Organizational Tips For Your Home, Declutter For 2019

What’s the secret to keeping a clean and clutter-free home? Well, the secret is there isn’t one! It’s being intentional every day. Cleaning up messes before they get out of hand, following through with routines, and putting a few simple systems into place will definitely help.

Start your day with a routine:

About 20 minutes is all it takes to really get the ball rolling. I make my bed, start a load of laundry, unload and reload the dishwasher, wipe down the bathroom counters after I finish get ready, and then do a quick pick up of our living space because we live in our home! Dogs, cats two girls and my wonderful husband.

Just like your morning routine is the perfect way to start your day, your evening routine will help you set yourself up for success the next day.

Only do the absolute necessary things. These include cleaning up the dinner dishes and setting the dishwasher to run overnight, finishing the load of laundry I started by drying, folding, and putting it ALL away, completing a quick pick up of your home, and making a short to-do list for the next day.

I’ve found that if I do nothing else throughout the except completing my morning and evening routines, my home stays clean and clutter-free.

Have a Cleaning Routine:

Instead of having a specific day each week to clean the entire house or having specific chores assigned to different days of the week, do something completely different. Have a list of 5 tasks to complete throughout the week. As you have time, check a task off  your list. Some weeks this means getting everything done in one day. Other weeks you may sporadically clean the house throughout the week. But that’s okay. It’s all getting done eventually and your home stays cleaner because of it.

The tasks to try to complete each week include dusting (you can actually do this every other week), vacuuming, mopping the floors, scrubbing the bathrooms, and changing the sheets on all the beds.

One other thing that has made cleaning a home much easier is simply de-cluttering. When you have less to clean and less to clean around, this task takes much less time. Removing the furniture and decor  or chatchka you didn’t really need or love makes such a difference. So dusting that took an hour is now a 10 minute chore.

Meal Prep!

You might be wondering how meal planning can help you home stay clean and clutter-free. But hear me out! If you are consistently meal planning, then you should always know whats for dinner each night. So instead of feeling frazzled and crazy trying to get something on the table, you will know exactly what to prepare.

Sometimes we don’t realize how stress and anxiety affects us until we step back and make changes. If you are putting all of your energy into trying to scrap together a meal at 6pm at night, you will be less likely to clean up the dishes or finish that evening routine.

Here’s hoping this will help you stay organized and stress free in 2019!  See you shortly at the Times Union Home Expo!

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

 

The Perfect Deck

Many years ago, I lived in a home that had a simple deck attached to the back of the house. My husband and I spent countless hours relaxing, cooking, laughing and sharing stories with friends in our outdoor living room. It was an ideal combination of comfort and convenience, with the fresh air and sounds of our backyard. Without a deck, we would have spent considerably less time outside and might have missed out on some lovely afternoons and evenings with friends.

 

Here in Albany NY,  we have many spring, summer and fall days that invite us outside. Decks and patios are outdoor living rooms, kitchens, and playrooms. They are places where we can gather with loved ones. Whether stone, wood or composite decks or patio’s they are so much more than square expanses with no character.

In addition to their versatile sense of style, covered portico’s also have flexibility as to where they are used in an outdoor space’s design. Ground floor or elevated locations, homeowners can even choose to make use of the area beneath an elevated porch by building a secluded grotto or an outdoor kitchen.

Fireplaces and ceiling fans, are must-have features and part of so many back porch designs because they are both stylish and useful. Both of these features evoke a sense of luxury ambiance in whatever space they are included. More than just looking gorgeous, these accessories have a job to do. Fireplaces keep you warm in the winter and ceiling fans help you stay cool in the summer, meaning both extend how much use you’ll get from your outdoor space.

Stop at any of our builders and re-modeler’s booth’s at the Home Expo and start planning your outdoor space!

 

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

Building An Empire

How exciting is it to have Arena Football back in Albany! We’re looking forward to a great season with The Albany Empire football team. Starting Spring of 2018 at the Times Union Center.

Get out of the house and away from the TV, the live experience is a game changer! The AFL smacks you in the face with high-octane entertainment! Ticket prices are affordable for family fun, with 50 yard fields the touchdowns are plentiful and action is full force. The Albany Empire will have crippling hits and Hail Mary passes, you wont be disappointed!

The AFL is in the business of high scoring football, here are some of the rules:

  • Field: 85 feet wide, 50 yards long, for a faster, higher-scoring affair.
  • Goal posts: Nine feet wide with a 15-foot high crossbar.
  • Rebound nets: Kickoffs and passing plays that bounce off the nets are still in play.
  • Passing: Just like in NCAA, receivers only need one foot inbounds.
  • Punting: Not allowed. You gotta man-up and go for it on fourth down.

The team is owned and operated by a local group of business men including George Hearst 111, Dan Nolan and Ed Swyer. The local group has partnered with the ownership group of the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League, led by Ron Jaworski, Dick Vermeil, Marques Colston, Jahri Evans and other Philadelphia area businessmen.

Find out more about The Albany Empire at the Home Expo in Booth#238, they will be doing a promotion for attendees to win tickets to the opening night game! Stop in, bring your home expo ticket to their booth and get details to win!

 

See you Friday! Stay tuned for the start of this exciting Adventure in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

Designs by Michele

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

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…

XOXO

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…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

 

2018 Design Trends Are In…

There are  several key trends that will heavily influence home design in 2017-2018 and beyond. With retailers always eager to stay ahead of the curve, they look to these trends for a style advantage – a look that sets them apart in the sea of sameness.  What they have found are style stories as inspired as the shoppers that purchase them, covering themes old and new—and everything in between.

 

 

1. Windows

There’s just something about a home that’s well-lit. It’s livelier and has a certain character you can’t deny. This is the reason why you need to install huge windows to let more of the sun’s light into your home. Your interiors will benefit from the additional brightness to drive any trace of gloom away. Plus, everything will seem warmer and being motivated will be no problem at all.

At the same time, using window frames that have a minimalist design will really look astounding inside your home. These frames highlight your windows without causing any further distractions. This design element will really look amazing and complement your outdoor landscapes or gardens well. Window World is the areas largest replacement window specialist, and one of our vendors again this year at the 38TH Annual Times Union Home Expo, for information on how to start your new year on the “Bright Side” let Window World help install new windows in your home!

2.  Wallpaper

When 2018 hits, wallpapers will be the hot trend. This kind of design element will be homeowners’ preferred choice to add flair and style to their homes. Better clean and prep your walls as soon as possible folks. Get them ready for a new wallpaper so your new year will come in style. Stout offers Wallpaper by Brewster. This one of my favorites Zen Choon Mica Chip…

Simply Stunning!

Greenery and Botanical wallpapers continue into 2018, Scandanavian prints are some of the Hotest designs for 2018!

3.  Brown and Beige

2018 will be the year when brown and beige make their comeback and invade the interior design scene. These colors are far from the bold ones some people choose inside their homes. At the same time, they are also different from cooler grey shades because they exhibit an earthy warm tone for your home. Brown and beige exude a sense of quiet strength and calmness that is commonly associated with elements of the earth. If you’re looking for new colors to place inside your home, brown and beige are your best bets for 2018.

This Sam Moore Livingroom with Hooker Palisade Display Cabinets located in back of the sofa create a comfortable casual space in earthy tones that make you want to cozy up with your martini and good book. Wall color is SherwinWilliams Loggia. Contact me for information on this and other Sam Moore and Hooker Fine Furnishings.

4. Modern Magnificence

It appears that the color trend is coming to a soft close. Color was almost completely devoid at this years fall High Point market and neutrals reined supreme.  Soft colors and forms are the hallmark of modern art-inspired decor, which provides uncommon energy, movement, and emotion in the home. Look to abstract and geometric motifs punctuated by spiked shapes and Mondrian and Rorshach inkblot-inspired offerings, all combining to create masterful contemporary compositions. Handcrafted or sculptured, metallic finishes provide the perfect backdrop for a spirited yet organic feel.  Uttermost and Revelation are two of my favorites for Home Accents and Art.

 

2017 will soon bid us goodbye ad 2018 will usher in a whole new year that’s full of possibilities. No matter what you choose for your home, any of these interior design trends will certainly add a touch of style, luxury, and relaxation to your place. Don’t get left behind and start planning right now and mark your calendar for February 9-11, 2018!

 

Keep Reading for new Design Trends this year at the 38th Annual Times Union Home Expo, see you at the new location, The Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle Street Albany, NY 12207 (518) 487-2155.

 

As Always Stay Tuned For More Adventures In Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

518 852-4185

The Days Are Short..But There’s Always Time For Ice Cream!

I’ve been living a distracted life, every minute of my day accounted for. I’m always checking something off the list, or staring at my phone, or rushing off to my next appointment. And no matter how many ways I divide my time and attention, no matter how many ways I multi-task, there’s never enough time in a day.
Read more “The Days Are Short..But There’s Always Time For Ice Cream!”