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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Activities to Make Your Dinner Party a Blast

Have you struggled to host dinner parties in the past? If you’re tired of throwing parties that don’t quite live up to your expectations, simply reconsider your party strategy. A dinner party often requires three things in order to be successful: delicious food and drinks; great atmosphere; and last, but certainly not least, entertaining activities!

You might not have considered party activities in the past, but without them, your event might end up being a dud. So don’t let all the work you put into the menu and décor go to waste. At your next dinner party, try incorporating these three activities and make your dinner party a smashing success!

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Play games
Playing games is one of the easiest ways to loosen your guests up and liven up the mood. It’s also an activity that can be done before, during or after the meal depending on the game. Be sure to consider your guests beforehand to decide which games would be most appropriate. If many of your guests are meeting for the first time, play an icebreaker game so everyone can get to know each other. If you have a more outgoing group, play a fun game of charades in the living room!

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Set up a “photo booth” area
Taking pictures is not only a great way to capture a fun evening, but it can also be a fun activity! All you need for your home photo booth is a digital camera, a tripod and a backdrop. If you have a large piece of artwork hung up you can simply use that as the background. Otherwise, any type of printed fabric such as a blanket could also be used. Set some goofy props nearby such as wigs or large glasses and your friends will have a blast taking silly pictures all night.

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End the night with dancing
After everyone’s done eating your incredible food, keep them from feeling sleepy by having a dance party. Simply clear out your coffee table and rugs, turn on an upbeat playlist and show off your sweet moves!

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Hosting a dinner party is more than providing a delicious meal. Be sure to also include some fun activities and keep your guests entertained throughout the evening!

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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Parents: What chair is best for a newborn’s nursery?

When it comes to preparing the nursery for the arrival of a new baby, a good chair is an absolute must. But if you’ve hit a design wall or are simply not satisfied with the options you’ve found at local stores, it’s time to dig deeper and tap into top nursery decorating trends. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a beautiful chair that’s perfect for baby…

First, although a rocker isn’t a necessity, parents and caregivers often prefer one because it’s a comfortable way to lull baby to sleep. The gentle back and forth motion mimics what the infant felt in the womb, and a comfortable rocking chair is great for nursing and calming baby in the wee hours of the morning.Rocker

Glider rockers provide a smooth motion and are easy to use, but often people are less than thrilled with their appearance. Try customizing your glider with pillows and shams to help tie it to the overall nursery theme you’ve selected. If you’re still unimpressed, consider plush reclining chairs that also have the ability to glide and rock.

The Pulaski Furniture Sutton Grey Swivel Glider Recliner is a great example. Its soft, clean lines add a modern touch to any nursery. The padded backs, arms and sides set this recliner apart – providing a luxurious level of comfort. The ingenious design allows the chair to recline or glide, so you can nuzzle with your little darling as long as you’d like.

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Remember, when selecting a nursery chair, you’re not stuck with traditional pastel fabrics. Current trends in nursery décor feature sophisticated color choices like black, burgundy or nudes. The Pulaski Glider plays perfectly to the grey trend, and can complement a little boy’s or girl’s room impeccably. Whatever fabric you select for your chair, make sure it’s durable and easy to clean.

Finding a nursery chair with these characteristics ensures you’ll get exactly what you need for cuddling with baby, but you’ll also have a quality piece of furniture with style potential long after your little angel grows up.