Luxury in real estate doesn’t have to mean high prices


Luxury design has layers, and not every layer has to be expensive. Experts say what’s hot today is a commitment to “going big” in specific areas where it will make the biggest difference, and combining those elements with a versatile and balanced design that establishes personality and has function.

“Luxurious design comes from texture, rich colors, organic pieces, and most importantly, finished spaces,” said Andrea Zappone, a self-taught interior designer in Saratoga Springs. “No empty corners, no completely white walls.”

Zappone began her design career after receiving recognition for work on her own living spaces, for which she won the Times Union Home Design Competition in 2020. Now, she helps her clients with what she calls “finishing the job.” “, taking rooms that are there design-wise, then adding their layers like millwork, wallpaper, draperies, and decor.


One of Zappone’s favorite luxury trends right now is marble. Everywhere. Your kitchen island is a slab of Calacatta Viola, a luxurious veined Italian marble known for its rich burgundy and ivory-white hues. He often shares images of other creative and over-the-top uses of interior material from around the world via Instagram Story.

“The marble on the walls, around the arches, around the fireplaces and on the furniture is of very high quality,” Zappone said. She is exploring different ways to implement this trend with a client in a kitchen redesign, but in a more doable way.

“Neolith porcelain is a man-made material that looks like marble from afar,” Zappone said. She says the thin material can be installed on walls, wrapped around vent hoods in the kitchen, or carved into archways.

“We’ll be able to offset the costs by using an alternative material, but we’ll still provide this slapstick moment when someone walks into your kitchen. Which is literally what I live for.”

Zappone’s client is also looking for high-quality custom kitchen cabinets, which architectural designer Kennedy Taylor of Studio K Design said is another popular trend.

“In architecture, we are seeing a return to formality,” said Taylor, who worked as design director for John Witt Construction before setting up her own design firm in October 2021. She is on track to open a furniture store in the downtown Saratoga. Late springs in the fall.

“Things have been so minimal for so many years, and I love that the crown molding, formal dining and living spaces, and grand master suites are making a comeback.”

Taylor said her definition of luxury in a home has more to do with how the space feels, versus the size of the footprint or cost of materials.

“Thoughtful elements create a sense of luxury no matter how you finish the space,” said Taylor.

One of her projects over the past year has been in Greenfield with the DeMeo family, who have expressed an interest in embracing contemporary color and style for their home interior renovations.

“We bought this huge house and we were completely lost on the design,” said Derek DeMeo, who shares the house with his wife, Becca, and four young children. “We wanted to transform it into a space that felt modern and functional, but didn’t look like any other house in Saratoga.”

Taylor recently completed a moody formal dining room design at DeMeo’s with large-scale artwork, brass finishes, and custom drapes. The space offers a sleek and unique design that serves a purpose while allowing the family to express their style in a smaller space within the home.

He unveiled a concept that incorporated a range of blues, which were then used to paint the walls, ceiling and crown molding to complement the couple’s custom metal print of Slim Aarons, a photographer they both admire.

As an architectural designer, Taylor works from the inside out, focusing on sight lines and how one room leads to another. Ella’s intentional design throughout the DeMeo home is immediately felt upon entering, where an intricate wallpapered ceiling draws the eye to the newly remodeled dining room next door.

When it comes to finishes and other luxury design elements, Taylor’s trend report matches Zappone’s enthusiasm for texture, especially when it comes to wallpaper and millwork, from crown molding to custom wall panelling.

“Wallpaper is an investment, both in material and workmanship,” said Zappone, who has covered the walls of her own home in bold, vibrant patterns from the dressers to the ceilings of her children’s bedrooms. “I have another project where we wrap the bedroom in beautiful dark green and light blue mural wallpaper, but we source table lamps and furniture from Target and cb2 to keep other items more affordable.”

Wallpaper varies by cost, but a quote you recently received for the top half of a dining room would cost your customer about $1,000 in labor and another $1,500 in materials. The DeMeo vanity uses earth tones and a swirling marble-like organic wallpaper pattern to make a strong statement, while appearing soft with warm ambient lighting and brass finishes.

For both designers, achieving luxury in design means daring to be different. While inspiration can be found everywhere, from fancy furniture stores to zeroing in on design hashtags on social media, the successful completion of a project comes from creating an authentic end product.

“My focus is just being there to help a client achieve their vision,” said Taylor. “Their personalities speak for the space, and that is why each design of mine is so unique. The clients I attract are equally creative; they want something you haven’t seen on Instagram yet.”