Hard-wearing wood or playful plastic: material options for children’s furniture

Your child’s bedroom or nursery is the centre of their world, so make it a comforting space to learn and grow. This starts with choosing the right materials for your kid’s room furniture. In addition to the usual interior décor elements you’d consider, such as colours and patterns, you should also keep durability and safety in mind.

Hamburg - Cheerful plastic or durable wood? We dive into the children’s furniture debate here.

The timeless qualities of wood

At once sturdy and stylish, wood material is a classic choice for children’s furnishings. Antique children’s furniture from the pre-1900s tends to be crafted from mahogany, walnut, oak or fruitwoods, while more modern furniture uses poplar, ash and pine. Wood materials are often hard-wearing and offer the benefit of lasting for generations, making functional toy chests potential heritage pieces. And though a child may scratch wooden furniture, it can easily be refinished with oils and stains.

Seen in everything from cots to bureaus, tables and chairs, wood material serves as a blank slate that you can polish and add colour to as your child grows and your tastes change. Wood also lends a quaint, traditional charm and warmth to the room, which is ideal for creating your little one’s cosy nest.

The convenience of plastic

It may not have the timeworn elegance of wood, but plastic is still a common material for children’s furniture due to its light weight and convenience. It stands up to a toddler’s rough handling and is low maintenance in comparison to soft woods. Often moulded into whimsical shapes and vibrant colours, plastic furniture is a cheerful addition to your child’s room.

It is best to use plastic sparingly, as an accent rather than the main material. Look for higher quality mod geometric shapes for a splash of playful style, or clever stackable pieces that can be tucked away.

The comfort of plush fabrics

A third option for kid’s room furniture is to envelop pieces in soft, plush fabric, bringing to mind a favourite stuffed toy. Soft fabrics are padded, safe and inviting; a velveteen armchair, for example, is the perfect place for your child to snuggle up with a picture book. Fabrics stand up well to jumping and fidgeting, free from the sharp corners of wooden joints.

Combine the durability of wood with the welcoming embrace of fabric by upholstering your wooden furniture and you’ll get the best of both worlds. Touchable chenille and velvet invite children to run their hands over the fabric. Look for patterned or darker coloured textiles, as these will hide stains from errant sippy cups and finger paints. 

By taking care with materials, you can transform any bedroom into a stylish childhood haven. Wood, plastic and fabric all have their place, though if you prefer a more traditional, classic style, opt for a primary blend of high-quality wooden pieces and snuggly fabrics.

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