We don’t typically recommend a lot of must-hear songs on The Furniture Domain Blog, but there’s a personal favorite that sparked the idea for this post that I hope you’ll all love as much as I do – Arcade Fire’s Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels). There’s plenty of room for interpretation from person to person, but that aside, the line that always sticks out to me as the most powerful is, “But sometimes, we remember our bedrooms, and our parent’s bedrooms, and the bedrooms of our friends.” A lot of the power is found in the context of the song, so I really hope you’ll check it out, but just those simple words strung together brings back a flood of memories.
Well into my adult years, I can still remember the specifics of my childhood bedroom, from my New Kids on the Block poster against the first wall you saw when you walked in, to the pretty porcelain doll that sat in a red wicker chair on my dresser. As a child, there is no room so personal as your bedroom; it is your space for your things, and you recognize other people’s bedrooms as their space for their things. I remember my parent’s bedroom almost as well as my own, and the bedroom of every friend whose house I visited for a sleepover. I remember the books, the cassettes, the furniture, the stuffed animals – all of it! And I remember it quite fondly, smiling as I take a nostalgic journey in my mind back to a time when I would spend hours sitting in my purple pleather bean bag chair reading as many books from The Baby-sitter’s Club series as I could get my hands on! The books, the chair, the view of the backyard from my bedroom window – these all come together in my mind to paint a full picture, and those pictures are among the most precious things we’ll ever have.
As adults, we don’t always realize how much children are absorbing from their world. We don’t know what will be part of their bigger pictures – the memories that are the boldest, brightest, and most important. But thinking back on our own childhood, we can get a pretty good idea of what will stick. They’ll remember that we took them and their friends for ice cream even though we had a lot of work to do that night, because ice cream mattered more. They’ll remember that we drove them to and picked them up from every basketball, baseball and ballet practice no matter how hard it was raining or how early that practice began. They’ll remember that we changed our voice for every character in their bedtime story, and they’ll remember their bedrooms themselves. They’ll reflect on that funky Lumisource Puzzotto Ottoman many years after it’s been packed away; they’ll remember curling up in their Lumisource Saucer Chair to fill their diary in on their day; they’ll remember deciding who would get the top bunk of their bunk bed, whether it was decided by a quarter flip or rock-paper-scissors.
When you choose kids room furniture for your little ones, you are choosing more than the bed on which they’ll sleep and the dresser that will hold their clothes. You are shaping their future memories, which they’ll reflect on in good times and bad as an escape to a period full of learning and love. A purple pleather bean bag chair might not seem like anything super special to most people, but I’d gladly pay a hundred dollars for just 5 more minutes in mine with a good book in hand and my long-gone beagle barking at bees in the backyard. But hey, who am I to put a price on it? That’s the big thing about memories after all, isn’t it? That they’re priceless.