Get Your Free Tickets!

This year at The Times Union Home Expo we are offering free tickets to the Capital Region Parade of Homes! Stop by the Capital Region Builders and Remodelers booth for more information: Booth #103

 

I’d like to give a  shout out to the Capital Region Builders & Remodelers Association (CRBRA) for sponsoring the Parade of homes. CRBRA is comprised of  builders, developers, remodelers, architects, engineers, trade contractors, material suppliers and professionals from associated industries throughout the region. The CRBRA proudly represents seven counties including in Albany, Columbia, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady Counties.

The CRBRA is the local professional trade Association affiliated with the New York State Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders.  Together, they represent more than 140,000 business members that construct approximately 80% of all new homes built in the United States.

Capital Region Parade of homes and is pleased to offer an outstanding collection of the finest homes in the Capital Region. Quality built luxury homes in a wide range of prices to meet your particular needs.  Affordable family-oriented urban homes, you’re sure to find your perfect home.

Dates for this years Parade of Homes:

June 2-3 & 9-10 2018

Saturday and Sunday 11AM-5P

 

We look forward to seeing you there!!

 

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs by Michele

Building An Empire

How exciting is it to have Arena Football back in Albany! We’re looking forward to a great season with The Albany Empire football team. Starting Spring of 2018 at the Times Union Center.

Get out of the house and away from the TV, the live experience is a game changer! The AFL smacks you in the face with high-octane entertainment! Ticket prices are affordable for family fun, with 50 yard fields the touchdowns are plentiful and action is full force. The Albany Empire will have crippling hits and Hail Mary passes, you wont be disappointed!

The AFL is in the business of high scoring football, here are some of the rules:

  • Field: 85 feet wide, 50 yards long, for a faster, higher-scoring affair.
  • Goal posts: Nine feet wide with a 15-foot high crossbar.
  • Rebound nets: Kickoffs and passing plays that bounce off the nets are still in play.
  • Passing: Just like in NCAA, receivers only need one foot inbounds.
  • Punting: Not allowed. You gotta man-up and go for it on fourth down.

The team is owned and operated by a local group of business men including George Hearst 111, Dan Nolan and Ed Swyer. The local group has partnered with the ownership group of the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League, led by Ron Jaworski, Dick Vermeil, Marques Colston, Jahri Evans and other Philadelphia area businessmen.

Find out more about The Albany Empire at the Home Expo in Booth#238, they will be doing a promotion for attendees to win tickets to the opening night game! Stop in, bring your home expo ticket to their booth and get details to win!

 

See you Friday! Stay tuned for the start of this exciting Adventure in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs by Michele

 

On The Home Front – Mark Your Calendar

I’m excited to announce the Times Union Home Expo is only 3 days away! If you are a gardener, DIY’er, project lover or flea market shopper, shop at the 38th Annual Home Expo for creative ideas and connections to make those dreams a reality. Meet A-list local contractors. See the largest collection of luxury and premium kitchen, bath and building products. Find everything to build, remodel or update your home including state-of-the-art appliances, cabinets, tile & stone, windows, doors, solar and other energy saving systems.  The Times Union Home Expo will put you in touch with vendors offering a wide variety of fresh high quality, products and services.

Start your next project here, with builders and contractors that provide will the highest level of customer service you want and expect! Whatever renovation project you are starting or if you are thinking of building your next new home, you don’t want to miss this informative home show.

Be sure to ask our vendors questions and learn the ABC’s of your project! Doors open Friday February 8th at 3:00. Show attendees can find inspirations, products and get expert advice from our many vendors! Please visit Designs by Michele, I’ll be on hand at booth #323 for a free design consultation.  Maybe you need help choosing colors for a small facelift on your home, ask me questions about your impending home update. I’m here to help with design, color, furniture, lighting, window treatments and more!

Providing professional services at any stage of your remodel, an eye for every detail no matter how big or small. I’ll help you achieve the best possible outcome for your next project.

Stay tuned for more exciting Adventures in Styleland, at the Times Union Home Expo! See you Friday!

 

XOXO

 

Michele Conti

Designs By Michele

Time For A Manly Remodel…

When you’re a guy with a family, you sometimes begin to wonder where, exactly, in the house your space lies. The kitchen and bathrooms are your wife’s domain, as is the bedroom (since she long ago made you remove your sports memorabilia from the walls). The kids have their rooms, and you’ve noticed that they’ve also taken over the living room, since their toys are all over and animated movies play on a nonstop loop 24 hours a day.


For your next remodeling project, you’ve decided to transform the basement into a space that will finally be yours “a man cave”. Not only that, but just in time for the big game, you’re going to up the ante and create an ultimate man cave with large TV. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to making your dream a reality, let these few tips inspire you as you envision your sports-watching paradise.The first thing you need to decide is this: will the entire space be a dedicated man cave home theater, or do you want to have separate areas for watching the big-screen, having a drink, and shooting pool? Prioritize your wants and needs and plan out your space accordingly.
Man cave doesn’t mean cold and dark! Plan and remodel carefully, in order to make sure you’ve sealed leaks and dried everything up before putting in walls or flooring. At the Home Expo All Dry Basement will be at booth#109, they have helped hundreds of people get started with basement renovations, whether its a sump pump or complete waterproofing system. They are ready to make your renovation worry free.

When it comes to the floor, look for comfortable flooring options that will look great while keeping your feet warm. Lighting is also key because basements don’t usually have windows that allow in natural light from the outside, plan for lots of lamps or a finished ceiling that features recessed lighting.


If you’d like to add a pool table, consider making the most of your space with a convertible pool-to-dining table. These feature a removable tabletop that can be set up quickly when you need to spread out snacks for the game or would like a place for a game of poker or blackjack. Because you won’t need an additional table, this leaves more room for your theater space.

 

While these tips are just enough to get you inspired, the options for your man cave are endless. With a newly remodeled man cave, you’ll truly feel like the king of your castle … or at least one part of it, anyways!

 

Stay tuned for more Adventures In Styleland…
XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs By Michele

The Fiery Side to Cupids Arrow

This Valentine’s Day as the temperatures drop outside, stay warm inside with some cozy fireplace inspiration. From traditional to modern, gas to wood-burning, a fireplace can add a serious cozy factor to your room and your holiday. Just imagine snuggling up to a warm fire on these frigid nights.

A fireplace is often considered an element of class and elegance. An architectural detail that makes a home feel warm and comfortable. It inevitably draws attention and serves as a focal point in the any room.

There are several designs and types of fireplaces, the classification is usually based on material as well as on design. Matchless Stove and Chimney located in booth #102 at the Times Union Home Expo will be providing information for all types of fireplaces, so you can make the right choice for your home.


If you have an existing fireplace, there are many ways you can update and change the design. Below the before and after pictures give you inspiration and ideas on how you can achieve that updated look. They completely altered the appearance by going from a traditional square firebox to a linear firebox. In this room they used rustic accents on the surround, refacing it with white ship lap and adding a thick hardwood mantel. The white wood sharply contrasting the reclaimed lumber wall and instantly making the fireplace stand out. Mounting the television above the fireplace makes this wall a true focal point.


This modern fireplace adds warmth you can enjoy from every angle in any room. A 360* view of this fireplace lets you wrap your home in warmth. You won’t have to worry about tripping on this hearth, it also provides additional seating to this room.  This design is clean, sleek and modern fitting with most transitional homes. Visit Matchless Stove and Chimney, they can help you start a fire in your home for Valentine’s Day!

Grab a good book, settle in and stay warm…

Stay tuned for more wintry days and Adventures in Styleland..
XOXO

Michele Conti
Designs by Michele

We Bring Nature Home…

Spring is right around the corner and with it comes a rebirth of color in your garden! When you combine great garden design, integrated pest management, and proper horticultural techniques, you’ll grow a healthy, long lasting landscape. You can spot the difference right away, when its Grasshopper Gardens maintaining your plants, shrubbery and trees.

Update your front yard or back yard design with shrubbery, gardens, walkways and more…Grasshopper combines environmental science with rich landscape design that’s inspired by nature. They have been helping clients create beautiful green spaces, making their outdoor spaces flow with the existing architecture. Offering not only Lawn Care but,  Design and Construction and Landscape Maintenance. 

Create winding paths, with boxwoods whether rounded, squared off, or snaked through other borders, they can add charm to any garden. The clipped boxwood above leads you down the path which artfully binds the garden to the house.

This Garden Courtyard, with stone pavers framed by low growing ground cover edged with impatient’s, brings you to a relaxing seating area, making this yard an oasis.

All gorgeous gardens begin with a great design. With Grasshopper Gardens your taste, water usage and overall budget are all taken into consideration, Grasshopper can design plant and maintain a great looking garden that you can enjoy for years to come.

This elegant landscape has a variety of perennial plantings that makes its colorful and easy to maintain.

Here is a before and after.

 

Stone Steps leading to the driveway with lush plantings make this area a green space to admire.

Contact them and get started on your landscape transformation!

Let Grasshopper set up your quiet corner, this lush is space overflowing with Tardiva and Annabelle hydrangeas. You can visit Grasshopper at booth 108 in the Albany City Center, at the Times Union Home Expo, let them help you design and install the landscape you’ve dreamed of.

More adventures to come at the Times Union Home Expo!

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs by Michele

Staging Secrets

Staging a home especially when it’s about to hit the market is so important. When it comes to standing out, some homes are simply staged better than others.
So how do you enter the staging game at the next level?

Choosing the right décor in a staged home can be a difficult task. Too much of it and you’ll make the space look cluttered and overdone. Too little and your space may seem sparse and uninviting. What always stands out to me is cohesiveness. When everything flows without being too overdone.
Art hung perfectly and clever furniture placement can make the room seem large. Proper window treatments are a good starting place for the living or family room. Mirrors strategically mounted, are a wonderful way to play off light coming in from windows and bounce it around a room, creating the illusion of more space.


In bathrooms, hang luxurious towels over the tub, keep them white or neutral, clear the counters and place fresh flowers near the sink. It creates color and a fresh sent without overdoing fragrances.


Setting the kitchen and/or dining-room table can help buyers visualize themselves living in the space.
Perhaps most importantly, don’t forget the outside! First impressions are important, so you want to make sure your yard is equally as inviting as the inside of your home.


Neutrals with a pop of color. Some people may love walls that are painted deep blue but some people may not.
Your safest bet when it comes to the hues in your home is neutral-colored walls and furniture, with injections of color here and there. By colorful accessories I’m referring to accent pillows, large art or area rugs.


Colors like silver and turquoise can have a calming effect, and may be quite appealing for prospective buyers.
Remember less is more. Get rid of clutter! Last but certainly not least when it comes to staging and it is essential that your home is spotless if you want to earn top dollar.

Floors should shine, countertops should sparkle and all clutter should be removed. Keep in mind, although your personal items are of great importance to you, photos and personal mementos should be removed. By getting rid of excess items, you’ll also make your house seem bigger, which is appealing to anyone. Keep it simple. Even staged homes can get over-cluttered with items that look nice, but aren’t necessary. Keep it minimal and clutter-free! I hope these tips have helped, if you need additional assistance with your old home or the new home you are looking to purchase, visit me in booth #323, Designs by Michele, at the Times Union 38th Annual Home Expo!

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

 

XOXO

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…

XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs by Michele Booth 323

 

 

 

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!!

 

XOXO,

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…

 

XOXO