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How to choose furniture pieces that will grow with your family

There’s no getting away from the expense of furnishing your home. Whether you do it all at once or on an ‘as needed’ basis, that new bed, dining set or living room suite can involve a fairly significant financial investment.

We don’t believe you need to break the bank to have a beautiful home, or put it on hold. So, here’s what you need to do to make sure your furniture stands the test of time – and growing family!

Invest in the best

It seems slightly counterintuitive to spend money on expensive furniture when it’s going to be subjected to the daily wear and tear that comes with having small children or a busy family. However, the fact of the matter is, quality items typically have a much longer lifespan, so they’ll see your family through from tot to teenage years and beyond. Choose the real deal over cheaper alternatives, pay extra to Scotchgard your fabrics and look beyond surface features to check for a solid construction.

Choose durable fabrics

Certain fabrics are better than others at coping with the spills and thrills of family life, particularly heavier ones, which are less likely to snag or rip. Synthetic varieties, like nylon and olefin, tend to have the edge when it comes to stain-resistance and colour fastness, while natural materials, such as wool or cotton, offer impressive durability and are hypoallergenic.. Leather looks great both when it’s in mint condition and years down the line when it’s well-worn too, so there are plenty of family-friendly options on offer.

Think washable and wipe down

Try as you might to prevent them, accidents do happen, so have those inevitable clean-up operations in mind when picking larger pieces for your living spaces. Sofas with removable slip covers that can be popped in the washing machine are ideal. As are rugs, which can be relocated to cover stains or replaced much more easily and economically than an entire room’s worth of carpet. For dining sets, steer clear of porous materials, like marble, which can be a nightmare when it comes to spills and probably won’t survive a meal-time without incurring some damage!

Say no to novelty

Bunks, racing car beds and bedroom tipis might seem like a great idea when your children are small, but fast forward 10 or 15 years and chances are they’re likely to want something cool, rather than cute. Focus instead on picking future-proof furniture. A desk, for example, is something that comes in handy for everything from finger painting right through to studying for exams. Double beds too are a great way of appeasing your teenager and prepping the space for a guest bedroom transformation once they’ve left the nest.

Consider future plans

Think realistically about whether your family is likely to grow over the next few years. Will the four-seater dining table you’re contemplating accommodate any future arrivals too? How about the couch? Could you do to invest in coordinating armchairs now in case the styles are discontinued for any reason? It might feel a little like you’re jumping the gun, but considering your options now could help you to make significant savings in the long run.