Last Post: October 6, 2016

Can I Build a Wine Cellar In My Home?
October 6, 2016

Many wine connoisseurs would love to have an in-home wine cellar to store their favorite vintages. However, a full-blown wine cellar may seem space-prohibitive or overly expensive. Here are some great options for in-home wine storage that homeowners of all kinds can use.

Permanent Bar Installation

If you don’t have room for a huge wine cellar, but you would like a dedicated space for store and serving your wine, installing a bar is a great option. Not only can a bar be large or small - ranging from a countertop and wine fridge to almost a second kitchen - it adds beauty and flexibility to the home.

Additionally, an in-home bar set up next to a wall can give you plenty of wall space for custom refrigerated wine cabinets. Think of these like an armoire for your wine.

Utilize Existing Unused Space

What is under your staircase? How much of your basement are you using? Do you have room in your garage? These are all perfect spaces for wine storage.

Walk-in areas can become more than just wine storage; you can make going to your wine cellar an experience. For example, adding a beautiful granite countertop to your wine cellar can provide you with a tasting space as well as a sturdy worktop.

Make Way For Wine

It may be that your pantry, hall closet or other storage space is already filled with wine. Rethink this strategy and remodel the space you already use to make it perfect, temperature controlled, and inviting. You may need to install hideaway spaces in the kitchen to fully give your pantry over to wine, but if you have some incredible vintages in your collection, the remodel will certainly be worth the effort.

Install a Wine Space Beneath Your Kitchen Island

Sometimes we simply don’t have enough space at home for a real in-home wine cellar. However, you can make a statement by installing stone that is tough to stain on your kitchen island and placing a wine refrigerator below the island. This will give you extra space to store vintages that you are not yet ready to enjoy.

No matter how much space you have at home, you can create a beautiful spot for wine storage. When doing so, be sure to consider the workspace where you will be opening, drinking, and serving wine. Stone like granite is less likely to stain than other countertop materials, so if you are hoping to keep your bar top clean and stain-free, contact us today. We can help you discover the perfect stone for your home and lifestyle.

Ten Tips for Your Fall Decorating
September 15, 2016

This week will launch an entirely new season, fall! We love fall here in Portland, the leaves begin to change, the sun takes on a golden light, and the air is a little crisper. If you are as excited as we are for the new season, we know you will want to begin decorating your home for fall right away. Here are ten tips for you to get your home looking seasonal in no time:

1. Embrace fall colors

You may want to change your home to reflect your favorite season more permanently with a bold statement wall or new fall-colored countertops. Or, you could simply decorate with new pillow covers, linens, curtains or fall pieces to celebrate the season.

2. Bring the season indoors

Utilize found (or purchased) items like small pumpkins, squash, succulents, fall flowers, and bright leaves to decorate your home with living emblems of the season.

3. Get carving

You can use pumpkins to hold anything from candles to plants. Just carve mini pumpkins for votives or larger pumpkins to hold bouquets.

4. Celebrate wreath season

Now that the summer heat has died down you can decorate your doorway with a lovely fall wreath. The cooler air will help your wreath stay fresh longer.

5. Get trendy

The 2016 fall color scheme is all about neutrals. So, buy tan, white and cream pieces in different textures and shapes and go to town.

6. Display your favorite pieces

If you are a collector of anything from fine china to beautiful art, fall is the season to show off your collections.

7. Create a stark background

Fall is a great time to add pops of color against a white, gray or even black background. So, if you have a white or black couch, pump up the color with bright throws.

8. Fancy up your bar

A quick, easy and cohesive way to make your bar space look beautiful and seasonal is to create displays in a tray. This keeps the displays both fall and bar themed.

9. Add texture

Designers say that fall of 2016 is the perfect time to juxtapose pieces and furniture so that they create depth and texture.

10. Go all-American

From shiplap walls to flea market finds, creating your version of the all-American look is perfect for the fall holiday season.

If you love fall colors all year-round, consider changing your home’s theme permanently with golden or gold-flecked granite or quartz countertops! We have beautiful stone pieces just for your sensibilities and style here at Milan Stoneworks. Contact us today to get a feel for what we can provide.

How to Get Ready for Your Fall Kitchen Remodel
September 2, 2016

Early fall is a great time to set up a kitchen remodel. You are in between major holidays and the weather still pleasant. With this in mind, we wanted to provide you with a “how to” when it comes to preparing for your kitchen remodel this fall.

Before Your Remodel

Prior to your kitchen remodel, be sure to get a “best case” and “worst case” time estimate on the project from your contractor or remodeler. This will give you information on time constraints and allow you to make plans elsewhere if the remodel will run into the holidays.

A great way to really define the parameters of your remodel is to get your contract - along with price and time estimates - in writing. Once you have everything written out, review the contract and make sure every aspect of the project is covered. If you have any questions, ask them before the remodel begins.

Finally, prepare for the fact that you will likely have limited access to your kitchen, if any at all. Stock up on takeout menus, keep the grill out a little longer or get a camp stove to cook on. Also, remember that you won’t have a dishwasher. You can always get two tubs for washing dishes - one for washing, the other for rinsing, and do any necessary cleaning in your bathtub. Another option is to stock up on disposable dishware. Finally, it is always a good idea to get a mini fridge for necessities if you will not have kitchen access for a couple of days.

During the Remodel

Many families don’t realize how much they use the kitchen until they do not have access to one in their home. While you have prepared for this, it can be hard to handle the reality of this situation. Remember, it’s okay to eat out once in awhile and, during your remodel, you may need to get out of the house for a meal or two to simply relax and feel some normalcy.

Be sure to continue to communicate with your remodeler and ask them to share their triumphs with you throughout the remodel. So often the homeowner only hears about the problems of a remodel. Instead, ask them to text you a picture when the new sink, countertops or cabinets go in. Remind them to tell you of their accomplishments throughout the project.

Finally, keep everything in writing. If you have a change order or some additional work is needed, do not authorize that work until it has been added to your contract. This is beneficial both to you and to your contractor and minimizes confusion during the remodel.

After the Remodel

File your contract and any warranties away in a safe place. You hopefully will not need to utilize them for any reason, but it’s important to keep them nonetheless.

Finally, enjoy your new kitchen space!

If you or someone you know is remodeling their kitchen or bathroom, be sure to contact us for the best countertop options in Portland. We are here to make your kitchen beautiful!