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…

 

XOXO

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…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

Sweet and Simple Butter Cookies…Merry Christmas!

 

Christmas cookies are something that everyone looks forward to. You can either make them from scratch, or you can buy the ready made dough at the store. Either way you decide, your kitchen will still smell like fresh baked cookies! I wanted to share our family recipe with you, we use a press or pastry bag. You can layer two cookies and fill with jelly or dip half in chocolate. But we always made green trees and red wreaths…

Recipe:

Ingredients
  • Unsalted Butter 1 cup (226g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1 cup (200g)
  • Large Egg 1 (50g)
  • Whole Milk 2 Tablespoons (44ml)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • All Purpose Flour 2½ cups (320g)
  • Salt ¼ teaspoon

Instructions:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the salt
  3. Combine the egg and vanilla extract together and add to the creaming butter mixture.
  4. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate well.
  5. Add the milk and mix until combined, scrape the sides again.
  6. Add the sifted flour all at once and mix on low speed just until combined.
  7. With cookie press pipe the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan spaced about 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake for about 12 – 17 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges.
  9. Cool completely and fill with jams, chocolates, ganache’s, buttercream or your choice of fillings and adorn with nuts or sprinkles of your choice.

 

Whether you’re leaving a plate out for Santa, or sharing with everyone at your next get together, cookies are the perfect treat for the holiday season. To celebrate this festive time of year, I wanted so share a recipe that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Place them in a mason Jar or cookie tin and share with family and friends. This diy gift is sure to be a hit! My mom would always count her cookies, and make sure we had enough to share….so enjoy your holiday and remember to always count your cookies….

 

 

Merry Christmas!! Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Coni

 

 

Stuck In Room Rut? Traditional to Transitional

I once heard a colleague say the power of injecting well placed contemporary accents into a design is like little shots of Botox around the house. You all know someone or maybe you have a room that is stuck in time. Like a museum it starts to somehow feel stale, as if someone set up a velvet cord across the area. It’s like you need to hit the REFRESH button!

Most of us will feel as if this is a massive task, we need to start over completely because they are just frozen in their interiors…Well, I think with just a few design short cuts you can freshen up your dated space and give your home that much needed facelift. The real beauty of mixing contemporary furnishings in with traditional ones is that your home can evolve as you do!

Tips and Tricks:

Pair Old with New – If your beautiful Harding dining room is stuck in the past, place a modern rug underneath and it will give a nod to your past and present.

Be A Rug Trader – Replace a traditional oriental with a rug that has a more modern pattern. This lattice pattern takes the room in a whole new direction. Transitional rugs often take a traditional pattern and blow up the scale.

Interior Colors – Trending still from warmer to cooler wall colors, use deeper tones this year and mix them with neutrals, like the warmer white with darker shades of greys in this room. Darker colors have a more modern vibe, keeping this room in vogue…

Lighting – Outdated light fixtures do nothing to enhance a the appeal of a room. Homeowners are sometimes reluctant to change a fixture as they have to sometimes hire an electrician to install the new lighting. But what an upgrade for your home! Usually its nothing more than finding a handyman to help you exchange your fixtures and go from drab to fab!

Tap Into Current Color Trends – Removing the hunter green walls and throwing warmer grey’s into the room, to mix with the natural elements like the contemporary leather sectional, creates a rejuvenated space.

 Adding a rustic element by using a reclaimed wood clock above the fireplace blends this family room with updated accessories. To bring the room along further we replaced the old chair with a tufted accent chair, removed the heavy bookcases and this room took on a whole new look!

Brighter and lighter, remember less is more. Declutter your space and it will elevate your room and your mood! Get ready, Christmas is right around the corner, breath some new life into your home!

 

 

It’s the time of year when we New Yorkers deck our halls with merry colors and lights for the holiday season!

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

XOXO

Michele Conti

:)

Build Fast, Build Better – Fox Blocks

As building codes demand homes with tighter building envelopes and continuous insulation, home builders and consumers are looking for building strategies that deliver performance without paying a premium. That’s why homes built with ICF’s are becoming a popular choice in many climates.

Fox Blocks has been in business for 32 years, building sexy, well-constructed commercial and residential ICF foundations.  Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are cast in place concrete walls that are sandwiched between two layers of insulation material, usually expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation foams.  The foam blocks are stacked as interlocking blocks (like LEGOS) connected with steel reinforcing rods. They offer well-insulated, airtight energy-efficient building enclosures. Also, ICFs are a great fit for regions prone to severe weather because of their strong impact resistance.

Building with Fox Blocks ICFs it’s easy to design your dream home or business, while keeping LEED, green building and energy star in mind. With Dramatic labor reductions of up to half the normal building time. Because when you build with Fox concrete wall forms you are doing 5 steps in 1: insulation, vapor barrier, air barrier, studding and sheathing all in one step. This can save you on labor, time and money as you are ready to finish inside and out.

 

Commercial Use

Any way you slice it ICF’s (Insulated concrete forms) are structurally superior to most other building materials. Buildings that incorporate the use of ICFs have an expected life of 200 years or more. Today, as more and more commercial building owners, architects, contractors,
lenders and investors discover the cutting-edge value of ICFs, a 30+% annual growth makes it the most rapidly expanding building system in the U.S.  Along with systems for easy mounting of finishes and channeling of utilities, the insulation remains in place with the concrete to provide ICFs’ advanced economic, thermal, safety, environmental and comfort benefits.

Warmer, Safer, Quieter, Stronger, Healthier, and Saves You Money….

The motivation to life a simpler life is not only about saving money, but also about making a smarter decision for your budget and lifestyle. Stop in talk with Jefrey Martusewicz about using Fox Block for your home or commercial construction projects.

 

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

XOXO

 

M

 

 

2018 Design Trends Are In…

There are  several key trends that will heavily influence home design in 2017-2018 and beyond. With retailers always eager to stay ahead of the curve, they look to these trends for a style advantage – a look that sets them apart in the sea of sameness.  What they have found are style stories as inspired as the shoppers that purchase them, covering themes old and new—and everything in between.

 

 

1. Windows

There’s just something about a home that’s well-lit. It’s livelier and has a certain character you can’t deny. This is the reason why you need to install huge windows to let more of the sun’s light into your home. Your interiors will benefit from the additional brightness to drive any trace of gloom away. Plus, everything will seem warmer and being motivated will be no problem at all.

At the same time, using window frames that have a minimalist design will really look astounding inside your home. These frames highlight your windows without causing any further distractions. This design element will really look amazing and complement your outdoor landscapes or gardens well. Window World is the areas largest replacement window specialist, and one of our vendors again this year at the 38TH Annual Times Union Home Expo, for information on how to start your new year on the “Bright Side” let Window World help install new windows in your home!

2.  Wallpaper

When 2018 hits, wallpapers will be the hot trend. This kind of design element will be homeowners’ preferred choice to add flair and style to their homes. Better clean and prep your walls as soon as possible folks. Get them ready for a new wallpaper so your new year will come in style. Stout offers Wallpaper by Brewster. This one of my favorites Zen Choon Mica Chip…

Simply Stunning!

Greenery and Botanical wallpapers continue into 2018, Scandanavian prints are some of the Hotest designs for 2018!

3.  Brown and Beige

2018 will be the year when brown and beige make their comeback and invade the interior design scene. These colors are far from the bold ones some people choose inside their homes. At the same time, they are also different from cooler grey shades because they exhibit an earthy warm tone for your home. Brown and beige exude a sense of quiet strength and calmness that is commonly associated with elements of the earth. If you’re looking for new colors to place inside your home, brown and beige are your best bets for 2018.

This Sam Moore Livingroom with Hooker Palisade Display Cabinets located in back of the sofa create a comfortable casual space in earthy tones that make you want to cozy up with your martini and good book. Wall color is SherwinWilliams Loggia. Contact me for information on this and other Sam Moore and Hooker Fine Furnishings.

4. Modern Magnificence

It appears that the color trend is coming to a soft close. Color was almost completely devoid at this years fall High Point market and neutrals reined supreme.  Soft colors and forms are the hallmark of modern art-inspired decor, which provides uncommon energy, movement, and emotion in the home. Look to abstract and geometric motifs punctuated by spiked shapes and Mondrian and Rorshach inkblot-inspired offerings, all combining to create masterful contemporary compositions. Handcrafted or sculptured, metallic finishes provide the perfect backdrop for a spirited yet organic feel.  Uttermost and Revelation are two of my favorites for Home Accents and Art.

 

2017 will soon bid us goodbye ad 2018 will usher in a whole new year that’s full of possibilities. No matter what you choose for your home, any of these interior design trends will certainly add a touch of style, luxury, and relaxation to your place. Don’t get left behind and start planning right now and mark your calendar for February 9-11, 2018!

 

Keep Reading for new Design Trends this year at the 38th Annual Times Union Home Expo, see you at the new location, The Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle Street Albany, NY 12207 (518) 487-2155.

 

As Always Stay Tuned For More Adventures In Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

518 852-4185

Feast-Worthy Dining Rooms for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and what better way to get in the spirit than to round up some of my favorite dining rooms on the market. No matter the size of your gathering, these dining rooms will serve as the perfect backdrop for spending time with family and friends. Bernhardt Furniture, Hooker Furniture and Universal Furniture have something for everyone at every price point. Come See me at The 38th Annual Times Union Home Expo for order details on furniture for your home!

Bernhardt Sutton Dining Room, Curry and Company Lighting

Dining rooms are not only a place for dining but a space for gathering and nightly conversations. It is now the heart of the house (as the kitchen is the HUB!) They’re where we host holiday gatherings, have rambling long convos with our friends and family, and where we throw impromptu dinner parties. They’re the setting for some of our favorite family memories. Hmmm… I can smell the Holiday Turkey cooking and see it on the table!

My Own Norman Rockwell Family Photo
My Own Norman Rockwell Family Photo

The chandelier lights the room in a casual but stylish ambiance that invites you in to relax and stay awhile and Enjoy! Chandeliers come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. Whether they’re dripping in crystal with ornate details and tiers of elegance or boasting an out-of-the-box modern design, chandeliers just know how to tie a space together.

Bernhardt Modern Rustic Dining Room
Hooker Dining Room Furniture

 

Universal  Dining Room Furniture

Thanksgiving is extra special to me.  I like to think I have a thankful heart every day of the year, but this year with so many new and exciting things happening in design I’m grateful to be able to share some beautiful spaces with you!!

Stay Tuned for The 38th Annual Times Union Home Expo, coming this year at the all new Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle Street, Albany, NY 12207

XOXO
Michele Conti
Designs By MicheleAdventruesinstyleland.com DATES & HOURS

Friday, February 9, 2018 | 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 10, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 11, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

ADMISSION

FRIDAY ONLY – SPECIAL DISCOUNT
$5.00 Adults (online or at the door)
FREE Children ages 14 and under accompanied by a paying adult.

SATURDAY OR SUNDAY

$8.00 Adults (online only – SAVE $2.00)
$10.00 Adults (at the door)
FREE Children ages 14 and under accompanied by a paying adult.

WEEKEND PASS

$14.00 – Includes all 3 days.

Where are my tickets? I’m unable to find my e-ticket!

Click here for instructions on how to find your e-ticket for the event.

SHOW LOCATION

Albany Capital Center
55 Eagle Street
Albany, NY 12207

PARKING

Parking is available at the Times Union Center garage.

DIRECTIONS

Click Here.

 

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?”