Smart Kids’ Rooms that Grow with Time

Child painting the wall

(Family Features)—Costs for furnishing and decorating a child’s room can mount quickly, but with careful planning and a few smart purchases, the decisions you make for that nursery or toddler’s room can create a functional and clutter-free space that grows with your child well into the teen years.

From convertible furniture to neutral walls, you can establish a framework that evolves as your child’s interests change, significantly extending the life of those early investments.

Lorie Marrero, a certified professional organizer and author of “The Clutter Diet,” has partnered with the experts at ClosetMaid to offer these tips for creating a room that transitions with your youngster as childhood gives way to adolescence.

Invest wisely. Select furniture that will adapt to your child’s needs in the highest quality your budget allows. For example, if you’re starting with a nursery, choose a crib that converts to a toddler bed and even a twin or double bed years down the road. Choose a dresser that can double as a changing table during the early years, with pulls that a toddler or young child can easily manage when the time arrives.

Keep flexibility first. With each purchase, consider how the item will serve your child’s needs over a span of several years. This is true even in the closet, where space once allocated for tiny garments must eventually give way to larger and bulkier attire. One solution is a multi-functional closet organization system, such as ClosetMaid’s ShelfTrack, which can be altered as children grow and their needs change. For younger children, maximize closet space by utilizing three levels of wire shelving for clothing.  As they get older, it’s easy to reconfigure the design by adjusting shelving or adding accessories such as baskets and shoe racks.

Make the most of accessories. Establish a neutral palette that can change to reflect your child’s personality as they grow. Change up bedding and other decorative items. Dress up cubbies and storage spaces with pops of color using handy ClosetMaid fabric drawers, which can be easily removed to encourage to help out at cleaning time. On the walls, avoid the cost and work of repainting to match each new look by using temporary adornments, such as decals that peel away leaving no sticky residue.

“You’re doing yourself a big favor by establishing a solid foundation of furniture and storage in a child’s room from the start,” Marrero said. “Strategic purchases that last for years will let you focus on helping to make your child’s personality shine in the bedroom, starting with an adaptable storage system that helps set an early standard for keeping clutter under control.”


Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

Weekend Plans?

When you visit our models at Heritage Hill this weekend you may register for a chance to win a Weber gas grill! 

Wolcott Fair form for blog_fb
















We’d like to invite you to visit our models at Heritage Hill In Wolcott on your way to the Wolcott Country Fair this weekend. We’re on Constitution Drive…just down from the fairgrounds off of Wolcott Road, (Rte. 69) – you can’t miss us! Conveniently located in close proximity to shopping, restaurants and major highways, Heritage Hill is a quiet little haven in the heart of it all. Best of all, Heritage Hill offers incredible value and opportunity for buyers of all ages to buy a brand new home with prices starting at just $259,900!

To enter our drawing for a chance to win a Weber gas grill, simply print & complete this registration form, pick one up at our
booth at the fair or fill one out when you visit our model home
during our special weekend open house.* It’s that simple!
(And we’ll even give you a nice thank you gift just for stopping by!)
*Special Open House Hours

Saturday, August 16th from 10 AM to 4 PM
Sunday, August 17th from 10 AM to 4 PM

Dir:  Wolcott Rd. (Rte. 69) to Constitution Dr.

P.S.  Buy a new home at Heritage Hill this year, and walk to the fair next year!!!

A Family Affair: Getting Children Involved in the Home-selling Process

Calcagni_kids_cleaning up

By Keith Loria

For sellers across the board, the process of preparing their home to stand out among the sea of competition is a challenging feat in and of itself. But when you add children to the mix, it can be next to impossible to keep the space clean and tidy.

While last-minute showings are troublesome enough, when you have kids—and you need to leave the house quickly—it can put a lot of stress on the situation. As any parent knows, keeping children from cluttering up your home is nearly impossible, and having a child in the house will oftentimes hinder your ability to clean.

However, it’s important to remember that you can still sell your home when children are involved. One smart idea is to create a designated play room so that when it comes time to pick up before a showing, there’s only one room you really have to worry about. If you’re looking for a space to transform, go with a game room or even an extra bedroom, as these rooms won’t necessarily make or break a deal.

Now’s also a great time to teach your child the importance of putting away his or her toys when they’re done playing; not only will this keep your house cleaner, it will get your child on the right path when it comes to picking up after him or herself. There are plenty of great children’s videos and songs that deal with cleaning. It can even be a fun game-like activity you can do together.

Keeping a bag of snacks on hand for when you need to sweep the kids away from their toys or the TV is another great idea that will keep them from making a fuss. Any parent knows a good treat can go a long way in getting kids to behave.

For those with babies, try to keep all extra diapers, wipes and lotions hidden away in a dresser or drawer and make sure the diaper pail is emptied. If possible, take out dirty diapers immediately to reduce any odors building up.

In addition, be sure to pay attention to any toys your children have outside so that the yard isn’t littered with sports equipment, bikes and hula hoops. Create a space in your garage where everything can be stored in an orderly fashion.

In the end, the most important thing to remember about selling a house when kids are part of the equation is that you shouldn’t stress too much about making sure everything is perfect. It’s a good bet that those looking at your house will have kids of their own, so they’ll understand a toy here or there or a cluttered closet in the child’s room. Just do the best you can.

For more information about getting your children involved in the home-selling process, contact our office today.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

Creating Your Backyard Oasis


It’s summertime and backyard living’s dreamy. It used to be that our backyard’s primary functions were grilling, gardening and pools. But now it’s so much more. Full-blown outdoor kitchens, living rooms, lounges and more are all creating an outdoor oasis that’s getting as much renovation attention as rooms inside.

A recent survey performed by SABER Grills showed the overwhelming majority of current U.S. homeowners (81%) consider their outdoor space the heart of their home.

The new American home includes an inviting outdoor sanctuary to enjoy all of summer’s activities. “It doesn’t matter if your home is valued at $75,000 or $775,000, if you are an American homeowner, you are proud of your outdoor space and consider it an essential part of your home,” said Rob Schwing, GM of SABER Grills. “Homeowners use their backyards to relax and reconnect with family – just like the kitchen.”

Here are a few ways to update your backyard space: 

  • Add a grilling station complete with grill, stove, counter top and stools for your guests to keep you company while you whip up your favorite summer staples.
  • Build an outdoor pizza oven and serve fresh, deliciously homemade pizza in your wood fired  oven.
  • Create a lounge area with cozy benches, comfy throw pillows, and convenient tables for everyone to relax in and use.
  • Add a fire pit and toast up some s’mores, tell campfire stories and spend time with friends around the fire.
  • Build a backyard bar to enjoy your favorite cocktail and host your own outdoor happy hours.

How much time do you spend in your backyard with your family? Do you have any plans to update your backyard this summer?


Cheshire High School Senior Will Begin Coursework at University of Rhode Island This September

June 10, 2014 | Cheshire, CT

Calcagni Real Estate agents Gina Shumilla (left) and Sandy Wagner (right) present Cheshire High School senior Kelsey Uguccioni (center) with Calcagni’s annual $500 college scholarship.

Calcagni Real Estate agents Gina Shumilla (left) and Sandy Wagner (right) present Cheshire High School senior Kelsey Uguccioni (center) with Calcagni’s annual $500 college scholarship.

Calcagni Real Estate has awarded its annual $500 scholarship this year to Cheshire High School senior Kelsey Uguccioni.  Planning to attend the University of Rhode Island and study communication disorders and speech therapy, Uguccioni has been involved with Special Olympics for six years.

Among other requirements, scholarship applicants must submit an essay about the importance of their own community involvement.  In Uguccioni’s essay, she reflected upon her work with Special Olympics.  Community involvement, specifically working with those who face challenges accomplishing everyday tasks, has taught Uguccioni that she, herself, is only thing standing in the way of her success.

“We’re thrilled to present Kelsey Uguccioni with our annual scholarship,” says Calcagni Real Estate agent and scholarship program director Sandy Wagner. “Described by one of her teachers as one of the most selfless individuals at school, Kelsey truly embodies what this award is all about.”

Calcagni Real Estate has been offering the scholarship annually for the past 10 years.  Graduating high school seniors who reside in Cheshire and plan to attend an accredited two to four year college are eligible to apply for the scholarship.  The award is based on service to the community, academic performance, extracurricular activities, and financial need.  The $500 prize is awarded upon completion of the first semester of college.

About Calcagni Real Estate

With offices in Cheshire, Hamden, Southington, and Wallingford as well as more than four decades worth of roots in the Cheshire community, Calcagni Real Estate has a strong market presence built on experience and success. Calcagni agents and their families live, work, volunteer, and strongly support charitable causes throughout the areas where the company serves both home buyers and sellers. For more information, visit Calcagni Real Estate online at

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Creating a Positive First Impression – 4 Tips You Can’t Ignore, by Keith Loria

When a prospective buyer pulls up to a property with a For Sale sign in the front yard, the exterior of the home can either make or break a positive first impression. While sellers often spend a lot of time and money making sure their home’s curb appeal is up to par, one area they often overlook is the driveway/walkway. And real estate professionals tend to agree that a well-maintained asphalt blacktop and clean and clear walkway can set the mood for a positive house showing.

Here are four tips to help you make your driveway and walkway send the right message to a prospective homebuyer.

1. No Parking. When someone comes to see your home and they can’t even pull into the driveway because it looks like a parking lot, that’s a bad start. You don’t want to force them to park on the street, so make sure all cars at the property are gone before any showing. The goal here is to let prospective buyers imagine they are pulling into the driveway of their future home.

2. Cracking Up. Repaving the driveway is one of the least expensive home repairs you can invest in. If yours is looking shabby—and has a lot of cracks—a nice, fresh layer of asphalt may be just the thing you need to attract a buyer. For cracks in the walkway, concrete paint can usually do the job.

3. A Clear Path. A walkway is designed to get you from the driveway to the front door, yet some homeowners treat them more like obstacle courses with lots of things blocking a clear path. Take some time to remove all toys, acorns, leaves or gardening equipment that may be in the way of a safe walk inside. Driveways should also be free of clutter and debris. Most driveways have garbage cans sitting at the end, but even if they’re clean, you should make sure they’re out of sight. The same holds true for hoses. Put them away neatly, as they could inadvertently trip someone, or if they’re old and tangled, they may do more harm than good when it comes to leaving a good impression.

4. A Green Thumb. Once the walkway is clear, be sure to pull up any grass or weeds that are growing in the cracks. There are some great sprays that can help with this as well. It’s also a good idea to take the time to hose down walkways to remove all dirt and grime.

Calcagni New Agent Spotlight: Cheryl Doonan

Cheryl Doonan Calcagni Associates Real Estate


Calcagni Real Estate President Steven Calcagni recently announced the appointment of residential sales agent CHERYL DOONAN to the company’s Southington office.

Cheryl is a full time REALTOR who specializes in seller and buyer representation and assisting first-time home buyers. She is a member of the MidState Association of Realtors, Connecticut Association of Realtors, and National Association of Realtors. “We are very excited to welcome Cheryl to our Southington office. She is a great addition to our growing team,” said Steven Calcagni.

Cheryl is excited to build her real estate business, and comes to Calcagni with many years of experience as a successful Human Resources Manager. She looks forward to the challenges and flexibility which the real estate industry offers. Cheryl is available to serve all your real estate needs throughout the Central Connecticut area and beyond. She may be reached at Calcagni Real Estate’s office located at 630 Main Street, Plantsville, by calling (860) 621-1821 Ext. 509, her cell 860-384-8649, or by visiting: