One Room Challenge Week #5: How to Choose Furniture Your Children Won’t Destroy
Boy’s Adventure Bedroom Makeover
Welcome back to Week #5 of the One Room Challenge, where hundreds of designers all over the country are working on 6 week long makeovers! In case you missed it before I am making over my eight year old son’s bedroom. We are transforming his toddler bedroom in an Adventure themed Boy Bedroom Makeover! You can check out all of the past weeks right below in case you missed it:
This year for One Room Challenge I wanted to create a special THANK-YOU for all of you who took the time to follow along.
Score Free Interior Design with my Free Resource Library
Each week has a special Freebie to go along with the week’s theme! Mood Boards, Shopping Lists, Guides and more to help get you inspired. You can find them all in my FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY (along with plenty of other freebies not related to this One Room Challenge). It is the best place to start to score free designs and décor tips.
Check out all of the past One Room Challenge Week Freebies:
Kid Furniture that Will Actually Last + Budget Headboard Roundup
As we get closer to the end, today I wanted to talk furniture…for kids. I don’t know about you, but I have the three sweetest, adorable kids in the world. Who turn into crazy tornados when the mood strikes. They are insanely creative (a great thing) but every day a crazy new sentence comes out of my mouth. Such as:
“No, we can’t give Barbie a bubble bath on your dresser”
“No, we can’t host a painting lesson in your bedroom for your stuffed animals”
“No, don’t jump off that bed again!”
(after my youngest ended up with stitches in her forehead after her older sister dared her to jump as far as she could off her bed…into the doorknob)
You want to find kid’s furniture that are actually going to last. Or just stick a mattress in there and call it “camping”-they would probably love that too!
And since my bedroom makeover project is for my 8 year old son, I wanted furniture that will last! Last week I showed you a sneak peek of his new metal side table. Here is some more process I’m making on my One Room Challenge. I re-used his existing headboard and dresser-they are a rustic, distressed wood that worked great into his Adventure themed bedroom. Here is what I have so far:
So what should you look for when shopping for kid furniture?
Here are some Pros and Cons to the different furniture materials you can purchase for your child’s bedroom. And how to adapt some of the less kid-friendly materials out there to work in your home:
Metal Bedroom Furniture
PRO: Metal is durable, and easy to clean (hello damp cloth!), comes in a lot of colors
CON: Metal can scratch and it can dent
I love using metal beds in kid’s rooms for it’s durability. You are going to be hard pressed to find a child who can destroy the frame of an iron bed. In my son’s One Room Challenge Bedroom Makeover I chose a metal side table. In the past I have always used painted wood tables and honestly my kids have destroyed them either via non-washable markers (Mom Fail) or through water (Barbie baths while Mom wasn’t looking or spilled glasses of water, the list goes on and on with kids). I used a Target metal nightstand in my One Room Challenge makeover, but I also love the iron bed in the bedroom above.
Distressed Wood Bedroom Furniture
PRO: Wood comes in lots of finishes and in every design style. Distressed wood already has rubs, cracks, and discoloration that will help hide scratches and damage. Easy to clean and you can find eco-friendly versions.
CON: Wood can be damaged by water and depending on the surface stains such as markers might be hard to get out.
Notice the word distressed as the descriptor. Think of it as broken-in for you already! Distressed woods have a lot of color variation, knots, and rustic character that makes it so great when you have children. In fact for my Postbox Designs clients, if they tell me they have children, I almost always find some sort of rustic, distressed table as I know it will take a beating. Distressed woods are especially great for furniture such a dressers, tables, and nightstands that will take more abuse than a bed for example.
For my son’s Adventure Bedroom Makeover I was blessed enough to not only have furniture that I could re-use for his One Room Challenge makeover, but they were HAND-ME DOWNS no less! My mother-in-law had this set in her guest bedroom before she passed it down to my son. That tells you how durable it is.
A note on mixing and matching materials:
I did inherit a bedroom set of a headboard, dresser, and nighstand. But I have to tell you: whether it is a Bedroom, Dining Room, Living Room…don’t go too matchy-matchy! Matching sets always look like you stepped off a furniture showroom, but not in the good way. The best rooms always have a mix of different colors, finishes, and materials. So while in a Dining Room I suggest a mix such as a wood table, painted chairs, and different head tables, the same rule applies to a bedroom. Feel free to mix stained woods and painted! Mix metals and fabrics to come up with a layered, creative look. So while I kept his matching dresser and headboard I went with a green metal table to break up the room a bit. I also stayed away from any more woods and mixed in different colors and textures for a more interesting feel.
Bedroom Fabric Headboard
Remodelando la Casa
PRO: Soft to the touch, a million different prints, colors, and textures. It can be a huge focal point.
CON: If it is on a headboard, you can’t take it off to wash. Can be stained, marked, or torn.
You know your kid. Depending on his or her age, responsibility level, etc. a fabric headboard might be a perfect option. But if they are younger or let’s say slightly less responsible, you can still use fabrics.
“Performance Fabrics”: have come such a long way and are easily accessible. NOTE: You ARE going to pay more for a Performance Fabric-but it is worth every penny. They are tough, washable, and many are dirt and stain resistant.
Heavily Patterned Fabric: Another way to go is with a fabric with a lot of pattern and color variation to help hide any stains. Some of you might be tempted to go with a dark fabric for that reason, but some dark fabrics show just as much as a light fabric would.
Sunbrella or Outdoor Fabric: If it is made to withstand the outdoors it can withstand your toddler! Again, these fabrics are super heavy duty, durable, and made to last.
And if you find a fabric headboard you just can’t live without but don’t want it ruined….you can always spray on a fabric protector. I have done that with several pieces of furniture. You can get this professionally done or just do it yourself. I have used Scotchguard in the past and I can tell you it has helped a lot. Just double check…usually you have to re-apply every so often depending on the use.
Painted Bedroom Furniture
PROS: Comes in a multitude of colors and styles. Can be fairly inexpensive and easy to find.
CONS: Paint can scratch or chip, can be damaged by water.
I have mixed feelings about painted furniture! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the look of it, but painted surfaces are going to be more easily damaged than other surfaces. My girls still have the dresser that I bought when my oldest was a baby…10 years ago! But I have had to re-paint the surface after years of abuse, scratches and even some water damage. If you want a piece that is going to last a long time, this would be the time to invest in some money with a high-quality, well made piece. Pieces like side tables and dressers are going to get the most use and abuse. A high quality painted surface (or even consider adding a glass top) will prolong it’s life. One great place to go with painted furniture is usually a headboard.
However, if you are looking for inexpensive pieces that you know you will only keep for a few years, painted furniture is a great way to get any look you want at an inexpensive price point.
After 10 years of having kids I have done it all. Some has worked and some hasn’t. But hopefully these tips will help you not learn the hard way like I had to! And to go along with our furniture centric One Room Challenge week…this week’s freebie!
Best Budget Friendly (Under $300) Headboard Round Up
You can grab the Shopping List (along with dozens of other design freebies, Mood Boards, Guides, & more) in my FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY.
So whether you go for painted, distressed, metal, or fabric furniture in your kid’s bedroom, you can grab the best budget friendly headboard versions right HERE.
Normally next week would be the big reveal week for One Room Challenge. But because of all of the crazy weather, floods, hurricanes, and more, it has been extended for one more week for all of the contestants. So come back next week for the:
One Room Challenge Design Bonus Week
(followed by the big reveal of my Boy’s Adventure Bedroom Makeover the following week). You can check out all of the other amazing designers’ progress over at the Calling It Home blog!