Archive for January, 2016

Get Inspired.. update your front yard or back yard design with shrubbery, gardens, walkways and more…Grasshopper has been helping clients create beautiful green spaces, making their outdoor living flow with the existing architecture. They offer Lawn Care, Design and Construction and Landscape Maintenance. 
grasshopper winding pathCreate winding paths, with boxwoods whether rounded, squared off, or snaked through other borders, they can add charm to any country garden. The clipped boxwood above leads you down the path which artfully binds the garden to the house.

grasshopper stone pathThis Garden Courtyard, with stone paths framed by tall grass and spirea sprinkled through .. brings you to a relaxing seating area, creating an oasis for relaxing and entertaining in this outdoor space..

grasshopper mixed greeneryThis elegant landscape, with bee balm and Liatris Spricata has a variety of perennial plantings that making it colorful and easy to maintain.

grasshopper quiet corner

Let Grasshopper set up your quiet corner, this lush is space overflowing with Tardiva and Annabelle hydrangeas. Grasshopper will be located at booth 309 in the Times Union Center, let them help you design and install the landscape you’ve dreamed of..

More adventures to come at the Times Union Home Expo..

See You There! XOXO





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Revere PewterChoosing a wall color can be fun, its all in the approach….and help from your painting professional! While doing a room for Vanguard Showhouse, I was asked to do a tour through the house and talk about the paint colors. As National Color consultant for Certa Pro Painters, I was happy to lead the tour.

One of the first questions was:

Q : What is the lovely grey color on the walls? And how do I know if it’s right for my home?

Paint colors

A: The question-of-the-day on the house tour was ‘What color are the walls?’  The answer was Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter.  Once I answered, nearly everyone who asked the question, replied “This can’t be Revere Pewter !  I have used that color or have sampled Revere Pewter and this is not what it looked like.”  Although each person’s experience with Revere Pewter was different, the consensus was that the color looked great in this home.

Certa Pro Banan Boat

Selecting the right paint color for your space is a process that takes time and a number of steps to achieve.

There are many factors that can affect paint color:

  • Natural light : the direction the light is coming from (northern exposure and eastern exposure each provide a very different quality of light),
  • Artificial light : will you have incandescent, fluorescent, or LED lighting?  Or a mixture of some or all of these?
  • Surroundings : what furnishings, artwork, draperies, rugs, and hard finishes are there in the space?  Each of these factors will have an influence on the wall color.
I always recommend hiring a Professional Painting Service. At CertaPro Painters they know the highest quality paint products to use with the right finishes that will enhance your walls. With this expertise, they will recommend these products to you to ensure that your painted surfaces look their best and stay looking beautiful for as long as possible.
Certapro painters

Paint colors should be selected in the space they will be utilized.  Look at the color swatches next to the fabrics and finishes intended for the space.

  • Start by finding a few (2-3) options for each space.
  • Ask your decorator or Painter if he/she can order larger color sheets for you, BM has 18 x18 and Sherwin Williams has 8 x 10
  • If the large color sheets are not available, ask the paint store to mix the smallest quantity for you (in the intended sheen) for each of the options you have selected.
  • Paint the colors on a board such as poster board, or some spare drywall pieces.  Painting on the wall may seem like a great shortcut, however as soon as you put 3 big splashes of color on the wall next to each other, each of the samples is affected by the other colors, and are therefore not rendering true.  Another reason to sample on a board is that you can carry the color from room to room, as well as from wall to wall.  The color will look different on a wall with a window than a wall opposite a window than on the ceiling.
  • Seeing the color in multiple locations, and at different times of day (with natural light during the day, and artificial light in the evening) will allow you to really study the color and decide which is right for you.

If you are still feeling unsure about the process and selecting the right colors for your space, please give Certa Pro a call they would be more than happy to provide a color consultation for just the one room you are ready to paint, or your entire home or commercial space. Set up your appointment for a free quote at the Home Expo Terri Gargano of CertaPro Albany will be at Booth 348 in the Times Union Center.

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland





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Albany Centerr Gallery

Albany Center Gallery has provided a platform for 39 years for the work of contemporary visual artists to engage the public, Leslie Urbach opened the gallery’s doors in 1977.  The Albany Center Gallery (a non-profit art space) that is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art of the Mohawk Hudson Region. They have at least 7 major exhibits each year. Located at 247 Lark Street in Albany, the Gallery holds regular classes and workshops.     

Albany Centerr Gallery 1Take Shape:  Opening in May 2015

Telling Oct-Nov13Telling featuring: Jane McCambley, Theresa McTague, Josette Pastore, Allan Sparrow

Leslie Urbach passed in 1997 at age 88.  His mission of fostering regional art helped launch the careers of numerous area painters, sculptors, photographers and printmakers. Albany Center Gallery will have various artists on display at the Times Union Home Expo. February 19-21st.

Our adventures continue with this DIY Art Project…

Wall Art for Less Than $10!!

Art done right..I love finding these little DIY projects that we all can appreciate! Surfing the internet on FB. I came across this article from Popsugar.com. I just had to pass it along! Enjoy!!!



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Hartwick P & B Trusses in living room

With wide open spaces, blurring the division between indoor and outdoor spaces using large windows, there is a certain beauty, and inner strength that matches the outer beauty of a Post and Beam Home. In contrast with the surrounding wooded landscape, absolute symmetry rules in this space, double-height living room, from the placement of the windows to the positioning of the furniture.

Hartwick P & B cathedral livingroom with fireplace [vertical]

The owners of Hartwick Post and Beam Ridge Shinn and son Newell Ridge-Shinn have been building quality post and beam homes for thirty years, and no two are alike. They can be anywhere from Contemporary in design, Rustic or Intimate and Dramatic.. Post and Beam homes capture the true spirit of living green, using renewable building materials and showing off their natural beauty. To me there is nothing more beautiful than a spacious timber home with expansive ceilings and drop dead gorgeous views.

Hartwick P & B contemporary livingroom with fireplaceAlthough new this home has the deep, rich warmth of something that’s been around for a long time, the flagstone fireplace anchors the space in this modern interpretation of Post and Beam Living..

Hardwick Post and Beam Cape Cod kitchen

Sculptural shapes make up a moment of richness in this kitchen, there is a sense of comfort that comes from Rustic materials. The architectural details also create a warm, welcoming sense of place in this handsome kitchen. The look is part farmhouse, part industrial, with the trussed ceiling and metal stools and fan, the blend of materials work well in this space.  Visit Booth 366 at the Home Expo. From start to finish the folks at Hartwick Post and Beam will work closely to make your dream home happen.

Stay tuned..More to come at Home Expo 2016



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girl Vacuuming

Okay… So I’m the kind of woman that is very meticulous when it comes to the cleanliness in our home. I basically drive my family insane…Nevertheless, I believe that cleaning floors and other surfaces shouldn’t be a horrendous chore. A great working vacuum makes my role as a wife, working mom, and housekeeper pretty sweet.

Albany Central VacuumThe staff at Albany Central Vacuums are ready to help you with your purchase of a new vacuum or vacuum system.

Hide a Hose logo-colorFeaturing the Hide a Hose System, its easier, cleaner and faster! Albany Central Vacuum is an authorized dealer of Hide a Hose, now you can eliminate carrying (or storing!) a bulky hose up and down stairs or from room to room. Simply pull out the length of hose needed for the cleaning job, connect your choice of attachment, and begin vacuuming. It’€™s that easy. When finished, the system uses the suction from the central vacuum power unit to retract the hose back into the PVC tubing installed within the walls of the home.

Looking for Service? Look no further, Albany Central Vacuum serves the entire Capital Region and service’s all makes and models of vacuums and central vacuum systems. There are 1000’s of vacuums out there, the staff at Albany Central Vacuum has 20 years combined experience, If you need an expert in the cleaning field, go to booth 352 at the Home Expo and ask for Miles, the manager of Albany Central Vacuum he’ll help you get the most suitable vacuum cleaner for you and your home.

And now for all you DIY’ers… I love Buzz Feed..Check out this thrifty idea…

Turn an old Kitchen Cabinet into a chic kitchen island.

Turn an old bureau into a chic kitchen island.

Need a little more counter space in your kitchen? Don’t buy an expensive new kitchen island! Try repurposing an old kitchen cabinet! Look the counter braces on the overhang…Table Legs 🙂

 Thanks for spending some time with us.. Stay Tuned for more Adventures..



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Harvest HomesBuilders and homebuyers today recognize that building a new home “stick by stick” is often not the most efficient building method. The most frequently used systems-built technology today is the panelized building system. A Panelized Building Systems is a form of construction in which all components of a house are prefabricated at their climate-controlled factory, using quality materials and then transported to the building site for construction. In most instances of Panelized Homes the weather-tight shell can be assembled in a matter of days..

Harvest Homes has been building distinctive, energy efficient custom homes since 1961. Their headquarters located just 20 miles west of Albany, New York, in the rural community of Delanson. They have built thousands of homes throughout the northeast.

Harvest Homes is a home manufacturer using panelized floor, wall, and roof systems to build beautiful custom homes, commercial projects and additions on your current home. With over 50 standard model homes Harvest Homes offers a variety of styles from Colonials to Contemporaries, Victorians to Vacation Homes, Traditional to Tudors!

harvest homes logoHarvest Homes Rockland

The Rockland – 4 Bedroom / 2 Story
The Rockland is a Design Basics plan. This home has classic lines that will maintain its appeal over time. The very large and open first floor design makes it ideal for an active family as well as a perfect setting for entertaining.

Harvest Homes will be at booth 135A, in the Times Union Center at the Home Expo, The bottom line? Panelized Building Systems are proven construction techniques. Do your research and talk with the builders at Harvest Home let their time-tested experience build your new home.

Stay tuned for more Adventures to come at the Home Expo!



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Stay Sharp..

CutCo Knives vegetable-knife

There is nothing worse than trying to prepare a meal with a dull knife. If you’re knife isn’t sharp you might as well just try ripping apart your ingredients with your hands instead of cutting them. If it’s one thing everyone needs, it is good kitchen knives, American Made Cutco Knives have been around since 1949. Cutco has proudly made high-quality kitchen knives and products in Olean, New York. A local company right in our own backyard! Cutco sells more than just knives, they offer cook ware, garden tools, flatware and more. See all their products at their location on the upper level at booth 338 in the Times Union Center.

This is the Feature recipe this month from Cutco:

With the holidays behind us it’s time to hunker down and treat ourselves to comfort food that will carry us through the chill of winter.

This make-ahead All-in-One Ham Casserole is great for a weeknight dinner. Once the prep work is done, everything is in one dish and ready to cook. It just needs to be heated through and dinner is served. It’s perfect for days when you’re looking for something quick and hearty.

Cutco knives ham-cheese-casserole

All-in-One Ham Casserole

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 3 cups frozen chopped broccoli
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 can (10 ½-ounce) condensed cheese and broccoli soup, undiluted or any creamy condensed soup such as cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of onion
  • 1/4 cup plain panko bread crumbs


  1. Cook potatoes in salted water until tender; drain. Cool, peel and cube; set aside.
  2. Cook the broccoli according to package directions, omitting the salt; drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350º.
  3. Sauté onion in a large skillet in 2 tablespoons butter until tender. Add flour and pepper; stirring until smooth. Add milk gradually. Cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Stir in ham, soup, potatoes and broccoli.
  4. Transfer to a greased 2 1/2 quarter baking dish. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, mix with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over top of casserole.
  5. Bake, uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

Visit the Cutco website for more delicious recipes:

Stay tuned for more information on vendors, shows and DIY ideas!




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Vasto and Son Gas fire featureWe shared a lot of food and great wine with a huge gathering of friends and family over the long holiday. This year in Albany New York the temperature was a balmy 58 degrees! What better way to enjoy the holiday than sitting around the warm glow of a patio fire pit? Whether you’re entertaining a group or having a romantic evening for two, a fire pit provides the warmth and soft light needed to extend your time outdoors in comfort. Evenings and fire pits were made for each other.

A fire pit makes the perfect centerpiece for any outdoor living area, providing a natural gathering spot for guests. Surround it with comfy patio furniture or create built-in seating from coordinating materials. Even a short retaining wall built around your fire pit can double as built-in seating.

Vasto and Son will be at the at the Times Union Home Expo Fedruary 19-21st located at booth 134A, they offer a variety of  landscape plans, patio material and fire pit designs in a range of sizes and styles that make it easy to build your outdoor living space. And their selection of materials and colors will ensure that your new space blends beautifully with your existing landscaping. The great thing about a stone patio is that the options are endless. There’s a wide range of materials, designs, and features that can be incorporated. You can build a stone patio that’s small and simple, large and elaborate, or anything in between. If you prefer small, intimate gatherings, a simple stone patio with enough space for your grill and some seating may be perfect. Even if you already have a concrete patio, replacing it with a stone patio can drastically improve the aesthetics of your outdoor space and make it feel more inviting.

During the winter months, landscaping is all but forgotten as the grass and plants go dormant and temperatures drop. But this can actually be a great time to think about your hardscaping. By starting now, you will have ample time to thoroughly plan and design your projects. You’ll be ready to begin construction as soon as the weather warms up and be enjoying your new hardscaping while your neighbors are still in the planning stages.

So Stop by and start planning now!

Stay Tuned for more Adventures at the Home Expo 2016, I will be blogging every day in January and February highlighting Events, Vendors and special guests!!



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Jenny Komenda

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