Go Green: The Baby’s Room

Having a baby often makes new parents more aware of the chemicals we are exposed to every day. A natural place to start making your home as eco-friendly as possible is the baby’s bedroom; here are a few ways to start creating an organic nursery:

Use low- or no-VOC paints

One of the first things new parents do is paint the nursery but many paints contain VOCs or volatile organic compounds. VOCs are toxic fumes that off-gas from common household items such as paint or a new vinyl shower curtain. When painting the nursery use low- or no-VOC paints.

Don’t use carpet

Keep the baby’s room carpet free. Carpets can trap mold, dust mites, and more. Because carpets need replacing they also add to landfills so they are not a good green option. If carpet is a must choose one made of natural fibers such as wool, cotton, hemp or jute. New synthetic carpets also give off-gas VOCs.

Use a green mattress

Where baby sleeps can be another place to go green. Many mattresses are treated with chemical fire retardants or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). That may seems like a good thing but PBDEs have been known to accumulate in our bodies and affect the endocrine and nervous systems. Look for organic cotton or natural wool mattresses.

Avoid stain resistant treated products

Other items that may end up in a child’s nursery that have VOCs are furniture and pressed wood products with resins and glues. Look for furniture made from certified sustainable wood or reclaimed materials. You should also try to avoid plastic as it is made from petroleum. Plastic items also usually end up in a landfill.

Go green with diapers

Reduce the dioxin pollution by using cloth or chlorine free diapers. Dioxin is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals this is not something most parents want next to baby’s sensitive skin.

Choose nontoxic toys

Babies put everything in their mouths, so look for toxin free toys. Look for soft organic cotton toys or toys made from wood that comes from FSC-certified forests. Toys made from PVC, contain phthalates, an ingredient in plastic that can affect reproductive and developmental health.

Making these small changes for your baby are easy and healthy. It may take a a little more time and effort but you will have peace of mind you are starting your baby’s life off the right way.

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Attractive Traditional home built by Archibald Solandt is situated within walking distance of picturesque downtown Northfield. This lovely home has been well cared for and features a large Kitchen with birch cabinets, pantry/laundry, pellet stove. A formal Dining Room with a built in corner hutch, Living Room with fireplace, a full Bath and spacious front entry leading to a big enclosed front porch. There’s a cozy built in window seat with leaded windows on the staircase landing, a perfect spot to read a book. 2nd Floor has 3 Bedrooms, Office, and a full Bath. Walk up attic for plenty of storage space. All the knob and Tube has been removed from the house. Nice barn with basement and 2nd floor. All of this set on 1.75 acres with view of Round Top. Convenient, short walk to Downtown. Easy access to Rt. 63 and Rt. 10.

This is a Farmhouse style home and features 7 total rooms, 2 full baths, 3 bedrooms, 1.75 Acres, and is currently available for $210,000.

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Increase the Value of Your Home with These Five Tips

If you’re planning on selling your home in the coming years, now is the perfect time to start making home improvements that will increase the value and demand of your home once it’s on the market. Increasing the market value of your home, however, isn’t just a matter of replacing old appliances or dressing up rooms to look more luxurious. Follow these five expert tips on how to increase your home value without wasting time or money on projects that won’t pay off.

Paint everything

One basic improvement that will almost always pay off is a fresh coat of paint in each room of your home. It isn’t a very costly improvement, and it can both clean up and modernize rooms that are in need of an update.

Remember that your walls make up the majority of what buyers see when they walk through your home. The wall paint makes up the big picture that all of the small details of your home fit in, therefore your paint colors should be chosen to fit the style of the home and the time that we live in.

Avoid colors that are too dark or too blindingly white. If you’re at a loss for which colors you want to use, try out a free color palette creator online to experiment with different schemes.

Door replacement

As a new home buyer approaches your home for the first time their eyes are going to be locked on the door. Take advantage of good first impressions with a quality door. One that compliments the exterior color of your home will do wonders to improve the overall appearance of your home.

Aside from their aesthetic value, doors also provide insulation and security. Choose a door that is EnergyStar certified to keep the heat in, but also make sure it has top rate locking mechanisms so the next family to live in your home feels safe.

Increase storage space

Storage capacity is highly sought after in the house market. No one wants to drive to a storage container just to get their belongings. Having all of your property in one place makes things less complicated. Increasing storage space can seem difficult or impossible, but there are a few tricks that will help convince potential home buyers that they won’t run out of room. Here are four of our favorites:

  • Install storage beds in the bedrooms
  • Buy a kitchen table with a storage cabinet
  • Put a bench in the mudroom that has storage inside
  • Install cabinets in your garage or shed to take advantage of unused vertical space

Kitchen and bathroom makeover

Two rooms in your home that will attract the most attention are the kitchen and bathroom(s). The kitchen has endless opportunity for upgrades. Installing a new sink, cabinets, and a hanging pot rack can all give your kitchen a modern makeover.

In the bathroom, surface level upgrades like a new toilet seat and shower curtain and bathroom mirror go a long way. Upgrading an old bathtub, shower head, and toilet are also great ways to increase the value of the room. Keep in mind energy efficiency when purchasing any of these items.

Know the neighborhood

Determining which home improvements will most increase the value of your home is dependent on many factors, including the neighborhood you live in. It is possible to “over-improve” your home to the point where it looks too luxurious next to your neighbors’ homes. Ask the experts–real estate agents and contractors–for advice about improving homes in your neighborhood.