What You Ought to Spend
The last decade has seen some fantastic children's rooms, but whether you can go all out or not, think twice about spending a lot on major pieces with short-lived appeal.
If you want to create a room for your child to grow on, invest in the best-quality furniture your money allows. While home entertainment furniture may change more often to accommodate new technologies, a well-made bed, bookcase, armoire, and end table can take your child from preschool to college and beyond. (They'll also teach your child something useful about choosing quality.) If you're wondering whether better-quality furniture is worthwhile for a child's room, divide the price of the furnishing by the estimated number of years you'll be able to use it. In many cases, the better-made classic piece will be the more economical choice in the long run.
And remember, "classic" doesn't have to mean "traditional." Simple Shaker style, sturdy Mission, midcentury Modern, and romantic Victorian can all work well in a child's room. Cheerful colors, fresh fabrics, and easy-care finishes let "serious" furniture shine in your child's room. With a simple change of fabrics and colors, this same furniture will be on the job for many years to come.
Charming child-size novelty furniture abounds, and if you've got the room, a kid-size table and chairs or a mini armchair are inviting. But a round end table and a comfy ottoman do a similar job and can be used when the child is older. Indulge the latest whims with paint, wallpaper borders, and accessories. They make a big impact and are relatively easy and inexpensive to change.
Check out the next section for tips on how to furnish your child's room within your budget.