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

We Paint Lives Not Houses – CertaPro Painters

Color experts keep an eye out for trends, traveling around the country and abroad, and taking cues from the arts, fashion, pop culture, and the automotive industry, among other areas. I’ve noticed if you ask five experts to forecast the hottest interior paint color for 2018, and you’ll get five different answers.

We all know that when it comes to putting a house up for sale, homeowners are always looking for ways to boost the value of their property. But, besides kitchen and bathroom updates, decluttering room by room and cleaning up the landscaping, one improvement that sellers often overlook is repainting. It turns out a fresh coat of paint in the right color can directly impact the sale of a home in terms of time on market and selling price. 

Hopefully I can help you avoid the “inspiration loop” fueled by HGTV, Pinterest and the hot design blog of the month, and guide you towards picking a hard-working color that can have a mass appeal.

Getting a sensational look in your home is easier than you may think. Contrasting colors can enhance the elegance and sophistication of neutrals and bring out rich undertones throughout your room. To achieve this try pairing understated neutrals with deep colors, like the perfect pairing of wine and food colors also have exquisite mixes. CertaPro Painters has been my go to when recommending a painter. Choosing colors is only half the job when painting, getting a good painter who will make your wall look like creamy cashmere, making every line crisp and clean is the other half of the “pairing”

 

Dark Grey is one of my favorites darker hues, I love to blend it with a soft white or pale green. Some of my favorites are; Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Grey or Peppercorn. For softer neutrals try Sherwin Williams Svelte Sage or a creamy white like Greek Villa. The contrast of light and dark will draw the eye, giving your home an elegant feel that whispers refinement.

Stop by booth#137, Talk with Terri, Tim or Anna…they can give you an free estimate for interior or exterior painting, I work closely with CertaPro and I’m available for free color consults, compliments of CertaPro! I believe life should be lived in color! Stop by Designs by Michele booth #323 let me know you are working with CertaPro, let me help you coloring your home!

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs By Michele

Double Nickels – What does your home look like?

This past year my husband and I turned 55. We are an active couple, and currently have a larger home with two college age children. As we approach the “Senior Status” we’ve thought about downsizing and given some consideration to what our new home would need to support us, as we get older. I looked at the buying behaviors of couples ages 55-65 and wanted to share information that may be helpful when considering a retirement home.

 

A Home that Supports an Active Lifestyle:

Size is Important: Carefully proportioned spaces. No wasted space, no redundant rooms.  Eat in Kitchens or smaller dining spaces and living spaces that are spacious, with open floor plans.

Low or No maintenance: Both exterior and interior finishes requiring little to no maintenance allowing more time for a recreational lifestyle, creating time to travel and pursue passions and hobbies.

Connecting the Indoors with the Outdoors: This age group wants a connection with the outdoors for everything from entertaining to personal space. Some of the popular amenities include floor-to-ceiling windows, French doors or sliding, full glass door walls and that lead to porches and patios as added functioning living spaces.

Rooms that are flexible: Rooms that are multi-functional, to accommodate visits from adult children and their growing families as well as visiting friends.  Designs that keep elements simple and flexible so it is easy to adapt spaces as a family’s needs evolve. A room that can become a craft room, exercise room, a guest bedroom, or a game room.

A Home that supports independence at all ages. Open floorplans with flowing spaces that accommodate the use of wheelchairs or walkers with wider doorways and hallways. Eliminating steps curb-less showers, outlets places a bit higher and bathrooms that can be easily adapted with grab bars as needed.

Great Kitchen design: Kitchens should be designed with multiple counter heights for comfortable food prep, lots of storage and elevated wall ovens and dishwashers. Lighting: Glare free sources, automatic and motion activated switching. Well lighted areas like hallways.

Updated and Trending Design: The 55+ buyer looks for finishes and features that are current and reflect their vibrant personalities and preferences. It’s the time of life to splurge.  Spa-like master bathrooms are at the top of a wish list that includes smart home systems, home entertainment systems, outdoor kitchens and the like.

Storage, is Important:  The design should take advantage of creative opportunities to offer storage in unused spaces such as in window seats, in nooks below stairs and garages.

Pet Friendly: Many older adults will keep a pet as a companion. Spaces for washing the pet, and dedicated spots for feeding and sleeping should be considered.

Sleepy Hollow Lake is a community that offers independent living for families and Seniors. So if you are considering building a new home and are looking for an active community check out their booth#133 located on the 1st floor of the Albany City Center.

 

See you soon! Just one week away from the 38th Annual Times Union Home Expo!!

 

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

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

Windows – The Eyes of Our Homes

There is a certain appeal to a home with plenty of windows, even more so for large windows. Most of us would agree that a home with floor to ceiling windows tends to be more desirable than one with fewer and smaller windows. Window World knows the hardest part of the home improvement process is visualizing what the final product will look like. With Window World’s unique Design Software, envisioning new products on your home becomes as easy as a few clicks of a mouse. Simple to use and navigate, the Design Center brings your future project to life. The convenient “Print” option provides a hard copy of your selections for inspiration during your in-home consultation.

Windows provide visual access to the outdoors, allow in natural daylight and can provide fresh air and air circulation. Large windows have plenty of advantages, as listed below. They provide:

 

1.      Plenty of natural daylight. Especially during the dark days of winter, when some of us are affected by seasonal affect disorder , large windows can allow light to stream in, allowing you to forgo electric lighting while benefiting from natural light. Exposure to natural light is known to help boost energy and moods and generally makes you feel better, while at the same time regulating your natural circadian rhythm, encouraging better sleeping at night.

2.   Passive Solar Gain.  If designed properly, large well-positioned windows can help heat a home through in the winter when passive solar gain the sun is shining.

3.      A way to bring the outdoors in. Large windows can help you feel like you are part of the outdoors even when you’re inside. Studies have shown that views of the natural world have a profound positive effect on our health and well-being. Views of nature help boost our mood and make us happy. The beauty of the outdoors can also be used as a stunning backdrop for your decor.

4.      Functional Art. Beautiful windows are pleasing to look at, make a room appear bigger and add value to a home in the event of resale.

Some other points about large windows:

Design: An architect will take house orientation on the property into account when planning window design. It’s important to address potential glare and/or excessive heat during certain times of the year. Architects can design windows or shading structures that help minimize glare while preserving views. Ideally, in northern climates like ours, large windows should face south or southwest to allow maximum solar heat gain in winter.

Window World is located in booth #209, this year at the Times Union Home Expo in the Albany Capital Center. Stop in and start seeing the world through the eyes of your home…

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs by Michele

 

 

 

 

Super Bowl LII

We are 10 days away from The New England Patriots facing off against the Philadelphia Eagles for the 52nd edition of the league’s championship game! Which means there are plenty of options for the best party foods and ideas. Here are a few ideas if your hosting this year!

 

For a healthy dish on Super Bowl Sunday try this Watermelon Helmet Click here for recipe

Let your guest make the calls, use yellow napkins that double as penalty flags!

Play Bingo during commercials and give away cute prizes click here for printable bingo cards

How about some Pigskins in a Blanket

You’ll need something for your  guests with a sweet tooth…Football Ice Cream Sandwiches

 

Root for your favorite team with popcorn in your colors!

Have fun and stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

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

Out With The Old

It’s a new year, and maybe this will be the year that the entryway stays tidy, the toys don’t devolve into chaos, and your clothes are always neatly folded and put away. If you’ve started with a big organizing goal, it helps to break it down into smaller steps. Lowe’s is at the Times Union Home Expo to help!  Located in booth 307, Lowe’s has several items to help get your home in shape for the new year.

Here are a few resolutions to help you organize your home in 2018.

Everything in its place:

An object can’t be organized if it’s doesn’t have a home. Designate a spot for everything, commit to keeping it there, and get your honey and kids on board too! When your organizing storage for items you use daily, pay attention to where things tend to land. If shoes and coats are always piled by the front door, embrace this trend and get a coat rack, and/or bench to corral the clutter. If magazines, catalogs and papers end up on the kitchen counter, add a pretty wicker basket so they stay in one place. It may not be your first-choice spot, but in this case, the path of least resistance will most likely lead to success.

Bring something in, Take something out

Trade new for old, but get rid of the old! Use this rule for clothes, toys, kitchen gadgets, magazines ect.  If something comes into your home, it should be replacing something else, not adding to the clutter. Resist the urge to hold onto your old jeans, shoes or coats “just in case” there’s a day when you need to wear  beat-up cloths or shoes for some reason. Encourage your children to donate toys they’ve outgrown when an influx of new stuff comes in on their birthdays or Christmas. You can only use so much stuff.

Three Month Rule

Decluttering has rules that you can follow. If you haven’t used something in 90 days, and don’t see yourself using it in the next 90 days, get rid of it. You can adjust your time limit—maybe three months is too short, so it needs to be six, or a full year, but creating a rule for yourself and sticking to it can take the guesswork out of deciding what to keep. Anytime you can make a plan to follow, your life gets easier, too.

 

End the day with a clean sweep:

Even if it means going to bed 10 minutes later, make a point to tidy every night before you go to bed, so you can wake up to an uncluttered house. That means finishing up the dishes, clear your counters, hang jackets and pick up the shoes. It doesn’t take long, especially if you do most chores ahead of your bed time. This gives you the chance to start fresh in the morning instead of waking to clutter and just adding to it the next day.

Keep Items of Beauty and Worth

Donate, this is the one thing we don’t do enough of. If you don’t truly need it in the next 30 days, pass it on! If you don’t use it or don’t like it get rid of it! Be intentional about what you keep, next time you see a book on a shelf or something in your closet that makes you feel “eh,” just put it in the donate box.

As always, stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs by Michele