Children come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s a safe bet to assume that the furniture you have for yourself is not right for them. Either it’s too big or just not “kid” enough. Remember that scene in the movie Big with Tom Hanks, in which a child gets a grownup’s body and then outfits an apartment as a child’s room? That’s the kind of style you’re probably not fond of for the entire house. To keep the rest of the house from becoming the children’s play room, purchasing some size and age appropriate furniture is a good option. Your children will enjoy a sense of their own space. They’ll play games with the furniture, name it, and have an entire universe devoted to the furniture in a way you or I cannot comprehend. So, you want to buy children bedroom furniture—how do you start?
A few points are obvious when buying big-ticket items for your kids. First of all, kids grow up fast. As much as parents may not want to admit it, that Onesie or rolling horsie may have been outgrown the moment your kid ripped open the package. Kids grow up fast, which means they outgrow furniture even faster. You don’t want to be stuck arguing with your child over how babyish her bunk bed makes her feel, and that so-and-so has a new Justin Timberlake bunk bed that’s awesome. Avoid this doomsday scenario by buying furniture that can work for many ages. Beds with stars or balloons, desks with smiley faces and ponies—these will bore your child much faster than a simple bed or desk with a monochromatic, or perhaps dichromatic finish. If your child wants to decorate, let her. She or he can always repaint a desk or bed; you could even do it together and have a lot of fun encouraging your child’s creative side
If you’re looking to deck out a child’s room and you’re beyond the toddler phases (do you need anything other than a cradle and toys, really?), you’ll probably want a desk, a bed, a dresser, and maybe a chest, or shelves. Unless you’re a giant, your child will fit into a twin bed. I slept in a twin bed until I moved to college! It’s a worthwhile investment, because your children will sleep in that bed every night they’re under your roof. If you have more than one child in a room, look for a bunk bed that can be separated into two beds. Most likely when they’re younger they’ll share a room, but as they grow you may find your house a squeeze, and move into a home where each child can have a room. If that’s the case, how sad would it be if you had to throw away that perfectly bunk bed to get two separate beds for each of the children’s new rooms? That’s an expense you can easily avoid.
Another option is to buy loft beds. The lure of a loft bed is that they’re a desk and bed in one, saving space. However, many loft beds are themed to very specific age ranges, which we’ve already discussed is a no-no. Also, if the desk is built in, your child is almost certain to grow out of it as he or she advances through school. If you do decide on a loft bed, try to find one where, like the bunk beds, the desk and bed can be separated in order to have maximum flexibility in rearranging the kids play furniture and creating new spaces as your children age.
My last tip is this: involve your children in the buying process! Not so that you are their personal shoppers, but to teach them the value of money and good taste, and so they will value the furniture all the more because they helped choose it. Good luck!