No Secrets With This Agency

2001 Central Insurance Agency knows that remodeling your home is a big undertaking and making your dream home a reality is hard work. The CIA team are available to help support your project and make sure your confident that the project will happen safely and you’re covered in case of “mayhem”.

But before you hit the hardware store, here are some tips that can help you think through how to make your renovation plans and home insurance work together to protect your family better.

Start a file:

Save quotes, estimates, invoices and receipts to update your homeowner’s policy as well as your home inventory. Take Pictures “before” and “after” pictures will help your insurance agent update your policy. As a designer I always like to see the transformation, and show your friends and family.

Questions for your contractor:

If you’re hiring a contractor for your project, ask them for a copy of their general liability insurance certificate, as well as their property and workers compensation insurance. Just as reviews and recommendations help you feel confident that you’ve got the right team for the job, checking that they’re covered helps you relax throughout the remodeling process.

Keep Track:

As you update your home inventory keep track of additional items you’ve purchased to fill your newly remodeled space. Like appliances, antiques, art, tv’s maybe your honey has purchased a new piece of jewelry for you…

Security System

Discounts available:

Ask your 2001 agent about eligibility for discounts on your homeowner’s insurance rate due to your remodeling project. You may qualify for a discount for installing home security system or fire alarm systems.

Consider extra coverage:

Whether renovating or remodeling add extra coverage in case the unexpected occurs. Coverage for water damage, if you are removing your roof and a sudden storm occurs, or if you’ve taken up a temporary residence while your home is being renovated you can add coverage for theft or vandalism of personal property.


Inspired to start a new remodeling project? Need advice on how home owners insurance can help or even save you money. Be sure to check with your agent to make sure that your homeowners coverage is doing all it can to protect your hard-earned dream.

Get more valuable advice for your home when you visit 2001 Central Insurance Agency in Booth # 276 at the Time Union Home Expo!


Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…


Michele Conti

Power Up!

Too often we live by a sort of “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” mindset about our home fixtures. This time of year, with snow on the ground, and ice on the wires we are reminded of how important it is to consider a standby generator. Home generators are one of the most useful pieces of equipment any home owner can have. Arket Electric and Generator is proud to provide affordable residential and commercial electrical solutions to their customers.


Prices have come down dramatically in the last few years. Finding a little extra money coming in with tax season? This is a great home improvement to consider particularly living in upstate NY where we’re able to contribute to this story, having frequent power outages. We are no strangers to being without power for over a week at a time. It’s times like these that you want to have a first responder Generac Generator. This backup generator immediately kicks into gear when the lights go out, and has been powering our home for the last 5 years.

Having one the best home generators supplying power to a sump pump, refrigerator, or a furnace can seem like a luxury when everyone else is struggling without any power at all. Other people in our neighborhood will still be huddling in the cold, searching for candles, and struggling to connect to the outside world. But when the next outage occurs we will be comfortable, and carrying on as usual thanks to Arket Electric and Generator and our Generac generator!

Arket Electric will be camped out at booth 119, at The 2018 Home Expo and they’ll “keep the lights on” for you.

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…



Michele Conti

Designs by Michele

Renovation Financing You Can Bank On…

Well, it’s been a few days since I’ve posted here on the blog, and what better way to say hello again than to share some before and after photos.

The secret to getting a renovation just right is to do your homework!  Research is the key to getting what you want. Study magazines and books to get an idea of the look you want. Visit friends, family members and colleagues who have renovated recently. Consider your lifestyle and the needs of your family, both in the short and long term. Discuss your project with a designer or decorator for contractor recommendations.

Living Room Before
Living Room After








Once you have a firm idea of the kind of renovation you would like to undertake, it is time to decide how you are going to pay for it. Trustco Bank is at The Home Expo to help with questions about how to finance your next project. If you are thinking of using outside funds, discuss your borrowing needs and options with Trustco Bank. You will probably find that there are many financing possibilities to consider, from personal loans and lines of credit to home equity loans and homeowner’s mortgages.

Are you planning a renovation? Times Union Home Expo is offering smart solutions for your home project! Whether you are building your dream home or simply sprucing up your present home, Home Expo 2018 has the consumer in mind!

There will be hundreds of exciting exhibits, that will display the best in home products, technology and services of every description. Visit one-on-one with builders, mortgage lenders, realtors, decorators, landscapers and more. From hardwood flooring to home theater systems, you can find the latest in product technology and design.

We look forward to seeing you at our new location, the 2018 Times Union Home Expo will be hosted exclusively at the new Albany Capital Center 55 Eagle St Albany NY 12207.


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.

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



Michele Conti

Designs by Michele


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

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




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


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



The Sexy side of Design!

With Fall in the rear-view mirror and winter upon us, now is the time most homeowners begin searching for ideas for enclosed patio’s as additional living space. A sun-drenched room filled with expansive exterior windows is certainly an asset to any home. Whether you call it a Florida room, Three Season Room or Sunroom, adding valuable living space to your home is always a good investment. Patio Enclosures is one of areas leading Sunroom and Patio showrooms in Albany. 

With 36-plus years of design experience Patio Enclosures has recently become part of the New Day Improvements family of brands offering the best Sunrooms in the country. Recognized by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), Remodelers Magazine, Energy Star and National Building Code for our excellence in the home improvement industry.

While older sunporches are typically three-season rooms (not having insulation or HVAC systems), newer sunporches are often built to be inhabited year-round. Whatever you call this light-filled room, it’s often the most popular space in the house. Patio Enclosures will help you decide if converting an existing porch or adding a new sunporch is for you.

Just because a sunporch is often called a three-season room, there’s no reason to limit it to outdoor furniture and forgo cushy indoor-style upholstery. This beautiful room works for all your family gatherings.


Words can’t describe what a sunroom can do for your home and life, get inspired with real project photos, Patio Enclosures will be located at booth 221, Ron DeGraw will be there to answer your questions and for information and scheduling your free estimate and appointment.  Christmas is coming, schedule your appointment before January 2nd, and use the coupon below for extra savings!


As always stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…



Michele Cotnti