Home Show Fills Albany Capital Venue

Home Expo returns chock-full of inspiration — and not only to prospective buyers strolling the 2 floors with starry lights above, but milling with hundreds of people from the local Albany area and farther away.

If you are a homeowner who likes to stay up-to-date with the latest creative trends, or you have a remodel project in mind, our Home Expo has events you do not want to miss.

When your looking to renovate or remodel your home,  the decisions can be daunting. Let our home and design experts help you. Come out and meet and see live designs and products at our 39th Annual Home Expo.

We look forward to seeing you!

 

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

39th Annual Home Expo Is Here!

39th Annual Home Expo and our Second year at The Albany Capital Center venue is starting off to be a great weekend! Meet our local vendors, visit the in-booth demonstrations taking place as well as free giveaways throughout the show.  Come in out of the cold, and feel spring in the air!

The most wonderful time of the year shouldn’t be put on hold just because of a little cold weather. Even though outside it hasn’t been the best, inside at the Home Expo the grass was green! It really has felt like a spring was here in the home and garden booths around me.

All the attendee’s are ready to start remodeling and/or building projects, and looking for the latest trends, fresh ideas and great deals. With hundreds of experts under one roof you are sure to find what your looking for. Come Join the excitement, there’s only two days left!

If your looking for inspiration, I invite you to attend the 39TH Annual Times Union Home Expo, come see me in booth 323!

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

 

 

Super Bowl Sunday LIII

The Super Bowl is today, and you’re going to be hungry. When you watch a Super Bowl, there’s nothing like sitting down with an amazing spread to gorge on during the game.  With food that will make the weeks of planning worth it when the Patriots face the Rams today!

I’m guessing you’re going to be eating at some point during the game, if not the entire night. Remember, for many people, the Big Game is more like the Big Gulp — a wintertime Thanksgiving for football fans, their friends and, best of all, the people who pretend to be both. So what better way to prepare for Super Sunday than by sizing up some of the most popular game-day snacks?

 

Tired of the same old wings recipe? Kick it up a notch with Maple Mustard Chicken wings which are sweet and spicy and go down great with your favorite beer!

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 pounds chicken wings, separated into drumettes and midsections (or flats), wing tips discarded
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill
  1. Combine the salt, pepper, and cayenne in a large container with a tight fitting lid or a large resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and toss with your hands until evenly coated. Close the container and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, place the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small, nonreactive bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.
  3. Heat an outdoor grill to medium high (about 375°F to 425°F). When the grill is ready, use tongs to rub the grate with several layers of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil. Place the wings on the grate in a single layer so they are not touching (if needed, cook them in batches). Cover the grill and cook, flipping the wings occasionally with tongs, until the skin is opaque and no longer raw-looking, about 10 minutes. Brush all over with the reserved maple-mustard sauce and continue to cook, flipping and basting occasionally, until the wings are golden brown, no longer pink at the bone, and the skin is crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes more.

These slightly sweet and spicy wings are easy to eat with your fingers and go great with beer. The glaze, made from common ingredients, is a snap to throw together. Have lots of napkins on hand for sticky fingers.

Mini Wonton Tacos

Serves 24
Meat
1 lb 80% lean ground beef, lean
3/4 cup Pace chunky salsa, Mild
1 package Taco seasoning mix
24 Wonton wrappers
1 cup Mexican blend cheese
1/4 cup Sour cream
Heat the oven to 425°F.  Press the wonton wrappers into 24 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups.
Cook the beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat. Stir in the taco seasoning mix and 1/4 cup salsa.
Spoon the beef mixture into the wonton cups. Top with the remaining salsa and the cheese.
Bake for 5 minutes or until the wontons are golden brown and the cheese is melted.  Top with the sour cream, if desired.

Chips and dip are an easy go-to snack for tailgating, but what about a cheesy pimento dip and crackers instead? This is a recipe for a mild pepper cheese dip with herbs that is a little more interesting than the usual.
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle’s
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces pepper jack, grated
  • 4 ounces pimentos, jarred or fresh
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped

Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, adobo sauce, and black pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix it until totally combined (if you have a few lumps from the cream cheese, no problem; you won’t see them later!)

Jalapeno Poppers

To make this amazing DIY bar snack recipe, begin by splitting open fresh jalapeño peppers and scraping out the seeds and veins. Separately, mix cream cheese, cooked Mexican chorizo, canned chipotle chiles, and salt and pepper to form a smooth mixture. Fill the jalapeños, then broil until hot and blistered. Serve at once, with plenty of cold beer or soft drinks.

  • 12 jalapeño peppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup minced, cooked Mexican chorizo
  • 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Set the oven to broil and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Lay a jalapeño on your work surface so that it sits flat without rolling. Make two cuts forming a “T” by first slicing down the middle of the chile lengthwise from stem to tip, then making a second cut perpendicular to the first about 1/4 inch from the stem, slicing only halfway through the chile (be careful not to cut off the stem end completely). Carefully open the flaps to expose the interior of the chile, and, using a butter knife or small measuring spoon, scrape the inside to remove the seeds and ribs. Repeat with the remaining peppers; set aside.
  3. Place the cream cheese, chorizo, chipotles, and salt in a medium bowl, season with freshly ground black pepper, and mix until smooth and evenly combined. Transfer the mixture to a quart-size resealable plastic bag, cut one bottom corner off to make a 3/4-inch-wide opening, and squeeze the mixture into the chiles until just filled (be careful not to overfill). Insert a toothpick widthwise through each chile to secure the flaps and filling. Place the filled chiles on the prepared baking sheet in two evenly spaced rows of six.
  4. Broil for 4 minutes, rotate the pan, and continue to broil until the peppers are starting to char and the filling is browned and bubbly, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the oven, and remove the toothpicks if desired. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Get your game face on!! Bon Appetit!

Sweetly,

Michele

Inspiring Color In Your Home

Color sets the mood for a home’s interior and conveys how you want the space to feel. You have only one chance to make a first impression. So it’s important that the entry to your house is welcoming to guests, reflects your personal style and makes you feel happy and comfortable as soon as you walk through the door. This space sets the tone for the rest of your home. What ever your style let it reflect who you are.

In most apartments, the entry space is small, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a big statement. This home is bold and chic right from the entryway. A Jackson Pollack-like wall-covering, plush stools, a statement mirror and a geometric rug welcome guests and let them know they are entering a stylish home.

 

If you need help a good painter  CertaPro Painters will be at the Home Expo, stop at booth 145. Talk to Terri or Anna and let them help inspire you with a fresh coat of paint in your home!

 

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

Relaxing’s Easy With Electrolux

 

When you purchase a new vacuum, you make an investment in the health of your home. It’s a great thing when you find a product that you love, and an even better thing when you find something that makes your life easier and better in so many different ways.

We are an active family who is pretty busy. We spend a lot of time both outdoors and at home, and we love our family time. Whether we are just enjoying an evening unwinding together, or entertaining friends, our residence needs to be a place of relaxation and peace. Finding cleaning products that fit seamlessly into our lives is essential, and Electrolux does that.

Our home is simple and organized in general, and lately it’s even been clean. Thanks to some great new Electrolux vacuums that make the chore of cleaning easier, and even a bit fun. Spending time at home is more wonderful than ever and I am never embarrassed to invite guests over at the last minute.

 

We have a family of four, two lovely girls, my husband and myself. In addition, we also have fur babies,  two cats ( Samson and Delilah) and two pups ( Cappuccino and Ricky).   In our home pet hair is a constant battle. We use the Electrolux ProSwivel vacuum, because it really gets dirt from deep in the fibers of our rugs and removes dander and hair. I don’t want to be embarrassed by roving dust bunnies or tangles carpet fibers that look like we never clean, or hesitate to invite anyone over with images of tumbleweeds in the back of my mind. Electrolux gives me peace of mind and extra family time.

Electrolux vacuums have attachments that are actually useful, with self-cleaning brushes and a removable cup to toss dirt that are both easy to remove and reinsert. Time-saving and expedient- just what a busy family with lots of fun stuff going on needs.

Stop by Electrolux Vacuums, they are located in booth 322 and let them help you keep your home safe and clean.

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

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

Opening Day at The Home Expo!

The 38th annual Times Union Home Expo brought a crowd of infinite energy. Kicking off what show organizers hope to be a successful weekend! The new Albany Capital Center was bustling with enthusiastic show attendees, and some of our favorite vendors were on hand to great them.

Local professionals will be available all weekend to discuss the plans you have for your home. Whatever your plans include, from selling your home to buying into the real estate for market, a large scale renovation to your home, or minor cosmetic changes you’ll find what you need here! There will be in-booth demonstrations taking place as well as free giveaways throughout the show.

The venue was beautiful and traffic moved well through both levels. The lights in the ceiling on the second level, are stupendous setting the mood for attendee’s to discover new products, and meet with vendors for latest trends, fresh ideas and great deals with hundreds of experts under one roof… 

 

 

 Welcoming new friends, L. Browe Asphalt is with us this year, Loren Browe says “Not only does quality paving enhance your home or business’s curb appeal, it also adds value to your property’s total investment. Whether you are residential or commercial, and in need of a new driveway, parking lot, private road or tennis court, stop in and make an appointment for a free consultation and estimate.”

Click Heaters offers reusable and instant Thermal pads which can be used nearly anywhere on one’s body. Unlike most heating pad products, what makes this product unique is that it requires no electricity for immediate activation. With just a click of a small metal disc located inside the pad, it instantly heats up and can last up to an hour or more, depending on use.

Visit Click Heathers in booth# 140 for a demonstration!

 

Looking forward to a great day tomorrow,  when you renovate your home you want to choose products that are cutting edge and timeless. If your looking for inspiration, we invite you to attend the 38TH Annual Times Union Home Expo!

 

See you all tomorrow!!

 

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

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

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…

XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs by Michele Booth 323