How to choose kids furniture

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girl's purple bedroom
A simple bed can create a wonderland for rest and play
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Knowing how to choose kids furniture is a bit different from shopping for adults

Shopping for kids is fun, but never easy. On one hand, they’re bound to outgrow many of the clothes and bedroom decorations you give them. On the other hand, they’re only young once, so you want to create a room that embraces childhood whimsies.

Knowing how to choose kids furniture is an underrated life skill that will help you save you money in the long run, and tickle a little one's fancy with delightful designs. When it comes to making the final decision on what comes home, use both the creative and logical sides of the brain.

These tips are aimed to help furnish a kid's room so the results make them and your wallet happy.

Basics first

How to choose furniture 101 begins with the basics. Make a list of the essential items the room needs – a bed, night table, desk if the space allows. If it helps, draw a rough to-scale sketch of the room to get a general idea of size limitations. Make note of unique features like a slanted ceiling so you have accurate measurements of the space.

Set a budget

As far as home goods go, furniture tends to fall on the high end of the pricing spectrum. Set a budget before you start browsing, and know that some types of bedroom furniture – beds and work stations – will cost more than others – shelving and rugs. This way if you’re considering investing in a high quality bed, it’s clear the budget for other items will be much less.

For now and/or later

Depending on a child’s age, you’ll need to decide if you value pieces that will last a long time, or those with a more versatile design. Buying older kids durable staple pieces will save you a return trip to the furniture store in a few years. If the kids are younger some pieces are bound to be temporary as on-coming growth spurts will age them out of tiny chairs.

Plenty of shelves, bureaus and desk designs can be modified from playful for a 5-year-old, to cool for a teenager. Save money without sticking a future pre-teen with her current princess room by planning to change the window dressings, rugs and wall color when it’s time.

Break design rules

Kids don’t care if the pattern on their pillows is a clever contrast to the wall paper. Many like their colors loud and their textures soft and cozy so indulge their modest bedroom decorating muses when possible. Reading chairs are bound to jumped on and cushions and chairs will be used to support forts. Therefore steer clear of furniture that strikes you as precious.

Not too adult, not too babyish, but juuuust right

Once he has a soft place to lay his head and a table to build his planes, consider the little extras that can make a room feel magical. Toy boxes and book cases that fit their height help them stay organized and keep the room looking neat. Sturdy step stools are endlessly helpful in helping them reach higher shelves and feel more independent.

Easels, bean bags and bright fuzzy rugs come in a wide range of designs and colors, so give them freedom in this department. These kinds of items will keep them comfortable while they play, read and learn to entertain themselves.

Bring your child to the store

Kids may not know how to choose furniture for quality and versatility, but they know what colors and designs they like when they see them. It does help to set some boundaries beforehand. Narrow down their choices to three or four designs that fit your funds and measurements. 

Give them a say in cosmetic decisions so once all is bought and assembled, their room really does feel like it’s theirs.

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