Children's Bedroom Furniture
Creating the perfect space for kids
Children's bedroom furniture is hard to get right. The beautiful pink cot that you bought for your newborn baby doesn't seem such a great choice when the new arrival turns out to be a boy. A table designed to look like a toadstool is great fun for seven-year-olds, but will embarrass your children if it's still there when they're bringing home friends from high school.
You can't expect to make perfect choices when you're buying children's bedroom furniture, but following a few simple rules should help you avoid disaster.
Space is vital. Take all steps possible to maximize it. This means storage, storage, storage.
If two or more children are sharing a room, you should also make sure that each child has a little of their own space in the room, whether that means a play corner each or simply drawers for their own clothes. Bunk beds are an excellent idea for children sharing a room; see our page on kids bunk beds, in this section, for more information.
Think about how children behave. Children's bedroom furniture needs are completely different from those of an adult. For example, you might find that a large wardrobe is excellent for keeping your own bedroom tidy, but children are usually bad at hanging up clothes, and they may not be able to reach the rail on a full-sized wardrobe. Replace the wardrobe with an extra set of drawers, and make the bottom drawer deep enough to hold a couple of pairs of folded jeans. You should also give them somewhere to keep their shoes, whether that's a fabric shoe-holder on the back of the door or just a box.
Avoid magnolia syndrome. Adult walls are painted in pale shades for a variety of reasons: because it's chic, because it goes with everything, because it gives the illusion of a bigger room. Kids don't really care about that kind of thing, and pale walls show the marks from sticky fingers. Go for colorful shades on the walls, and pick furniture to complement those colors.
Go for the sturdiest furniture you can find. Furniture that's likely to collapse isn't just a waste of money; it's also a potential danger to your children.
Don't avoid buying fun furniture just because your kids are going to grow out of it. Sure, you may end up selling on pieces in a few years' time, but it's worth it if your children get a few years of enjoyment. However, you shouldn't spend as much on novelty furniture as you would on the staple items. When you budget, consider that you'll probably have to replace the furniture within a few years. If money's tight, consider customizing your own furniture for an individual look. Our page on alternative kids' bedroom furniture gives some tips on buying and making fun furniture.
Avoid junior-sized beds, unless you're splashing out on a novelty bed. Once your children are out of cots, buy them a bed big enough for an adult to sleep in. It's tempting to maximize space by choosing a smaller bed for your child, but this is false economy, as they will soon grow out of it. A full-sized bed for your child also means that you will be able to offer visitors a bed when your children are away.
Avoid hard edges and breakable items. Children's bedroom furniture should ideally have rounded edges. You should also leave china ornaments out of the room completely.