Your Step-by-Step Guest Prep Checklist

December 2, 2016

The holiday season has officially arrived, which means you are probably hosting guests this season. We know you will be filling your countertops with delicious foods, great drinks, and plenty of presents. So, we thought you might need a hand on prepping for the influx of holiday cheer.

Here are eight steps to creating the perfect reception for your holiday guests!

1. Get organized before the visit. Family coming for dinner? Guests staying the night? Make a list of everything you and your guests will need to make their visit a good one.

2. Find out what everyone can eat. These days, it seems like everyone is gluten-free or vegan. It can be harder than ever to host friends and family. That’s why it’s important to ask your guests if they have any allergies or dietary restrictions before they come over so you can be prepared.

3. Clean up your entryway. ‘Tis the season of bulky coats and boots. So, before guests arrive, be sure to clean out your entryway and make space for your guests to put their raincoats, umbrellas, and boots during their visit. Knowing Pacific Northwest weather, your guests will probably have damp apparel that they’ll need to shed, so keep the coat hooks clear.

4. Childproof your kitchen and home.  If you know your guests will be bringing small children, be sure to create a safe space for them to play, eat, and enjoy your hospitality.

5. Deck the halls. No matter which holiday you are celebrating, you can always bring joy and seasonal cheer to your home with decorations, plants, flowers, and personal touches.

6. Get your kitchen ready. Whether you are having guests for drinks, a holiday dinner, or extended stays, your kitchen will be a busy place. Clear off countertops and keep your cleaning supplies handy during the visit.

7. Stock up. It's the season of plenty, so be sure to stock up on food and cocktail supplies before your guests come over. Having plenty of food and drinks can help you be the perfect host.

Stocking up doesn’t have to be restricted to the kitchen. Make sure your fireplace is ready for a blaze by keeping the firewood rack filled up. Stock up on extra blankets to keep your guest bedroom cozy.

8. Create plenty of space to sit and chat. Drag out those stools from the breakfast bar, get your couch ready, and pull out all of your dining room chairs. Even if your guests are only coming over for drinks, at least a few will want to get cozy while they chat.

Here at Milan Stoneworks, we know you put a lot of time and energy into making your home perfect for your needs. We hope the above tips help you showcase your home’s beauty and create the perfect environment for your guests.

Happy Holidays!

One of the struggles many homeowners encounter in their kitchen is not having enough space. They may need more storage, more counter space, or both. Kitchen islands are specifically designed to help homeowners overcome this difficulty by effectively, efficiently, and aesthetically using the area that is already available within their existing kitchens.

While most homeowners seek kitchen islands to add storage, more countertops, and even a breakfast bar space, we see the island as a kitchen showstopper. You can break out of a traditional kitchen mold by topping your kitchen island with unique stone pieces that compliment your other countertops.

Installing a kitchen island also gives homeowners a reason to rethink their kitchen countertops. If they have a dated tile, it may be time to go green with eco stone options or you might be ready to make a statement with a unique slab of natural stone.

There are many great kitchen island choices. Here are four standard options, which can usually be mixed, matched, and customized to fit your needs:

1. Kitchen counter with cupboards and drawers beneath. This is pretty much your standard kitchen island that provides both extra storage and extra counter space.

2. Breakfast bar top. A kitchen island with the added benefit of becoming a breakfast bar or a serving top for canapes and drinks that is fun for large families or home entertainers.

3. Wet kitchen island. Some homeowners decide to move the sink to their kitchen island, reclaiming the counter space right next to the oven or stovetop.

4. Kitchen block. In an open layout kitchen, an island may be able to extend into cube. This allows the homeowner and her family to prepare food from four sides of the kitchen island without the loss of elbow room.

Each kitchen island option can be customized or mixed-and-matched. Additionally, while the use and structure of the island may remain standard, dressing it up with a new countertop is one way to make your kitchen island stand out.

Are you adding a kitchen island to your home? Contact us today and find out which stone or eco material will turn your island into a centerpiece.

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.

Countertops by Milan Stoneworks
Serving all of Portland.