Dream Decks

When you want to enjoy more outdoor time a deck, pergola, or patio may be just what you need. There are many styles that can help you achieve the beautiful and relaxing outdoor space you’re trying to create. For example, you can choose from a multi-level deck, a gazebo, curved deck or an elegant pergola. RM Fence and Deck are at The Times Union Home Expo this year to create your outdoor space.

It’s kind of hard to enjoy your deck when it’s wide open to neighbors. Maybe you want to enjoy an intimate summer evening, or sunbath free from onlookers’. Or maybe you just prefer the comfortable feeling of knowing nobody can see you even if you’re just eating or reading. Love the thought of a fence but don’t want to feel boxed in or claustrophobic? One thing you can do is build the top of the six-foot fence with a foot of lattice, keeping the airy feeling while still maintaining privacy.

These are a handful of things you can do improve the privacy of your backyard living space other than adding bushes to trim or trees that can become overgrown. A tall solid fence is probably the best way to completely isolate your deck or patio for maximum privacy.  Ask RM Fence and Deck for information on different types of fencing material, they can help you choose what style and material will suit your needs.

Decks can be free standing or detached from the rest of your home or you can choose a deck that is attached, such as a wrap-around deck. When you choose RM Fence and Deck, you’ll have plenty of options regarding the design of your outdoor space as well as the materials that are used to build it.

Where will your new deck be? RM Fence and Deck will be in booth 205, on the second floor of the Albany Capital Center, come talk with their friendly staff and start building your dream deck.

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…


Michele Conti

Designs by Michele

Whats cooking in Kitchen Design…

When it comes to designing a kitchen professional chefs often feel the same way we do, they’re limited by space and budget. But they know what they need and are less likely to be seduced by the romance of useless gadgets and crammed counters. Talking to Mark at The Cabinet Shop we touched on the subject of space and function. As a designer, I feel that an efficient kitchen is designed for economy of movement.

Most homeowners (and chefs) are more passionate about counter space than professional appliances. I like to create space for plenty of chopping, rolling out dough and prep space. Mark Wagner of  The Cabinet Shop agreed with 25 years of designing and crafting custom kitchens he knows what’s working in todays kitchen design. With more and more kitchens installed in open concept spaces, the current layouts are using more lower cabinets and larger islands for optimal counter space.

White done right…white kitchens will never go out of style. You’re more likely to grow tired of bold colors so stick with accessories you can swap out, kiss your walls with color. If your taste changes so can your wall color! It’s an inexpensive way to make that change and white cabinets will support whatever new color your heart desires..


This small kitchen has ample counter space and an open concept with a lot of personality! Consider your backsplash as another place to add a pop of color when using white cabinets. Bolder personalities tend to choose a countertop with big movement adding more interest to the solid wall color and white cabinets.

Setting up your kitchen for entertaining is key, we don’t want to be hidden away or separated from the party anymore! I find one level islands are best for entertaining as well as food prep. Islands have more than doubled in size from the smaller 5ft island to grand 11ft islands making the most of expanding valuable counter space.

My advice is tear down those walls! Talk with Mark about cabinet color layout and ask me if you want additional help with design. The Cabinet Shop is in two locations this year, booth 101 located on the first floor and booth 231 on the second floor of Times Union Home Expo in The Albany Capital Center 55 Eagle St. Albany NY 12207.


As always stay tuned for more Adventures In Styleland…



Michele Conti

Designs by Michele

Quartzite Fantasy…

With the new stylistic choices in countertops being light grey and white stones, a multitude of quartzites are the most optimal materials to use. It should be noted that granite countertops differ largely from quartzite and contains flaws you won’t see in granite. There are many selections to choose from include: Taj Mahal, which is one of my favorites!

Sea Pearl, which features the palest of gray background accented with soft brushes of darker gray with hints of off white. This beautiful natural stone brings a sense of elegance and sophistication to any project.

Fantasy Brown, this gorgeous stone has beautiful hues of grey, white, and brown make this natural stone look like a work of art.

With White Macaubas you’re able to obtain the look of marble without its porous qualities and maintenance.

Last, but not least is Symphony, this elegant and subtle stone has a cream, beige, off white background with light veins of brown and grey. An excellent choice for use in kitchens and baths.

Where granite is an igneous rock found more abundantly than quartzite, deep in the earth’s crust, providing the base for the many continents’ sedimentary rock, quartzite consists of a larger volume of quartz than granite; under heat and pressure combined, quartzite is formed from sandstone and quartz, and with the amount of pressure undergone, empty grains of sandstone are stuffed with quartz. This means quartzite is actually harder.

When in need of a premium kitchen countertops, Klassic Stone can help give you the results you’ve always wanted. Whether it’s for quartzite or granite countertops, at Klassic Stone you can find the most reasonable and simple pricing for products.

At Klassic Stone their staff are experts in fabricating custom countertops, vanity tops, etc. Specializing in templating, fabricating & installing kitchen counter-tops using Granite, Quartz, Quartzite and Marble. Specially trained in all quartz products. Talk with Kim and Lori they will be in booth 229, on the second floor of the Albany Capital Center at the 38th Annual Home Expo.


Stay tuned for more Adventures In Styleland…



Michele Conti

Designs By Michele


Garage Style

With design moving toward Urban Industrial style, we are looking at clean living using more glass in our homes. Murphy Overhead Doors believes that unique homes deserve unique doors! Great homes come with great views, right? I’m going to show you some really beautiful rooms with a view…Imagine sitting in your family room, in your favorite chair or lounging on the sofa and being able to open part of your wall and let the fresh air in while enjoying your view! Glass Garage doors have been used in residential design more and more.

Commercial spaces have long enjoyed the idea of retractable walls, and adding additional dining and entertaining space when the weather permits. I’m sure you’ve all sat outside a restaurant like this and enjoyed the open-air concept on a nice day or evening.

But residential use of glass garage doors has created spaces where families can gather, where everyone feels welcome and has the opportunity to enjoy the landscape and surroundings.  Murphy Overhead Doors can help you create an extraordinary space that will bring your family and friends together! This design is not exclusively reserved for only the most spectacular locations, your back yard or deck can now be your entertaining oasis.

Regardless of your location, if you’re looking for a great view from your home, stop at booth 105 at The 38th Annual Home Expo, 55 Eagle St. Albany NY February 9-11th, 2018 and talk with Cindy Murphy and lets think outside the box…

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…


Michele Conti

Designs by Michele Booth 323




Zoom Room – Tiny Home solutions…

As the tiny house movement rages on and rising rents in New York force people into tighter living situations, one piece of furniture is seeing a resurgence, the Murphy bed. The bed originated in the early 1900’s by William Lawrence Murphy. As legend goes, he wanted to court an opera singer and lived in a one room apartment in the city, the moral code at the time frowned on a woman to entering a mans bedroom. So Mr. Murphy invented a fold up bed that let him convert his bedroom into a parlor!

But as Murphy Beds continue to gain in popularity, especially with the imaginative ways they can be incorporated into a person’s home décor, a company light years ahead in the design, called Zoom Room has arrived at the Home Expo this year. Zoom-Room was founded in 2005 to bring the remarkable German-made electronic, remote controlled, retractable Murphy Bed to North America.  With innovative products like the zoom bed, they are committed to bringing great design, smarter space saving solutions and the highest level of service and satisfaction to their customers.

Located on the first level of the Albany Capital Center, in booth 134 you can witness for your self as the Zoom-Bed floats into the room with the push of a button.  Housed in an elegant cabinet, the Zoom-Bed allows you to utilize the space in front for a flat screen TV, bookshelves, art boxes, a painting or whatever you can imagine. . If you are short on space but are looking for big design, stop at Zoom-Room and see the flexibility that a murphy bed can bring to your space.


See you soon! Stay tuned for more Adventures In Styleland…




Michele Conti

With The New Year On It’s Way…

With a fresh year underway, last years trends behind us and new ones on the horizons, its time to set new goals for 2018! As we think of our private resolutions, we look forward to hear from our favorite designers and creatives to see what they hope to achieve in the year to come. We look for the color of the year, wood tones, tiles and home trends that will make their debut!

This year will bring back some drama, I mean I’ve been living in the land of neutrals and straight lines for too long now. Don’t get me wrong I love neutrals, but it’s time to reintroduce some curve, pattern and drama!

Invite bold choices into your home! The most inviting homes are a collection of memories. Therefore, this year it is my goal to take the time to search, to travel, dig and shop small and unexpected antique stores and salvage shops near and far to integrate more vintage finds in all of my projects, including my own home.

Happy 2018! Get Ready were only 6 weeks away from the 38th Annual Times Union Home Expo!!



Michele Conti

Benefits Everyone Can Agree On – Solar Energy

This is an incredibly exciting time for the solar industry as we continue to surpass major milestones. Last year, was the strongest year ever for the industry and they’ve celebrated over one million installations. With incentives, lower monthly energy bills and excellent financing options, powering your home with solar energy has never made more sense.  Hudson Solar is a New York–based, family-owned business serving upstate New York. They design and install systems for residential, commercial, agricultural and municipal/non-profit organizations.

With more reasons than ever to go solar here are a few that I thought were worth mentioning:

1, Solar is now the cheapest and most abundant energy resource in the world.

The average monthly price of solar PV modules decreased from 79¢ per peak watt in January 2017 to 52¢ per peak watt in June 2017.Lower solar panel costs contribute to a lower total cost and quicker return on investment (ROI) for solar power plants. In many states across America, and around the globe, solar power has become the cheapest source of new energy, giving electric utility companies and governments a huge reason to ditch coal and gas for a cleaner, renewable source (sunshine).

2.  Over a million solar systems have been installed in the U.S. alone.

In early 2016, the millionth solar system was installed in the U.S., notching a milestone that took 40 years for the photovoltaic industry to reach. However, the more notable story that came with this achievement is the forecasted timeline for the next million installations, which is expected to happen in the next two years. This comparison is a meaningful illustration of solar’s rapid pace as the fastest growing energy resource in the world.

3. Homeowners in the U.S, have achieved the breakeven point with solar in as short as three years.

The cost of solar has plummeted while the cost of grid electricity has continued to rise and the concept of the solar “break even point” has become more and more attractive. In 2017 most homeowners are seeing payback periods between five and eight ears and 20-year savings estimates upwards of $20,000. Some homeowners are seeing breakeven points as low as three and four years in states where utility prices are high like our home state of New York.

4. Airplanes can fly around the world while running entirely on solar energy.

Though many may be aware that solar energy can power trains, cars and even space stations, the skeptics were out when Bernard Piccard decided to fly a solar powered plane around the world with no additional power source than the sun. In early 2016 the Swiss pilot and professional explorer departed from Dhabi in an aircraft known as the Solar Impulse II making his much awaited worldwide return in July. The global flight offered numerous photo opportunities and made a statement around the world about the boundless potential of solar energy.


Overall these fun facts offer multiple angles on solar’s growth in the recent decade and the way it has become a legitimate competitor of fossil fuel resources in 2017. If your considering a solar system in the near future be sure to talk with Hudson Solar. They will be at the Times Union Home Expo this year located in the Albany Capital Center at 55 Eagle St. Albany NY, February 9-11, 2018. Their booth is located on the first floor booth 117. Look for the bright colors and smiling faces.


Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…



Michele Conti


Bringing Beauty Back Home…Cleaning Up


All home renovations are at least a little disruptive, but a lot of them can really cause your whole home to become a giant mess. We’ve had a few DIY renovations that definitely fall into that category, but this latest one has definitely been the messiest, dirtiest renovation so far. You often need to be extra aware of your cleaning tactics to keep your home clean during a renovation and this has definitely been the case for us with this latest kitchen project we’ve been working on.

My wonderful amazing husband took down the wall between our Kitchen and Family room while I was Christmas Shopping the weekend after Thanksgiving and when I got home, this is what I saw…

We (or should I say “I”) decided real-quick that we were not going to want to live with all the sheet rock dust, so we stepped our game up right then and there. So here are some of our favorite tips for keeping your home clean during a renovation if you’re going through the same thing!

Insist On Ending Each Day On A Clean Note

Gabe makes a pretty big mess throughout the day while he’s working, but he always puts everything away and runs a vacuum over the area before calling it a night. I asked him what his best tip for keeping things from getting too messy in the rest of the house was and he said “Marry a construction manager who takes really good care of his work area.” Ha. He’s right though. Whether it’s you who is completing the work, or whether you’ve hired it out, having the discipline to leave your work area clean at the end of every day really makes such a difference.

Block the area off

Unlike the first day I came home lol Gabe always blocks off the work area. You won’t be able to contain dust and debris 100% no matter what you do, but if it’s at all possible, consider hanging plastic over doorways that separate the area you’re working in from the rest of the house. It may look a little extreme, but it will really make a difference. Dust will still spread, because dust is tricky like that, but it will probably only be mostly within a few feet from your plastic-covered doorway and you’ll be able to vacuum that right up.

Dust Every Day

Dust is a pesky thing. It often builds up slowly and you don’t notice it’s there until you really notice it’s there. When things get to that point, it can be a pretty big job, which can seem fairly overwhelming and frustrating when you’re also busy with a renovation project. You may not know why at first, but your whole home can feel kind of icky during a renovation and that’s usually because of the dust that somehow seems to make it into all the far reaches of your home. If you keep up with your dusting, even just for a minute or two each day, things will definitely feel more normal and under control in your home.

Vacuum  and Mop like Crazy

I hate to sound like a broken record here, because I feel like I mention this as an important step in so many cleaning situations, but vacuuming and mopping really is key. When it comes to keeping your home clean during a renovation, your mop and shop vac are your best friend!

We like to keep our vacuum out and right next to our work area at all times during the renovation project. We make sure to use it multiple times a day to keep on top of things. Keep the attachments handy, when Gabe is cutting into the sheet rock I’m right next to him holding the vacuum with the widest attachment as he is sawing and screwing into the ceiling catching as much dust as possible! At night I pass a damp cotton mop to pick up whatever dust is left on the wood floor and tile…


We cleaned up for the Holiday and put some furniture back in place, (just for a day)

If you’re about to renovate, this is not the time to make yourself frustrated, just take the half hour at the end of the day to clean up.  Being able to avoid even just a little bit of the stress and disruption that often comes with a home renovation will allow you to enjoy the process of creating a more beautiful home for your family rather than dreading it. Keeping your home clean the way that you’re used to is definitely the first step in the process of reducing your renovation stress!

What tips do you have for keeping your home clean during a renovation? Let me know! The renovations around here are pretty much non-stop, so I can always use a few extra tricks!

Stay Tuned for more Adventures In Styleland…



Combining Cabinet Finishes, Inspired Kitchen Design

As we lean closer to closing out 2017 and look forward to welcoming 2018, the cliche’ that a house is never finished comes to mind. The trick is to find a way to put it all together so it feels complete. Curtis Lumber is ready to help with your Kitchen Renovation with some great ideas for the New Year!

Painted Cabinetry 

While open floor plans are still working in most new builds, I’ve definitely witnessed the coming and going of many trends and period styles from English Country to Midcentury Modern. But I feel we’re post trend now. I think current design allows us the freedom to incorporate history in an unfussy contemporary way. When choosing kitchen cabinets, the easiest way to accomplish this is to mix finishes. Choose a lighter color for the perimeter cabinets and another darker color for your center island. Your eye is naturally drawn to the darker cabinet finish, while the lighter shade cabinets against the walls will make the room appear larger.


Always in-style are painted white cabinets, they have dominated kitchen design for easily the last 5 to 10 years.  Many homeowners considered it to be an easy choice.  White kitchen cabinets have a certain timeless quality and always brighten up the space. As a neutral color, white cabinets also played equally well with cooler walls. And while we will never see painted white cabinets go out of style, a couple of new color trends have started to pick up steam in 2017.

First, we have started to see a slight shift away from white, and moving toward gray.  Gray shares many of the properties that people love about white, but in a slightly more subdued tone.  While lighter shades of gray will never brighten up kitchen in the same way that white cabinets do, many come close, like Merillat Classic LaBelle in Maple Shale.  As a naturally neutral color, gray will also look good alongside warm or cool accent colors. 

In the past few years we’ve seen former warehouse carts being cleanup and re-purposed as coffee tables across suburbia.  Just like other rooms of the home, more and more elements of both traditional and industrial design will enter the home kitchens space.  A coming together of the best of both worlds!  We’re already seeing this trend of traditional shaker cabinetry, being topped with concrete counters, combined with a farm sinks, and topped off with a tall, goose-neck faucet that would be at home in any kitchen…Elements like brick along with wrought iron stools help accomplish this industrial look, while the Merillat cabinetry: Sutton Cliffs in Hickory gives this kitchen elements of traditional style.


Curtis Lumber will be located on the lower level at booth 104 at our new location, Albany Capital Center. Visit Curtis Lumber and to talk with a kitchen and bath designer about how to create a unique space in your home! What styles have you seen start to emerge this year, or which do you think will start to really take off in 2018?  Tell us in the comments!


As always stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…



Michele Conti

Culinary Living…The Feiden Way

The holiday season is in full swing, and there’s never been a better time to invest in a high-quality cooking range. You’ll be crafting a host of delicious dishes and desserts through the season and all year round, and a powerful range is a must-have appliance in any home. If great value is your top concern, you’ll definitely want to consider the Winter Savings Event at Earl B Feiden!

Missed Black Friday? Don’t worry, because this offer is available December 14th through January 10th. With brands like Sub Zero, Viking, Thermador, Fisher & Paykel and Frigidaire Professional appliances there’s no doubt that you’ll find the perfect new toy for your kitchen!With Earl B Feiden Appliances, you can rest assured that you will have the best cooking ranges, bringing exquisite style and premium cooking capabilities to your kitchen. Appliances form the backbone of the working home, so you want to be sure they meet your needs. You’d undoubtedly like them to be reliable, affordable and attractive, with appealing features. This year Earl B. Feiden’s is located at booth 106 at The TimesUnion Home Expo where you’ll see the latest models of ranges, refrigerators, cooktops and other home appliances. Talk with Mark Feiden, he will give you tips that will allow you to select the appliance most suitable for your kitchen!


Remember our new location this year is at:

Albany Capital Center
55 Eagle Street
Albany, NY 12207


Stay Tuned for More Adventures in Styleland…


Michele Conti