Do You Buy Furniture with Kids (Present or Future) in Mind?

Do You Buy Furniture with Kids (Present or Future) in Mind?

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Shifrah Combiths
Oct 22, 2014
(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Reaching the stage when you invest in "grown-up" furniture—the (probably more expensive) pieces you fall in love with, save for, and that become a long-term fixture in your home and your family's landscape—is somewhat of a milestone. While this happens at different points for different people (when they're single, just getting together with someone, married for five years, etc.), I wonder how many factor children into the picture when making their purchases.

I know people with families who have had the pristine white formal living room that the kids and dog knew never to set foot in, and I know others who "don't believe in furniture that's not kid friendly."

In our case, we didn't start buying "grown-up" furniture until we already had two children. Because of this, I knew I wanted a leather couch and that I didn't want any glass table-tops that are easy for little hands to grab onto and potentially tip over. I was aware of sharp corners on coffee and other tables, and I knew that upholstered chairs at the kitchen table would be a disaster. I didn't, however, realize that the rungs of my Windsor chairs would be a nightmare to wipe down (a more-than-weekly necessity when grubby hands are in the mix).

For us, the way kids figure in to our furniture considerations mostly revolves around safety and practicality in terms of cleaning. I don't want our furniture to look dirty and junky, but I'd rather teach my kids not to eat and drink messy food or jump on a high-quality leather couch than to buy a cheap one that I don't like and that they can "mess up" with impunity. I want them to learn how to take care of nice things, but not have to be fussy to the point that I can't get cuddly with them on the couch after a romp at the playground.

My sister and her new husband don't have children yet, but they are making some furniture purchases and I find myself warning her about the things I've learned about kids and furniture. And it makes me wonder, are you the type to get the dove gray tufted sofa and have a bottle of Folex at the ready if and when kids come along, do you get what you like now without a thought for future children, or do you have kids and mourn some of your furniture choices (either way)?

From whatever your personal perspective, what are your thoughts about kids and furniture?

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