Best of 2001: Best Kids' Furniture

Dream Kids
Flower Hill Mall
2710 Via De la Valle, Del Mar
858-755-8552

The imagined bedroom constructs of childhood find incarnation on the showroom floor: a bunkbed system shaped (and painted) as a cottage garden home, or castle, or stable -- complete with inset windows, doors, and stairs. The system can be fitted with two mattresses, but, luxury of luxuries, the top section can also double as a play area. An entire room may be given a celestial theme via custom fabrics and paints. Shooting star and crescent moon-emblazoned fabric becomes bunting, pillowcases, and a quilt. Comets race across dresser fronts while moons and stars orbit miniature suns (lamps). Dusty blue and feather-gold tones streak the furniture and continue the theme onto a toy chest and a play table and chairs. (Wood finishes also available.) And, in a kind gesture toward your wallet, many of these pieces need not be discarded as maturity beckons your tot. "The nursery is designed to be the nucleus of the set," explains owner Elissa Shuchter. Sleigh-style cribs convert to full-sized beds. Changing table tops can be shed from the dressers. And the armoire that served to store miniature dresses and diapers will later house skirts and blouses.

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