Day Two! We Are Rolling…

There was an exciting vibe here today, with the economy growing the crowd is ready to take on some new projects and the atmosphere at the home expo was bustling with information for its attendees.

Demonstrations and giveaways are on hand at several vendors the attendees are here to Renew, Refresh and Restore your Home! As an interior designer I know the importance of having a good plan to follow, let our vendors help guide your project with budget as well as and idea of a time line for your project. Need help? Visit me, Designs by Michele at booth #323 I’m here to help! Come in sign up for a free Consultation!

At the Times Union Home Expo everything that you need to turn your home and garden dreams into a reality can be found under one roof. Explore hundred of vendors and exhibits, and engage with more than a 1000 experts! Remember to visit CRBRA at booth 103A and get your free ticket to the Parade of Homes!

 

 

Come on down you only have one More Day to visit the Home Expo ! If you are building or renovating you don’t want to miss our last day at the Albany Capital Center!  I look forward to meeting you!

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

Post and Beam Homes Exposed…

There’s just something to be said about the strong rustic styling that a post and beam home possess. Whether it’s because of their “old world” charm or stupendous architecture, the allure of a post and beam home cannot be escaped. Often, people dream of having a retreat home in the mountains or some other wilderness setting. With Habitat Post and Beam, you don’t have to dream about it any longer, instead, you can live it. Their timber homes are designed to be affordable so that anyone can enjoy the rustic beauty of their great architectural designs. What makes a post and beam home so affordable is the way in which they are built.

Our specialty here at Habitat is post & beam construction. The reason why they choose this method over timber framing is largely because of the affordability and turnaround time. Post & beam uses simpler connections or steel plates to connect the components. These connectors can either be exposed or hidden depending on your preference.

If exposed, they offer a great visual aspect to your post and beam home that cannot be found in timber framing. The use of prefabricated materials helps cut down on labor costs and expedites the erection of your new home. These are stark advantages over the more traditional timber frame construction. Essentially, you can have the beauty of a timber frame home in less time and for less cost. In fact, a well-built post and beam home is nearly indistinguishable from a timber framed home.

 

For more information about Post and Beam homes or about the advantages of post & beam construction, Visit Habitat Post and Beam at Booth #266. We look forward to seeing you at the 38th Annual Times Union Home Expo!

 

As Always stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

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.

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.

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

 

XOXO

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…

XOXO

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…

XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs By Michele