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

 

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

2019 Design Trends

Design trends for 2019 start with Colors; Pantone’s pick is Living Coral, but homeowners are choosing darker and moodier colors, such as navy and forest green, in the new year. 2019 is taking a more mindful, lifestyle-based approach to the development of new shades. While nature is a common inspiration for home décor, in 2019 we will see a shift from over-sized botanicals to the woodlands, with mushroom grays and fern-inspired colors. Mushrooms will also continue to be a key shape in the home. Their earthy color–gray blended with warm brown–gives off an old world, naturalist feel.

 

Kitchen Trends; Home design professionals expect to see more full-height backs-plashes that seamlessly stretch from the counter to the ceiling. Behind floating shelves and range hoods, for a clean and cohesive look. This dramatic statement can create the illusion of additional surface area.

Destination Tubs:

Bubble bath fans, rejoice. As bathrooms shift from private, utilitarian spaces to open, spa-like environments, homeowners are focused on the accoutrements, including free-standing tubs.

A resurgence of unpainted wooden vanities in 2018, will only be amplified in 2019, with a turn toward reclaimed and light wood. Visible grain and knots can add texture and visual interest to a space and work well in crisp, clean white bathrooms.

 

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

Michele Conti

Designs by 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

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