Feb 212013
 

eileen gray 1927 tubular steel tableSelecting appropriate furniture for kids’ rooms can be a daunting job or a joyful task. Using metal furniture in baby nurseries, kids and teen rooms can be one of the daunting tasks because it takes a little more care than usual in selection.

Metal furniture ranges from elaborately traditional to sleekly modern and makes a fabulous focal point in any room. Intended use for each piece must be considered before selecting anything metal.

Types and Characteristics

Metal type and gauge are important factors. Here are a few basics:

  • Steel – the most used metal; made into rods, tubes and sheets
  • Aluminum – used for small parts, legs, frames, angles, and channels; lacks strength for heavy weights.
  • Iron – usually cast into forms; very heavy and durable.
  • Brass – often used as hardware or trim due to high cost.

Gauge or thickness of the metal is an important factor in determining quality. Thicker, heavier metal will hold up to abuse while thin metal dents easily, is flimsy and a sign of poor quality.

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Tips for Selecting Kid’s Metal Furniture:
  • Sturdy construction is important—push, pull, and shake. If is racks, bends, or wobbles, you don’t want it in your kids’ rooms.
  • Flat sheets of metal should not pop in or out….no drumming noises.
  • Metal parts should not bend, twist, or kink through normal use.
  • Not easily dented…..unless the kids take a hammer to it, so hide the hammer.
  • Welded joints should be smooth and strong.
  • Joints connected with screws or other fasteners must be smooth as silk—no sharp edges or burrs.
  • Corners and edges should be rounded.
  • Finishes should be free from chips and must be rust free. Good finish = quality product, unless it’s vintage. Those can have defects but be careful about using in younger kids’ rooms. (See Safely Using Vintage Furniture for tips.)

 

metal chair and desk legs for teen study area

painted metal folding chairs in bright kids colors

Metal may be painted, powder-coated, anodized, or chromed depending on type with a variety of colors available.

Finish ranges from reflective to matte to brushed surface. With kids, brushed or matte surfaces are most desirable……fingerprints don’t show! Shiny polished surfaces are ok in small amounts in places seldom touched—unless, of course, you love to shine metal.

Metal lasts. It can take abuse. Except for being a bit unforgiving (hurts when kids fall against it) and cold to touch, metal furniture has a warm place in any kids’ room.

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