Mar 142013

kid-size footstools“Practical as it is pretty”. That’s what you need to keep in mind when choosing upholstery for kids’ rooms and upholstered furniture can be both.

Keep it Practical

From a simple thin pad attached to a hard surface to complex construction delivering ultra comfort, upholstery offers a wide range of choices. For kids’ room use, practicality narrows down the choices.

Is it durable? It won’t be subjected to hard use like family room furniture is but it will take some abuse. The fabric, frame, and padding should last until outgrown or until it’s time for a décor change

Is it safe? The frame should be structurally sound, able to support occasional climbers and jumpers. Fabrics should be non-toxic. (See our post on Eco-Friendly Kids’ Room Fabrics.)

Is it easy to clean? Nothing worse than fabric stained chairs or headboards to make room décor loose its luster. Kid’s room upholstery fabrics should be easy to maintain. (More info in the Choosing Kid Friendly Fabrics post.)

custom upholstered teen headboard

Create a focal point with an ornately shaped upholstered headboard.

upholstered bed frame in teen bedroom

Daybed with upholstered frame……simple straight lines but sophisticated style.

Make it Pretty

There are several ways to make upholstered pieces pretty, some more costly than others. Some options include:

  • Curves—curves and scalloped edges attract the eye.
  • Pattern—large patterned fabrics create a focal point..
  • Details—trimmings like fringe, braid and welts plus pleats or tufting add visual character to a room.
  • Exposed wood—painted or stained, wood trim adds richness to any upholstered furniture.
tufted upholstered teen boys headboard

Button tufted headboard adds interest to a wall of straight lines.

upholstered kids room lounge chair and ottoman

Sought-after softness…..completely covered frame.

The best guide in selecting quality furniture is actually the manufacturer’s reputation. Research the company, check with friends, or consult with a designer. Tush test will indicate comfort but not durability. Shake test may indicate soundness but not longevity.

Should you even using upholstery in kids’ rooms? Here are a few pros and cons to help you decide if upholstery is a good choice.

Pros…. ….and Cons
• Creates sought-after softness in seating.
• Quality workmanship and materials have long life.
• Fabric can be replaced or slipcovered.
• Absorbs sound
• Soft edges reduce injuries from falls.
• Concealed construction—hard to evaluate durability and quality.
• Quality furniture more costly
• Cheap materials not a savings—have short life.


girls pink upholstered chaise lounge

Curved, carved, and painted wood frame adds a little elegance to simple upholstery.

kids upholstered chaise lounge chair

Refined style with straightforward linear design and just enough padding for comfort…..and it’s made in kid-size.

An upholstered chair, bench, or headboard in a kids’ room is a wonderful addition. I still have the shell shaped chair from my childhood room. It was used in my girls’ room when they were teens….and they still fight over who will get it. Good upholstery is worth fighting for…..


Watch for the Kids’ Room Furniture Essentials {Materials} design basics posts on the following topics:

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