THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO DRESSERS FOR KIDS

Today we’re talking dressers; the one piece of storage that you buy once and keep from baby room to first apartment and beyond. Important, right?! While other pieces of furniture come and go, the right dresser will literally last a lifetime!

Ella's mid century modern white dresser with gold statement mirror

From Ella's Room

Consider the following tips to help assess which dresser best fits the need for your child’s room.

TIP #1: SIZE AND SCALE

How much space do you have to work with?  Too small of a dresser can leave a room looking empty and sparse, and too large can make the room feel cluttered and small.

A pro tip is to use painter’s tape and measure the dresser base size on the floor, and height against the wall to visualize how the piece will fit into the room. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 40 cms on either side of the dresser to allow for a diaper pail or storage basket. The height of the dresser you choose can make a big difference if you’re starting off by using it as a change table. Choose one that is comfortable to stand up beside so you won’t need to bend down too far for diaper changes.

TIP #2: FUNCTIONALITY

Think about what purpose the dresser will serve and how much storage you will need.  In the early years, a dresser can begin as a change table by adding a simple change table topper.  The top drawer can hold lotions, wipes, diapers and washcloths. The middle drawer(s) can hold clothing, and the bottom is the perfect place for extra crib linens, swaddle blankets and even soft baby carriers.

Instead of going out to buy a whole new dresser when your baby no longer needs diapers, simply remove the change table topper and reorganize the top drawer with socks, under layers and pjs, and the bottom drawer as toy storage. It’s a nice spot to keep favourite play items that can be easily accessed by independent little hands.

TIP #3: MATERIAL

When you are choosing your dresser it’s a good idea to first research what type of material will work best for your space and budget. Learn about what material options are available to you. Here are the main ones, each with their own pros and cons:

Solid Wood:  It has the highest durability and will last many years. This comes usually at a higher price point. A dresser made of solid wood will be heaviest one to transport. Solid wood requires the least amount of chemical components for construction.

MDF (medium density fibreboard): Is less durable than solid wood, and usually in the mid-range price point. It’s lighter and easier to transport. MDF is created by compressing wood fibers with resin at high temperatures, which include more chemical components than solid wood.

Particle Board: Is similar durability to MDF, and is the lower price point option. It is lighter and easier to transport. Particle board is created by compressing sawdust and resin at high temperatures and includes more chemical components compared to solid wood.  

TIP #4: STYLE

Next, ask yourself - does the aesthetic of the dresser match the rest of your room? Will it visually fit in with other furniture pieces you already have? Often new parents purchase crib and change table sets together, so another important economical consideration is if the dresser can stand alone as a piece within a room. As your child matures and you remove a crib or purchase the next size bed, will the dresser still look appropriate for their age and room aesthetic?

There are three basic types of dressers and once you’ve taken in to consideration your room space and storage needs, choose your aesthetic and size. Whether it’s mid century, traditional, modern, or playful – you can select the combination that works best for your space and desired look:

The tall dresser will offer one row of 4+ drawers high. It’s good to look for a tall dresser if your room space is limited or if you don’t have a closet and need to maximize storage. Depending on the height of the dresser you may be limited in wall space for art, or hanging a mirror above this style.

The double wide dresser has a wider base with two rows of 3-4 drawers. This is a great way to maximize storage if you have a lot of square footage in the room and want a larger furniture piece to help fill space. As the double wide isn’t typically very tall it works well to hang art or a mirror above it when decorating.

The classic 3 drawer is a great option for a room with a closet or minimal storage requirements. It’s best suited for small to mid sized rooms as it can look smaller in large rooms with less furniture. It can also serve as a bedside table depending on the dimensions of the one you choose and works as a great piece to position under artwork or a beautiful mirror.

If you think about it, it’s pretty incredible that one piece can hold everything from diapers and wipes, to clothing, linens, toys, and secret journals. One of the most important things to be sure of when choosing your dresser, or any large piece of furniture for that matter, is that it is well made. Choose a dresser that is able hold piles of clothing and can withstand the wear and tear of childhood years, and many repeated pressures of clean laundry refills. Pull the drawers out and look at the sturdiness of the drawer base, and check if the hardware is well attached. If you’re shopping online make sure to read reviews from other parents to see if the piece is really as great as the description may suggest.

A dresser is a “home base”. It’s a place you will come to, time and time again as a parent to change a diaper, tuck away a toy, and fill up with fresh clean laundry. It will display a family photo, a favourite stuffed animal, or a treasure box of keepsakes your child has collected. A dresser is the one piece, which if chosen with thought and intention, will offer years of helpful storage and organization and bring aesthetic joy to your home.

the definitive guide to dressers for kids bedrooms

01. // Mid-century white; 02. // Eclectic white; 03. // Modern white; 04. // Streamlined white; 05. // Campaign white; 06. // Basic white; 07. // Trad white; 08. // Dwell white; 09. // Timeless white; 10. // Radiant Dresser; 11. // White trim; 12. // Classic natural; 13. // Lovely natural; 14. // Modern natural; 15. // Oak dresser; 16. // Trad natural; 17. // Sleek natural; 18. // Kalon dresser; 19. //Sleek black; 20. // Eclectic black; 21. // Basic black; 22. // Modern black; 23. // Mid-century black; 24. // Tall black; 25. // Happy black; 26. // Block black; 27. // Darkest black.

 

STORAGE BASKETS + CONTAINERS FOR KIDS SPACES

boys room with star decals and cozy sheepskin rug

Anyone else in the organizing mood? If you’re like me, getting my kids’ rooms and play area organized is top of my priority list this month (that’s January for you!). It’s a case of new toys and old ones, clothes that are too small and books that seem to seep into every area of our home. That, and Marie Kondo, who’s motto of ‘tidy your space, transform your life’ seems to resonate loud and clear! Please tell me I’m not the only one!

children’s storage bench with toys

SHOP NOW…

So, while we’re all thinking about getting things sorted, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my go-to places to shop for baskets and bins, and even the tiniest of containers which keep my client’s rooms and my own rooms neat and tidy.

I like to think about storage starting from large to small, with the obvious largest items being stored in closets and under bed drawers, which I’ve talked about how to conquer in a previous post. Once those areas are exhausted or the rooms don’t have those options, I use baskets, bins and all the way down to little containers for treasures that kids seem to love to have in sweet little bowls on their dressers and side tables. My kids collect rocks and a plethora of other weird and wonderful items, which I’m sure yours do too. Books are another story and I’ll address those in a later post, although board books are a great item for mid size baskets on the floor!

LARGE STORAGE BASKETS WITH LIDS

blue and rattan baskets with lids

Without a doubt, these baskets pull double duty on holding all the things, from blankets to diapers to large plastic toys while looking pretty on the outside. You can use them ANYWHERE and that is their beauty; they are covered and so a living room, playroom, nursery, even dining room corner is a perfectly acceptable (and great!) place to keep these. If you want to be the host that has everything cleaned up when guests come over (trust me, this is NOT me!), I’m sure these work well for papers, cords and laptops too ;)

MID-SIZED BASKETS

Girls room dresser with storage basket

These are typically open baskets but still a large enough size for items such as blankets, diapers (next to change table for easy access), stuffed animals, and generally items you want to be able to reach easily. They are super versatile and easier to move around than the really large ones. Some clients prefer all open baskets and these ones are a few of my faves.

EVERYDAY BASKETS

storage shelf with toys in kids room
kids playroom storage

The most popular size for a reason!!! From belly baskets to the 12” ones to fit all cube storage, everyday baskets house things your kids play with the most regularly. The baskets on the top shelf in the left photo are holding musical instruments that my client didn’t want her son to have access to at bedtime, but wanted a basket she could easily pull down for the times she was ready for her son to play music ;) In the photo on the right (our newest basement playroom), those baskets hold blocks, Magnatiles, large Legos, stacking cups, etc. The kids can choose whichever they like and also put them back (fingers crossed!).

LITTLE CONTAINERS / BOWLS

wooden zebra toy
finger puppets in wood bowl

Like it or not, SO many kids seem to collect little treasures of the strangest sort. If you can dream it, I’ve seen it! As all parents know, kids will keep things wherever they want (no matter how hard we try!) but I find it helpful to provide at least a few options for their special things. This is where the little bowls and boxes come into play. If you have a spare drawer in a dresser, nightstand or even under the bed, it’s an ideal spot for these. If your little ones are anything like mine though, they take pride in their treasures being in the open on their shelves or on top of their dresser, and I know one day, I will miss seeing those little messy trinkets. :)

In case you like to PIN things for later, here are some of my favourite baskets and little bins for storage in children’s rooms.

storage baskets, bins and bowls for kids spaces

BLACK FRIDAY SALES YOU CAN SHOP IF YOU WANT TO!

Anyone feel overwhelmed by the number of sales this year? Me too! I keep a list of favourite shops to check in on for this sale and thought I would share the list with you. It’s a curated list of places I look to all year round, but this weekend is a nice chance to tick off items you know you can buy ahead (i.e. christmas gifts, bigger sizes for the kids) or a big ticket item you’ve had your eye on (playhouse anyone?).

living room gift wrapping

CANADIAN FAVES
(#shopsmallsaturday & everyday!)


THE CROSS
20% off

URBAN WALLS
25% off with code TREATYOSELF

PETITS VILAINS
20% off with code GIVEBACK

CORAL + CLOUD
20% off with code JOYOUS

SAJE WELLNESS
20% off everything (one day only)

PEHR DESIGNS
30% off with code YESPLEASE

MAUDE KIDS
15% off with code MKBLACKFRIDAY15

ETSY
So many amazing makers on sale here, see my holiday gift guide from last year for a few ideas


HOLIDAY FAVES


MINTED - for holiday cards
20% off (one day only)

ANTHROPOLOGIE - for ornaments + holiday earrings
30% off everything

MCGEE + CO - for home decor; too many cute things including this adorable doormat
20% off with code THANK YOU


WINTER GEAR


SIMPLY MERINO
(our favourite base layer ski wear)
up to 25% off

ALTITUDE SPORTS
(kids winter boots)
up to 50% off

WHEAT CLOTHING
(our favourite outerwear but this year it’s not on sale!)
40% off many items


KIDS FURNITURE + DECOR + TOYS


POTTERY BARN KIDS
25% off everything with code GIFT25, code UNWRAP for 20% in Canada

CRATE + KIDS
20-40% off

SERENA & LILY
20% off with code GATHER

WAYFAIR
Up to 80% off some items!

NOBLE CARRIAGE
10% off with code CHEERS10

ETSY
So many amazing makers here on sale here

LITTLE PASSPORTS
Use code BESTDEAL for $20off a 6 month subsciption



Stay tuned next week for a fun giveaway coming up in support of #givingtuesday (Tuesday November 27th).





BEAUTIFUL KIDS TOYS YOU’LL ACTUALLY WANT TO DISPLAY

Oeuf bookshelf for kids

I think we can all agree that kids toys tend to get a bad rap. This post is about to change all that! Known for their impossibly bright colours and often less-than-subtle design, kids toys can become an eyesore in your living space as they find their way outside the playroom (if you are lucky enough to have one).

But friends, it doesn’t have to be that way. Constantly hiding toys doesn’t have to be the norm. Believe it or not, you’ll find quite a few beautiful pieces for your kids if you look in just the right places. I’m talking toys you’ll actually want to leave out when guests stop over. And toys that blend with your design aesthetic in the most seamless fashion.

Where do you find these unicorn toys, you ask? They’re right here in my roundup sorted by colour to suit every taste and style.

Browse for your favourites, PIN THEM and kiss those toy battles goodbye.

NATURAL WOOD

natural wood toys in kids room

Note to all design-savvy parents: you can never go wrong with natural wood. Whether it’s baby teethers, toddler blocks, or big kid puzzles, wood tones complement any color palette and provide a timeless sense of style. I also love that you can pass these down for generations to come.

natural wooden toys for babies and kids

01. // Riga Roo Rocker; 02. // Tegu Magbot; 03. // Hippo Ride On; 04. // Stacking Wheels Toy; 05. // Percussion Set; 06. // KEVA; 07. // Puzzle; 08. // Mozartkugel Music Box; 09. // Castle Box; 10. // Goose Toy Figure; 11. // Doll House; 12. // Cubebot; 13. //  Story Car 14. // Baby Teethers.

MUTED TONES

muted pink girls room

I love colour, especially in tones that blend with our own home decor. Strike just the right balance with muted tones like soft pinks, blues, yellows and greens for a look that feels tasteful yet fun.

Pastel hued toys for kids

01. // Silicone Rattle; 02. // Pastel Blocks; 03. // Mouse Soft Toy; 04. // Superhero Mouse; 05. // Porcelain Tea Set; 06. // Giraffe; 07. // Jamm Scoot; 08. // Gallop Horse; 09. // City Blocks; 10. // Rabbit Hand Puppet; 11. // School Bus; 12. // Tool Bench; 13. // Rainbow Tunnel; 14. // Tea Trolley; 15. // Baking Playset.

BLACK TOYS

A favourite for a reason, black is the toy tone that brings a modern touch to any room. Not only will the clean lines of black and white toys add visual interest, but the high contrast combo is particularly great for developing babies.  

dream big and nesting dolls in vancouver kids room
black coloured toys for kids

01. // Nesting Dolls; 02. // Stacking Game; 03. // Wood Teether; 04. // Rocking Donkey; 05. // Tool Playset; 06. // Tambourine; 07. // Polar Bear; 08. // Stacking Tunnel; 09. // Building Blocks; 10. // Rocking Horse; 11. // Contrast Art Cards; 12. // Ricepapa Plush; 13. // Activity Mat; 14. // Teether Toy; 15. // Teepee.

WHITE

canvas teepee in children's playroom

Nothing adds to a room’s light and airy appearance like white-toned accessories—toys included. Don’t be afraid to hunt around for your little ones’ favorite playtime pieces in their colorless counterpart. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find white toys add some much-needed calm to chaotic kid spaces.

White toys for kids

01. // Rocking Horse; 02. // Wooden Camera; 03. // Celia Doll; 04. // Wood Easel; 05. // Mini Guitar; 06. // Canvas Teepee; 07. // Stuffed Bunny; 08. // Teether Rattle; 09. // Play Kitchen; 10. // Modern Slide; 11. // Micro Scooter.

 



WEEKEND SHOPPING: FUN FINDS FOR THE KIDDOS

It's Saturday, the sun is shining and the sales are ON!!! After celebrating a lazy long weekend here in Canada last weekend, this weekend is about getting set up for the summer. We still have another month of school but I love to be prepared so that the most time possible is spent lazing with the kids once the holidays hit.

Some of our favourite shops have great sales this weekend so it's the perfect time to think ahead, whether it's adding some Spring finds to the kids rooms, fresh pillows to your patio or a lighter quilt for those hot summer nights. 

I'm featuring some favourite finds for breezy summer days with the kids from Serena & Lily (use code SUMMERDAYS for 20% off!) in this board to give you a pulled together look for a covered outdoor area and have added more sites below with codes to shop the sale!

Serena and Lily outdoor finds for kids

01. // Cozy quilt; 02. // Hanging chair; 03. // Wood stools; 04. // Storage bins; 05. // Large pillow; 06. // Textured pillow; 07. // Beach chair.

more-sales.jpg
 

Pehr:
For simple modern rugs and my favourite storage bins! Use code HOORAY for 20% off.

Coyuchi:
If you don't know this site, it's my go-to for clients looking for organic linens. The quality is high, the toxins are low and there is a new section just for kids. Love this organic cotton (inside and out) comforter for summer nights. 20% off certain items.

McGee & Co:
SO many amazing finds from rugs to pillows to faux greenery (perfect for kids bedrooms & bathrooms!). Use code SUMMERSALE for 20% off.

Lulu & Georgia:
Their new kids section has some great finds, including this gold mesh lamp that is both safe AND functional for kids rooms! From 15%-25% off depending on what you spend, this is a good one!

Noble Carriage:
With a big focus on organic products, this small shop carries the adorable Holdie doll house that I can't find anywhere in Canada. Use code MEMORIAL for 20% off.

Crate & Kids:
Looking to make a furniture purchase for your kids? This is the place. Code SAVE15 will get you 15% off all full priced items.

Etsy:
Etsy is my favourite place for unique finds from handmade shops. Lots of small makers have sales this weekend. To find sales on shops near you, enter 'sale' into the search bar and then set a custom location. It's a great way to find sales this weekend and throughout the whole year!

Hope you have a memory-making weekend whether it is a long one or not.

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