Bathroom Bliss

 

Remodeling a small bathroom can be а challenge because of space limitations. To make the most out of your remodel you’ve got to make every inch count. Here are some tips to maximize your space when remodeling a small bathroom.

Use the Right Colors

Using light colors throughout the space helps reflect light and brightens your room to make it appear larger. We’ve found that lighter and softer neutrals do the job well to make a small bathroom look larger.

Install a Pocket Door or Barn Door

Pocket doors slide along their own length and disappear into an adjacent wall or compartment when opened (unlike а traditional hinged door). Barn Doors operate by sliding on an iron track, over an outside wall, and they continue to trend in 2019. They are a beautiful, easy-to-install design piece and save space. You will be surprised at the amount of floor space that becomes available.

Install а Clear Glass Shower Enclosure

It may not be obvious, but many people don’t realize how glass shower doors will stretch visual space. Think about it: your eye can travel through clear glass, but other surfaces will obstruct your line of vision, making the bathroom feel even smaller.

Select а Vanity with Open Shelving

Cabinets with drawers can make а room feel cramped. To keep items organized, consider baskets or bins placed on shelves.  The use of glass shelving is great for small display items. Consider furniture style vanities with small drawers or floating vanities which create an illusion of more space.

Minor changes like these can make a huge difference in a space so small. Whether you’re prepping your home for a sale, these remodel ideas are the perfect remedy for any small bathroom.

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland!

 

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

Asphalt Offers Driveway Durability

The majority of commercial and residential driveways are finished with either asphalt or concrete. Both are cost-effective, but asphalt comes with more benefits. If you’re paving a new driveway or refinishing and existing one you’re probably wondering about the relative benefits of asphalt over concrete. L.Browe Asphalt Services is ready to answer your questions.

An asphalt driveway can usually be laid in one or two days, depending on the size of the project. Concrete, on the other hand, typically takes twice as long to lay and even longer to set. Depending on the season, asphalt driveways can be ready for use in as little as two days after completion, whereas concrete can take up to a week to cure.

Unlike concrete, asphalt is not subject to surface flaking caused by poor installation, incorrect preparations of the mixture or the application of salts to melt ice and snow. Known as ‘spalling,’ this surface flaking is an ongoing problem with many concrete driveways, especially those that were hastily installed. Given its flexibility, asphalt is also considerably less likely than pavement to crack over time.

If your asphalt driveway does start to show some lineal cracking, you can repair these easily and inexpensively. The crack sealant products you need are widely available through home improvement retailers. They don’t cost very much and can easily be applied on your own, even if you have absolutely no previous paving expertise.

In addition, regular preventative maintenance, like crack filling and seal-coating, can extend the lifespan of your asphalt driveway to 20 years or more. Concrete is more difficult to maintain, because it cannot be heated and repaired with the same ease as asphalt pavement.

Need help maintaining your asphalt? Give L. Browe a call 518 479-1400 Janeen Browe will be happy to get you started with a free estimate!

 

Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

Sweetly,

Michele Conti

 

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

 

With The New Year On It’s Way…

With a fresh year underway, last years trends behind us and new ones on the horizons, its time to set new goals for 2018! As we think of our private resolutions, we look forward to hear from our favorite designers and creatives to see what they hope to achieve in the year to come. We look for the color of the year, wood tones, tiles and home trends that will make their debut!

This year will bring back some drama, I mean I’ve been living in the land of neutrals and straight lines for too long now. Don’t get me wrong I love neutrals, but it’s time to reintroduce some curve, pattern and drama!

Invite bold choices into your home! The most inviting homes are a collection of memories. Therefore, this year it is my goal to take the time to search, to travel, dig and shop small and unexpected antique stores and salvage shops near and far to integrate more vintage finds in all of my projects, including my own home.

Happy 2018! Get Ready were only 6 weeks away from the 38th Annual Times Union Home Expo!!

 

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

 

Sweet and Simple Butter Cookies…Merry Christmas!

 

Christmas cookies are something that everyone looks forward to. You can either make them from scratch, or you can buy the ready made dough at the store. Either way you decide, your kitchen will still smell like fresh baked cookies! I wanted to share our family recipe with you, we use a press or pastry bag. You can layer two cookies and fill with jelly or dip half in chocolate. But we always made green trees and red wreaths…

Recipe:

Ingredients
  • Unsalted Butter 1 cup (226g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1 cup (200g)
  • Large Egg 1 (50g)
  • Whole Milk 2 Tablespoons (44ml)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • All Purpose Flour 2½ cups (320g)
  • Salt ¼ teaspoon

Instructions:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the salt
  3. Combine the egg and vanilla extract together and add to the creaming butter mixture.
  4. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate well.
  5. Add the milk and mix until combined, scrape the sides again.
  6. Add the sifted flour all at once and mix on low speed just until combined.
  7. With cookie press pipe the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan spaced about 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake for about 12 – 17 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges.
  9. Cool completely and fill with jams, chocolates, ganache’s, buttercream or your choice of fillings and adorn with nuts or sprinkles of your choice.

 

Whether you’re leaving a plate out for Santa, or sharing with everyone at your next get together, cookies are the perfect treat for the holiday season. To celebrate this festive time of year, I wanted so share a recipe that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Place them in a mason Jar or cookie tin and share with family and friends. This diy gift is sure to be a hit! My mom would always count her cookies, and make sure we had enough to share….so enjoy your holiday and remember to always count your cookies….

 

 

Merry Christmas!! Stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Coni

 

 

Culinary Living…The Feiden Way


The holiday season is in full swing, and there’s never been a better time to invest in a high-quality cooking range. You’ll be crafting a host of delicious dishes and desserts through the season and all year round, and a powerful range is a must-have appliance in any home. If great value is your top concern, you’ll definitely want to consider the Winter Savings Event at Earl B Feiden!

Missed Black Friday? Don’t worry, because this offer is available December 14th through January 10th. With brands like Sub Zero, Viking, Thermador, Fisher & Paykel and Frigidaire Professional appliances there’s no doubt that you’ll find the perfect new toy for your kitchen!With Earl B Feiden Appliances, you can rest assured that you will have the best cooking ranges, bringing exquisite style and premium cooking capabilities to your kitchen. Appliances form the backbone of the working home, so you want to be sure they meet your needs. You’d undoubtedly like them to be reliable, affordable and attractive, with appealing features. This year Earl B. Feiden’s is located at booth 106 at The TimesUnion Home Expo where you’ll see the latest models of ranges, refrigerators, cooktops and other home appliances. Talk with Mark Feiden, he will give you tips that will allow you to select the appliance most suitable for your kitchen!

 

Remember our new location this year is at:

Albany Capital Center
55 Eagle Street
Albany, NY 12207

 

Stay Tuned for More Adventures in Styleland…

XOXO

Michele Conti

 

 

Build Fast, Build Better – Fox Blocks

As building codes demand homes with tighter building envelopes and continuous insulation, home builders and consumers are looking for building strategies that deliver performance without paying a premium. That’s why homes built with ICF’s are becoming a popular choice in many climates.

Fox Blocks has been in business for 32 years, building sexy, well-constructed commercial and residential ICF foundations.  Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are cast in place concrete walls that are sandwiched between two layers of insulation material, usually expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation foams.  The foam blocks are stacked as interlocking blocks (like LEGOS) connected with steel reinforcing rods. They offer well-insulated, airtight energy-efficient building enclosures. Also, ICFs are a great fit for regions prone to severe weather because of their strong impact resistance.

Building with Fox Blocks ICFs it’s easy to design your dream home or business, while keeping LEED, green building and energy star in mind. With Dramatic labor reductions of up to half the normal building time. Because when you build with Fox concrete wall forms you are doing 5 steps in 1: insulation, vapor barrier, air barrier, studding and sheathing all in one step. This can save you on labor, time and money as you are ready to finish inside and out.

 

Commercial Use

Any way you slice it ICF’s (Insulated concrete forms) are structurally superior to most other building materials. Buildings that incorporate the use of ICFs have an expected life of 200 years or more. Today, as more and more commercial building owners, architects, contractors,
lenders and investors discover the cutting-edge value of ICFs, a 30+% annual growth makes it the most rapidly expanding building system in the U.S.  Along with systems for easy mounting of finishes and channeling of utilities, the insulation remains in place with the concrete to provide ICFs’ advanced economic, thermal, safety, environmental and comfort benefits.

Warmer, Safer, Quieter, Stronger, Healthier, and Saves You Money….

The motivation to life a simpler life is not only about saving money, but also about making a smarter decision for your budget and lifestyle. Stop in talk with Jefrey Martusewicz about using Fox Block for your home or commercial construction projects.

 

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

XOXO

 

M

 

 

The Family Tree…

 

The family tree is so special every time I put it up. My children ask why I always get sad when we put the tree up and I tell them it’s a good kinda sad. I explained these memories on this tree are so sweet and time just goes by so fast. The tree is full of old ornaments from our parents, firsts for each of us, many meaningful ornaments, and handmade gifts. Decorating it is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas Season.

I’d like to share some other traditions that aren’t as well known…

 

Wreaths – Christmas if full of meaning, not only the tree but also the wreaths on our doors and the meaning behind them is not what you might think. These decorations weren’t invented to spruce up your front door. Christians believe wreaths represent thorns worn by Jesus and the tiny red berries represent his blood.

 

Candy Canes – People disagree on the origins of this holiday staple, but many say the white represents purity, the red represents Jesus’ blood shed, and the shape is supposed to be the staff of the Good Shepherd. Think about that the next time you enjoy this minty treat.

 

 

Tinsel – This shiny metallic  glittering decoration symbolizes light, to ensure the forces of darkness would not have any power.

 

As a designer I always drool over the beautiful trees in department stores and adore trees with a theme! However, my Christmas trees have not always been stunning or a shiny glamorus themed beacons of light. In the beginning they were collections of mismatched, homemade and sentimental ornaments. Not like those you’d see in the magazines.  No, was our family tree that was chock full of homemade ornaments, ones that were given to us, or made by the children.  I would get an ornament for my children each year that would reflect whatever their interests or hobbies were at that time. There have been musical notes, sports themes, and Hallmark Keepsakes ornaments too.

Of all holiday decorations, the tree is perhaps the most iconic. The tradition started, because in many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away evil spirits and illness, according to history. What ever your traditions are, hold them close because this season also passes quickly. So just for today, I thought I’d share some of the holiday spirit…true holiday spirit. Well get back to decorating tomorrow. So…

 

As Always stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland!

 

XOXO

Michele Conti