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Choosing the right furniture for a family-friendly home

By: Maria Rodriguez

Becoming a parent calls for a lot of firsts and challenges you don't anticipate until you find yourself in the midst of it all. Buying quality furniture can be an after thought when planning for all the necessities of your child as they come into this world. Next thing you know, there is a toddler running, climbing, and jumping from any surface they can get their little hands on. Here are a few things to look for in quality furniture and why you should be seeking sturdy solid wood over inexpensive pieces that wouldn't stand a chance against a tiny toddler.

From dining tables to nightstands, it is important to keep in mind the edges, overall sturdiness, and lifespan of a piece of furniture with spills and all the things that come along with young children.

Choosing the right dining table

We are always seeking to find a beautiful dining table to share a meal with those you love most. While the number of seats can often take the highest "check point" needing to be met, it should also be a priority to fit the needs of our littlest members.

One great option when looking to find your dream dining table set would be to provide a bench as seating to replace a chair or two. This helps avoid wobbly chair legs, while providing more space for children to sit right next to one another. The sturdiness of benches really helps combat the roughness of children with chairs. Simply give it a wiggle check, look for quality legs, and you might find yourself wishing you would've incorporated a bench long ago!

The edges of dining tables are also very important considering it is at the perfect height of a child's head. When young children are a part of our homes, ensuring you have the peace of mind knowing there are no sharp edges to be worried about, is every parents dream. Opting for an oval, round, or rectangular table with round edges might help fit your needs while looking stunning and hosting a number of guests.

Quality materials in furniture

There are multiple materials you can keep a look out for when searching for a bigger piece of furniture that will be getting a great daily use out of.

1. Fabrics in couches and chairs

When looking for a couch or seating in general, it is a great idea to stay away from typical fabrics such as cotton or linen. Having these fabrics in highly trafficked areas are risky when exposed to a great likelihood of spillage. This is just a great reason why we prefer leather when choosing fabrics to ensure an easy clean up process of milk spills or any other forms of mess.

2. A metal base

Sturdy material like metal offers a great alternative for sturdy and quality base. Metal takes a much higher effort and difficulty to loosen or break a leg, especially if the legs are a part of a framed iron base as seen in the sideboard below.

The heaviness of a base like this on a furniture piece is less likely to tip, which is a huge risk factor of pieces that aren't anchored to a wall. A major bonus when choosing metal legs on a piece like this is having the iron base matching the hardware; talk about cohesiveness! Beautiful, functional, and promising.

Materials you might want to avoid

There are things you do want to have in a furniture piece, but just as importantly, it is necessary to know what type of furniture and materials would be best for you to reconsider investing in.

1. Heavy top glass or marble tables

A "heavy" top or marble end table is easily one of the most stunning pieces we take notice of when shopping for a cozy and peaceful space. Though it is functional and beautiful, it is simply not promising the safety of your children. It might be a great idea to refrain from marble top end tables for if they fall, your kids toes will likely go missing. In the end, it can save you many tears, toes, and hospital visits.

Glass end tables, though functional, post the obvious risk of breakage, but also leave you finding endless fingerprints on a freshly cleaned surface. Unless placing in your office, bedroom, or mancave it might be best to avoid pieces as such.

2. Pressboard or particle board vs solid wood

Solid wood is the best way to go when buying furniture instead of pressboard or particle boards. This ensures sturdiness, longevity, and overall quality of furniture piece.

Non-solid wood boards swell with any moisture, i.e. spills, messes and clean ups. Solid wood furniture, while it is possible to get water marks, require a longer time for one to form, giving you time to clean up if you don’t catch it immediately. If you find a water mark on a piece like this, you are always able to refinish the top and have it like new in no time. Having solid furniture in your home offers a safer option for younger kids considering they can withstand the climbing and beatings of any two year old. This actually helps save money in the long run because you aren’t buying multiple pieces of furniture through the years.

Functionality and aesthetic

Creating a warm, welcoming, and beautiful environment is necessary in any stage or season of life when freshening up your home. Armoires and bookshelves with cabinets help serve a functional purpose while providing you a clean canvas to decorate or store away the not so pretty daily items.

When choosing items for a playroom, living room, or kids bedroom it is a great idea to choose options that offer maximum storage and while hiding all the kids toys. This provides seating, and adding a blanket chest will make it a beautiful addition without feeling out of place.

*Please note that many vintage chests lock from the outside when shut, so we recommend removing the lock mechanism when bringing a chest into a home with young children.

Buying Quality Furniture Doesn't Mean New or Having to Break the Bank

Having children doesn't mean you can't have beautiful furniture throughout your home. It does, however, mean you need to be more intentional with the different pieces you choose to incorporate. Whether buying new online, in-store, or refurbished there are a handful of things to look for when deciding on the best piece. Simply take these things into consideration and have fun finding your dream pieces!

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