Baby and children’s furnishings can be such a big investment—it’d be nice to find pieces that last at least as long as your kids’ baby teeth. But items that promise to change Transformers-style (hint: They usually have “convertible” in their name) often don’t serve any of their touted purposes too well.
We asked retailers and designers to identify items that transition well through at least a few stages, and along the way, we learned what to look for: well-crafted pieces that fit the style of the rest of your home so they can move into another room if they’re no longer needed in the nursery. Furniture, lighting, rugs, storage (both shelves and containers) and even wall art can all go on to lead a productive existence elsewhere. As for the too-cute items you can’t resist or the licensed character du jour? The experts suggest saving them for bedding, pillows and other accents.