Kids and Furniture: Can this Relationship Be Saved?

One Mom’s Kid-Generated Furniture Mishaps and How to Avoid Them

For decades, starting in 1953, The Ladies’ Home Journal ran a feature called “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” They presented serial marital issues from her point of view, his perspective and then the counselor weighs in on what will save the marriage. (Bear in mind this was 1953 — well before Marriage Equality.) My mother subscribed to the magazine, and I remember reading this column as a child and wondering how men and women ever managed to live together. It was all so alarming.

Fast-forward a few years and I’m raising three boys. And they’ve pretty much destroyed every piece of furniture we own. What did you say? Your kids always respect your couch? Oh sure, mine do, too. Haha. That’s a lie. When people find out I’m in the furniture business, they say “oh, you must have a houseful of wonderful furniture.” I tell them of course I do. As long as I’m sure they will never set foot in my home.

My mother’s solution: the living room was only for guests. No one ever found out who was considered a guest, because the living room, with its white sectional and designer coordinated accessories, was off limits to anyone I’d ever met. As an adult, I never went near the living room.

This is my mother’s sofa. It was purchased in 1959. It’s still white. I still don’t sit on it.

Learn to love leather furniture. Scratches in leather give it “personality.” Think baseball glove.

You’d have to work hard to seriously damage a catcher’s mitt. Not that kids won’t attempt it. Best virtue of leather: it can be repaired. You can get a leather expert to come to your home and do magical things to a rip in the surface of your couch, and you’d never know the cut was there. Take the cost out of your kid’s allowance because it won’t be cheap.

For floors, make sure that you can damp mop whatever surface is underfoot. Area rugs are a tripping hazard and are hard to clean. Wall-to-wall carpet is much harder to maintain than solid surfaces such as tile, wood and linoleum.

It makes sense to invest in high-end wood furniture if you love the design and are willing to refinish it in a few years. If not, opt for inexpensive tables and cabinets that won’t be missed once they’ve taken a beating. Look for rounded corners on tables to avoid the inevitable eye-meets-edge-of-coffee table incident that lands you in the emergency room with one of your children.

So enjoy living with your kids and with your furniture. And if you think that once your offspring have left home for good and you can redecorate your home however you like, think again. Because if you’re lucky, soon it will be filled with….grandchildren.

Kristien is a Digital Marketing Specialist for Vizion Interactive and a mother of three.





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