Recently, I was browsing around a children’s furniture store with a friend of mine (she’s pregnant) and realized that a lot had changed since I had been in there while I was pregnant. Gone were the pastel colored furniture pieces featuring popular fictional characters. They had been noticeably replaced with carved dark-wood armoires and sleigh beds.
I made a comment to one of the salespeople who tersely informed me that many adults are now buying pieces, “not just for their kid’s rooms but for the rest of the house as well.” (Sorry, I thought I was in a children’s furniture store.) Basically, what he was getting at was that rather than waste time trying to win over the kids; many manufacturers are going straight for the parents, with more “sober” styles.
For example, the store features a new line of vintage-inspired kids’ beds, armoires and dressers with an “heirloom-type finish that a 40- or 50-year-old could keep in their house.” (Fun.) According to the salesperson, this type of kid’s furniture is a growing trend. I was told Stanley Furniture Company’s Young America line, which has about 70% of the high-end children’s market, will begin selling Teen Bungalow, a 30-piece collection of bedroom sets and desks that come in an “urban, deep merlot.” But, that’s not all; Riverside Furniture Corporation currently sells king-size beds for kids that cost $959. Who buys their kid a king-size bed?
Youth furniture manufacturers are also producing new armoire-style entertainment centers for kids, which are about 35% smaller than similar pieces. Some kids furniture is up to 60% smaller, which I’m told is attractive to people trying to outfit small guest bedrooms or second homes. The entertainment centers are priced at $899 versus an average of $1,499 for the adult version.
Manufacturers say by the time the child turns 10-years-old they really want something with a more-sophisticated design. So I guess it’s out with the toddler look and in with the tween designs. This could be the reason that so many retailers are reporting that sales of full beds are outpacing those of twin beds.
In fact, the employee at the children’s furniture store I visited said they sell so many full-size beds, they are considering eliminating their twin-size stock. What’s more, he tried to convince me that my two-year-old would be much better off in a $1,200 white sleigh bed than in a toddler bed. After all, he reasoned wouldn’t I want her to have something that she was going to like when she was 14 and maybe use in her first apartment? Actually, what she really wants is a Snoopy bed… but I didn’t tell him that.