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What to do when your Old Window Treatments just need to be updated…

Curtains-1920w

Window treatments are by far one of the budget worthy items to consider when remodeling or purchasing a home. But after we make that initial investment, we tend to hang on to them too long.

If you still have “theater” window treatments, with heavy drapes, large trims, heavy valances, swags or jabots and feel you are stuck in the 70’s 80’s or 90’s it’s time for a change!
Today’s window treatment trends are all about simplicity. Transitional styles have put an emphasis on clean, crisp lines. We are all less stuffy and luxury has a new sharp style. Are you in the market to replace outdated window treatments, or looking to reinvent your current treatments? Here are some ways to accomplish this:

 

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  • If you have an old-style theater look, your drapes could be made lighter by removing the valance and the tiebacks. Allow the panels to hang straight from a pole rod with wooden rings. This will give your draperies a new life.

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  • Update your rod. Rods are generally thinner and sleeker, gone are the large finials and large wooden poles.

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  • Remake your heading, try a Euro Pleat.

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  • Add a leading edge or tape trim, to an existing panel, it’s all in the details…

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  • Hang your panels above the window, closer to the ceiling. This will create an illusion of a larger window!
  • If they aren’t long enough consider adding a color block at the top, bottom, or both!

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  • Consider Roman Shades… I love Roman shades they’re my all-time favorite for so many reasons. The tailored look they provide can be dressed up by adding stationary drapery panels, and/or you can add a pretty tape trim and give then an elegant look.

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  • Use panels and romans together or layer them!

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Roman shades can be made with a continuous bead chain or cordless so no unsightly and unsafe cords hanging like old time roller shades or traverse rods. Roman shades are simple, functional, and cost effective. Choose your fabric of choice and then add a boxed valance with a coordinating fabric!

box pleate valance with flat roman

  • Mount them high to extend the window height.

banded roman

This stationary shade has a double banding at the bottom, it adds a simple but elegant feel to the room.

​The options are clearly endless when trying to update your window treatments. Rest assured, less is more, that is definitely the trend moving forward.

My design intention at the beginning of any project is to provide a space that is luxurious and approachable.  A space that is as beautiful feeling, as it is looking.  A space that would fill you with joy when you enter and would keep you inspired as you stayed.  A space where you could retreat after a long day of work.  A space custom built for your lifestyle, reflecting who you are, and how you live.  Contact me at (518) 852-4185 or email me at mconti21@nycap.rr.com.  Let’s create a space that is comfortable, elevated, and curated just for you..

 

Stay tuned for more from Adventures in Styleland…

 

Michele Conti

Designsbymicheleconti.com

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Soap stone countertop

As the granite countertop trend continues to slowly ebb in high-end homes, other alternatives are starting to pick up in popularity. Soapstone is a natural material, a metamorphic rock that is composed primarily of talc with varying amounts of chlorite, micas, amphiboles, carbonates and other minerals. It has been known for centuries for its ability to retain heat (for example, all of our original hearthstones in the farmhouse are made of soapstone).

soap stone countertop 2

Since it is nonporous it is naturally antibacterial and stain resistant.  It is an inert material that is impervious to chemicals, acids, and heat. Soapstone is the only natural stone that does not need a chemical sealer since it is siliceous, meaning it is unaffected and unharmed by acids in things like lemon juice, wine, vinegar, etc.  It does not “etch” like marble.  It is easy to clean, needing no special cleaning products.

soap stone 2018

Like granite and marble, soapstone is very durable, but since it is a softer stone it has the tendency to scratch and chip more easily. So many Sales people will try to talk you out of Soapstone or Marble.. I say DO YOUR RESEARCH!! If you want a product read all the positives and negatives.

 

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Remember soapstone has been used for over a hundred years in the kitchen.  I love it, and have used it in homes locally because of its historical New England reference and the fact that I know it will stand the test of time and not be a trend. Know the maintenance and upkeep if you decide this or any product is something that you really want and are willing to live with the maintenance. Knowing the pros and cons of everything you want for your home helps you make wise decisions. I’d like to remind our clients “Know what you want and don’t let anyone dissuade you from your vision!”

 

As always Stay Tuned For More Adventures In Styleland…

XOXO

M

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color blocking kitchen cabinets pexels for curtis lumberAs we lean closer to closing out 2017 and look forward to welcoming 2018, the cliche’ that a house is never finished comes to mind. The trick is to find a way to put it all together so it feels complete.

 

Painted Cabinetry 

While open floor plans are still working in most new builds, I’ve definitely witnessed the coming and going of many trends and period styles from English Country to Midcentury Modern. But I feel we’re post trend now. I think current design allows us the freedom to incorporate history in an unfussy contemporary way. When choosing kitchen cabinets, the easiest way to accomplish this is to mix finishes. Choose a lighter color for the perimeter cabinets and another darker color for your center island. Your eye is naturally drawn to the darker cabinet finish, while the lighter shade cabinets against the walls will make the room appear larger.

merillat maple mist

Always in-style are painted white cabinets, they have dominated kitchen design for easily the last 5 to 10 years.  Many homeowners considered it to be an easy choice.  White kitchen cabinets have a certain timeless quality and always brighten up the space. As a neutral color, white cabinets also played equally well with cooler walls. And while we will never see painted white cabinets go out of style, a couple of new color trends have started to pick up steam in 2017.

Merilatte Shale

First, we have started to see a slight shift away from white, and moving toward gray.  Gray shares many of the properties that people love about white, but in a slightly more subdued tone.  While lighter shades of gray will never brighten up kitchen in the same way that white cabinets do, many come close, like Merillat Classic LaBelle in Maple Shale.  As a naturally neutral color, gray will also look good alongside warm or cool accent colors.

merliatt urban industrial

In the past few years we’ve seen former warehouse carts being cleanup and re-purposed as coffee tables across suburbia.  Just like other rooms of the home, more and more elements of both traditional and industrial design will enter the home kitchens space.  A coming together of the best of both worlds!  We’re already seeing this trend of traditional shaker cabinetry, being topped with concrete counters, combined with a farm sinks, and topped off with a tall, goose-neck faucet that would be at home in any kitchen…Elements like brick along with wrought iron stools help accomplish this industrial look, while the Merillat cabinetry: Sutton Cliffs in Hickory gives this kitchen elements of traditional style.

Talk with a kitchen and bath designer about how to create a unique space in your home! What styles have you seen start to emerge this year, or which do you think will start to really take off in 2018?  Tell us in the comments!

 

As always stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

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I really, really try to avoid being “trendy” in my designs.  Trust me, there was a time in my life where every weekend I was popping in and out of Home Goods or Marshalls for some great new accessories to decorate for a gathering or dinner party … I was, regrettably, a home decor addict. Now that I’m older and wiser I think I have a pretty good eye for determining what styles will stick and which will be as regretful as the dreaded lava lamp. Now when I’m retail shopping (which I’m doing less and less of these day as my vendor list changes and grows more refined) I make sure to pick items that will become classics, and not a passing trend, something I know won’t be out of style in a year (or a week).

2017 Trends

Accessorizing and styling a room is just as important as designing and decorating it. No matter how perfect the layout, the furniture and the fabric, a space is not complete until it is styled. Styling adds dimension and personality to any space. It’s also a great way to add unexpected pops of color and texture by adding “trending” pieces. Although we always love to incorporate items that are meaningful to each individual client.

2017 trend greek key trim1

 

Personalize window treatments with decorative embellishments. It’s fun using trim to create custom-designed treatments with store-bought pieces. These fabulous panels are dressed up with Greek Key Tape trim,  aren’t they just stunning? We used  M&J Triming greek key jacquard 2 3/8 tape on these gorgeous store bought panels. Below is a Roman Shade adorned the same trim…

2017 trend greek key trim2017 trending Pillows

 

 

 

Tape trims or ribbons are really trending and becoming more and more popular. Adding ribbon trim to pillows is an easy way to embellish a home décor item making something ordinary…extraordinary!

2017 trend understated-textiles-non color textures

 

Clean aesthetics and understated design is a new trend that allows us to switch off from our surroundings and enjoy personal time. The patterns are simple with a focus on 3-D texture. The simplicity through non-color and texture is a calming way to introduce design into your home in a subtle yet sophisticated way.

2017 trends woven shades with sheer panels

Organic materials are bringing nature indoors. This year it’s all about nature-inspired and eco-friendly materials and designs. It’s no longer a trend, but more of a philosophy in the evolution of design. Bamboo, matchstick blinds and natural woven shades layered with simple sheer linen panels create an elegant yet earthy sophistication in any space.

Back in vogue is lace! Spring 2017 style alert,  I have a feeling, lace will be around for a while. Now, I’m no lace expert but after surfing the net, trying to figure out what types of lace I kept seeing everywhere…I think these three types are most popular…crochet, venise and guipure type lace. These laces featured here have an almost cotton-like quality (although most are polyester) with great weight and drape.

2017 trending beach boho

Depending how it’s styled and designed, these types of lace can take on a 70’s bohemian vibe or utilized in a more structured shape it looks modern and fresh.

 I love the mixture of different materials! Hope you enjoyed my choice of trends for 2017…

 

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland!

 

XOXO

M

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When I dream of relaxing in my home the place that comes to mind is an exquisite room, with a collection of furnishings, art and accessories that resemble who I am… A place to rest and read or gather and gab with friends and family.

A whole experience, with pieces linked together through an array of elements that establish a new transitional feel. This linen high back sofa would be perfectly stunning in my dream living room. The Baxter sofa is from Arhaus, the classic design takes full advantage of the Nailhead trim which plays a transitional part in this otherwise retro style…

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Other pieces I would include in this enchanting space would be equally striking and exhibit stylist influences from different eras. I would blend styles with bold geometrical structure and mix them with small accents that resemble the industrial era. Additionally I would add eye catching accents with art, lighting and pillows to bring a sophistication through out my room…

arhuas

I love the combination of elements and texture in this room, the metal accents are like jewelry. The fluid outline of the pieces, and the gorgeous white ash burl face on the console… I could honestly go on and on about the space. But I will end here, what would your dream space be? What items would describe your lifestyle?

I can’t wait to share more with you in my next post!!

As Always, stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

XOXO

M

 

 

 

 

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Holiday Shopping has started, well it’s really in full swing! Looking for the perfect gift for friends and relatives this year? Gift giving is a tricky task, especially for friends. With so many ideas on what to get, I thought we would give you a few ideas to get your holiday shopping started, and Santa a run for his money.

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Share some happiness – Surprise them with a family day or evening out, purchase tickets to a local show or concert. Admission to the Museum or Ice skating. Locally we have the Times Union Center or the Palace Theater, Proctors… you’ll be giving a memory that will last much longer than that sweater or pair of boots.

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Light Up Their Holiday – Candles are always a great gift for anyone, the ambiance created by candles makes a home warm and welcoming for holiday. Candles also promote a feeling of relaxation during the stressful holiday season. Seven out of 10 households use candles as a focal point for their home décor, says The National Candle Association, and candles inspire aromatherapy-like relaxation and stress reduction. Who can’t use that this time of the year?

holiday-candle

Size, Shmize – Skip the sizeable items this year. Not only does receiving the wrong size gift mean an annoying trip back to the mall to exchange it, you can also end up hurting someone’s feelings. Wrap up a pretty Scarf around some movie tickets for your BFF!movie-tickets-in-scarf-wrapping

When it comes to gift giving, it really is the thought that counts. So this season, be thoughtful. Reflect on the past year and what your friends and family need, what will make them happy, and the sort of thing that will make their lives easier.

home-made-christmas-gifts

If you’re really drawing a blank, do something homemade. Lottery tickets in a clear Christmas ball…Cookies, candies.. homemade wine???  Homemade gifts that are sure to put a smile on someone’s face, and actually tend to be the biggest hit.

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I hope these ideas will help you get your holiday shopping/baking started…hmmm…I can smell the cookies!

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland.

 

XOXO

M

 

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Hi, it’s Michele here with two design makeovers for fireplaces this holiday season. Below are some fun before and after photos I wanted to share with you!fireplace-before-makeover

The cold weather is here and families love to gather around a warm fireplace, especially for the holidays. In this before photo, the homeowner’s added a beautiful reclaimed wood wall in their family room and now feel that the fireplace looks too busy. The stone facade competes with the newly installed wood wall. The couple also wanted to make the fireplace more transitional to fit the decor in the rest of their home by changing from wood burning, to a linear gas fireplace.

At Matchless Stove and Chimney, we found a great option for this room offering a sleek, elegant heating solution for this family. The Slayton direct vent gas fireplace offers a more modern style without being too contemporary. Updating the façade with white wood horizontal paneling, floating wood mantel and sconces, keeping the hearth in tack.

fireplace-after-makeover

The crisp white fireplace wall contrasts nicely with the existing wood paneled wall. We recommended the floating wood mantel, taking this design in a stunning direction. They selected black transitional sconces for both design, and to add some personality and interest to the white shiplap wall.

Our next fireplace redo is a red brick fireplace that was feeling old and dated. Keeping it wood burning and just changing the facade helped keep this project on budget for this client.

fireplace-makeover-before

Living in upstate New York, quartz stone just seemed to be the direction to take this fireplace from past to present in a more transitional style. Lowes Dessert Quartz Ledgestone was used in this application and the results were amazing!

fireplace-makeover

Lowes Leonia Porcelain Floor Tile used on the hearth finished this homeowner’s makeover beautifully. Pleased and looking forward to Christmas, She wanted to share her Christmas mantle with you. (Are you smiling?)

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Tis’ the season, for warm thoughts and wishes! Are you ready for a new fireplace or facade makeover? Matchless Stove and Chimney and Lowes are at The Times Union Home Expo Starting February 10-12th!  Come and see me at booth 328. Bring your ideas and let me help you with your next project. Thanks for stopping by and make sure you stop by again for more amazing Adventures.

Stay Tuned!!

XOXO

M

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Sure, you could buy everything at the store, but what’s the fun in that? I looked for some common household items that were around the house and transformed them into the most adorable holiday gifts!!! Mason Jars have been popular for many DIY projects; this is like a little magic in a jar… just sweet! Some little child would love this night light on their bedside table.

Illuminated Jar Light

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All you need is some magic, imagination and:

·      Wide mouth mason jar with lid and cover (Kerr brand is the best because one of the sides of the jar is clear)

·      Battery-operated tea-light

·      Button magnet

·      Glue

·      Faux snow

·      Ribbon

·      Whatever you’d like to place in your jar

Sooo clever!

Light up Snow Men

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So you’ve got a ton of Tea light left from Halloween… well here is a reason to use them this season!

 

·      Black Felt4-holiday-diy-light-up-snoman-supplies

·      Orange Sharpie

·      Glue gun

·      Battery operated tea lights

·      Black Sharpie

·      red ribbon

·      red pipe cleaners

·      red pom poms

 

Coffee Filter Wreath

For our next project all you need is an 18 straw wreath, a large package of white coffee filters and glue sticks:

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Do the back first, fold the filters in a ‘flowery’ way and hot glue. I went around the outside on the back. Do the back first, fold the filters in a ‘flowery’ way and hot glue. Go around the outside on the back.

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4-holiday-diy-coffee-filter-wreath-coming-aroundOnce you do the back, turn it over and start on the front. Work in rows/loops around the wreath. Making it full and fluffy.

 

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What a great way to dress up the mantel! Such a pretty Snowy White Wreath!!

Wine Bottles

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After painting the wine bottles, add some letters to them to spell a fun Christmas word! Depending on how many bottles you have, you can spell “joy,” “merry,” or any other word that’s festive!

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You can simply add a string of Christmas lights to different size and shaped bottles…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! So decorate and don’t break the bank doing it. It’s that joyful time of the year when you want to gather your family, especially your children to craft some décor or gifts. There is nothing better than sitting around the table making memories…

 

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

 

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Living in Upstate NY there are many historic farm homes that were built with excellent architecture. Large wooden beams and coffered ceilings make farmhouse design alluring today. With a revival of Rustic design and rich heritage of older homes and estates in upstate New York,  this style is a marriage made in heaven! I’ve put together some steps to follow to create beautiful, functional upscale farmhouse designs. To start the Journey…

Stay Neutral

Use a neutral pallet of light and airy colors to create a calming and casual atmosphere. When you do add color make it  a soothing green or sea-mist blue that adds a touch without too much pop. Soft shades of brown, black, grey, tan, beige and white are used quite often to ground the whole design concept.

farmhouse-painted-coffered-ceiling

Blending History and Current design

Mix together old furnishings, new fabrics and colors to keep your look fresh, but inviting. Even if you don’t currently own true antiques you can fake it. Use Distressed furnishings and sanded off painted surfaces to give the look of worn out furniture that has a story to tell.  Pull vintage farm equipment into the décor and give each piece a new purpose. Think outside of the box when decorating your home using old plates, glass jars, used books, dressers as vanities, trunks as coffee tables and more.

farmhouse-bedroom

Using Fresh Flowers and Greenery

Pulling in greenery from your yard adds character and beautiful texture to warm up a room. Options includes indoor plants, twigs, branches, succulents, herbs, flowers, pine cones. Use them in pots, clear vases, and more. Whether real or fake, this is a staple farmhouse décor.

farmhouse-greenery-kitchen-pinecones

Adding Texture

Shiplap wood ceilings, stone accents, barn wood floors, milk glass, linen pillows, antiqued tables, textured mirrors and much more. There should always be abundance of texture in farm inspired homes.  Even if you don’t own a home with brick walls or wood floors you can add in texture through your furnishings. When it comes to farmhouse style, there are guidelines but no hard and fast rules. You may enjoy anything from metal barn lights and industrial chandeliers, to classic mason jar pendants. The common thread that all farmhouse style shares is the antique, casual and streamlined design.

farmhouse-shiplap-ceilings

Finding Time … Clocks

Amazingly unique wall clocks have wowed you, designers strategically place them everywhere in farmhouse design. Incorporating gorgeous antique (or antique looking) clocks to remind us of times past. Here aged leather chairs and the right accessories, invite you to sit and pass the time away..

farmhouse-clock

What is a perfect farmhouse home? In my opinion its architecture and construction that fits naturally into the topography while offering beautiful inspired interiors that transform outdated spaces into Old World themed treasures. Treatments such as coffered ceilings, crown molding and transom glass windows enhance the warm farmhouse inspired designs….

 

As Always stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland..

 

XOXO

Michele

 

 

 

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cedar-pergola-with-grill

As time passes our family home matures. Trees Grow and so do the children. The landscape gets worn, and gone are the swing sets.  Our needs and uses for the outdoor space have changed.  Priorities often change, and our children leave the nest. We find ourselves with more free time to relax and enjoy our home. Being cooped up inside during the cold winter months especially here in upstate New York, is not our idea of enjoyment. Maximizing the space in your back yard is one way to enjoy it year round, even when your sitting inside looking out.

curtis-lumber-outdoor-space

With the intent to extend the living space beyond the walls of your home, Curtis Lumber has many options to design an outdoor space suited for your needs. Here they have designed a comfortable space for friends and family to enjoy each other’s company while dining on a delicious meal cooked on the built in grill. The granite countertop surrounding the grill allows the family to keep everything they need for a cookout close by. While relaxing under the free standing pergola this family also enjoys many intimate evenings in the hot tub under the stars. To complete the look they have updated the landscaping with young shrubbery chosen for its low maintenance and eventual privacy value.

Visit Curtis Lumber at the Home Expo this year or stop by their showroom in Ballston Spa for their Outdoor Kitchen  display. Ask Curtis about Cambridge pavingstones, wallstones and outdoor livingrooms. Cambridge products are distinguishable value and quality.

Terra Mira Curtis Lumber Kitchen 6 .JPG

Terra Mira built this outdoor display for Curtis Lumber. Contact them before the snow flies so your outdoor space can get started.

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Give Terra Mira a call, 518 337-0501,  they can make your outdoor space happen within your budget.

 

Enjoy some new projects happening for fall from  Duke and Hal at Terra Mira….

 

terra-mira-outdoor-project-3Hardscape lighting:  Cambridge LED lights meets the latest technological advancements in the lighting industry with a wide range of outdoor lighting, The lighting kits come complete with Remote Dimmer and patented Easy Plug™ Installation System allowing fixtures to be daisy chained together without cutting or splicing.

Steps and Stairs: Durable stone stairs from Cambridge offer both beauty and convenience in addition to being a more affordable substitute for bluestone. The choice of colors, inspired from their natural counterparts, along with the variety of stylish options will coordinate nicely with styles and colors of Cambridge Outdoor Living Products.

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terra-mira-outdoor-project

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned to see the finished patio..and for more Adventures in Styleland!

XOXO

M

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