Styling Your Room

Good design can make any room look great, but for the average homeowner picking out the right furniture pieces, fabrics, and rugs for your living space can be a daunting task.  I’d like to share a few thoughts to help you decorate your home. Begin with establishing your style along with correct balance, proportion and scale of furnishings and decor. When it comes to decorating inspiration, a photo is definitely worth a thousand words.


The hardest part for many of us is ‘styling’ your room. We think of ‘styling’ as a way to arrange furnishings and  display the decorative objects that you’ve collected and love. It’s that final touch that takes your furniture pieces from simply functional to fabulous. 

  1. Neutrals For Large Pieces – The sofa and arm chairs are likely to be your biggest investment pieces in a room, get them in neutral colors to give yourself the most flexibility. Anchor the main pieces of furniture in the space to define the area; if your space is large, a great cost effective tip for carpet is to use an inexpensive large sisal rug to cover most of the area.    
  2.  Color –  is an obvious strategy when styling, and as a general rule, I recommend editing down your colors to three or four. If you want to add a punch of color pick 2 smaller accent chairs in a vibrant shade or print, which gives you more flexibility than a bright sofa . Pull accent colors from the rugs, window treatments, or art in your room.
  3. Shapes – Thoughtful space planning means setting up enough side tables and coffee tables for the seating you have, so that there is a place for guests to set a glass down but it’s important to have a mixture of shapes. If you have a very angular console table, mix in some round shapes, like lamps, sculpture, or art. Most of the seating furniture is angular, the side and coffee tables in a round shape are a nice counterpoint.  Don’t match the tables either – it’s much more interesting visually to mix and match different materials and shapes.
  4. Balance with Accessories –  One of the most important strategies when you’re styling any piece is to vary your heights. This helps your eye move around which creates a more interesting arrangement. If you have a tall lamp, use something shorter, like a stack of books for balance. Mix lots of different finishes and textures across the furniture piece you’re styling. If you have glossy, ceramic lamps, add something with a chippy paint finish or a raw wood. You don’t want everything on your table to be either shiny/polished/glossy OR patina/roughness/grain. You want some of both.
  5. Negative Space – The power of nothing. No matter what you’re styling, leave some negative space. Group items together (maybe a set of musical instruments on a short stack of books) and leave some areas of your table empty. This applies to art on the wall, blank space or a wall without anything is like a comma or a full stop in a sentence. The opportunity to just stop and enjoy the moment! As a result your room will feel more balanced.

I hope I inspired you! Thank you for letting me share some of my tips with you today, and as always…


Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland.



Michele Conti




The Family Tree…


The family tree is so special every time I put it up. My children ask why I always get sad when we put the tree up and I tell them it’s a good kinda sad. I explained these memories on this tree are so sweet and time just goes by so fast. The tree is full of old ornaments from our parents, firsts for each of us, many meaningful ornaments, and handmade gifts. Decorating it is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas Season.

I’d like to share some other traditions that aren’t as well known…


Wreaths – Christmas if full of meaning, not only the tree but also the wreaths on our doors and the meaning behind them is not what you might think. These decorations weren’t invented to spruce up your front door. Christians believe wreaths represent thorns worn by Jesus and the tiny red berries represent his blood.


Candy Canes – People disagree on the origins of this holiday staple, but many say the white represents purity, the red represents Jesus’ blood shed, and the shape is supposed to be the staff of the Good Shepherd. Think about that the next time you enjoy this minty treat.



Tinsel – This shiny metallic  glittering decoration symbolizes light, to ensure the forces of darkness would not have any power.


As a designer I always drool over the beautiful trees in department stores and adore trees with a theme! However, my Christmas trees have not always been stunning or a shiny glamorus themed beacons of light. In the beginning they were collections of mismatched, homemade and sentimental ornaments. Not like those you’d see in the magazines.  No, was our family tree that was chock full of homemade ornaments, ones that were given to us, or made by the children.  I would get an ornament for my children each year that would reflect whatever their interests or hobbies were at that time. There have been musical notes, sports themes, and Hallmark Keepsakes ornaments too.

Of all holiday decorations, the tree is perhaps the most iconic. The tradition started, because in many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away evil spirits and illness, according to history. What ever your traditions are, hold them close because this season also passes quickly. So just for today, I thought I’d share some of the holiday spirit…true holiday spirit. Well get back to decorating tomorrow. So…


As Always stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland!



Michele Conti


Get Ready…The Home Expo Is Almost Here!

Get ready Albany NY,  I’m so excited The 37th Annual Home Expo starts tomorrow! Our event includes home improvement and remodeling exhibits with product demonstrations and sample interior and exterior vignettes. Many of our exhibitors go to great lengths to provide you with visual, interactive experiences designed to stimulate your creativity and dreams for your home improvement plans.
Read more “Get Ready…The Home Expo Is Almost Here!”

Are You Going to The Home Expo?

Despite what the weather might suggest, spring is right around the corner, inspiring lots of families to start thinking about ambitious interior and exterior home improvement projects. In anticipation of the coming renovation and installation season, many home shows are starting all over the country. These exhibitions feature an array of product vendors and professionals, so homeowners can check out the newest trends and meet the experts who can bring those ideas to life. But how can our local homeowners make the most of The Times Union Home Expo?
Read more “Are You Going to The Home Expo?”

The “Fab” In Prefab

Modern prefab homes are making cutting edge design and beautiful, sustainable  living accessible to more and more homebuyers. The “prefab” in a prefab home means the home’s shell is constructed (fabricated) off-site and shipped to the home’s final location. The term prefab encompasses both panel homes and modular home. Panel homes involve shipping and placing prefabricated walls once the homes floors have been laid. Modular homes consist of several modular sections based on standardized designs. Once on location, the individual modular pieces of the home are joined together to allow for a more customized final product.
Read more “The “Fab” In Prefab”

Summer Nights…

One of my families most cherished memories is of our camping trips. With no money for trains and planes we opted to purchase a pop-up camper. It slept 6 comfortably, but it seemed to hold more than that on occasion, if you counted the neighbors kids and our two dogs.  Today’s fast-paced life often leaves busy parents searching for opportunities to spend quality time together as a family. Increasingly, families are discovering that vacationing in a camper or RV is the best way to cement family relationships while having a great time.
Read more “Summer Nights…”

Garden Design… Where Do You Begin?


While choosing your dream garden design, its crucial to keep in mind the character, style and personality of your home. Versatility is the key to creating a garden where you and your family will spend many memorable hours together. Pulling the elements that are unique and eye-catching is what Jerry Parmenter owner of Elemental Landscapes Inc. achieves with his landscape designs.
Read more “Garden Design… Where Do You Begin?”

Sun Worshipers Rejoice!

Here in the Northeast, we are in the middle of winter and enjoying the warmth of cozy fires, while looking at the beautiful blanket of white that covers the earth outside our windows. Hmm…but is this what we see?

Are you a sun worshiper and love large windows, but feeling the sun will do more harm than good? Do you have beautiful windows, but have covered them with costly shades only to feel that the shades clearly weren’t as fun to stare at as the view was, and they really didn’t help much with the cold or heat.
Read more “Sun Worshipers Rejoice!”