The right pieces of furniture can totally transform your home. But are these functional, within your budget and are there features to ensure your children's safety? Here's a checklist for you.
By Team ParentCircle
Furnishing your home is an exciting prospect that can totally transform the look and feel of your space. But when you have children at home, there are other aspects you need to consider while buying furniture — Is it practical? Will your children stay safe and injury-free? Is it sturdy and long-lasting? Even after keeping in mind all these factors, doing up your home with tasteful and trendy pieces, need not be an expensive affair. However, it can at times, be an overwhelming task, given the choices available in the market today.
So, before you start your hunt, keep the following points in mind:
Have you been dreaming of that fine centre table in glass or marble for your living room? Sorry to break this to you — not all modern furniture is right for your home. If you are the proud owner of several pets and also, a parent to small children, that table probably won't last long. Be practical when thinking of buying such pieces of furniture. With glass or marble, there is also the prospect of your children hurting themselves, by accident.
Children tend to be clumsy and rough while handling things like clothes, shoes and toys and it is quite possible that they will do the same to your furniture. In fact, many of us put off furniture-buying because of the fear of damage or stains. But fret not. You don’t have to live with a sofa that is falling apart just because of such concerns. There is a new category of upholstery fabrics in the market called 'performance fabrics' that can be a boon for couples with small children, as spills and dirt come off easily.
Do reconsider before thinking of decorating your home in light and pastel shades. These may not be practical or stand the test of time. Choose a good neutral hue for the majority of your furniture, and then opt for one or two pieces in a colour you absolutely love. This way, you can enhance the aesthetic value of your space, while also keeping maintenance to a minimum.
Spread out your furniture purchases over the course of several months rather than buying a whole set at once. Keep an eye out for clearance sales and be more judicious about the things you buy. That way, you will not regret wasting money on that piece of furniture that you never needed in the first place!
Furniture need not be expensive. In fact, it need not even be new. Be open to picking up pre-owned furniture because, more often than not, used pieces cost much less than new ones. If you are lucky and do good research, you may find even high-quality pre-owned pieces for a reasonable cost. Imagine getting your hands on handcrafted pieces made of something like 100 per cent rosewood or teak, as opposed to modern furniture made from materials like veneer and plywood!
Be honest with yourself. Do you really need a particular item or do you just want it because you think it looks nice? Decorative pieces that look stunning on social media sites like Instagram are totally not a necessity. Have realistic expectations about the look and feel of your space and don't get carried away. An antique wine crate, a delicately-handmade terracotta pot or, a vintage glass cabinet, not only take up space but may not be worth the money you spend on them.
Buy furnishings that have practical value and are functional. In a busy household, every room should be a comfortable space for you and your loved ones. So, furnish rooms such that these suit the desires and interests of your whole family. For instance, an entertainment room should cater to activities like playing, reading and watching television. Similarly, the children's room can have bunk beds and also, space for extra mattresses in case your child is having a sleepover. Furniture with built-in storage for books and toys is also a great idea to avoid clutter.
Although you may think that you can just ‘measure it with your eye’, you may end up making a colossal mistake by purchasing something that is too large or too small. So, start out on the right note by precisely measuring and finding the ideal size of the items you are looking for. Pay attention to pieces that go inside cabinets, under the kitchen sink or storage boxes that go under your beds.
It is inevitable that children will climb tables and chairs when playing. It is for the parents to ensure that they do not get hurt while doing so, just because a piece of furniture is wobbly. So, invest in furniture that is sturdy and stays anchored to the floor. Anti-trip devices are inexpensive and can be installed easily. Look for furniture with curved edges and use corner protectors to provide padding to an area with sharp corners like media consoles or the edges of chairs and tables. Cabinets with locks are also a great investment, if you want to prevent your kids from pulling everything out. You can get external safety locks too to avoid the mess they can possibly create.
When you have your list down, you’ll be more focused in your search and less likely to purchase something that won’t really work for your home. So, do your research and know the price of each individual piece of furniture you’re getting. Breaking it down helps you set clear budgets and goals to suit your needs.
Of course, today, attractive offers and discounts make it worthwhile to buy furniture online. But, know that investing in appropriate furniture for your home requires time and diligent scouting. Finding that perfect piece which will uplift the entire space and also, serve its purpose, is the whole point of this exercise. So, keep these tips in mind and enjoy your furniture shopping!
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