rich programmable devices they are today. Interior designers see this material’s advantages and are using it to create unique workspaces that are ideally appointed for businesses in Frisco and the surrounding areas.

Smart glass offers a variety of benefits for interior designers working on commercial properties in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. It is easily customizable, giving it wide application. Incorporating layers of hues and shapes into smart windows can meet design specifications. Electrochromic glass film has long been used to provide lighting, privacy, and temperature control and designers are now using it to visually enhance the aesthetics of workspaces.

Boost Branding with Powered Window Tint

Using smart glass, a company logo displayed to showcase the image of your business. The style used for the interior design of business facilities can have an influence on the public perception of a brand. With smart windows, a company’s brand colors can be implemented once the glass is installed.

By utilizing a powered window tint that can handle different colors and hues, a brand can be showcased in a variety of areas. For businesses these may include:

  • Entrances
  • Partitions
  • Sunroofs and solar shading
  • Building facades

Today’s Minimalist Office Design

Many modern offices are adopting a minimalist design for a simple but elegant interior. Large windows and glass partitions can create an impression of abundant space. With a powered window tint, staff can adjust the brightness for extra illumination. Another perk offered by this technology is the ability to eliminate the expense and hassle of using bulky, dust-trapping curtains when privacy is needed in an office.

Creative Applications

Early versions of electrochromic glass were limited: they could change only from transparent to opaque. There was only a slight variation between the two extremes and there were no color or pattern options. Its primary uses were to enhance lighting and provide privacy.

Powered window tint technology has continued to evolve and improve, however. Interior designers are exploring new options that can use to add color and vibrancy to a room. Each panel can take on different patterns and colors. An assortment of different and unique patterns to match a client's interior design can be created.

The creative application of smart window tint is almost endless. A commercial space can have transparent walls and roofs that change color, thanks to automatic window tinting technology. The sunroof could be sky blue in the morning and a calming turquoise in the afternoon. Companies can program the smart glass to change the ambiance of the interior or provide privacy as needed.

Improve Concentration and Boost Productivity

Commercial interior designers are often cognizant of productivity and efficiency studies in addition to their expertise in design. Electrochromic glass windows are increasingly finding a place in modern offices, at a time when there is evidence to show a link between illumination and our circadian rhythms. Research indicates that good lighting also improves concentration, reduces the risk of depression, and boosts productivity in the organization. Also, 68% of employees expressed dissatisfaction with the lighting in their workplace. Many of them complain of eye strain and headaches because of long hours in poor office lighting. Offices have long been looking for ways to add more lighting and savvy designers are using electrochromic glass to meet this need beautifully.

Interior designers understand that it is important to get the right level of illumination for every space. The lighting cannot be too bright or too dim. Some artificial bulbs can give an environment a sterile feeling, while others can make it feel closed in. Electronic window tinting also helps create the impression of ample space and light. Utilizing a powered window tint glass can provide lighting, temperature control, and privacy on demand. You can automate the glass to change from opaque to transparent at specified times. Staff can also choose to modify these settings at any time with just a click. 

Interior designers are students of current trends to build upon their foundational knowledge of good design. Utilizing technology and products in new ways to meet the needs of their clients sets apart the good designers from the best. 


Men in Frisco, Texas now have another option for top-of-the-line grooming services. The Gents Place is a premium grooming and lifestyle club for men now open at The Star in Frisco: The Gents Place opened its doors on October 27 in the upscale shopping and dining locale that also offices the Dallas Cowboys Headquarters and practice facilities.

Combining the elite feel of an old-world speakeasy with an upscale country club, The Gents Place provides mens’ hair cutting and style services, shaves, and other grooming services. These services aren’t the bargain prices of your local strip mall salon, but neither is the service or the environment. The Gents Place at The Star is the fourth location to open in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, joining Uptown, Southlake, and Fort Worth.












Services at The Gents Place at The Star include:

  • 3-Course, 5-Course, or 7-Course Hair Service (shampoo, haircut, styling, hot neck shave, and more), $50, $60, or $80
  • Permanent Gray Cover-Up, $60
  • The Gents Place Head Shave, $50
  • Junior Gents Cut for 12-and-under, $50
  • The Ostensible Natural Hair Color (coloring blending service), $60
  • Beard/Mustache Trim or "Impeccable Grooming" (neckline and hairline shave), $15

As per the "club" ideal, month-to-month and yearly memberships are offered, from $40 each month to $700 each year. Enrollment includes the cost of advantages like top-shelf refreshments, standing reservations, service discounts, complimentary shoe shines, and use of the facilities for special events.  Founder Ben Davis is thrilled to be opening The Gents Place at The Star. "I couldn’t imagine a better fit for our men’s grooming and lifestyle club,” Davis stated in a press release. “We are uniquely positioned in the men’s grooming industry, and I believe that having a club location at The Star will only build on our momentum and elevate our brand."

In addition to grooming services, The Gents Place also sells eclectic and hard-to-find retail merchandise from all over the world, including its proprietary Rascal product line, as well as exclusive offerings from Truefitt & Hill, Lakme, and others.

Ford Center includes a multi-purpose, 12,000 seat, indoor stadium as well as the World Corporate Headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys football operations and the Dallas Cowboys practice fields. The indoor stadium at Ford Center offers a state-of-the-art facility shared by the Dallas Cowboys, the City of Frisco and Frisco Independent School District. The Gents Place is located at 6775 Cowboys Way, Suite 1320, in Frisco. Hours are 8 am-8 pm Monday-Friday, 8 am-7 pm Friday, and 8 am-6 pm Saturday; closed Sunday.



Do You Smell Chlorine?

The swimming pool industry in North Texas has been booming all spring and summer. Even as we transition into fall, the hot Texas temperatures mean that most people will be able to enjoy their pool for a few more months, even if their pool isn't heated. If you smell chlorine while enjoying your pool, does it mean there is too much chlorine in the water? Many people are under the mistaken impression that a noticeable chlorine smell or red eyes indicate excess chlorine. However, that's rarely the case. So why do you smell chlorine?


Man relaxing in pool

If you are noticing a strong chlorine odor in your pool in addition to having red, burning eyes, it is likely the pool has chloramines, also called combined chlorine. The chlorine added into the pool may have bonded with ammonia and nitrogen molecules released by swimmers urinating in the water. This causes reduced sanitizing ability as well as irritation to the eyes and skin of swimmers. Chloramines are 60 to 80 times less effective in disinfecting the water than an uncombined free chlorine molecule. While you can test your water for chloramines by running a DPD test kit that checks for both Free and Total chlorine levels, the tell-tale sign of chloramines is a strong chlorine odor.

If you suspect the presence of chloramines, call your pool service company for a pool shock service visit. Shocking the pool or super chlorinating is necessary to break apart chloramines. Raising the chlorine level to reach “breakpoint chlorination” level will break apart the chloramine bonds and return your pool to its clear, clean glory.

pH and Your Eyes

Baby learning to swim while adult holds him

No one likes to consider the possibility that there may be urine in the pool. According to a report from the CDC, urine is the main cause of burning eyes in the pool. The ideal swimming pool pH is 7.8, as this prevents algae growth. If your pH is lower than 7.4, the pH needs to be raised. If your pH is higher than 7.8, then the pH needs to be lowered. Because the human body has a narrow comfort range for pH of 7.4 to 7.8, and pH controls the strength of the chlorine in the pool, anything higher or lower will irritate your eyes by disrupting your tear film.

The tear film is a thin layer of tears that exists over both of your eyes to keep them moisturized and protected. Direct contact with any sort of chemical can result in irritation to the eyes by disturbing and thinning the tear film. Although chlorine is added to swimming pools to protect swimmers from harmful bacteria and germs, it can provide them with access to your eyes by disrupting the tear film. By keeping the pool’s pH at the same level as the pH of your eyes, the weakening of the tear film and the side-effect of burning red eyes are kept to a minimum. In addition, keeping the pool’s pH at optimal levels also means the chlorine will disinfect the water appropriately.

Prevent the Problem

young children playing in pool

Any chemical problems in your swimming pool water boil down to the water chemistry. After you have removed all chloramines from the water by increasing chlorine levels, you can guard again alterations to this water chemistry by following these tips:

  • Remind swimmers to use the toilet before getting into the water.
  • No swimmers should be in the pool if they have been sick with diarrhea.
  • Take kids on bathroom breaks frequently.
  • Change swim diapers regularly to keep urine and excrement out of the water.
  • Convert your chlorine pool to saltwater. Saltwater is gentler on your eyes, skin, and hair.

Although it seems counter-intuitive because you are about to get wet in the pool, showering before swimming in the pool helps prevent keep dirt, body oils, makeup, sweat, and feces out of the water.

Chlorine can combine with urine released in the pool or with particles or with particles of feces, sweat, dirt, skin cells, and personal care products that come off of the bodies of swimmers. If your pool smells strongly of chlorine, be sure to check pH levels. If they are not stable at a 7.8, call your pool service company or adjust your water chemistry without delay to keep your pool water safely sanitized against germs and bacteria.


How hot is the housing market in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex? We're all aware it's as hot as our August temperatures. Realtors will tell you it’s definitely a sellers’ market and buyers need to be prepared to pay top dollar for the homes they want. How can you make sure your home is at the top of their list? When potential buyers visit your home, you want them to have more items on their “pros” list than on their “cons” list. There is no doubt that an outdated, old-looking master bath can be a “con,” but it’s one that can be fixed with a little time, money, and effort. 

Master Bath Renovation vs. Master Bath Update Timelines

A complete master bathroom renovation is quite an endeavor. Costs for a master bath renovation can easily run in excess of $40K. In addition to fixture changes, vanity and sink replacements, shower and/or tub replacements, tile work, and flooring, plumbing, and electrical work are frequently needed. It’s an extensive process and the turn-around time is not generally quick, even under the best of circumstances. In light of the current shortages in various home building and home renovation elements due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the time from start to project completion could be longer than is feasible if you would like to take advantage of the hot market soon.

However, a master bath update is a simpler project with a shorter timeline. Though the supply shortages being experienced across the world could still affect your project’s turnaround time, the impact will understandably be less. There are fewer elements involved in a master bath update, so there are simply fewer items that can be affected.

Before and After Frameless Shower Difference McKinney

Master Bath Renovation vs. Master Bath Update Budgets

In addition to offering a time frame advantage, a master bath update can offer a budget advantage. Homeowners can solve the problem of a tired, outdated-looking bathroom for much less money than a full master bath renovation. By choosing to update only the items with the most visual impact, homeowners can keep their expenses within their budget. Mirrors, shower enclosures, and lighting are usually the biggest ticket items in a master bathroom update, but they are typically much less expensive than plumbing, new flooring, new vanities, and extensive tile work.

Master Bath Renovation vs. Master Bath Update Convenience

In other parts of the country, it’s not uncommon for homes to have one main bathroom. However, here in North Texas, it’s rather uncommon to have only one bathroom! Families especially are used to being able to spread out as needed. When the master bathroom is out of commission, homeowners find themselves sharing with their children until their bathroom is usable again. For some homeowners, this might not be a major inconvenience; for others, it could be very stressful, and it is probably safe to say that everyone involved would prefer to keep this period of inconvenience as short as possible. An update offers the advantage of being more expedient than a full renovation and the length of time homeowners are displaced is shorter.

huge frameless shower

Master Bath Update Ideas

If you have decided to update your master bath prior to putting it on the market, what key elements should you focus on to get the most bang for your buck? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Replace the basic bathroom mirror with a beveled glass or framed mirror.
  • Paint your existing vanity rather than replace it.
  • Replace the bathroom counter. A variety of materials exist in a range of prices.
  • Add accent tile to the vanity wall, around the mirror, or inside the shower to add a more luxurious feel without having to purchase tile for the entire bathroom.
  • Change the lighting fixtures for better lighting and more visual appeal.
  • Replace faucets and showerheads with updated versions
  • Update your shower surround with a frameless shower enclosure for sleek sophistication.












Jamie Spence | Content Manager

Seota Digital Marketing 972.737.2830