5 Pieces of Furniture Essential to a Functional Kids Room

Photo Credit: Sprout

When my little guy was born, my wife and I spent an entire paycheck or two on a stroller, car seat, crib, and a mountain of diapers. And for a while that was the extent of our baby stuff. Over the next 10 months our mountain of diapers dwindled with amazing rapidity and our little bundle grew into a larger one that walked around picking up everything and putting it in his mouth. At the same time the amount of clothes, toys, and other assorted baby gadgetry had accumulated to such a degree that it was encroaching on the rest of the house.

It was time to give our little man his own space!

We pulled all of the junk out of our extra room and started transforming it into a baby haven. This required a great deal more effort and time than I had previously thought but, luckily for my bank account, it required a lot less cash. We slowly started piecing things together from thrift stores and generous family members with older kids.

Finally, today I can say that it’s all complete. The last piece of furniture is in place and the lingering pain from strained back muscles is fading. And so, I present to you, the 5 pieces of furniture essential to a functional kids room.

1. Some Sort of Sleeping Apparatus

You can’t really call it a kids room if there isn’t somewhere for them to sleep.  It doesn’t have to be shaped like a race car or the Millennium Falcon. It just has to be comfy enough to cradle a little body for the night and sturdy enough that it won’t break when that little body is bouncing around on it like a pinball.

Our crib came from my wife’s aunt. Her kids had outgrown it and, although the mattress cover was pretty thrashed, the rest of it was in pretty good condition.

2. A Place for Clothes

If you don’t have kids then you have no idea how quickly they amass large quantities of clothing. I swear every time Grandma comes over she’s got a cute new outfit. As a parent it’s great because you don’t have to buy them stuff, but even though baby clothes are tiny they still have to go somewhere.

A baby dresser is a must have. Drawers that keep clothes nicely folded and can separate the onesies from the footie pajamas will make changing times much easier. Again I think ours came from another relative. It has weird bear stickers all over it but it was free.

Photo Credit: Rob's home

Photo Credit: Rob’s home

3. A Place for Stuff

This is for all the things that kids need but that you don’t necessarily want them to have easy access to. Books, crayons, and boxes of wipes, are all crucial kid items but only if they remain well out of reach to curious toddlers.

One of the dressers we procured from someone has a set of shelves attached to it. It is a great place to keep things away from our little boy. It’s also bright pink with glittery nobs on the drawers but again the price was right.

4. Creative Platform

When your kids are really little they don’t require much to keep them occupied. A squishy ball or a cardboard box can amuse them for hours. But as they get older they learn about crayons and how they can make magic with paper. You will try your hardest to keep them from learning about crayons and walls but you will inevitably fail.

Once our son starting showing interest in drawing I knew we needed to get him a better environment. The kitchen table was way too high and he is a perpetual wiggler so it was unrealistic for us to lift him up and down from a booster seat a hundred times. Luckily, working for a kid’s furniture company gave me access to some really cool stuff and I’d been eyeing the table and chair set for a while. Now my little boy can grab a coloring book, plop down, and color outside the lines to his heart’s content.

5. A Black Hole

This is where all the things that don’t go in any other piece of furniture belong. Most people call it a toy box. It is where every little plastic doo-dad and wooden thing-a-ma-jig end up, woefully separated from whatever set of toys they belong to by great distances of space and time. It’s also the first thing that your kid likes to overturn once he wakes up in the morning.

Every kid’s room needs one of these for one simple reason. It makes cleaning up so much easier. Just grab everything on the floor and throw it in. In 2 minutes you’ve cleared the floor and you won’t have to worry about stepping on noisy or painfully sharp (I’m looking at you LEGO) objects when you go in to check on your child in the middle of the night. Our toy box is just a canvas bin. I have no idea where it came from but it’s wonderful.

There you have it, 5 essential pieces of furniture for a functional kid’s room. I’ve learned that children can make your life wonderfully crazy. But getting them into a room that meets all of your needs and theirs can make it more of the former and less of the latter.

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Holiday Organization

With the holidays coming ever closer, the key to staying sane is endless organization especially when it comes to all those extra house guests! Read on for some easy, innovative, organizing ideas that are so useful you will just have to share your new knowledge.  After all, it is the season of giving!

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1) Easiest one of all (and one I am sure you already do) is make a list of all your events/ duties for the holidays. This can be stored in an app, on a calendar, or on good ‘ol lined paper.  The key is to have every task in one place and break them down into manageable steps, if necessary.

2) After you have made a list, look around the house and start organizing rooms that are a bit too clutter-friendly. Look into bookshelves or storage cubes that can easily organize those knick-knacks. Just doing this basic de-cluttering will clear your mind and start you off stress-free!

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3) A favorite! – Organize your bed sheets into sets and fold them inside the matching pillowcase. This way, you have sheets at the ready and don’t have to hunt for matching sets when Aunt Mildred surprises you at the door.

4) Pull out your winter clothes from storage and look at each item as you put it away. Are you really going to wear that sweater from the ugly sweater party last year? If not, toss it in a box for Goodwill.  Charitable organizations are always on the look out for warm clothing!

5) Use transparent storage bins for your holiday decorations. This is the easiest way to take stock of what you have already before you go buy another reindeer candle.

6) Store individual light strands in gallon sized plastic bags. This way each strand is separate and will not get tangled with the rest.

Make organization simple and easy for your family with just  a little bit of time and the purchase of just the right items for your space. After all, this is the season to spend time with your family and friends, not stress about clutter. The key is to get started today! The sooner you start organizing, the more seamless the holidays will be!

Have a wonderful holiday season!

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Décor in seconds: Peel and stick decals change the mood of a room in no time

Patience is a virtue, but who hasn’t had a moment when they’ve looked at a room and thought “I want this to change … now!” That impulse can lead to some projects that are better in theory than in practice, and leave you mired in a ton of work. But, next time you feel hurried and harried to makeover a space, consider how decals can change the character of a room – and let you do it over and over again with minimal effort.

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Parents in particular know that kids’ tastes change and evolve, sometimes in the blink of an eye. Decals are ideal for kids’ rooms because they allow you to adapt their décor on a whim. You can choose options that coordinate with your nursery theme, and as your child grows from baby to toddler to a kid with opinions of his own, all you need to do is peel off the old and stick on the new. There are even options to add your kids’ favorite characters to the room, from Dora to The Avengers.

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For parents whose kids have left home for college, there’s always the question of what to do with that now-unoccupied bedroom. If you want to convert it to a tranquil guest space, taking down old décor and adding peel-and-stick decals can change the mood of the space without ever having to open a can of paint.

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If your home has lots of blank wall space and you’re not sure how to enhance it, there are a number of decal options that can be used to add character. There’s plenty of sophisticated imagery, from botanicals to geometrics; you could also use letters for a custom treatment that speaks to your personality. Spell out your family name, your favorite places you’ve traveled or words that you find inspirational and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind décor element.

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Kids rooms: Décor that transitions as they grow

When it comes to decorating children’s spaces, it’s easy to go all out with vibrant hues and fun themes. The problem is, kids don’t stay kids forever, and if you commit to something that doesn’t transition as they mature, a lot of redecorating (and the associated cost) is in your future.

Here are a few top tips to keep in mind to create a beautiful children’s space that also transitions with time:

1. Select a classic color palette

Classic colors aren’t necessarily bland colors. Some of the top color pairings for kids include gray and yellow, pink and green, pink and black, sage and beige, and purple and green. Furthermore, these color combos have lasting power – perfect for a nursery or a teen’s abode.CrystoramaKids1

2. Think concept, not characters

Your child may beg you to go all out with décor featuring her favorite TV character, but try to resist. In a year she’ll be on to something new and you’ll be stuck with a dated theme. Look at the big picture and use accents to bring life to the space. Colorful pillows, throws and rugs add zest, and keep character overload at bay.

3. Love the light

Lighting is the perfect way to add an interesting focal point to a child’s space. Keep scale in mind as you select your options, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box. A mini crystal chandelier or sleek chrome ceiling fan from Crystorama works for little or big kids, and may become the trademark feature of the space.

4. Choose fun, but functional furniture

There are some pieces of furniture you’ll need to replace as a child grows, particularly the bed. But other pieces should be selected with longevity in mind. Chairs, dressers and desks need to have lasting power so they work today and tomorrow. Keep in mind durability – kids are tough on their stuff, so durable materials that can easily be cleaned are ideal.

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5. Remember organization

Children’s rooms are typically smaller spaces within a home, yet kids tend to accumulate so much stuff! Cut the clutter by kidsStoragedesigning their room with organization in mind. Baskets, built-ins and creative shelving should all be incorporated into a child’s space. When clutter overflows, it’s time for a sort-and-donate session.

Inspired lighting for children

For most parents, decorating a child’s bedroom or playroom is a joy. It’s a place to inject a bit of whimsy and fun vivid hues you may not consider for other areas of the house. Although you’ll likely put a lot of thought into the design concepts and themes behind your child’s room, many parents overlook lighting.

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Lighting for children should blend both functionality and style. Rather than settle for a bland single bulb in a clear glass globe, use lighting to bring the room’s design to new heights. A striking light fixture is not only a great design opportunity to inspire little minds as they play pretend or fall into dreamland, but also can be the final touch that creates a perfect, polished look.

Here are a few children’s lighting trends that are sure to inspire:

Ceiling fans: Selecting a ceiling fan for your child’s room is probably driven by function, but today’s ceiling fans are far from boring. Made from numerous types of woods, metals or even fabric, and in just about any shape you can imagine, the blades of a ceiling fan reveal the fixture’s true design potential. From staggered ovals of various sizes in chrome to oil rubbed bronze blades that look like palm leaves, ceiling fan blade options are endless.Kids_Crystorama

Chandeliers: If you’re designing a nursery or a little girl’s room, you can’t go wrong with a crystal chandelier. The is the perfect example of elegance without going overboard. Think chandeliers aren’t for little boys? Modern designs that incorporate clean lines and cool-toned metals are ideal, like the Crystorama Lighting Group Solaris Olde Silver Three-Light Chandelier.

Transitional: Transitional style fixtures can be a good option for children’s spaces. Not only are transitional styles great for just about any color palette or theme you’ve selected, they offer great longevity. So when your little lad or lass isn’t’ so little, the piece can continue to be used, even when you update the room’s décor.