If you’ve watched Toy Story, it’s quite likely that you loved Andy’s room! The blue sky wallpaper with white clouds, kid sized furniture and of course, loads of toys!!
Most of us wished for rooms like that as kids, and now when it comes to our own kids, we’d like to have the best available. But buying kids’ furniture is trickier than buying for adults, in no small measure due to the potential users! So before you go on a mad spending spree and regret later, check out our super-useful buying guide here. Read on!!
How to Buy Kids Furniture
What to do before Buying Furniture for Kids
Furniture shopping for kids doesn’t start at the store!! There are a few things to do before leaving home, and doing this makes all the difference between a successful buy and buyer’s remorse. So be a smart Mamma and start on these!!
1. Talk to your child and make a plan
The little prince or princess who’s going to use the furniture has to have a say in it! So discuss with your child if he has any specific requests. Browse various kids bedroom designs online and discuss what they like. But make a ‘tantrum-proof’ disclaimer that you’ll try your best but if what he wants isn’t available, you’ll go for something different but equally exciting.
Girls bedroom furniture will differ from boys bedroom furniture. They are likely to have different color or theme preferences, while older kids might be more specific on storage or seating arrangements for friends. Having an overall color theme is useful when deciding on your purchases and will make the room look harmonious.
2. Decide on the absolute essentials
Kids need lots of space to play, run and simply bounce around. Too much furniture can restrict their movements as well as cause more accidents. So decide on the absolute essentials and draw up a list. If you’re going to buy just one piece of furniture, have a look around and consider future needs, so you can look for multi purpose pieces. A cute bed, tables for kids, book shelves and some storage for toys and clothes are definitely essential.
3. Fix an overall budget
Ah, the all important budget! If you’re refurnishing a complete room, consider additional expenses like curtains, bed linen, wall art and accessories, and then fix a budget for furniture. Allotting individual budgets for each piece of furniture can feel too restrictive, and you might get better ideas once you visit the store.
4. Take measurements of the available space
There are so many people who forget to do this! If furnishing the whole room, take a plan of the room, marking lighting, window and door positions along with dimensions. If you just want a table and chair for a corner in the family room, take measurements of the space considering open doors and cupboards, electrical outlets and common walkthroughs. This way you won’t have the problem of an adorable piece of furniture blocking everyone’s way!
Prep work’s done! Now we’re ready to hit the stores but even while you’re there, there are a few tips to keep in mind. For every piece of furniture you’re considering, think how it rates in terms of these five qualities and you’ll be sure to make the right choice.
Editor’s Note : If you are planning to buy a bunk bed, don’t forget to measure the ceiling height because chances are your fan will be too close to the bunk bed top and you will end up having to remove the fan.
What to Look for in Kids’ Furniture
There are two facets to adaptability when it comes to kids furniture. One is how well it can adapt to your child’s needs as she grows. A toddler-specific dressing table might be get too small in another year, or a pretty but tiny princess bed will not survive an older kid’s jumping. Make sure that you buy designs that grow with your child, as in a bed with side rails that can be removed later, a trundle bed which has an extra bed for an overnight guest or a cupboard whose shelves can be moved high and low.
Another condition of adaptability is regarding multipurpose furniture, the kinds where you hit two birds with one stone. A bunk bed with a built in desk and shelving underneath, a bed with storage drawers beneath, stackable chairs etc. are extremely smart and space saving options. You might also strike a deal by saving on buying two separate pieces of furniture.
This is every parent’s foremost priority regarding everything kid-related. Check every piece of furniture for potential hazards – stray shavings, unpolished wood work, protruding nails, loose screws and bolts. Ask about the paint; lead paint is dangerous. Kids rarely restrict furniture to the purpose it was intended for, so beds will have to survive bouncing, and every chair or stool can be used to stand upon. Foreign countries have certifications for safety, but here in India, we have to be our own safety inspectors. Make no compromise on the sturdiness and finishing of the product.
Pinterest is full of ‘upcycles’ and ‘redo’s of old furniture, converting them into something new and stunning. But your furniture needs to be durable enough for this! Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and that what you’re buying will be around even after your children grow up. It’s recommended to go to reliable stores that are more likely to deliver what they promise. When you’re buying wooden furniture, be sure to ask and confirm that they are termite and pest-treated.
You’ve planned on a color scheme from home, but don’t despair if you don’t find exactly what you were looking for. Sometimes, that exact shade of pink can be elusive! Some stores sell unpainted furniture, so that you can go home and get it painted the way you like. Sounds good, but do factor in the extra painting expense. Many stores sell complete sets together, so you can check them out to get a matching set in one go. Avoid extremely bright colors, which can be quite disturbing for a child.
Themes are a little more difficult than colors, but online shopping has made even this hurdle an easy one to cross. One thing to remember here is that a child’s fascination with a theme is often short lived and getting furniture that is too customized can become outdated very fast. Neutral and classic themes like animals, nature, generic vehicles are safer than specific ones like Pokemon or High School Musical bedroom for kids. Specific themes can also be tricky when it comes to accessories and furnishings
Don’t forget to ask the store if delivery and assembly is included; you don’t want any surprises! Enlist the help of the room owner to dust his furniture regularly, so they feel involved and your new furniture will stay as good as new for a long time!
Do you have any tips for furniture shopping that have worked for you? Do share them with us!