What's Your Budget? It's fine to browse – in fact, that's the best way to see what's out there – but it's very unwise to actually make a purchase before determining exactly what you can afford. Furniture is a big expense, so be honest with yourself before pulling out your credit card. If your dreams are large, but your bank account is small, you have several options: Buy just one new piece of furniture now, and wait until you can afford to buy the restShop for secondhand furnitur Go for lower quality – but also lower priced – furniture if it's destined for a guest bedroom or a child's room. What about Quality? Obviously, you don't want junk furniture that will fall apart within a few months. But that doesn't mean you have to have the absolute top-of-the-line, either. Your budget plays a big part in deciding the level of quality you can afford, but so does the intended use of the furniture. It's worth spending more for high-quality furniture for the master bedroom, but okay to go down a level or two for a child's bedroom set that will be replaced within a few years.
Nurseries must be planned with the child's future years in mind. But from the beginning, make room for a changing table near the crib. As always, keep safety in mind. The following tips will help you do all of these things: Keep cribs away from windows and window blind cords. Make sure cribs and bunk beds meet federal safety standards. Check to see that mattresses fit snugly against the crib's sides. Slats, spindles, rods, and corner posts should be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart from each other. Make sure a child can't release the drop side of a crib. Choose chests and cabinets that can't be tipped over (even when drawers are opened and a child crawls up and into them). This may call for fastening them to the wall for security. Find hardware that's rounded, sanded, and has no sharp edges. Equip all electrical outlets with plastic safeguard plugs. Eliminate any small throw rugs on slippery floors. Make sure all flooring is skidproof. Eliminate dangling cords on window blinds. Choose bunk beds with sturdy ladders, handrails, and safety rails.
Do not place a bed under a window, if the window will frequently be open. Open windows can create uncomfortable drafts. Positioning a bed between two windows, however, works well. If your home is air-conditioned or heated year-round and the windows are seldom open, you may be able to ignore this rule. Do not place the bed where it obstructs a door into the room or a walkway through the room. Consider nontraditional furniture arrangements if doing so will free up space or use space in a more interesting way. For example, a bed may look dramatic placed in front of a secure window; on a diagonal, which takes up extra space; sideways along a wall, to maximize floor space; or in an alcove (a technique called lit clos).
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