Children's bedroom furniture buying guide

Children's bedroom furniture buying guide

Pauline, Self-taught DIYer, Leeds

Guide written by:

Pauline, Self-taught DIYer, Leeds

121 guides

Children's bedroom furniture can be both practical and decorative. Whether you're after a matching set or several traditional or themed pieces, each item must be chosen with care. From the chest of drawers to the bed, you'll have to think about factors like size, materials, colours and style. Read on for our top tips.

Important features

  • Suitable for all ages
  • Child-friendly
  • Helps to build independence
  • Non-toxic, natural materials
  • Different styles and shapes
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Furnishing a child's room first begins with preparing for baby's arrival and is then a way to mark the passage of time as your children grow up.

Here are the most essential items to consider when furnishing a child's bedroom:

There are many ways to furnish a child's bedroom: you can choose pieces of furniture from the same collection, mix and match individual pieces of furniture or even pick up upcycled, vintage or used furniture in good condition.

Your choice of children's furniture will be based on a range of criteria:

  • the child's age (this determines the size of furniture);
  • surface area of the child's room;
  • pre-established routines and habits;
  • number of children (current or future);
  • budget;
  • style (neutral, colourful, based on a favourite character, themed);
  • environmental and health concerns (no VOCs, water-based paints, natural waxes).

When your child is old enough to sit up alone and draw, you can get them a small desk to inspire their creativity. Over time, you can replace this with a desk suited for primary school pupils which, in turn, can be replaced by a bigger desk as your children reach secondary school age.

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Chest of drawers

Children's bedroom furniture: finding a style

When it comes to choosing furniture for a child's room, the sky's the limit in terms of decoration:

  • colour-coded: pink and silver, orange and blue, white or grey, etc. ;
  • themed: Scandinavian décor, fairies, cars, animals, forest scene, etc. ;
  • favourite characters: superheroes, Frozen or other Disney, Peppa Pig, etc.

Currently very popular, cabin beds (70 x 140 cm) are usually a bit hit with children starting primary school. They have the added advantage of being easy to decorate with curtains, fairy lights and other hanging accessories. As your children get older, they will require a single bed (90 x 180 or 200 cm), which normally comes without decoration.

Here are a few tips on how to create a décor that works:

  • limit the number of themed elements to one or two areas (headboard and wall, for example);
  • add just a splash of colour with a chair or night-table or paint just one wall;
  • put coloured furniture against neutral walls;
  • combine unfinished wooden furniture with coloured or patterned walls.

For toddlers who are already walking, furniture should be appropriately sized and ideally feature rounded edges.

Decorating ideas for children's rooms

For a children's room with a more contemporary look, try out a variety of ideas.

A popular trend at the moment is to cover one wall with patterned wallpaper (dandelions, clouds, characters, stars, etc.). Walls can be painted to juxtapose bright colours with pale tones or to create shapes such as mountains with a gradient effect. Another very fashionable trend is painting the corner of the wall on both sides in a triangle to create a trompe l'oeil effect.

When it comes to accessories, here are a few ways to enhance your children's furniture:

  • wall-mounted wire racks to free up space on the desk and on top of a chest of drawers;
  • fairy lights above the headboard;
  • photo strings hung over a chest of drawers;
  • cube storage units filled with decorative boxes;
  • a patterned or geometric rug at the foot of the bed.

Another trick for decorating a child's room without paint is to draw using decorative craft tape or Washi tape. This coloured tape doesn't damage surfaces and can be used to create frames, drawings or a headboard.

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A timeless classic, wood is the best material to use if you want children's furniture that's both attractive and durable. However, it's important to ensure the wood has been treated as little as possible. To keep the air in your child's room healthy, we recommend choosing unfinished wood or checking the type of paint products used (no solvents, for example). You can also opt for children's furniture made from high-quality fibreboard (either medium-density fibreboard or high-density fibreboard).

For babies and young children, functional furniture (small desks or chairs) is often made from plastic, which is easier to clean and reduces the risk of cuts and injuries. The most important thing is to always ensure the safety of children at all stages in life, especially before the age of 3.

Glass is not commonly used in children's rooms, except for mirrors mounted on wardrobes or small dressing tables.

Handy tip: opening boxes well before assembly is an effective first step towards getting rid of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Once the furniture has been assembled, open windows on a daily basis to maintain good air quality.

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Children's rooms

When furnishing a child's room, you should first determine whether or not you will adapt the decoration as your child grows.

A nursery, for example, will last for approximately two and a half years. It is normally furnished with a cot bed, chest of drawers, changing table and perhaps a wardrobe. Once your child has transitioned from a cot bed to child-sized bed, you should assess whether or not the new bed is a good match for the furniture you already have in place (minus the changing table, of course).

Nursery décor is generally replaced once your child reaches 3 years old and this will remain up to around 10 years old when you start to think about decorating for a teen's room.As such, there will generally be three different sets of furniture to match each stage of life (or one set of furniture that can be adapted). Here are some useful questions to ask yourself before purchasing furniture for your child:

  • Are you planning on changing the furniture and décor more than once?
  • Do you only want to buy new furniture?
  • What kind of quality are you looking for?
  • Will the room be used for at least one other child?

The way in which you furnish your child's room will depend on your budget and any family plans for the future. When replacing old furniture, it's a good idea to finance your plans by selling off furniture as you go.

Whether made from unfinished, decorated or coloured wood, children's furniture comes in all styles and shapes. Now it's up to you to decide!

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Guide written by:

Pauline, Self-taught DIYer, Leeds, 121 guides

Pauline, Self-taught DIYer, Leeds

With a handyman-father, I grew up with the soft sound of the sander and hammer on weekends. I am both manual and cerebral (yes, it is possible), I learned the basics of DIY and the customization of furniture because I was passionate. The salvage mentality is a true way of life that allowed me to know how to use all the tools and products needed to give something a second life, from sander to varnish. I have two favorite activities: the transformation of old furniture and decoration tips. I am always ready to lend a helping hand to revamp a table or to restore a mirror that was intended for the trash that will become a friend’s centerpiece. I’m convinced that it’s possible to reinvent an interior by small, regular modifications, I constantly research low-cost, test ideas.

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