5 Ways To Childproof Your Furniture
From taking our first tentative step onto the property ladder, we spend our lives, and a lot of money, to ensure that our homes look their best. When our family grows and resounds to the patter of tiny feet, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s the end for your precious furniture, including those made from reclaimed wood. That doesn’t have to be the case. We have some great tips for you to help child-proof your furniture that not only protects your child, but your valuable wooden furniture too. Before you start, get a better idea of what you need to do by getting down on your knees. This will put you at same height as your child will be. Your new perspective will allow you to view the world with a new set of child-size eyes and will be invaluable to seeing what needs to be done around your home.
Whatever your furniture is made from, whether it’s the strongest English oak, beautiful reclaimed wood such as teak or the coolest shabby chic furniture, you can protect them all from the daily rigours of young children. Obviously when your baby first comes home, there aren’t many changes you need to make immediately. It’s only once they start to find the feet, or rather their knees, and learn to crawl, pulling themselves up onto your furniture, that changes need to be made. Speaking of pulling themselves up, if you have any tall furniture, in particular bookcases or shelving units, it’s important to anchor them. This also applies to tables, desk or even dressers, especially if the centre of gravity of the furniture isn’t ‘standard’ due to peculiar leg designs or weighted objects on display. Of course, this could cause harm to your child, but also to the furniture, particularly if it falls onto other pieces you may have around. Furniture can be firmly secured to the wall via L-shaped brackets, which can easily be hidden from sight so as not to detract from the appearance of your furniture.
The second great tip to help child-proof your furniture is also one of the most popular; cover the corners of your furniture with protective guards. Most furniture will have some sharp (or sharp enough to hurt toddlers at least) right-angles and corners that can cause problems to children. As they learn to walk, and invariably fall over again, the corners of tables and chairs could really hurt them. By smoothing the angles with guards, hard edges can be softened which will limit the damage their delicate skin. They also work brilliantly when you’re moving furniture around. We all know the impact scuffed corners can have on furniture, so any way to protect it can only help prolong its life.
Building on the need to soften edges, if you need to soften an entire cornered edge of furniture, then you can also add edge bumpers. These can be made of harden foam or padded materials and fitted to the longer, exposed sides of desks, tables or squared pedestals. Whereas the corner protectors do exactly what it says on the tin, bumpers can cover much longer lengths to prevent injury to your child and damage to your furniture.
Once you’ve protected the corners and edges from potential injury, take a look at the furniture itself. Your new child will bring with it a myriad of new experiences for all of you, including your furniture. Sticky fingers and palm prints might be expected, but to valuable wooden surfaces, it might be a step too far. Make sure your furniture is suitably protected from fingers so that, if the worst happens, they can be easily wiped down and restored to their former glory. If wood hasn’t been protected, it could easily be stained by food, pens and any number of other substances children invariably find around the house. You may expect this to already be covered by your coffee table, but children will find all new ways of destroying / enhancing your furniture with their own sense of style, so prepare your furniture for battle!
The final tip to child-proof your furniture, is one of the easiest to achieve and also the cheapest, as it requires no additional equipment to be purchased. We all love our wooden furniture, whether it’s been reclaimed from preloved wood, exists as a shabby chic design statement, made by your own hands or purchased from the finest store, wooden furniture changes with time. The joints may weaken, fixings and glues can loosen or it can simply need a little TLC. Before your little bundle of joy arrives, give it a little shake. Find any areas that need tightening, fixing or repairing and give it a good service. The sturdier the furniture, the longer it will withstand the onslaught about to befall it. If it’s ready, you’re ready! Best of luck!
- Nicholas Brake