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

The Case Of A Room With A View – 3M Window Film

In the heart of upstate NY is a beautiful home with breathtaking views, an absolutely stunning place! Built in the early 2000’s this home has million dollar views… but unfortunately the same windows that made this spectacular view brought along serious energy costs. The massive heat gain in the summer made it hard to keep cool. Just as concerning was the heat loss in the winter.


American Sun Control has several options to combat these problems the sunlight was causing. The home owners were considering shades, but the cost of maintenance, needing motorized units for the high windows plus repairs coupled with trying to clean the shades ended that thought.

Rob Bouchey explains that with the 3M Sun Control Window Film, the windows would reject heat, block glare and protect the beautiful view that was designed for this house and was the reason homeowners purchased this home.

With 2018 getting underway why not resolve to have a more energy efficient home this year? While your homes windows open your space to natural lighting, warmth and views of the outdoors there are also downsides. Unfortunately, these same windows open you up to high energy costs, heat buildup, excess glare and premature fading of interior furniture.

Implementing a high quality window film solution can improve the comfort and increase the energy efficiency of your windows and allow you to bask in the sunlight worry free.


American Sun Control is at the Times Union Home Expo on the first floor of the Albany Capital Center, in booth 125. Visit with Rob, he has all the 3M products available to review, make an appointment to install 3M products on your windows and enjoy the view…

See you soon, 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


Zoom Room – Tiny Home solutions…

As the tiny house movement rages on and rising rents in New York force people into tighter living situations, one piece of furniture is seeing a resurgence, the Murphy bed. The bed originated in the early 1900’s by William Lawrence Murphy. As legend goes, he wanted to court an opera singer and lived in a one room apartment in the city, the moral code at the time frowned on a woman to entering a mans bedroom. So Mr. Murphy invented a fold up bed that let him convert his bedroom into a parlor!

But as Murphy Beds continue to gain in popularity, especially with the imaginative ways they can be incorporated into a person’s home décor, a company light years ahead in the design, called Zoom Room has arrived at the Home Expo this year. Zoom-Room was founded in 2005 to bring the remarkable German-made electronic, remote controlled, retractable Murphy Bed to North America.  With innovative products like the zoom bed, they are committed to bringing great design, smarter space saving solutions and the highest level of service and satisfaction to their customers.

Located on the first level of the Albany Capital Center, in booth 134 you can witness for your self as the Zoom-Bed floats into the room with the push of a button.  Housed in an elegant cabinet, the Zoom-Bed allows you to utilize the space in front for a flat screen TV, bookshelves, art boxes, a painting or whatever you can imagine. . If you are short on space but are looking for big design, stop at Zoom-Room and see the flexibility that a murphy bed can bring to your space.


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




Michele Conti

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!!



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

Organic Fusion-Takes Neutrals by Surprise!

One common thread has been evident in all home design trends for 2018; homeowners are looking for ways to break from the mold and be different. In the bathroom, they are relying on tech, tiles and bold accents to make their shower time more interesting. Neutral decors are still popular, homeowners are in love with whites, creams, blues and light browns making a space look modern and elegant. In 2018, neutral bathrooms will still be very much in vogue but with a bit of an organic infusion. With over 100 years of experience in the Albany area,  Bennett Contracting chose a dark vanity in this transitional space to balance the cooler colors with the warmth of real wood.

Fixer Upper, the hit HGTV show uses quite a bit of wood in their designs, introducing warm tones into otherwise neutral color schemes. Natural wood is making a comeback in design, from wood floors to barn beam ceilings and everywhere in between. Whether to create a slightly natural vibe, a modern transitional theme or Urban Industrial, wood is showing up in all the right places.

Bennett Contracting used a mix of different wood species to create a beautiful centerpiece in this kitchen. Just make sure there’s enough contrast to show you mean it, near misses don’t make it. The idea is to create visual contrast between the work island and the perimeter cabinets. If the perimeter cabinets differ from the work island, we might put the same countertop material on both as Bennett did in this newly renovated space.

Are you itching to breathe new life into an outdated or poorly-functioning kitchen or bath?  Before you decide to meet with a contractor gather ideas for what styles, colors and substrates you like. While looking through magazines, tear out photos of kitchens that appeal to you and write what you like about the room in the margin. Then slip the page into a clear sheet protector and insert that into a three-ring binder to create a stylebook.

The Internet is another source for kitchen and bath inspiration. As your stylebook grows, a clear picture of your desired style of kitchen or bath will begin to emerge. That’s helpful for you, but it’s also helpful for the remodeling professionals at Bennett Contracting. Bring your storybook to the Home Expo this year and introduce your ideas to Bennett’s designer Justina! She will go through your ideas with you and get a blush of what you’re after, so that together you can create your ideal space.

Bennett Contracting is located on the second level, at booth 305 at the Times Union Home Expo this year. Kevin Gutman will be there to guide you through your next step, making sure that your next project will be a huge success!

Stay tuned for more ideas, information and design tips with Adventures in Styleland…



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…






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


First Day Of The 37TH Annual Home Expo!!

What an amazing day! I got to meet and interact with so many wonderful and amazing people! There was a steady stream of people coming through the Times Union Home Expo this afternoon. The crowd was in good spirits despite the brisk 20 degree temperature. There was a great amount of anticipation as the last few  vendors were busy putting together the final touches on their booths for the annual Home Expo.
Read more “First Day Of The 37TH Annual Home Expo!!”