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10 Investment Pieces That Grow from Toddler to Teen

Take your kid’s room from toddler to teen with furniture and decor that will flex and grow as your child does

Joanna Linberg

1 / 10

Brass Bed Frame

This classic bed defines “oldie but goodie.” The rounded corners of the headboard outline a simple profile that’s timeless and gender-neutral. The brass finish is even better: It reads as charming in the early years, then easily transitions to the more edgy, industrial style a teen might favor. Find this common piece at estate sales or reproductions at almost any furniture retailer.
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2 / 10

Toy Storage That Transforms

Remember those cubbies you had in elementary school? This is that, but upgraded with Mindi wood and customizable fronts that let you close the door on big messes or keep balls from rolling away. That’s already smart, but this bookcase gets extra credit for literally growing with your child—just stack another shelf on top as his or her collection grows. (P.S. This wouldn’t be out of place in a dorm room as a media console, either.)
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3 / 10

A Soft Spot

This one is for you, the parent who drifts off while reading a bedtime story or who wants to be close to a troubled sleeper. There’s just enough room on this lounge set (it includes a corner chair, armless chair, and ottoman) for an adult to curl up short-term, and easily serves as an extra bed in a pinch for a sleepover. Tweens and teens will find it’s their favorite hangout spot. Need more convincing? There’s an option to switch out the platform for storage bases.
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4 / 10

A Neutral Rug

Here’s a shocker: The most expensive item in a child’s room might just be the rug. With large, well-made wool versions coming in at well over $1,000, it makes sense to go with a neutral that will weather changing color schemes. A beni ourain’s diamond motif still feels playful enough for a kid’s room but could easily make the move to your own bedroom or living room if needed.
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5 / 10

Abstract Art

For art that doesn’t age out, focus on graphic abstracts in bright colors. Toddlers will get a kick out of identifying familiar shapes while tweens and teens can stretch their interpretive muscles on the piece. And years down the line, use it to feather your empty nest with youthful energy.
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6 / 10

Adjustable Closet Shelving

Your kids might outgrow their clothes faster than you can replace them, but they’ll never get too big for a smart system for organizing them. Install an adjustable closet system (either a DIY or custom version) and every inch will be put to work—and then easily reworked as your kid's needs change.
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7 / 10

A Bookcase with Style Longevity

It’s hard to skate that line between sweet enough for a nursery and sophisticated enough for a teen, but this Scandinavian-inspired bookcase manages. The bottom library-style shelf will get lots of play with toddlers who are drawn to face-out books, while teens will dig the grown-up silhouette of the piece. (Happily, it comes with a kit for securing to the wall.)
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8 / 10

Wallpaper (Yes, Really!)

Wallpaper has a bad rep for going out of style quickly and being a pain to remove, but hear us out: A room with little architecture will suddenly wow when paper is installed. A room with windows and doors in odd places won’t seem like such a big deal with a cool design on one (or all) walls. The key is to stick with colors that are friendly with lots of other hues (the blue and green in this map are practically neutrals in a kid’s room) and a pattern that appeals to more than one age group. Pick geometric over storybook characters, for example.
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9 / 10

Striped Bedding

If you have a closet full of striped shirts, this isn’t news to you: Stripes are the most versatile pattern around, able to lend style to exuberant duvet covers (read: superhero blankets) and plain bedding alike. Get a sheet set in several colors and your child’s bed will always look in line.
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10 / 10

Lighting with a Touch of Personality

First things first: Nobody of any age should live with builder-grade ceiling lights. Instead, hang a modern chandelier in crisp white (we love the something extra the scallop shape gives this one). It will mostly disappear against a white ceiling, so it can survive the Moana days, the college application days, and every day in between.
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