Growing family, growing furniture: How to choose furniture that lasts through the ages

No one understands how rapidly furniture can shrink with a growing family. One moment the baby is a mere speck in the corner of the crib, and the next she’s climbing out of it.

It’s almost like the movements of a diaphragm – expanding with each new child, shrinking as the kids leave for college, and expanding again with grandchildren.

Selecting furniture that can last generations is no sweat. It just takes some strategy to decide which pieces can be added upon or expanded.

Here are a few versatile pieces we recommend as starters:

Crib-to-bed: Every baby needs a well-built crib. New parents lack sleep as it is, so the last thing they need to worry about is the safety of their child in the crib. But kids grow fast and cribs can’t be their permanent resting place. Luckily, some cribs can transition into full beds while maintaining the safety and structure of the bed. When the next child (or grandchild) comes along, it can be converted back into a crib.

Changing table-to-dresser: Changing tables may seem like a luxury item until the need for one becomes an hourly reality. Still, it’s nice to have one that serves a greater purpose than an intermediate bathroom. Luckily some changing tables function as both a table and dresser. Ours can be completely converted to a chest of drawers by simply flipping it over. That way it serves its purpose when desperately needed but will still be a desirable piece of furniture even after the kids are potty-trained.

The expandable mudroom: The coat collections grow faster than the kids, so it takes some strategizing to contain the amassing piles of jackets and shoes. Pick a style of hooks or shelving that can stand alone or can be added to as one of many shelves lining the hall. Some coat racks even double as mirrors, which can multiply visual space in your mudroom even as the coat piles get larger. We also love the look of benches that can serve as both a storage spot for shoes and a place to sit down and remove them.

The dining table: Dinner time attendees can be few and far between with busy weeknight schedules. Yet with the arrival of the weekends, sometimes there aren’t enough plates or forks to go around. That’s why the size of a dining room table needs to flexible, ready to seat as few or as many family members and guests as possible. Pick tables with storable leaves that can easily increase the table size. Having some extra matching chairs around the house will help will make seating the guests effortless.

Pick a theme: Finally, we recommend picking a favorite style of furniture to grow alongside the family. For example, start by selecting a sofa, and gradually add pieces like love seats, recliners, ottomans, and end tables built in the same style. It makes expanding the living room seating options less stressful when you know which sofa comes next.

Happy family, happy home!

by Teresa Gish

One thought on “Growing family, growing furniture: How to choose furniture that lasts through the ages

  1. Deanna R. Jones says:

    I agree, buying the right furniture for your home is an investment that should last for several years. It’s important to get quality furniture that will stand the test of time. It also seems like a good idea to have a specific theme for certain rooms in your house to give you a better idea of the type of furniture you want in a room. That can give you a starting off point that can give you a sense of direction that will make buying furniture a lot less stressful.

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