The rails on this youth bed from Young America's "Built-to-Grow"
collection were once part of crib. When the rails are no longer
needed, the bed becomes a conventional twin bed, like the maple bed,
This bed was once part of a crib. Part of Young America's
Built-to-Grow collection, the children's furniture is designed to
last a lifetime.
Furniture that Grows Up
One day Junior crawls out of the crib and announces that he's ready for a
real bed. His $300 - $500 lightly used crib disappears into the attic, replaced
with a toddler bed. In a couple of years the toddler bed will be replaced with a
A growing trend in juvenile furniture spares the crib banishment to the
attic. Manufacturers at the High Point (NC) Furniture Market in October 2005
introduced new lines of babe-to-teen furniture. Called different names by different companies, the essence is this:
Furniture that grows along with the child.
The "Built-to-Grow" line, introduced at the Market by Young America (Stanley Furniture
Company) reduces the child's needs to four basic groups:
- 'tween, and
While other furniture companies offer cribs that convert to youth beds, this
line goes the distance from babyhood to adulthood. Part of what makes this line
work for multiple age groups is that it's not theme-based or faddish. No smiling
cartoon characters or cute little critters will be smiling back at you from
"This is good, basic furniture" said Glenn Pillaman, senior vice president of
marketing and sales for Young America. "The consumer builds soft goods laround
the furniture to match the child's age."
In other words, use lamps, rugs and linens to satisfy your child's
"have-to-have" cravings. When he outgrows Spiderman or she outgrows Bratz,
replace the accessories, but keep the furniture.
Lea Furniture's new "Kidz Room in a Box" makes it easy to make the decor
switch. Each box contains seven coordinated accessories: a clock, bulletin
board, lamp, three storage boxes, wall-hanging, picture frame and a small rug.
Colors are all designed to complement Lea's (a division of La-Z-Boy) juvenile
Retail price for the "Kidz Room in a Box" is $199.
Crib to Bed
Selling for about $700, the Built-to-Grow crib begins life as a traditional
crib. As baby grows, the crib transforms into a toddler bed, using the original
mattress. A few rails from the crib become a guard to prevent tumbles out of
When the wee one turns into a robust grade-schooler, the rails disappear and
the bed becomes a traditionally styled twin unit. The company says this bed will
take your child right through the teen years.
The Cottage Treasures and Cottage Cove line of the Built-to-Grow collection
has 35 pieces, including chests, beds, armoires and nightstands , in 20 styles.
The classic lines and smaller size
of juvenile furniture makes it a good choice for vacation homes and
guest bedrooms. This hutch is from Young America.
Not just for kids
Juvenile furniture is ending up in places other than children's rooms. Many
people are buying the traditionally-styled juvenile furniture to fit into the
smaller bedrooms of vacation homes and guest bedrooms.
"Adult furniture just keeps getting bigger and bigger," said Pillaman. "But
second bedrooms are not getting bigger."
The modest size, combined with features such as simple finials, rounded
corners, wooden knobs and turned posts, give the bedroom sets a timeless appeal.
A room can be outfitted with a bed, dresser, mirror and chest for about $2000
- $2,500 (October 2005).
They're not consumers yet, but the parents of those born after 1982 are. And
California-based furniture manufacturer Z Generation has designs it hopes will
appeal to parents and kids. Its new bedroom group for teens and tweens, combines
the retro look of a tufted upholstered bed (shown here with pink leather) with
eco-friendly woven rattan and synthetic woven accent pieces.
The Pod Chair and Ottoman, is offered in three colors: pink, lilac and slate.
Underneath the removable cushions is extra storage space.
The color is sure to appeal to
pre-teen girls, while the 50s retro-look tufted head and footboards
might make parents or grandparents nostalgic.
Kids might not
want to outgrow the Pod Chair and Ottoman from Z Generation.
Lea's iRoom furniture is modeled after the popular iPOD digital
audio players from Apple Computer. Interchangeable trim allows kids
to go from pink to blue to gray to black. The clear maple finish
blends into a variety of decors.
Designed to appeal to the 12 to 17
set, this iRoom dresser has sleek lines and changeable hardware and
trim. Available starting March 2006, the dresser will sell for $599.
Trendy but timeless
Lea's new iRoom furniture piggybacks on the runaway success of Apple
Computer's iPOD portable digital audio players. But the clean simple lines of
the clear maple furniture appeal to pre-teens, teens and adults. Metal accents
and trim match iPODs colors -- Electric Blue, Metallic Pink, Jet Black, and
Steel. The furniture, which won't be for sale until March 2006, generated
considerable interest at the High Point Market. Or maybe it was the free iPODs
the company was giving to qualified buyers.
There's no pressure to decide on a color when making the initial
purchase of iRoom furniture. Case pieces are shipped with all the trim colors included so that your
capricious teen or 'tween can choose (and later change) trim color(s).
"We followed the map that Apple created when launching the iPOD," said Earl
Wang, VP-Brand Manager of Lea Industries. The target consumers - are "hip,
technologically inclined young people."
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