Modern Living

Furnishing kid-friendly rooms

Joy Angelica Subido - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - If you’ve got kids, decorating a home is not just a simple matter of putting together stylish, age-appropriate furniture and pretty accessories. You’ve got to make sure that your children are safe. It isn’t just a matter of making sure that there are no breakables or furniture with sharp edges that could hurt your kids either. At this time when there is a heightened awareness that certain paints and finishes can be toxic, or that stain-resistant upholstery materials are likely treated with dangerous chemicals that are detrimental to health, children with picky parents have an advantage over the offspring of those who are not too conscious about safety.

Of course, the issue of durability also has to be considered. Sure, that adorable little baby contentedly cooing in his or her crib is cute and benign right now. But parents would be kidding themselves if they presume it will last.  As the little one grows up into a curious and healthy tyke with boundless energy, expect the furniture to go through a lot of wear and tear. All things considered, it would be a good idea to invest in things that would not easily break. Otherwise, one should expect to spend a lot of money while refurbishing the home more often than usual. That, or surrender to the idea that you will be living amid shambles until the beloved rascal or hoyden grows up a bit more and can be convinced to rein in his or her overflowing exuberance.

But parents looking for stylish, safe and durable furniture and accessories should have it easier nowadays. With the good news that Pottery Barn recently opened its first outlet in the Philippines, parents who want to put together stylish yet child-friendly interiors can have more alternatives to choose from. The brand’s two-storey flagship store located at Central Square in Bonifacio High Street is the first in Southeast Asia and houses Pottery Barn Kids on the second level. 

 “Pottery Barn is a United States-based home furniture and accessories store chain that is very casual and comfortable; very classic American,” explains Ginger Navarro, associate marketing manager for Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids in the Philippines.  “Our store has furniture, beddings and accessories for dining and entertaining.  We carry almost everything that you will need for your home.” She says that Pottery Barn Kids is distinct because apart from focusing on superior quality bedding, towels and baby clothing, it also carries upscale and comfortable children’s furniture.

Since good quality furniture is most likely a big ticket item, the usual practice is to choose pieces that one will expect to keep for a long time. But trying to think long-range for kids can pose a challenge because they grow up too fast. Thus, the usual practice is to choose classic furniture pieces that are not easily outgrown. Or an alternative is to buy stuff that can be easily stored until the next child needs it.

Ginger Navarro singles out a popular choice at Pottery Barn Kids. “We have a beautifully made Kendall Crib that is extremely versatile. It has a mattress platform that offers three height options to accommodate your growing baby.” This means that as the baby gets taller and is able to stand on his own, the mattress can be lowered closer to the floor so that the child will be unable to climb over the crib’s rails and risk hurt from toppling over. The Kendall Crib can also be easily transformed into a cozy toddler bed using a conversion kit that is sold separately.  Certainly all cribs sold at Pottery Barn have been rigorously tested to meet or exceed all required and voluntary safety standards enacted by the US Product Safety Commission, the American Society of Testing Manufacturers and the Canadian Cribs and Cradles Regulations.

Also available are classically styled convertible 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 cribs that children can use until they are five years old.  With these durable and stylish pieces, all it takes to redecorate or upgrade the nursery for your growing child (or subsequent babies) is to dress up the existing nursery crib by choosing different beddings. One important thing to keep in mind, however: buying 100 percent organic and hypoallergenic beddings lessens the likelihood of childhood asthma and allergic reactions to synthetic materials.

Children should be encouraged to be creative and take greater responsibility in making their rooms liveable as they get older. They could be allowed to furnish their own rooms. “You will notice that in Pottery Barn Kids, the store shelves are built a bit low,” points out Navarro. “This was done on purpose so that when our customers shop with their kids the youngsters can easily reach out and examine items that they like.”

Pottery Barn has a design studio with specially trained design specialists to assist clients. This makes furnishing exceptional rooms for children simpler. “Customers can sit down with our design specialists for decorating advice, or to discuss furniture options. We have certified interior designers who can help you plan your living space,” says Navarro.

Customers can even schedule appointments so that design specialists can visit their homes, take photos and measurements, and afterwards come up with a layout proposal and product recommendations. The service is especially useful for expectant moms. At a time when more important concerns like mother’s health and taking care of the baby shoulPd be the top priority, no one needs to stress over furnishing a child’s room and worrying that it won’t turn out right.

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Watch Modern Living TV which airs on ANC and TFC every Saturday at 6 p.m. with replays on Sunday at 10.30 am.

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