Preparing a home for a new little one is an exciting project to tackle, but as many parents may tell you, it is one that may also get stressful, fast. Of course most of us want to create the best possible environment for infant, but with so many items to purchase and items to check off that to-do listing, going green may occasionally appear to be a burden. It needn’t be. In reality, I discovered that by making a decision to go green in the nursery, I felt a deep sense of relief, and I think you will also. It boils down to this: A green nursery is a easy nursery. Reusing or revamping old furniture you have laying around is simpler (and more affordable) than going shopping, and fewer, higher-quality toys will seem more lovely and be quicker to pull together than a room chock full of all the latest plastic gear.
Let’s walk through the key components of an eco friendly nursery and have a look at a few beautiful examples of nurseries, together with hints to pull and ideas to inspire.
Ecofriendly WallsLow-VOC or zero-VOC paint will be the most suitable choice for healthy walls. Read up about 5 great ecofriendly paint choices here.If you reside in an older home, it probably contains lead paint. Even if it is buried under layers of newer paint, you should continue to take care when scratching or flaking paint off. If you find any chipping paint carefully sand and paint it over (have someone else do this in the event that you’re pregnant) and completely clean out the room, paying particular attention to window sashes where paint chips are inclined to accumulate.Ecofriendly background? Yes, it will exist. While most wallpaper available now contains vinyl coatings in addition to other dangerous materials from the glues used to stick the paper to the wall, many organizations are producing lovely backgrounds with no yucky stuff. Try Kimberley Lewis for eco friendly wallpapers made in Brooklyn, and Phillip Jeffries to get natural-fiber and grass-cloth backgrounds. Nursery style note: Feeling crafty? Try your hand at a mural like this gorgeous white tree. It removes the need for additional wall art and offers a feeling of depth in a small room.
• Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting in baby’s room if you’re able to. Carpeting, in addition to the adhesive and funds utilized on it, will contain high levels of chemicals that may impact air quality. If you’ve got decent floors underneath, think about removing existing carpeting — green factors aside, wall-to-wall also will trap dust, dirt, and allergens and is hard to clean.
• If you truly want wall-to-wall carpeting, look for rugs made from 100% natural fibers (such as wool) with vegetable dyes along with a latex backing. Green Depot’s infant carpet is a fantastic alternative.
• Recently installed engineered or wood flooring ought to be allowed ample time to off-gas before the room is utilized for infant. Over time (the longer time you have, the better) the chemicals in the floor and sealant will exude. Keep the windows open and use fans to speed the process together.
• Mature, bare hardwood flooring with a few soft surface rugs made from natural fibers or recycled substances would be a superb choice for the nursery.
Nursery style notes: A small space such as this you can still fit everything required to give baby a comfy welcome home. Painting the walls the trendy gray-blue of a cloud visually expands the space, and maintaining decorative accents to a minimal keeps things tidy and easy. The dab of tangerine from the crib bedding and curtains adds just the correct number of cheerful colour.
Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors
Green Furniture Options
• Think about what you may already have — a small bookcase can be ideal for holding baby’s toys and books, and a dresser can save clothing and stand in as a changing table with a pad set on top.
• Do shop vintage, but with a caveat — it is unlikely that older cribs meet today’s stringent security standards, so I recommend sticking with a new purchase for that 1 item. Vintage rockers, dressers, shelves and child-size furniture would make fantastic finds.
• If you’ve got a hand-me-down crib, check with the manufacturer to find out if it meets current standards, and learn more about what those standards are about the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) site.
• When shopping for new nursery furniture, seek out renewable FSC-certified wood, 100 percent nontoxic or food-grade materials and finishes, and low-VOC paint. Online merchant Fawn & Forest is an excellent place to start. Even if you don’t end up buying anything there, you can familiarize yourself with the numerous green brands out there.
• If you do purchase furniture brand new from a big-box store, set it up when you can to let time for off-gassing to happen. If anything you’ve purchased for baby’s area has a strong chemical odor, air it out outdoors (or in a garage) for at least a week, longer if possible. The fumes will dissipate over time.
• Your baby’s crib mattress is an important purchase, because he or she will be spending a great deal of time pressed directly against it. Traditional mattresses are filled with flame retardants and other chemicals that give off dangerous fumes, so think about splurging on a natural mattress. Naturepedic is a wonderful company that produces organic mattresses completely free of chemicals, made in Ohio. They are now accessible through retail giant Babies R Us, or check the site to find a store near you.
Green suggestion: Think quality over quantity. A piece such as this classic Eames rocker may be a splurge now, however you’ll love it forever.
Nursery style notes: Don’t be afraid of dark, rich hues from the nursery. When paired with white, wood tones and enjoyable artwork, this dark wall feels complicated yet still child appropriate — and the dearth of cutesy details means you probably won’t need to repaint for a short time.
The Virginia House
• Go for natural-fiber fabrics in the nursery. Organic cotton, wool and yarn are lovely options.
• Etsy is home to several wonderful independent stores offering handmade toys and supplies, in addition to artwork and decor for your nursery. Try a search on the site for “organic infant,” “organic infant toy” or “nursery artwork,” and many beautiful things are sure to pop up.
• Your infant will collect plenty (too many, certainly!) Toys at the upcoming years. Do him or her a favor and keep matters easy now. A few special toys and publications, lovingly arranged, and a cozy place to rest, snuggle and change diapers is really all you need.
Green suggestion: Avoid the need to search for new furniture at every stage of development by using bits that will work now and later. A daybed is really a versatile piece that may be used now for exhausted parents to break on, and later as a toddler bed and a comfortable spot to unwind and read tales on. Here you may see a mattress set on a basic frame was pushed against the wall and finished with a fairly coverlet and additional pillows.
Nursery style notes: While bold colors and high-contrast white and black are said to stimulate baby, sometimes soothing is what we are after. For a truly restful, comforting nest for little one, select soft, creamy shades of white and beige. Natural substances like woven baskets, driftwood and soft cotton and wool are ideal mates with this effortless appearance.
The Virginia House
Green suggestion: Think creatively about furniture you may already own. This hutch, for example, now displays vintage silver baby cups and keeps small baskets of supplies near at hand. Even if you’re looking for new furniture for baby’s room, expand your search beyond infant and big-box shops to include label sales and vintage shops. The rates are much more reasonable, and the finds more unique.
Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs
Green suggestion: The gorgeous chair pictured here is your Modern Luca Glider out of Monte. With FSC-certified wood, soy-based foam cushions and water-based, biodegradable glue, this piece is an eco friendly superstar, along with the sleek lines imply it could happily move into your living room when baby is grown.
Green suggestion: Fake a cowhide rug using the DIY Faux Hide carpet collection from Flor, created with recycled content; shown here in green.
Nursery style notes: Scoop up an armful of empty picture frames on the cheap at local yard sales, and then paint them cheerful hues to add dimension to an artful display.
Erika Everett Design
Green suggestion: If you’ve got a vintage rocker but crave a cushy new glider, then save your cash and warm the wooden rocker with a sheepskin throw.
Nursery style notes: Map as decor? Wallpapered ceiling? Think beyond typical nursery decor for a truly unique appearance that will nonetheless feel appropriate when your child is out of diapers.
Cristi Holcombe Interiors, LLC
Green suggestion: Take a cue from this nursery and let a full size batter double as a changing table. With a changing pad at the top, there is still room to store essentials at hand, and the drawers may save additional diapers and supplies. Later, simply remove the mat and your child can continue to utilize the dresser for several years to come.