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

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

 

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…

 

XOXO

 

Michele Conti

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…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

 

Stuck In Room Rut? Traditional to Transitional

I once heard a colleague say the power of injecting well placed contemporary accents into a design is like little shots of Botox around the house. You all know someone or maybe you have a room that is stuck in time. Like a museum it starts to somehow feel stale, as if someone set up a velvet cord across the area. It’s like you need to hit the REFRESH button!

Most of us will feel as if this is a massive task, we need to start over completely because they are just frozen in their interiors…Well, I think with just a few design short cuts you can freshen up your dated space and give your home that much needed facelift. The real beauty of mixing contemporary furnishings in with traditional ones is that your home can evolve as you do!

Tips and Tricks:

Pair Old with New – If your beautiful Harding dining room is stuck in the past, place a modern rug underneath and it will give a nod to your past and present.

Be A Rug Trader – Replace a traditional oriental with a rug that has a more modern pattern. This lattice pattern takes the room in a whole new direction. Transitional rugs often take a traditional pattern and blow up the scale.

Interior Colors – Trending still from warmer to cooler wall colors, use deeper tones this year and mix them with neutrals, like the warmer white with darker shades of greys in this room. Darker colors have a more modern vibe, keeping this room in vogue…

Lighting – Outdated light fixtures do nothing to enhance a the appeal of a room. Homeowners are sometimes reluctant to change a fixture as they have to sometimes hire an electrician to install the new lighting. But what an upgrade for your home! Usually its nothing more than finding a handyman to help you exchange your fixtures and go from drab to fab!

Tap Into Current Color Trends – Removing the hunter green walls and throwing warmer grey’s into the room, to mix with the natural elements like the contemporary leather sectional, creates a rejuvenated space.

 Adding a rustic element by using a reclaimed wood clock above the fireplace blends this family room with updated accessories. To bring the room along further we replaced the old chair with a tufted accent chair, removed the heavy bookcases and this room took on a whole new look!

Brighter and lighter, remember less is more. Declutter your space and it will elevate your room and your mood! Get ready, Christmas is right around the corner, breath some new life into your home!

 

 

It’s the time of year when we New Yorkers deck our halls with merry colors and lights for the holiday season!

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

XOXO

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…

 

XOXO

Michele Cotnti

Styling Your Room

Good design can make any room look great, but for the average homeowner picking out the right furniture pieces, fabrics, and rugs for your living space can be a daunting task.  I’d like to share a few thoughts to help you decorate your home. Begin with establishing your style along with correct balance, proportion and scale of furnishings and decor. When it comes to decorating inspiration, a photo is definitely worth a thousand words.

 

The hardest part for many of us is ‘styling’ your room. We think of ‘styling’ as a way to arrange furnishings and  display the decorative objects that you’ve collected and love. It’s that final touch that takes your furniture pieces from simply functional to fabulous. 

  1. Neutrals For Large Pieces – The sofa and arm chairs are likely to be your biggest investment pieces in a room, get them in neutral colors to give yourself the most flexibility. Anchor the main pieces of furniture in the space to define the area; if your space is large, a great cost effective tip for carpet is to use an inexpensive large sisal rug to cover most of the area.    
  2.  Color –  is an obvious strategy when styling, and as a general rule, I recommend editing down your colors to three or four. If you want to add a punch of color pick 2 smaller accent chairs in a vibrant shade or print, which gives you more flexibility than a bright sofa . Pull accent colors from the rugs, window treatments, or art in your room.
  3. Shapes – Thoughtful space planning means setting up enough side tables and coffee tables for the seating you have, so that there is a place for guests to set a glass down but it’s important to have a mixture of shapes. If you have a very angular console table, mix in some round shapes, like lamps, sculpture, or art. Most of the seating furniture is angular, the side and coffee tables in a round shape are a nice counterpoint.  Don’t match the tables either – it’s much more interesting visually to mix and match different materials and shapes.
  4. Balance with Accessories –  One of the most important strategies when you’re styling any piece is to vary your heights. This helps your eye move around which creates a more interesting arrangement. If you have a tall lamp, use something shorter, like a stack of books for balance. Mix lots of different finishes and textures across the furniture piece you’re styling. If you have glossy, ceramic lamps, add something with a chippy paint finish or a raw wood. You don’t want everything on your table to be either shiny/polished/glossy OR patina/roughness/grain. You want some of both.
  5. Negative Space – The power of nothing. No matter what you’re styling, leave some negative space. Group items together (maybe a set of musical instruments on a short stack of books) and leave some areas of your table empty. This applies to art on the wall, blank space or a wall without anything is like a comma or a full stop in a sentence. The opportunity to just stop and enjoy the moment! As a result your room will feel more balanced.

I hope I inspired you! Thank you for letting me share some of my tips with you today, and as always…

 

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland.

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

 

 

 

Good Bye Sweetly…

For the 37th year the annual Times Union Home Expo came off without a hitch and lived up to all that we would expect.  A vibrant atmosphere was created among the vendors showcasing their most innovative home improvement services at this year’s show. The attendance was once again great despite the weather.  The number of visitors who have been filing in over the past two days was great. Ending early today due to inclement weather (or should I say a whopper of a snow storm) for the safety of our show goers and vendors…we were sad to say good bye!
Read more “Good Bye Sweetly…”

Day Two At The 37th Annual Home Expo

After 2 days at the Home Expo there is still so much to see and do to keep you entertained as well as providing you with ideas and inspiration for your home! See our Saturday Highlights below from the Beekman Boys book signing and guess who our guest Chef was at the Rising Star Chef Pavilion today? Enjoy the pictures and share some of your photos with us on Facebook!
Read more “Day Two At The 37th Annual Home Expo”