width= Choosing Children’s Furniture

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Choose furniture designed with your kid in mind! Once your little ones are ready to move beyond cribs and toddler beds, it can be daunting to pick out new kids’ bedroom furniture. But rest assured that it could be easier than you imagine. Just like with furnishings for any other room in the house, it saves a considerable amount of effort when you purchase a set and then accessorize with decorative details that both you and your child will love.

How to Choose a Furniture Set
As you begin your furniture search, you’ll need to keep in mind the layout of your child’s room and where you plan to put each piece of your set. If you’re tight on space you may want to consider a bunk bed for two kids sharing a room or a corner bookcase or desk.

Another thing to think about is the style you are interested in. If traditional appeals to you, go with something that comes in standard wood finishes or paint colors. If you’d like to go with something a bit more contemporary, look for furniture sets available in bright, unconventional colors and cool, sleek designs. There’s plenty out there for both the conventional and modern moms.

Beds and Nightstands
The centerpiece of most bedrooms is the bed itself, flanked by the nightstand. Kids’ beds are no different. Even young children are beginning to have definite tastes, and you should take their preferences into account when selecting kids’ furniture. Kids’ theme beds may be one such area where they’ll have an opinion. Lots of little girls dream about being a princess, for example, and a castle-themed bed or canopy is the perfect place to nurture those dreams. Modern kids’ furniture, with its clean lines and simple details, is a cost-effective and stylish way to outfit a bedroom for a young child through a teenager and beyond.

If you need children’s beds to double as storage spots, select products that offer under-bed drawers or cubbies. Kids’ platform beds are excellent examples of storage and style. Whether they come with drawers included or simply provide a raised platform for your own storage beneath, you’ll love these double-duty beds.

Nightstands are the traditional go-with for your child’s bed, providing a place for books, eyeglasses, a drink of water, an alarm clock—anything your child needs close at hand. For maximum convenience, look for a bedroom night stand with a pre-drilled cord hole for lamps and clocks that need to be plugged in. For storage of larger items, pick a bedside table with a door or an open space below the drawer.

Armoires and Dressers
There’s never a shortage of kids’ gear and clothing, so a bedroom armoire or dresser is essential in your child’s room. If his or her bedroom is short on closet space, a clothing armoire is a great choice: it combines the folding storage of a dresser with the hanging option of a closet. It’s also a good spot to hide your child’s TV. If the furniture set you select doesn’t come with an armoire option, simply look for a children’s armoire that complements the style and/or color of the rest of the pieces. Painted armoires are the most versatile products, as you can choose colors from white to watermelon to enhance your décor.
Dressers are handy for storing everything from socks to sweaters. If your child needs help keeping socks and underclothes organized, look for a bedroom dresser that includes one or more smaller drawers. When choosing kids’ dressers, it’s a good idea to look for ones with blocks that prevent the drawers from being pulled all the way out. In addition to the mess it makes, falling drawers can be dangerous for little feet.
Make sure you pay attention to the measurements of the dresser or armoire so you know your child can easily reach all drawers and hangers without having to stand on a step stool.

Desks and Vanities
From the toddler years on up, all kids need a workspace. Whether for coloring or for homework, a children’s desk is a great addition to a bedroom. When shopping for kids’ desks, make sure you look for a model that’s sized appropriately for your child and provides the storage and organization options he or she needs. It’s okay to get a desk that’s slightly bigger than your child needs now, but it’s unrealistic to expect your three-year-old to draw comfortably on a desk meant for a teenager. If you’re looking ahead to the homework years, think about the benefits of a computer desk. Computer desks are roomy enough to hold a desktop computer and provide a laptop user with considerable space to not only work on the computer, but to do other homework tasks at the desk as well.

Girls’ vanities are another option for your daughter. If you’d like it to double as a desk, look for models with plenty of workspace, drawers for holding school supplies, and a sturdy, comfortable chair. If your daughter is a little more, well, girlie, her own vanity set could be the perfect accent to her room. Select models that come with a padded bench to complete her glamour fantasy.

Bookcases
Kids’ bookcases are an essential organizational tool for the many books they’ve undoubtedly collected over the year. But it’s also excellent storage space for more than just books. Look for sturdy book cases that won’t tip over—even when used by the most active of kids—with several shelves to hold everything from trophies to special collections. For organizing small items in a bookcase, consider a fabric bin that fits neatly onto a shelf. With younger kids, lower bookcases are a good option. Higher models may prevent your child from reaching the top shelves, leaving empty storage space. Wooden bookcases are a great choice for nearly every bedroom and can be painted in a variety of colors to either blend into the décor or make a statement.


Accessories
The finishing touches to any bedroom are the accessories, such as mirrors and kids’ furniture knobs. While not main events, these details are important in setting the overall tone. Kids’ bedroom mirrors not only let your child determine whether his clothing matches every morning, but can also make a small space feel bigger. Oval wall mirrors are perfect for hanging above a dresser or desk, but if it’s going to be next to a piece of furniture, look for a mirror that complements the look of the furnishings. A white distressed dresser calls for a similar style of mirror, for example. Cheval mirrors are a fantastic decorative touch and great for getting a full-length view before heading out the door. If adorning the room of a young child, look for a mirror with shatterproof acrylic to protect her from accidental glass breakage.

There’s no easier way to personalize a ho-hum piece of furniture than with drawer pulls for kids. If you select a traditional dresser or armoire that will grow with your kids through adulthood, why not make the piece a little more kid-friendly with fun drawer pulls? From sports to animals to polka dots, the styles are endless. Look for handpainted drawer pulls to ensure that you’re getting a quality, original item. Consider purchasing one extra drawer pull than you need in case one gets lost or damaged over the years.

Safety & Convenience Factors
All painted surfaces should be lead-free and all finishes non-toxic.
With large pieces of furniture such as dressers or bookcases, make sure that the product is designed to be tip-resistant, or, better yet, can be secured to the wall to prevent it from falling on an active child.
Select a flame-retardant, firm mattress for your child’s bed.

Choose products with minimum assembly requirements to make it easier on you.
Consider the measurements of all the children’s furniture you select to make sure that the pieces will fit comfortably into your child’s room.

Make sure that desks and vanities have an adequate amount of light.

The Bottom Line
Furniture sets are an easy way to coordinate the look of your child’s room. Once the style decision is made, furniture sets provide convenient one-stop-shopping to bring a room together nearly effortlessly. Accessories give the room some decorative flair and originality.

Our Mom Expert
Caron Webber, 37, is the mother of five children, ages 2 to 12.

 
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