One of the things that sticks with me from John Beck’s presentation on the gamer generation is that they expect change and in fact, like it. So when Judy Sheriff’s posted a request recently for YA-YAACers to be her “Consumer Reports for beagbag chairs,” I thought I’d collect responses and add a few of my own favorites. It turns out that bean bags are no longer the YA seating of choice, mostly because they can be tough to clean and don’t hold up well to bellyflops. Some other alternatives:

Padded hassocks in different sizes
Circle chairs
Large floor cushions
Wavy high/low chair
Video rockers
Poof Chairs
Bean Bag Loungers

Foof chair
Crushed can chairs

Library Consultant Kim Bolan reminded readers to not just ask teens what they want but show them options. “Most libraries have the best success if they show kids the wealth of other furniture options that are out there. This will usually steer the majority away from the bean bag. I find that most just assume this is their only comfortable seating choice.”

Teen buying trips to Target and Pottery Barn were recommended.

Restaurant style seating seems to be a trend – maybe because teens like to eat?
Cafe style
Booth Style

Some of my favorites:
Bed Bath & Beyond Storage Ottoman – I saw these at a local library, but they were on wheels – a hassock with side pockets and a removeable seat with a reversible cushion that becomes a tray.

JC Penney has floor cushions, seating cubes, and more – click “Home Furnishings,” select “Kid’s Rooms,” pick “Teens,” and then select “Seating.”

Stacks and Stacks has clever hassocks with stands – flip it over, and you have a tray table.

Walter Knoll Nelson 605 Swivel Tray Armchair – like those student desks in high schools across America, only comfy!

And this would be MY dream addition to a YA space:
Double Decker Study Carrels! It meets the developmental need for physical activity! Then again, I always wanted bunk beds growing up, and never got them – maybe that’s why I think these are so cool.

What is YOUR favorite YA seating option?

~posted by Beth Gallaway

About Beth Gallaway

Beth Gallaway was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2006 for her work in advocating for videogames in libraries. She is an independent library trainer/consultant specializing in gaming, technology, and youth services, and is a YALSA certified Serving the Underserved (SUS) trainer.

7 Thoughts on “YA Facilities: Flexible Furniture

  1. Jami Schwarzwalder [Member] on May 23, 2006 at 6:47 pm said:

    I must admit I have a love sac. I really enjoy having it, because its eye level with the TV, allowing me to watch movies with my husband, play video games, and use my laptop comfortably.

    I can face any direction which I like, the only down side is its huge and hard to fluff. You are supposed to fluff it out after every use, which I don’t do. Now it has two levels. The mountain and the plateau valley. I fight my cat for the mountain spot.

  2. pbrehmheeger [Member] on May 24, 2006 at 11:51 am said:

    A lot of our small locations lack any space for seating in their created teen areas. So, a few have decided to use the foldable lawn chairs – the kind that come in the bag and are very, very cheap these days. While the areas may not have enough room for seating, this gives teens the option to set-up shop while they are using the area and just refold and stash their chair when they are finished. Not ideal, but a good start!

  3. Jami Schwarzwalder [Member] on May 27, 2006 at 10:54 pm said:

    I read this and I wonder what message this sends to the teens? Why not have pillows to sit on, or let the teens decorate it?

    I know those are cheap chairs, and the teens will know as well. Do they have really cool patterns on it, that would imply to the teens that it was purched for looks rather than space?

  4. Amber [Visitor] on November 20, 2006 at 5:17 pm said:

    I’m working on improving my teen space. Where did you find the wavy high low chairs?

  5. I don’t know! They were highlighted by a designer at the Teen Spaces preconference last year. I am trying to contact someone who attended to get the info for you, Amber.


  6. I have to admit that these chairs are more comfortable. You can try I recently bought my last chair from there at a decent price…

  7. I think it is an excellent Idea to get children’s furniture! My brother recently bought a small chair (that happens to recline) for his daughter and she loves it! She will sit down and read books in it for a very long time. Well done!

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