Safety with kid furniture
Kid furniture needs to be safe, and most suppliers will have made sure their products meet all the safety requirements. If in doubt, check with them.
When you unpack your new kid furniture check that there are no sharp edges, or anything on which your child could hurt themselves. Surfaces should be easy to clean. Normally these are made of laminates or wood which is properly sealed.
Selecting your furniture
When selecting child furniture, two factors are important.
1. How much you want to spend
2. How much flexibility you want
Remember that your child will grow and will need new furniture at some stage, so don't spend more than you can afford on fitting out a room which will need to be redone in two or three years time.
This will give you great flexablilty to achieve the effect you want. You can combine a bed with a matching headboard, and then get shelves, cabinets and other items. These units often join together and make good use of space. Because they aren't fitted you can take them with you if you move home and use your kid furniture again.
The big advantage of stand-alone kid furniture is that you don't tie yourself to a particular look, and you can move it wherever you want. These come in standard sizes, which means you'll have to make sure a particular item will fit in the space allocated to it.
Some manufacturers market collections of child furniture. You can buy every item of furniture you could possibly want and they all coordinate in color and style.
You can buy unfinished kid furniture in a number of styles and making use of different wood. These are very useful if you want to paint, stain or varnish the furniture yourself. Soft pine is often used for less expensive items, but is not as hard wearing as knotty pine, birch, maple or oak.
Keeping a child's room tidy is like paying taxes - never ending and a drain on your resources. If you want to encourage your child to keep a tidy room, then make it easy for them with their kid furniture.
Don't have lots of heavy drawers which don't hold very much.
Use containers, plastic ones are probably the best, especially if paints and other less welcome substances leak out of tubes and bottles. If you want to keep out dust, then get containers with lids. Clear ones are also useful, as your child can see instantly where things are.
You can put your young child's clothes in a closet, fitting the rail or hoods at a convenient height for them. Later on, as they grow, you can adjust the rails.
These can be quite complex - adjustable mattress heights, latching mechanisms, built-in storage, adjustable side rails and mattress extenders. The most important check is to make sure it meets current safety rules.
This type of bed is also known as a junior or toddler bed, and are designed to be used for a child between the age 2 - 5. They are sometimes regarded as being wasteful because of their short life span. Their advantage for your child is that many are made in a 'fantasy' style, and can become a great inducement to a child who is reluctant to sleep in what they regard as a 'baby' bed. They are also made as miniature adult beds, and this again can be an attraction.
These pull out from under a normal sized bed and are most often used for a visitor staying overnight.
Again, these are most useful in a spare bedroom. They fold up against the wall when not in use. Because they can be difficult (and dangerous) for young children to operate, they are not ideal if they need to be used on a daily basis. But if you occasionally need more floor space in a small bedroom these can be the answer.
Mainly designed for girls, these have a frame which support a fabric roof. They are in effect a child's version of a traditional four poster bed.
Sometimes you will find storage space built into the bed itself or its headboard. If not, you'll need a bedside table for your child to put a lamp, books, a drink, a clock or other bits and pieces. You can often use a small bookcase as a bedside table, or any storage unit which is the correct height.
You'll have no difficulty finding tables and chairs to suit your child. These items of kid furniture come in all sizes and designs. Not only are they practical, but children love to have furniture which is just for them.
In order to encourage your child to do a little bit of serious school work, consider a study desk. Again, these come in all shapes and sizes. Some modular furniture will have these as an option.
A variation is the computer desk, specifically designed to house a computer, printer, etc. Be careful, as usually you can't use these for anything else. You may be better off with an ordinary desk which can be used for other tasks if necessary.
Whatever you do, make sure that the monitor and keyboard are the correct height for your child. The monitor should be at eye level, and the keyboard should be lower than a normal desk height.
You may find the standard bedroom closet is not ideal for your child. You can usually adapt them by adjusting the height of the pole for hanging clothes, and placing shelves at a suitable height. These can later be adjusted as your child grows.
A very useful piece of kid furniture. The drawers can be used not only to store clothes, but also toys and other odds and ends.
You can make use of old furniture. By stripping down and repainting old chests of drawers you can make them into very attractive items for your child's room.
Be especially careful with very young children. The dresser should not be top heavy, and make sure that even if the top drawers are pulled out when they are full that they don't make the dresser overbalance.
These can be bought in all sizes and styles; you can buy them as finished units, flat pack assembly, or if you have the time and inclination, buy all the parts yourself and put them together - these are some of the most simple home diy projects you can get! As will all kid furniture, make sure they are sturdy enough to take the weight of books, toys and clothes.
Your imagination is your only limit when it comes to these storage items. You can buy all sorts of attractive boxes in the latest colors and fashion. Many will have the current children's favorite TV characters - always a winner with small children.