Last Post: July 20, 2016

Is Your Yard Barbecue Ready?
July 20, 2016

Summer is in full swing! For many of us this means we have to get our backyard barbecue going for regular dinner meals and outdoor parties. So, whether you have just pulled out the grill or you’re utilizing the whole backyard, here are 10 tips for making your yard ready for action:

1. Get going on the yard work

If you haven’t already mowed the lawn and collected any plant (or people) debris, now is the time to do so. Clean up and seal any decking or patio area, get your plants tied back if need be and sweep up walkways to keep everything trip or slip-free.

2. Set up the lighting

Even though the golden summer sunshine lasts late into the night, the sun will go down eventually. Make sure you have outdoor lighting set up. There are a lot of great solar-powered options that work well in our Oregon summers.

3. Get your grill going

If you haven’t used your grill yet, be sure to clean it and start it up before you plan to cook anything. You want to make sure it’s prepped and ready for action when you have those steaks marinating.

4. Think about the layout

Are you or your friends and family dining outdoors? Be sure to set up tables, chairs and the serving table in a way that won’t stop you from dominating the grill. Too often the grillmaster has to juggle food that is done on one side of the barbecue while they are working to cook additional food. Instead of balancing everything on the barbecue, have a place to set your raw foods and a separate table for everything that has been cooked.

5. Get the furniture ready

June presented some odd weather for outdoor furniture. If you haven’t cleaned off your chairs and tables since the heatwave and subsequent rain and thunderstorms, now is the time to do so.

6. Set up a kid zone

Many of us here in Portland have standard yards with lawns and possibly a chicken coup or some plants. Unlike homes with pools, this means our yards are pretty boring for children. Set up a space with fun outdoor games like hopscotch, cornhole or horseshoes for kids to play while the adults chat.

7. Be sure to keep your pets safe

With people coming in and out of your yard, it’s easy for your dog, chickens, or indoor cats to slip outside and get separated from the party. Set up a pet friendly space where they can remain safe during your barbecue.

8. Prep the firepit

Give your backyard a camping feel with a crackling fire when the sun goes down. Just be sure you aren’t fumbling in the dark for firewood or kindling. Get everything ready before the barbecue starts.

9. Remember to feed yourself!

The grillmaster sometimes makes all of the food and turns around to see it has all been eaten before he or she had a chance to take a bite. Set aside a plate for yourself before or while you are grilling to be sure you get to chow down.

10. Think about next year

Do you barbecue all summer long, but have no outdoor kitchen? It might be time to consider installing a permanent kitchen extension in your yard. If you add roofing or an awning, you can even use this outdoor space to smoke or grill something delicious all year round!

If you are considering building a backyard kitchen, we have fantastic countertop material. Contact us today to find out how we can help you create the perfect outdoor kitchen space.

Featured Project: Northwest Kitchen
July 4, 2016

We wanted to feature this beautiful project we did for a home in Northwest Portland. This kitchen contains two types of marble. The kitchen countertops lining the perimeter and on the backsplash is Statuarietto Honed marble from Intrepid. The Island is Colorado Yule Lincoln Honed marble from Oregon Tile and Marble.

                      

Here you can see the contrasting Colorado Yule Lincoln Honed marble on all of the countertops as well as the Statuarietto Honed marble in the backsplash.

         

The kitchen island is topped with a beautiful and distinctive full slab of marble.

           

You can easily see the contrast between the two types of marble covering the kitchen island and the backsplash.

These photos demonstrate how no stone detail is exactly the same. Our client’s decision to utilize two different types of marble subtly accents her kitchen and provides a beautiful contrast. If you would like to change the entire look of your kitchen, be sure to contact us today.

Five Ways to Quickly Modernize Your Home Interior
June 29, 2016

A home is often in a constant state of flux. Design trends come and go, favorite pieces change, and we always want to improve things. While we don’t advocate going with the latest trend, it can be fun to update your home with new pieces or by doing small renovations. Here are five relatively quick ideas to consider as you make your latest updates to your home.

1. Do a small renovation

Smaller home updates like adding a kitchen island, creating a wet bar, or installing track lighting allow you to update your home slowly, over time, while still enjoying each new feature.

2. Only buy modern pieces you truly love

Home trends come and go, but a beautiful piece of furniture can metamorphosize with each change. Instead of redecorating with each home trend, find ways to update existing pieces you love by using paint or upholstery and only buy new pieces that you want to keep around for a long time.

3. Update easily changeable parts of your home

You can change the look of your home by updating curtains, adding a throw rug and repainting the walls. Several years ago, you could update your home simply by using bright paint on one wall to create a statement. More recently, your home update may be accomplished with some chalkboard paint and a vintage chandelier. Take a look at the “bones” of your home and decide what simple actions can make your home feel more modern.

4. Update hardware

The first thing many people think of when it comes to modernizing is repainting the walls. However, changing hardware can subtly modernize your home. Take a look at your door handles, cabinet knobs and drawer pulls. Refacing your drawers and changing door knobs are small actions that can create a big impact.

5. Count your porch as an interior

Summer is here, so your porch or deck is likely going to become an extension of your kitchen or dining room. Carry your design changes through to this space by matching chair colors, using fun throw pillows, or modernizing your outdoor kitchen space with the same countertops or hardware used inside.

Let us know if we can help you with your home update! We can provide stone for countertops, stone surrounds, wet bars and more. Contact us today to get started.